Best-selling author, one of Fortune‘s “40 under 40 and master podcaster Tim Ferriss shares his personal system for setting goals that rig the game, so you’re all but guaranteed to win.
“Am I making this harder than it needs to be?”
That’s the one simple question best-selling author Tim Ferriss asks himself when setting goals. He uses the example that like most authors he finds the blank page, the need to “write the book” intimidating. Then he was given the advice to set his goal to write just “two crappy pages” a day. Just getting two pages written, no matter how bad, no matter if they were never used, was a win. With the performance anxiety relieved, with failure taken out of the picture, he would meet (and usually beat) the goal every time.
“The feeling you are winning is a precursor to winning on a very large scale.”
– Tim Ferriss
Ask yourself “How can I make this easier?” when you set a goal
How can I set my goal lower? My objective smaller? It may seem counter intuitive to lower the bar, but it allows you to overshoot your goal, and build confidence and momentum. And the more you continually succeed, the more you will feel you are winning and the more you will achieve. Sound crazy? Here’s Ferriss’ real life example: IBM in its early days was known for its incredibly successful sale force. How did they become so effective? At the start, IBM set quotas INCREDIBLY LOW to encourage the sales staff not to be intimidated to pick up the phone. Beating their quotas every day gave them confidence and they began hitting sales goals far beyond the expected. They rigged the game and won big- and you can do the same.
A final tip from Tim Ferriss for staying on track
Be sure to celebrate the small wins. Ferriss’ method? Keeping a jar of “self-made fortune cookies”. Write down when something really cool happens, and tuck it away. When you get off track, pull a few out and read them. Remembering your wins can get you back on track for current goals.
Want more? See the rest of Tim Ferriss’ interview with Chase Jarvis’ at 30 Days of Genius plus read our Stout takeaways on goal setting, making a fresh start and cultivating your resilience.