17: Achieving Goals like Multimillionaires
In this episode, we are going to talk about goal-setting. Zach has spent a lot of time reading about goals, and so has Thomas; in fact, Thomas focused some of his Master’s Degree studies on goal-setting. But, today, we aren’t going to talk about what the academics, PhDs, or pundits say; instead, we are going to show you how Zach and Thomas actually set and achieve goals for their own personal and business lives to reach the success that they’ve had, and how you can do it, too.
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1. We should set goals not only on special occasions but regularly, and not merely for business but for all aspects of our lives.
2. We can’t control everything, but we should accept responsibility for what’s within our stewardship, set goals to improve it as best as we can, and exercise faith in our ability to do so.
3. Goals should be lofty but achievable, “stretching” us without overwhelming us, and can be divided into a series of smaller objectives.
4. Goals should not be abstract thoughts but concrete statements in physical form that involve doing something measurable for specific people for specific reasons by a specific deadline.
5. We achieve our goals better whenever we render ourselves accountable not only to ourselves but also to others for achieving them, especially as we review/report our progress regularly (perhaps as part of a morning routine) with those to whom we are accountable.
6. We should set goals according to timeless universal principles, but also customized to our own individual personalities.
7. We shouldn’t demand immediate perfection at both setting and achieving our goals, but should persistently both reevaluate and improve our habits over time.
[01:12] Zach invites listeners to view a video version of this episode at funded.today/podcast/goals.
[01:48] Zach and Thomas urge setting goals as needed, and not merely on special occasions like new year’s resolutions.
[03:02] Zach overviews how goals should ideally be “SMARTER,” which means Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Risky, Time-restricted, Exciting, and Relevant.
[04:32] Zach advocates not balance but “holistic harmonization” between all aspects of his life, including physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, marital, parental, financial, recreational, et cetera.
[05:24] Thomas and Zach remark that they set goals similarly in some respects, but with individualized patterns in other respects.
[06:30] Thomas and Zach stress the importance of transferring goals from mind to paper.
[07:38] Zach urges listeners (again) to set goals regularly, and not merely on special occasions.
[08:16] Thomas recommends reviewing goals regularly, and Zach notes that performance improves when it’s measured, and improves even more when it’s reported.
[11:00] Zach and Thomas recommend keeping goals in physical form, even if they’re also electronic form.
[11:41] Thomas and Zach advise listeners against demanding immediate perfection at goal-setting, and reiterate that listeners should customize this process to their own personality.
[13:59] Zach and Thomas stress that, in setting goals, we should explicitly state both our “why” and our “who” to help maintain our motivation.
[17:50] Zach and Thomas discuss the importance of accepting personal responsibility for what you can control, and also accepting the limits of that control.
[20:30] Zach counsels listeners to render themselves accountable to others for their goals.
[24:16] Zach and Thomas advocate setting lofty goals that “stretch” us, and then exercising faith in our ability to achieve them.
[28:15] Zach advises evaluating progress as part of a morning routine, and Thomas suggests working on your most important tasks during the morning when you enjoy the most energy.
[31:04] Zach shares his goals for 2019 as an example.
[39:25] Thomas shares his goals for 2019 as another example, and also addresses the importance of developing good habits, along with focusing on what you’re doing.
[54:56] Zach urges listeners to set their own goals and to develop their own routines to facilitate progress.
[55:28] Zach and Thomas present this episode’s Projects of the Week.
Zach Smith: (00:00) Funded Today Nation, welcome back to the Funded Today Podcast. Last time as you might recall we talked about Facebook Advertising, I personally grilled Thomas on his experience managing millions of dollars in Ad-spend, if you want the best intro you could ever have to Facebook Marketing check that one out it’s a can’t miss episode. Today, we are going to be talking about “Goal Setting” I’ve spent a lot of time reading about goals and so is Thomas. In fact he focused some of his Master’s Degree studies on “Goal Setting” and today we are going to take you on a slightly different journey. We are going to talk about what the academics Ph.Ds or pundits say instead, Thomas and I are going to show you how we actually set and achieve goals for our own personal and business lives to reach the success we’ve had now you can do it though.
Announcer: (00:44) The Funded Today Podcast is hosted by World Renowned Entrepreneurs and Business Experts Thomas Alvord and Zach Smith. To get a help with your next big business idea or to take your business to the next level go to fundedtoday.com.
Zach Smith: (00:58) Welcome back to the Funded Today Podcast I am Zach Smith.
Thomas Alvord: (01:02) And I’m Thomas Alvord.
Zach Smith: (01:03) And in our last episode we talked about “Facebook Advertising” if want a college education directly from the master himself Mr. Thomas Alvord that will be a good hour of your time well spent. Now, on to today’s master class, this is a special episode because in addition to the podcast we are sharing our computer screens and there are some visuals that are going to go along with this recording, so you watch the podcast it’s going to be a lot easier on this episode to follow along. So feel free to continue listening, we’ll try to do our best to explain some things or you can visit and follow along with the video presentation of this podcast at funded.today/podcast/goals to watch the video. Again, that URL is funded.today/podcast/goals, to get started you might find it strange that we are over a month into the New Year already and yet we’re talk about “Goal Setting”, but actually it’s not strange at all.
Thomas Alvord: (01:57) Whatever the New Year rolls around and I hear people talking about “Goal Setting” it kind of makes me squirm in my seat and it makes me feel a little uncomfortable, because I think if you are setting goals right now at the beginning of the year most likely you’re not going to hit any of your goals. You’re either always setting goals or you’re in the habit of setting goals or you set goals when you need to take you to the next level, and so if you’re just doing it because the New Year is rolling around it’s not as likely to stay. Basically, you’re just doing it because it’s the New Year and not because you actually have a habit or you’re trying to create a habit, so that’s why “Goal Setting” yes often we think about it begin the New Year but it doesn’t have to be and that’s actually one of the principles we’ll talk about.
