Famed Italian artist Michelangelo said, “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”

If you’re reading this, you’re likely in one of three categories:

  1. You love goal setting, and you’re constantly searching for new ideas and insights to ensure you maximize your goal-setting process.
  2. You dabble with goal setting, and you’re wondering if this year is finally the year you’ll set some goals to look forward to.
  3. You’re bored out of your mind and just looking for some inspiration to carry you through the day.

If you’re in any of these three categories (yes, even category three), this blog is for you. By the time you finish reading this blog, my hope is that you’ll know three things for sure:

  1. The right goals set with purpose and passion can change your life for the better.
  2. You’re capable of significantly more than you’ve even started to let yourself believe.
  3. 2024 can be your best year yet!

Don’t aim low when it comes to goal setting – expand your definition of what is possible, aim high and enjoy watching who you become in the process.

Expand Your Mind to Turn Dreams into Reality

A few years ago, I was coaching a financial advisor, and as we were approaching the end of the year, I asked him what his goals for growing his business were for the upcoming year. He told me that his goal was to bring in $10 million of new assets for the upcoming calendar year. For him – at that time – $10 million of new assets was a solid year.

I asked him, “What would happen to your energy if you decided to double that goal?”

He reacted like most people do when I ask this type of question. He paused for a moment, and I could see a new level of energy and excitement start to flow through him. And he said, “That would be amazing!”

I asked him to come to our next monthly coaching call with a decision on what he officially wanted to set as his new-asset-growth goal for the upcoming year.

We got on our next coaching call, and his enthusiasm was palpable through the Zoom video screen.

I asked him, “What’s your decision on your new asset goal?”

With excitement and certainty in his voice, he said, “$20 million of new assets!”

Now, for some people, this might initially sound like a story of just getting someone to feel motivated and excited. But the truth is that most people will never accomplish more than they expect they will accomplish. And this advisor wasn’t just giving lip service to the goal – he was convicted and determined to accomplish it.

Fast-forward to the beginning of December the following calendar year. I checked my emails and saw I had received a message from this advisor.

He said, “J.J., just wanted to let you know that I just brought in another new client relationship. And I just passed $21 million of new assets for the year.”

With time to spare! He finished the full calendar year with just over $22 million in new client assets.

Since that year, his mind has expanded to believe he’s capable of so much more. This expansion of the mind is one of the most important keys for turning big dreams into reality.

He was so thankful that I helped him to see and believe that he was capable of a much bigger goal – a goal twice as big as he originally set for himself. And I regularly reminded him of an important truth after he achieved that goal he set: “You might have achieved this new asset growth goal without doubling your goal when you started the year. Still, I’m a big believer that something special happens when we set bigger goals.”

Now, I use this story to help show you that more becomes possible when we set bigger goals. But, for you, bringing in $21 million of new assets might be an easily achievable goal, or it might seem like an insanely unrealistic goal. Or it might not feel like a fulfilling goal to focus just on new assets.

Don’t get caught in this specific example. The purpose is to help you expand your mind to see and believe that you’re capable of so much more than you currently are visualizing.

The Goal-Setting Framework

To help you set powerful, inspiring and meaningful goals, I offer you a framework to leverage. Before you get into the step-by-step process of goal setting, please start to dream bigger.

This might sound cliché and motivational – but that’s because it’s both! Simultaneously, thinking and dreaming bigger will take you to new heights of success faster than you’ve ever imagined.

Step 1: Write down your goals for the next 12 months.

Step 2: Look at these goals and ask yourself, “What would happen for my energy if I doubled these goals?”

Step 3: Decide what you’re willing to commit to. If you’re not fully committed to the goal you set, it doesn’t matter how big of a goal it is. What’s most important is that you have the conviction and determination to achieve whatever goal you choose to go after.

Step 4: Decide how this goal fits into your bigger-picture vision for the life and business you want to create over the next 10 to 15 years. I believe that anyone can set any goal for any reason. I also believe that the more connected your shorter-term goal is to your longer-term vision, the more enthusiastic you’ll be to work toward the goal.

Step 5: Share your new, bigger goal with someone you know who cares about seeing you succeed. This could be your coach, a friend, a teammate, a family member or your whole mastermind group. When you share your goals with the right people, you’ll gain encouragers and supporters who can help you stay accountable and on track.

If you go through this process and set goals you’re excited to achieve, you’ll bring a renewed energy and enthusiasm to your work and team every day. As the author Samuel Smiles said, “It is energy – the central element of which is will – that produces the miracles of enthusiasm in all ages. Everywhere it is the mainspring of what is called force of character and the sustaining power of all great action.”

Enthusiasm is the fuel needed to turn dreams into reality. And enthusiasm is readily produced by working toward an exciting goal.

The Real Gold in Goal Setting

You might ask, “This sounds nice, J.J. But what happens if I double my goal and fall short?”

My first response would be to then ask you, “How much did you fall short of your doubled goal?”

Would you rather set a goal for 50% and achieve that goal, or set a goal for 100% and achieve 70% of the goal?

I’ll let you do the math on that one and then choose for yourself.

Secondly, I’d say that the real gold is found not in the achievement of the goal you set, but in discovering who you become in the process of working toward that bigger goal.

The bigger the goal you set, the better you must become in every area of your life to achieve that bigger goal. Ultimately, in my opinion, becoming the best version of myself is the greater reward in bargaining for a goal. So, the real question might be: Do you want to become the greatest version of yourself, or a marginally better version of yourself?

Set big goals. Go after them. And observe who you become in the process. And, hey, if you achieve the bigger goal, too, then you’ve really won!

If you’d like help setting bigger goals and working toward them more effectively and faster, please reach out, as we’d love to talk with you about how we help driven, ambitious financial advisors like you at Carson Coaching.

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