Monday, July 30, 2007

Achieving Your Goals: what I have in common with Jerry Seinfeld

Everyone who knows me knows I'm a big believer in setting goals, and then working hard to achieve them. And if you don't live under a rock, you've probably heard all the things you're supposed to do – write your goals down, post them where you can see them, yadda yadda yadda. (If you do live under a rock, call me – we'll find you a nice condo!)

I believe that success in achieving your goals lies in working on them a little bit at a time over a long period of time; eventually you get to look back and see how far you've come. I often use an example of "moving a mountain." There's no way you can go out today & move a mountain. But every one of us can move 100 lbs of stone – it might take a few trips, but we can do it. If you move 100 lbs of stone everyday for one year, you will have moved over 36,000 lbs (18 TONS) – you moved a mountain!!

I use this approach for just about everything. 500 marketing calls in a year breaks down to about 2 calls every business day. A new post on this blog every-other day adds up to almost 200 for the year. If it's going to take me 200 hours of practice to learn a new language, that's only a half hour every-other day for 2 years. It took a lot longer to learn English!

Today I read an article that talked about Jerry Seinfeld's methodology for achieving goals, and it's eerily similar to my own. He realized early on that he can't sit down at the table and write a whole bunch of good jokes for his act, so he started writing one new joke a day. Over time he has written thousands of jokes that not only allow him to use only the very best ones, but also keep his act current. Even more interesting is his use of a calendar for tracking it all... Read more about it here:

Here's to achieving your goals, and being happy you did!

- Chris Butterworth