Zach Smith: (02:44) It reminds me of when you go to the gym and for that first week or two hardly even know but it’s two weeks anymore you’ll have 100 people in the gym in any given time and then they’re all gone and it’s because exactly what Thomas said everybody pictures the New Year and New Year and New Me but then they just fall as a train because they haven’t developed the principles that we’re going to talk about. You might have heard of this before we’ve added on a little bit more I love Michael Hyatt and his best year ever and he added on smarter – he got at the ER part but very, very, briefly specific your goals need to be specific, they can’t be too broad or general they need substance to them, they need to be measurable, you need to be able to see if you’re making progress and how you do this matters, they need to be actionable. Simply make your goal start with a verb “do”, “buy”, “own”, “get” because that way you have some sort of action that is going to motivate you to do the goal that you set, they need to be a little bit risky that’s the hour your Goals need some element that are going to demand your best effort otherwise they’re not really Goals they are just things that are going to happen anyway, they need to be time restricted, you need to assign weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly dates for when you’re going to get these things done otherwise they’re not a goal they’re just something that is floating around and never going to be measured and never going to be restricted by time, so you can figure out where you’re going, and what you’re going to achieve and then they need to be exciting. Your goals need to make you want to get up out of bed in the morning I put that in specifically because if you are not excited to wake up, if you’re struggling with depression, anxiety whatever sometime setting some exciting goals can really help with that.
I found that in my own life to be the case then finally they need to be relevant they need to be centered around your life as it is now, or as you want your life to be otherwise, you’re going to be setting goals that simply will not relate to you, and because you’ll have that dissonance, you won’t achieve your goals, and that is the smarter framework. And finally one more point I want to add, when you set your goals I believe in something called “Holistic Harmonization” and we’ll probably talk about that in a future episode but it’s like a piano when you’re playing piano or you’re playing a musical instrument when all of the keys are played together they can sound very beautiful. I don’t believe that life is black-and-white in terms of a teeter-totter I hate the word Balance for example, I need to find Balance, I don’t like Balance at all, I like Harmonization and I like it Holistically meaning “covering all the elements of my life” and therefore when I set goals I like to set physical goals, intellectual goals, social goals, financial goals, spiritual goals, marital goals, parental goals, occasional goals, avocation goals, emotional goals, recreational goals, and so on, and that’s how I would recommend you setting smarter goals as well because when you can have Holistic Harmonization you can have true happiness isn’t that what it’s all about?
Thomas Alvord: (05:24) Absolutely and those principles or Smart Goals are Smarter Goals and if you look online you can read more about them, they are very effective tools for setting good Goals, but even in my own practice of Setting Goals that’s not always what I do I don’t follow all those principles, and so these are eight principles kind of getting into the meat now of how I set goals, how Zach sets goals, and looking at what Zach does looking at what I do, and it’s interesting to see how much of what we both do, setting goals, independent of one another but then talking about our goals and seeing how work being accountable, seeing how similar it is.
Zach Smith: (06:12) And that’s always amazing right Thomas? I mean when you and I first chatted the funniest thing was we weren’t planning on doing this Episode, but we said hey what are your goals? And what are my goals? And we broke out the ways that we set goals then we were just smiling because we were like holy cow the way we go about it is very, very, similar and yet we have our own unique patterns to do it and that made us and inspired us to create this episode for you.
Thomas Alvord: (06:30) And one of the things that you and I both believe in and we’ve said this before, is to just set goals and write them down, if you do that that’s 50% of the work.
Zach Smith: (06:41) 80%-20%.
Thomas Alvord: (06:41) There you go.
Zach Smith: (06:42) Right, right there for you.
Thomas Alvord: (06:43) It’s 80% of the benefit with only 20% of the work, no joke there is something about setting it down that it gets out of your mind you’re making a statement now this is what you’re going to do, it makes it more real, so if you don’t have any goals written down, you could even stop this podcast, set some goals even if you have in your head go write them down Zach will tell you and I think it bugs him well I’ll have an idea and he is like hey! have your written that down and I say no I got it in my mind, in my heart I’m not going to forget which is actually stupid, because I will forget stuff right. So even though you might think Oh I have the goal in my head or I know what I am working for just write it down.
Zach Smith: (07:24) And to Thomas’s credit he has been amazing and starting to write things down and get things going in and we’ve seen great progress together as he started to apply the principle himself.
Thomas Alvord: (07:32) Well write down your goals, if you haven’t already get them out of your head.
Zach Smith: (07:34) Unwritten goals are just so hard to track, principle number one set your goals just write them down, number two is don’t wait until the New Year Thomas hinted along this one a little bit earlier I hate the idea of New Year’s Resolutions because why they need to do New Year’s Resolutions, you need to do something now today you don’t need to wait, Oh no it’s February, it’s March whatever time it is you listening to this podcast that doesn’t matter set your Goals now and coordinate them for the rest of the year, coordinator them the week, the month the quarter, don’t wait until the New Year because that’s his procrastination and procrastination makes everything slowdown it makes you get nothing done, it makes you create excuses, don’t wait until the New Year, that’s rule number three Thomas.
Thomas Alvord: (08:18) You have to review your goals regularly. If you write down your goals again like we said there is a huge benefit just do that, even if you don’t reveal them this has happened to me, it's happened to Zach a year later, or even two or three years later we look and say oh I wrote or it was some goals I have with my wife and we look and we say wow we actually got like 40% or 60% of this done I did not even realize that we were knocking all these goals out, so it’s amazing what happens even if you’re not reviewing them, and you misplace there’s a quote by someone who once said that which we measure how does that go Zach?
Zach Smith: (08:56) When performance is measured performance improves. When performance is measured and reported the rate of improvement it doesn’t just get better, what does it do? it accelerates I love that.
Thomas Alvord: (09:17) And part of it is because your analyzing throughout the process of working towards your goal where you’re at and it helps you think what’s working and what’s not working and instead of just being in a habit of doing or not doing whatever it is you actually are thinking of changing their behavior changing attitudes changing her mentality, changing what you’re working on, so you can actually move on to the next level. So, you have to review your goals and that’s one of the parts where you’ll see how Zach and I will set our goals. We both have built-in mechanisms for reviewing what we are doing, although it’s completely different.
