10X Goals, do this…
Back in 2011 on a surf trip to Cabo with my fellow goal ninja Saen Higgins I decided to take this process to the next level. Before I dove into my annual planning day I spent a full day creating a gratitude list, starting with 100 blank lines I was going to fill to acknowledge all my gratitude from the prior 12 months. At first I thought 100 was gonna tough, but the crazy part was how easy it was as I soon as looked at my calendar and saw all the amazingness, gratitude spilled from my pen.
After I finished the gratitude list I let the immense feeling of awe seep in overnight and started charting my goals the following day.
I thought I had the perfect system until this winter when it dawned on me how impossible my goals would be to achieve and make me happy if they were in conflict with my belief system and my core values.
VALUES THEN GOALS
I thought, hmm, what if I start with gratitude and then, BEFORE I dive into my goals for the new year I write down my values, and then dive into my plan? This clarity about who I am at my core and what my heart wants was different than some shallow hedonistic vision.
This bridge Changed EVERYTHING.
Having my values fresh in mind and laid out in front of me as I began to brush the canvas of my upcoming year led to a totally different energy around my goals AND a belief in not only my ability to manifest them but in the underlying connection to my being as to why they were on my list at all.
The problem with most goals is that we can say we want them, we can write them down and we can even achieve them if we’re driven, but if the goals are in any way in conflict with our core values we’re gonna be miserable creating them and achieving them and in all likelihood we’re gonna end up sabotaging the achievement as our inner child desperately attempts to bring alignment between our inner world and the external world we created.
One example I’ve battled for years is my core value around freedom. I LOVE being able to decide how my days and weeks are gonna be spent, who I’m with and whether I’m at home or traveling the world.
This freedom is a super important value for me and the “goal” of making more money, which most of us have on our goal list in some form, could easily conflict with this value if getting more money was connected to a linear way of creating it. What this means is, if getting more money meant I had to spend more of my time doing something to earn it and had less freedom my core value would be violated.
When I was thinking about doubling my income, I kept thinking about how I could create a more money by having more clients, selling more stuff and creating more marketing. Basically I was doing the same activities as in the past, just a lot more of them. This also created a huge problem because it reduced my freedom and violated one of my most important values.
10X vs. 2X
The key was something I learned from Dan Sullivan and Grant Cardone, the idea of 10X. When I asked myself how I could 10X my income instead of doubling it, EXPLOSIONS!
All of a sudden my past activities weren’t even relevant. Why? Because linear thinking would work. I couldn’t all of a sudden work 80 hours in a day if I was thinking of a linear exchange and linear growth. If working 10 hours in a day got me X dollars then working 20 hours a day would equal 2X. Basically if I doubled my time working I’d double my income. But, if I wanted to 10X my income I couldn’t exactly work 100 hours in a day. Linear thinking had to go.
I had to think totally different and start from a blank slate. If I wanted to 10 X my income AND not violate my freedom, I had to change my thinking completely. I had to ask better questions like who did I need to learn from and what bigger problem might I solve to create more value where my efforts would be worth 10 or 100 times as much?
This was exciting! All of a sudden, the world just opened right up. I was back to seeing the world as my 5-year-old self, sitting on the floor with a Lego set, totally without limits and open to believing in magic and possibility without inhibitions.
Part of the secret to creating long term wealth and happiness is to ALWAYS ask whether your goals and activities of life are in line with your values. If they’re in conflict, there is zero chance of deep ongoing happiness outside of those occasional moments of success or hedonistic pleasure. We are beyond animals and our lives are meant to be more than a casual moment of success here and there.
We’re meant to live fulfilled lives, with joy and love along the way, passionate about our days and weeks, not robots solely focused on achieving goals and checking boxes.
So this holiday season when you’re thinking about the year ahead and hopefully reflecting about the beauty of the year behind, give yourself some space and time to be present and explore your personal values so you can make value based decisions day to day with goals that will deeply move you and matter and be in alignment with your core, your soul and your heart.