Zach Smith: (09:56) Yes later on this podcast we’re going to get really transparent and really vulnerable with all of you our Funded Today listeners. We’re share with you all of our goals and how we actually accomplish and achieved those goals. A couple tips on this one specifically because we got better as the years have gone on the way we review our goals well - I put my goals on my phone so I literally created a little clickable link I just open up the Chrome Tab and then I added and then I click add the home screen, and it creates a little bug just like an App and you can click the button and pull up your goals with one click from Google Docs or wherever you like to do your goals that’s a great trick. The other thing we do is we will have our goals in front of us, so on my tabs in in my bookmarks I have my 2019 Goals and I have my January specific goals and these are clickable links right within my Google Chrome Browser where I can grab them. And then most importantly I set regular appointments with myself to review my goals. For me it’s just a Sunday afternoon and I look back on the last week and I check-in and I see how I’m doing with my goals and I update them according. Now the next thing about reviewing your goals is to print them off.
Thomas Alvord: (11:05) There is something about not having it digitally where you have it in physical form that you can see them that you can write on and so that’s what I did, that’s what you did without us realizing for a couple of time.
Zach Smith: (11:18) Yes we did, and we are Digital Nomads like we hate paper we hate carrying things around, we love everything on the Cloud, we’re master note takers and Google Keep and all kinds of different things but we print them off we don’t spend them off one time I have them on a mirror that I see, I have them when I wake up in the morning I have them everywhere, so the front and center my mind so that I make sure that I’m not losing track, what I actually wanted to accomplish this year when I set my goals, bring them off matters.
Thomas Alvord: (11:44) And Zach I pray one sheet of some KPIs or key performance indicators that I review at the end of every day and for the last however long every night I review those, and another thing I want to stress here is these are things that I do, it’s what you do Zach, but we don’t do the same things, but has a similar right and people don’t need to fill or have to do it exactly like this.
Zach Smith: (12:13) that will get the stock, that will get the stock.
Thomas Alvord: (12:16) If I were to sit down and do goals like you do it wouldn’t fit how I like to do things it wouldn’t fit my personality, although maybe somebody has no framework or no baseline and they’re like just whatever right and so they can get from that something. So we want these ideas for these principles to be ideas for you for things you could do, that may be you’re not doing with Goalsetting or if you’re starting with the tabular rasa or a blank slate that you can just go and be effective at setting goals.
Zach Smith: (12:43) And another inspiration for this episode was we always like to learn from people who maybe have achieved things bigger and greater than we have, and we thought well we should share what we are doing because we’re accomplishing a lot of goals we’ve done quite a bit in a short amount of time and so we titled this episode “How to Set and Achieve Goals like Multimillionaires” because we thought this could probably help out a lot of people but Thomas is exactly right, do not procrastinate just get some things done whether you take one or eight of these principles and apply and you’re going to see better results than you’re getting right now if you just go and do them do not use the excuse that I do all the stuff, and I got to do all this thinking and all of this other stuff you’ll get better and you will find your process and system just like we’ve done over the years, if you just go and do it.
Thomas Alvord: (13:22) You know Zach it was a while back I guess I was talking to somebody they recommended a book on “meditating” and I read through that and there was a lot of different things but I took one thing out of it and I know this is more like a conclusion right but I really want to stress is right because I think often I might read a book, I might listen to a podcast, I might read an article and I learn a handful of different things, but then I don’t really change my behavior right? So if you’re setting goals just take one of these principles or if you’re not setting goals really just go write them and you’re going to 80% better off.
Zach Smith: (13:58) Absolutely all right, principle Number five this one is big this one may be the most important goal, even though we kind of lodged it in the middle “know your why, know you are who?” This is the whole idea that I kind of talked about earlier when I said you have to set goals that are exciting and make you want to get up out of bed in the morning, and this is why? And you’ll notice when you go through my Goals and Thomas’s goals that we have our why and who figured out, if you set a goal that says I want to be able to bench press 315 pounds by December 31st 2019 why? When you’re in the gym struggling on a February afternoon maybe it’s cold it's really cold where we at most the time are you going to be able to wake up are you going to be able to go to the gym are you going to be able to do what you want to do, if you don’t know your “why” what’s your “why” why did you set this goal in the first place because I guarantee you were going to hate going to the gym if you haven’t been in while or if you’re struggling or if you’re tired or if you got other things to do if you don’t have a “why” what’s you’re “why?” Is it so that can be around for your daughter’s wedding? Is it so that you can have a healthy body little long and healthy life and potentially avoid obesity and some of the other elements that kind of plagued the world nowadays? And then what’s you’re who? Who you’re doing it for? Again your daughter’s wedding, your wife your family, for yourself so you could have confidence, whatever it is you got to write these things down and be very clear for every single goal, you’ll need a “why” and a “who” and believe me I have already applied this myself a bunch this year and you’ll see some of my goals, you’ll go like those are strange goals, those are red goals but when you see my ‘Why” or who you like ah okay I see “why’s” doing because I’ve been like oh man I’m falling behind I got to do this but then in the back of my mind or as all my goals when I review them and I review my “why” and my “who” it motivates me so that I can continue to stay on track with my goals and get them done, if I didn’t have my “why” and my “who” I’ll just be in the gym lifting I would be memorizing things not really understand why I’m doing it right guarantee you I would fall off that wagon very quickly. Know your “why” know your “who” Thomas anything else to add to that one?
Thomas Alvord: (16:00) I remember when you shared this with me in preparation for this podcast I was thinking I don’t really do that I don’t know how critical that is, but again teach their own rights, it's always going to be the same but as I thought about it and hearing you speak I actually do have my “why” and my “who” a little bit but I know my “why” I just articulate it, or write it down in my goals but my “why” was very clearly just reviewing the last 12 months or so and seeing how things of gone thinking I could be so much more productive and accomplish so much more and it's because I’m kind of like a ship without a rudder I just try to go wherever which I get stuffed on but if you can be focused I remember somebody sharing once what’s the difference between and I forget which river it was, I think it was like the Amazon and maybe some river in Colorado again I can’t remember right and you have a river that has so much more power and force right that is so much smaller than the Amazon River in terms of the amount of water, but it’s because it’s so focused right that it become so powerful that it can do amazing things, so that’s kind how I felt what is my why? and so every day when I wake – I’m waking up every day at six right because my whole life is kind of didn’t really have a schedule when my third kid was born waking up and so I kind of just took life as a camp so then I didn’t really have a schedule and waking up at six isn’t my favorite thing and forcing myself to go to bed at 10 when I no need to right, but it’s having that why so no I’m going to be focused, I’m going to be productive, I’m going to accomplish more and having that is actually been the motivating factors, if it wasn’t for the why I would be doing this.
Zach Smith: (17:52) And that’s such a great metaphor I love that you have now proactively taking control of your life, you have shown that you can be acted rather than acted upon and to show that you have some control over what happens in your life, and I think when you can take a little bit of control and realize there are still going to be things you cannot control and you know the whole “Stoic Philosophy”, “Memento Mori” or you could leave life right now understanding that but realizing you can still have control over some things you will feel so much more confidence to be able to go out and achieve the things that you have set forth to achieve, I love that.
Thomas Alvord: (18:25) You know we didn’t write this down but I love what you just said Zach it’s feeling that you’re in control or thinking you’re in control because sometimes I even set goals we run into the setting goals for ourselves for Funded Today where you say well I don’t know what we’re going to hit, I don’t know what the market is going to do and so you don’t really set a goal. And I remember and I think I shared with you before Zach somebody was sharing or actually I think it was in this book on habits that I was reading where the person was saying anything bad that happens to you or anything that’s bad that happens that your part of assume that it was 100% your fault maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t it doesn’t matter just assume it was 100% your fault or is 100% your fault because when you do that it's going change your mentality and you’re going to feel that you’re in control and maybe you’re in control, or you’re not but it's going to change how you look at things and you’re going to look at things and figure out what you can do what you can change to actually obtain the results you want, or to stop something from happening once you have that mentality.
Zach Smith: (19:40) There is a truism that kind of goes with that and its give me the courage to accept the things I cannot change and to change the things that I can, and I think that’s exactly right I even carry a coin with me and Thomas might not even know this, but it’s kind of a Philosophy called Stoicism and the idea is we can have some measure of control of our lives but we need to be able to accept the things that we can’t and live life in the present fully there as much as we possibly can because you could leave life right now as the great Stoic Marcus Aurelius said. Realizing that, realizing that we can have control will give us the confidence to understand what’s its stake to feel what’s its stake? As we know our why and as we know our who so that we can connect emotionally and intellectually to the goals that we set very powerful. Number six “be accountable for your goals” this one is real simple for me because I have a wife and my wife is my accountability partner and she does a pretty good job, I’ve had to tell her a couple times hey you got to hold me true to these goals, you got to make it happen what I’m doing wrong, what I’m doing bad at and those Sunday afternoons when we review the goals and get ready for the next week she is there for me and I’m there for her and I’m also accountable to myself again going back to goal, going back to principle five because I know my “why” I know my “who” and I take ownership and responsibility, like Thomas said and even if I don’t have control I act as if I have 100% control and it's all on me.
Going along that same line when we set goals and this is a fairly new focus for us, even as well. It might feel like pie-in-the-sky how am I going to make this much money this year? How am I’m going to lose that much weight? How am I going to get that much stronger? You have to set it somewhere, you have to set it risky enough, you have to make it exciting enough but what but what if it’s too high, what if it's to whatever we’ll get to that, that’s okay, but here’s the deal when you set these goals you have to achieve these goals. You need to have a never say die attitude and the way you do that is if things change, if my business completely die tomorrow, and I suddenly did not have income earning potential that I had to achieve the goals I set I would not change my goal. I would change the strategy for achieving that goal and I would still find a way to make it happen.
Thomas Alvord: (21:55) And the only way you can actually have that fortitude and that tenacity I believe is by knowing your “why” because when things are just not going your way and you’re having to really put yourself out there, or stress yourself or restrain yourself if you don’t have a “why” you’re not going to do it, and you have to be accountable and I love what you said about telling people your goals. We had lunch yesterday Zach you and me with the two other people who flew in who wanted to meet and afterwards you shared with me this project you’re working on which I will reveal because you’re keeping it secret right now private, so to speak, just you telling me that what I say I have somebody here will be able to help you those are new ones right it's different, right being accountable to somebody as well is telling somebody. If you talk about your goal you’re going to fill more accountable but it's going to make things happen, it's going to open doors in ways you don’t even realize or that you can’t even conceive of right now, it’s kind of crazy but you talk to people and that so-and-so we’ll hear from them will make some new connection or whatever but you need to talk about your goals, if they’re worthy having the word you talking about.
Zach Smith: (23:11) I love that I’m so glad you brought that up because I had totally forgotten that and I felt so good about that when I shared with you to because it literally opened the door I did not even know was there and it wasn’t just a door that opened it was like the perfect door at the perfect time for that particular project that I’m working on and I sometimes take even a step further I say embarrass yourself if you got a goal the reason you’re setting that goal is because you’re unhappy you’re unfulfilled or you want more or you want to achieve, or you want to do something better, well sometimes you have to embarrass yourself by telling people these goals and that’s perfectly fine because guess what? Once you achieved your goal will no longer be embarrassing and you can look back and talk about how you conquered that, how you climbed that mountain, and that is so important to do and ready for this Funded Today Nation you are now kind of accountability partner because we’re to be sharing our goal with you here in just a little bit and you’re going to help us achieve these goals I don’t know how or what? But for those of you listening when you see the goals we set, we would love to hear from you. We would love for you to share some things that you see that we can do it achieve our goals, and if you share your goals with us we will absolutely try to open doors for you so that you can achieve your goals as well. And with that Principle Number Seven and this is the great one, you got assess some lofty goals.
Thomas Alvord: (24:24) So David Ogilvy who is considered the Father of Advertising I have a few of his books and he has so many punchy quotes in there, one of them is “don’t bunt” right talking about baseball obviously and hopefully most people know baseball but it’s an international audience So in baseball the pitcher throws the ball and you can swing and your to hit a home run or get the base, but you can “bunt” or you just put the bat and you just trying to knock the ball for just a little bit, he says “Don't bunt. Aim out of the ballpark, Aim for the company of immortals", it’s a beautiful, beautiful, quote. So if you have goal have something that can stretch you and for this may be may be my most favorite quote of all time, Henry Ford, the famous carmaker whether you think you can’t, or well – I guess there is two ways you could say but say, but whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re probably right, It is so beautiful and it has so much power in that if you think you can you’re probably right, If you think you can’t you’re probably right, and when we set goals set big goals now set goals that actually are meaningful to write well I want to have a company that’s worth a Billion dollars in five years, I mean that actually I guess I should stretch I mean that could be a goal if you really were diving.
Zach Smith: (25:50) Times and seasons maybe $100 million in five years and a Billion in ten, like go to keep them relative to your life where you want to be where you’re at now absolutely?
Thomas Alvord: (26:00) Right, so they want to be obtainable, but they should make you stretch, and part of setting big goals I could set a goal to achieve Z, and I could set a goal talking about business I could have a goal to have a company doing the million in revenue next year, or have a goal I’m going to do $50 million in revenue and the thing is whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re probably right, and when you set a bigger goal and I learned this from Richard Koch is kind of one of my I want to say hero, but who I really like when you set something that’s just an incremental goal, you’re not radically changing your thinking right you’re basically doing the same thing when you set really big goals it's going to cause your mind to really churn to really think and it's going to cause you to take things to the next level.
Zach Smith: (26:53) That’s exactly what you did at Funded Today I remember we were looking at things and you said what if we can get to $10 million in revenue and we were doing maybe $100,000 a month or something and I said come on you know I mean like I remember having the chat, but what happened we got more than $10 Million in revenue. The company became an eight figure company and that radical shift in mindset that you described happened within me and the way I go about setting goals is to set these goals a lot bigger than I ever did as well, even though I’m probably way less of a dreamer and way more practical and way more of a realist, and maybe even cynical and pessimistic as compared to you, even still, the way you have thought has inspired me and proven Ford’s quote to be true and I look at autobiographies and biographies that I’ve read, now look at Steve Jobs I remember reading an account in his book by Walter Isaacson where he said make it happen and everybody sitting here their technology doesn’t exist that particular glass that we need to do it Jobs wants to do it isn’t around he said I don’t care figure it out make it happen and they did it, for whatever reason, because she saw that vision he had that thought inside of him things that seemed practically impossible then are commonplace now and you can look at that with all the people that changed the world. They thought they could and they did, and you can too.
Number eight and this is the last principle before we get into our Goal Setting have a morning routine I’ll start with this one briefly, Thomas is been doing this much longer than me but this matters a bunch going on the principle of 80%-20% if you can get done with most of your goals before you do anything else you’re already there and a morning routine ensures that this happens. I have a rule where try to take no appointments before 1:00PM everyday so that I can get done with everything that I need to do with the goals that I want to achieve for the year, before I let my day be controlled by somebody else. My morning routine consists of I think seven to 10 things that I do every single day and I do those before I do anything else every single day no matter what nothing gets in my way and I’ve had to put this in place, because I felt myself falling behind or not getting everything that I wanted done or just having the rush and get it done in the day that’s how you want your goals to be, your goal should to be the things that are exciting and inspire you to get things done, and in the morning routine ensures that these are calendar that they are planned out that they happen before anything else, because you set these goals, these goals matter you, if they didn’t matter to you, you wouldn’t have written them down, you wouldn’t have set them so don’t let other things get in the way you making it happen in achieving the goals you set and include them as much you can in the morning routine. If your goal is go to the gym you better go to the gym in the morning, if your goal is to become more spiritual and meditate and pray do it in the morning, all are the same if you want to read more you better allocate sometime in the morning to read, and you’ll see that’s exactly what my morning routine includes now. Thomas’s morning routine is also really good, Thomas any other insights to share on that one?
Thomas Alvord: (29:53) This was one of the things when we both compared our goals and what we are doing that we both said well that’s incredible, how we start our morning routine and again it's going to be different for everybody and it's not just us you could take people like Jeff Bezos if I’m not mistaken he does not have anything before 12 o’clock – or excuse me he tries to put all of his most important things in the morning like his important meeting.
Zach Smith: (30:22) He has the energy and passion.
Thomas Alvord: (30:23) Like whatever the most critical things are he is putting it in the morning so his mind is the sharpest and is the most alert so it's his best self, right but having more morning routine for me and why don’t hit it it’s kind of frustrating because when I review my KPIs at the end of every day usually it’s because my morning didn’t start off right where I had a meeting that I for some reason the day started later so then when I got to work I jump right and was reading a business book or doing some other things that work was helping me grow and so having a morning routine is critical. And I know I’ve had morning routines on and off but having a morning routine lately and really focusing on has been a huge impact.
Zach Smith: (31:07) All right shall we share some Goals.
Thomas Alvord: (31:09) Let’s do it.
Zach Smith: (31:10) These are my 2019 yearly personal goals completely unfiltered. Goal one read or listen to 36 book, and again I’ve structured these goals holistically for all the different areas in my life that I want to hear my why I will read because I want to teach my children and impart my hard-won knowledge and wisdom to them, I want to read more because books are more heavily edited and therefore likely better in terms of content and blog posts and articles etcetera, when you read a book versus something that was maybe put together really quickly or not a lot of time and effort was put into it the substance isn’t is great and if the substance isn’t as good sometimes the quality of what you’re learning isn’t as good I found that with Scripture Reading and reading the text of autobiographies versus maybe a business book I get a lot more out of things where I have search for the knowledge and fight for it and win it and I do it from doing other things.
Goal two I’m going to weigh between 175 to 180 pounds bench 250 pounds or more, and squat 350 pounds or more by December 31st 2019. Did you see how I made that goal smart how did I make it smarter to make it exciting, or relevant my “why” because I want the freedom to do what I want when I want, I want to be able to play a competitive game of soccer, well walloping down the floor playing basketball not have to so about I want to be able to dunk a basketball, I want to be able to do these things. I can be around for my children as well and I don’t want pain from different injuries and things of that have crept up because I haven’t taken care of myself as good as I would like to. Goal three I want to generate $8 million or more in revenue and I want net $2 million or more, her is “why” because I want to be present in the lives my children I never wanted to one excuse that I have to work or I can’t be somewhere for them, I want to be able to have complete freedom to do whatever I want when I want, and when you have money that is huge luxury that comes with it. Goal four this is probably more of a emotional type goal you could call a Spiritual Goal I want 15 minutes to 20 minutes every day for reading, praying and meditating. I want to connect more deeply with my wife. I want to do more studying of religious teachings and the religion that I believe in.
Goal five here is the one that embarrasses me I want to fix my OCD I want to stop biting or chewing on my finger nailbeds and stop that stupid terrible habit, so I have perfect fingers and I set this goal pretty quickly, by January 31st because I don’t want to feel embarrassed when I’m speaking around the world they’re making up an excuse for my fingers look weird or whatever I want to fix that it’s a stupid thing and now I’m telling everybody about it because I want it done and I want to fix a quick and I want to make sure I maintain that habit throughout the rest of the year. Goal six this is a memory type goal I want to memorize scriptures and quotes and poems, 520 or more of them and I want to do that using Anki Spaced Repetition I have a really cool system that Thomas actually help set up for me it’s a free tool you can use and we can create a video on that that if that’s something you like but it's called Anki A-N-K-I and it’s an amazing little tool that does spaced repetition so that you can memorize a lot of things and not forget the things you’re memorizing.
Thomas Alvord: (34:09) That’s ankiweb.net for anyone who wants to read that so ankiweb.net.
Zach Smith: (34:17) And we’ll include that in the resources section for use well on the Funded Today website. Goal seven I want at least 26 date night so that I can spend more time with my wife these are planned out date nights and you’ll see as I show you what January looks like how this works, why am I doing it because I want to connect deeper with my wife. Goal eight we want to finish the book Funded Today and we want to continue podcasting record 48 new episodes, as four per month, one per week. Goal nine I want inbox zero I’m tired of having 1,000s of emails in my inboxes isn’t not necessarily have a beautiful system for organizing I want to go to bed every night and have nothing yanking my attention away from my other goals in the morning.
I’m building a dream house, I’d like to travel to six places you can see I’ve written out some different places that I want to go I haven’t been a specific yet on this one, and then I want to do 100 podcast episodes because I enjoy listening to podcasts as much as I enjoy talking and teaching about things I’ve learnt the more I listen to the other podcast the more I’m inspired to see what’s going now and hear what other people are doing who are more successful and we are doing different things than me so that I can stay curious, so that I can still remain a voracious reader and listener and just a curious so I think that matters and then these the other goals because you haven’t set them yet but because they’re not exciting or relevant to my life right now. And I also have something as well that I would recommend people do, people I want to connect with deeper this year and I haven’t quite finished this list yet because it's just a new thought that came to me as we were planning this out and I was telling Thomas about but I want to pick maybe 10 to 15 people in the world, probably my wife, probably Thomas on the list for sure, maybe my family, some brothers and sister but then a couple other people as well, and I want to try to connect deeper with them emotionally and what I would ever type of level so that I think I think that’s what matters most in life is been able to have relationships and connections with people, and I want to go for that. Now here is what it looks like when you breakdown that monthly I did this every single month.
So goal one read or listen to three books, if I’m going to do 36 in a year I got to do three so here is the books I’ve picked and I’ve a couple of more in case I get ahead of myself. Here my goal to weigh 185 pounds here is how I’m doing it I’m doing intense cardio High-Intensity Interval Training three times or more per week for 30 minutes I’m also doing weightlifting three times per week and this is how I track and again these are updated as of the podcast, but you can see how I go about updating it, and typing these in, these are printed off as well. This is just the digital version I’m sharing with you. Here is how breakdown the revenue you can see how specific I am and when I write this goal down at the end of the month I’ll write where I’m at and I’ll do it in red if I behind green if I am ahead, here is my random goal, this was just a random goal I had I encourage everybody have one like this I hate paper, as I said earlier I want to make sure my desk and office and everywhere that I work is completely clean because I’ve noticed I have way more inspiration and way more cleared in this get more things done when the only thing I have to worry about is what’s in front of me and my computer screens.
Thomas Alvord: (37:14) So, you wanted to keep everything clean up to-date and organize going forward forever but you the eye Second Law of Thermodynamics.
Zach Smith: (37:22) You’re going to have to explain it to some of our listeners Thomas?
Thomas Alvord: (37:24) People can Google it the Second Law of Thermodynamics is entropy everything tends to this order.
Zach Smith: (37:30) Yes and that is absolutely true that’s the case with everything and that’s the accountability you have to keep checking in and looking on things they all just return to chaos. Here is the goal on scripture reading, praying, pondering, meditating, I keep track for myself and then I keep track or my wife days that I miss or read it's just me, it’s both here is the scriptures and different quotes and poems you can see I have been updating it I’m at 23 so far and again for those of you listening you got to get to the video version of this because it’ll make a lot more sense if you want these templates or not here is the date nights.
Thomas Alvord: (38:05) That’s at www.funded.today/podcast/goals.
Zach Smith: (38:11) Here is the date nights we actually just barely planned it Friday at 7:00 PM this Friday we are doing our first date night and we’ll get the second one done before the end of month because you got to plan that out that’s what you do during your sessions, ours our Sunday afternoons, you can do yours whenever, this is the initial rough draft recording the podcast episodes Thomas and I got this done we are in the process right now knocking those out. Inbox zero you could see I’m doing bad on that, but I’m too worried because I still got two weeks to get it right, you got to be real with yourself don’t cheat that’s the other things oh I did it – no you didn’t it’s either yes or no, there is no yellow or orange, it’s green or red. Be honest with yourself. This will be to see if I save the amount of money I want to save for the dream home in building, I went to Las Vegas Nevada for CS that doesn’t really counters my travels because I’ve been there a million times but I put it on there anyway. And then here is my morning routine by the way it why I have 10 things as part of my morning routine, praying, meditation, make the bed, everybody says you make the bed that’s the first doing, that’s the first action and it gets you doing more things, I did some hot tea or lemon water every morning, I read a book, I read a religious book one of my other books then I eat breakfast and I do some personal reading then I do some memorizing, and I’m at the gym doing exercise with cardio and weights, and that is how I do it, now for Thomas.
Thomas Alvord: (39:28) So before diving in, I want to share how I’ve set my goals, recently or while back I was talking to a good friend of mine who is a neurologist and I was telling him how some things in my life I just do right they are a habit I just do every day, whereas there is other things that I struggle with going to bed on time at the same time getting up at the same time right, and as I kind of mentioned it was it was just whatever kind of happened, happened and I just went with the flow, I wasn’t really creating my destiny, that sounds kind of strong but wasn’t really creating my day, how I wanted it to go? And he said something which actually about them so profound and maybe this will help other people and I think part of the difficulty is because as a business owner you usually have more flexibility there is things you need to get done but it’s not always right then or right there I work from home we’ll all remote, and so there wasn’t as much of a schedule, and so he said something and again he recommended the book and the book you recommended is called “Superhuman by Habit” and the basic premise is quite simple, it's this there are things that when you start doing or that you don’t regularly do you have to do it by willpower, and you only have so much willpower, so if you’re trying to eat healthy for a week and it’s just willpower to not eat that cookie or that brownie then it's going to be pain, it’s not to be pleasant and after a while you’re not going to have the willpower, so the whole premise is you’ve focused on one thing at a time, and you create a habit because then once you have a habit it doesn’t even take any willpower you just do it.
So my focus for my Overarching Goal for the New Year for 2019, and I already said you don’t have to do at the beginning of the year it just so happened that some of these I started at the beginning of the year, but others I was already doing actually, you can see I did it substantially different. For 2019, I had my goals and I have 12 goals and the very first is develop habits of prioritize focus which is to say I’m going to develop habits that whatever I’m working on I’m going to be focused and Zach could attest to you that last year I was not focused at all, we’d be chatting and I’d be somewhere else and so my whole thing is I’m going to be present whatever I’m doing I’m focused, I’m creating habits to do that but as prioritized, so it's not like hey I’m going to be focused and I’m going to go watch Netflix, that’s not my priority, I mean it could be if that’s what I’m fine on doing but that every day I’m going to prioritize what I’m focusing on and I’m going to be really focused on it and I’m going to get it done, and I’m going to create a habit to do this.
Zach Smith: (42:45) In the 17 days of this New Year there has been a remarkable shift because of his focus to develop habits of prioritize focus that everybody has seen, probably myself, most profoundly, so it’s a very good thing to do if this is your level of Goal Setting and this is where you need to be because like Thomas once you set that habit and it just becomes natural it’s just something you do every day like you eat, sleep and wake up and Thomas already has several things that are like that with him or it’s not even something he thinks about doing he just does it and it’s shown in everything that he does in his life I can attest to that.
Thomas Alvord: (43:21) Well thank Zach, so for me again it's about habit and you’ll notice my goals aren’t as specific necessary some of are – I’m just going to focus on this. So the second goal to bed by 10 by up by 6 AM every day, and I obviously needed some bonding with my wife because going to bed together waking up together kind of being on the same schedule and it’s been amazing doing this it actually has substantially changed my day, even though I don’t need to it substantially changed my day so I’m much more focused. So memorize 1,825 scriptures I know that sounds may be kind of crazy but actually in the beginning of December there was somebody who came in spoken I was very inspired and he actually memorized a lot of a lot of scriptures from the “Bible” and “The Book of Mormon” and other things and I was so inspired and I said I’m going to memorize and so I went and I got the Anki App and I started memorizing and some of the first ones that I was memorizing I already knew so I started with five and so it just kind of stuck with five and I just keep doing that and so that’s also what I meant by saying sometimes you set your goals for the year, and hopefully you’re not starting that goal or that habit at the beginning of the year because you may be well be following through with it, but in this case I had already started.
Zach Smith: (44:52) And this is what it looks like by the way to if you want to see how it works so this is the Scripture in the New Testament Acts 3:21 “whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets since the world began again hard, good, easy I have that one down pretty well, and then you pick it then you go on and then it would on the next one, and you go for it then you click sure the answer and then you memorize it you need to go back and that’s how it works that’s Anki in a nutshell.
Thomas Alvord: (45:20) So done with work before 5:00 PM every day, my wife likes it when I’m done we have three young kids and to be done and so that is another goal. So, five, six and seven is grow Amazon with our Amazon clients.
Zach Smith: (45:38) By the way here’s something you can see from Thomas’s versus mine see the loftiness I thought my goals were big we didn’t compare our goals look at the way Thomas sets his goals he thinks and sees bigger than most, and because of that he achieves bigger than most.
Thomas Alvord: (45:53) And for those listening its revenue from client were working with on Amazon the $5 million plus a year, we are working on some online courses and that would be $5 million a year or more in revenue, and then kind of a traditional agency meaning it's not Amazon it’s not Crowdfunding or Kickstarter-Indiegogo or just helping people with the branding with the marketing to do $5 million, and when I first set this goal I put it to $1 million because I thought what could we hit but I realized if I put the $5 million and you notice I didn’t put a billion on the right but I put it to $5 million because I know it’s going to change the way I think about it, and the urgency I feel about it and the way we approach it, the way I approach it. So, number eight is learn to always be kind, loving and tender with Melanie and all my kids, Melanie is my wife so working from home if the kids are playing downstairs and they’re yelling and screaming or they’re coming in and interrupting me when I’m in the middle of a call can be frustrating, so I can..
Zach Smith: (47:01) And again accountability partner here I’m with Thomas every day I haven’t seen one of those outbursts was whole year so he is doing good on that goal.
Thomas Alvord: (47:07) Well you make it sound like I was always out bursting.
Zach Smith: (47:11) Oh man last year no.
Thomas Alvord: (47:16) Nine so there’s a side project I’m working on coined.com which is basically a crypto site with lives coin prices and working with some Professors from Chicago, Stanford, Harvard, create the first crypto indices so something I’m working on the side and I want launch that in 2020. So number 10 ever since third grade I always have like this twitch in my right arm and my neck I’ve always just kind of had within so I have to goal that I’m going to get rid of that.
Zach Smith: (47:46) And again Thomas and I are practicing this thing called Radical Transparency because we think by sharing and talking more it will open up doors because we’ve seen when we just share a little it's opened up so many doors so when we share a lot we imagine more doors will open up and I’d encourage everybody to become a little more self-aware to realize we all have idiosyncrasies and different things about us and some of those things probably need to change other things are just part of that’s okay, and we can learn about those things from others and hopefully people will be brave enough to share not think it will get offended and it will help all of us to become better, more well-rounded, holistic human beings.
Thomas Alvord: (48:22) What was really interesting as well if Zach had said I don’t want to bite my nails and I said I won’t have to twitch in my right arm and my neck which was also kind of interesting right out of this little idiosyncrasies that we were both saying and we going to address and totally independent. 11 record 48 podcast episodes, and then 12 is a different goal but have a listen to talk ratio of 2 to 1 so when I’m talking with others with my wife, with my kids with people I meet with people at work that I’m listening twice as much as I’m talking and I’m still working on it I’ve realized that in life if you listen more and really understand especially the people you completely disagree with they’ll actually learn a lot more. It’s especially the people where you don’t see eye to eye or doesn’t make sense or you disagree because they know something or see something in a way you don’t see and so that – this year. So those are my goals, so I have my KPIs and my KPIs are more focused on behavior so you can see, here’s the top one I would say okay this is for January and each day at the top I have one, two, three all the way to 31 and I can tally it up so as I up by six yes or no one or zero, did I study scriptures before any work because I don’t study my scriptures or memorize my scriptures before I start working I don’t do it during work and then I’m done with work and then I don’t read until I put my kids to bed and then I’m looking at my phone using Anki at nine and I can’t fall sleep so I got to get that in first thing.
Zach Smith: (49:59) And Thomas prints these off and then he updates them digitally at the end of each month, so he actually has these all filled up and he just updates them so he has in front and center as a physical piece of paper rather than digitally.
Zach Smith: (50:12) So some of these you’ll see I don’t necessarily have goals but they’re part of my KPIs. So, do I read or study 15 minutes from business books every day, because I might go really deep into a book and spend a lot of time so I’m not looking for volume but really depth in and learning the content. Now number seven I’ll show you the tab for made and followed prioritize to do for the day and that’s kind of part of my prioritize focus in terms of work. Do I spend at least three hours on Funded Today Business Development, sometimes I’ll go to work and it's just handling an issue here or fire there, email and it’s actually not growing Funded Today I want to spend at least three hours on business development. Number nine or I guess number eight or I guess they are not really numbered but those are just the rows am I done with work before five, another thing I’m done with work I put my phone completely away, so I don’t look at text messages, I even if I’m very curious so all the time I’m like oh well how fast does the earth rotates around the sun? And I’ll go research and I might get lost for 15 minutes reading about that right, and so I don’t do that right I completely put it away so present with my family.
The next not impatient didn’t raise my voice with my wife Melanie and my kids and doing the things actually make it a lot easier right, when I’m not on my phone I’m not doing things that are it my wife or kids when I’m with them I’m present. Another thing that if any of you are into crypto maybe this will help I’ve invested a decent amount of crypto will just say that and I would sometimes spend a lot of time looking at coin prices reading technical analysis and stuff and it was just a waste of time right because at the end of the day especially with crypto technical analysis doesn’t even matter it's its own beast so my goal is I’m going to look at it for 20 seconds once a day to see what the price is and that’s it. And then next I have a listen talk ratio of two to one and then was right to bed by 10.
Zach Smith: (52:21) And Thomas I came up with one more idea too you may want to once a week or something again in terms of accountability, ask your wife ask me ask others how I’ll do? How am I at? And that way you can kind of have some self-awareness as well how you are doing and compare your rating versus what others may say see out translates.
Thomas Alvord: (52:38) I like that a lot and actually before I set these KPIs I told my wife I said hey, come look at these what do you think of these do you like them, you think they’re good or bad you think I should add stuff?
Zach Smith: (52:49) I love it I think it's great.
Thomas Alvord: (52:53) And so if you go to the “to do tab” and this will finalize everything this is again really simple some people might look and cringe other people might think oh this is kind of neat and we’ve used to do list if you’re familiar with that todoist.com which is a website where you can put stuff on, for me it just didn’t work right each person is going to be different but for me I kind of just have a running tally in Column B on the spreadsheet of things I need to remember to do, and then Column A I prioritize what am I going to focus on and that’s my prioritized focus, so at the start of each day before I work and I’ve now created this as a habit and I need to do better at making sure I kind of diligently follow it through, that I say what I’m going to focus on, and then I do those things.
And really if you do it right whatever the first thing is, once you knock that out you should feel so good that if you don’t even do anything else for the rest the day your good, and I love what you just did there Zach because I just been deleting it and I should probably have a Column C and say completed and just strike it out and that way I can see here is what I’ve done and I will just make it you can see everything you did, and that’s actually another mechanism some of the stuff I studied my master’s program when you feel stressed everything you knock out itemize it and see what you’re doing.
Zach Smith: (54:24) And you create a Snowball Effect when you knock things out you are able to knock more things out and that’s the idea of the morning routine, because it creates momentum and momentum allows you to get more things done in less amount of time than you ever thought possible, and then a feedback loop now that we’ve set this up for Thomas he is going to be able to look back at the end of this year and be like damn I had a great year look at all the stuff I completed but it's all going to be right here for him.
Thomas Alvord: (54:46) I would say that’s that for my Goal Setting and I do things.
Zach Smith: (54:49) And by the way that’s another reason why not worried about my inbox zero goal you can see Thomas has it is a task, and so he’s going to make sure that I don’t screw that one up it's right there in his list. All right, that is how to set and achieve goals like multimillionaires. I hope it was helpful, I hope you learned a lot and I hope that you will actually go and do something now. Please don’t just listen this episode and continue on with whatever you been doing, take some massive action, write some goals down, create a morning routine in your 80% of the way there, do everything else and you probably get to make Thomas and I look like just a couple little guys out there swimming around in this vast ocean and you’ll put us to shame. All right Funded Today Nation it is that special time of the episode again where we go over the Funded Today products of the week. My pick for Funded Today product of the week is The Back Pedal, this is a smart back pain device designed by a doctor of physical therapy. The device is really cool because what it does is and it's a little bit unorthodox and how it works but it works by helping the pelvis
References and Resources
- Funded Today: Blog: “Don’t Be A Little Goldfish. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone!”
- Funded Today: Podcast: “Achieving Goals like Multimillionaires” (video)
- Funded Today: Podcast: “Becoming Self-Aware and Defining Success”
- Funded Today: Podcast: “Freedom in Time, Money, Body, Mind, and Spirit”
- Funded Today: Podcast: “Living Happier through Stoic Philosophy”
- Funded Today: Podcast: “Rising from Poverty to Wealth”
- James Clear: Book Summary: Superhuman by Habit by Tynan
- Wikipedia: SMART criteria
- Your Best Year Ever
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