If at first you do succeed, try something harder

The willingness to take greater risks is a major key to achieving success, and you may be surprised that it can solve two very different kinds of problems.

The problem of hitting ALL of your goals,


The problem of hitting NO goals… because you never make any.

Let’s look at #1: You’re not afraid to set goals and commit to a course of action. That’s the good news. But the goals you set are not hard to meet. In fact, you achieve success in them with little effort or time invested. That’s the bad news, because the road to success is uphill. You can’t coast and climb at the same time. Your solution: Take more risks; set more challenging – even frightening – goals. No, you probably won’t achieve all of them. But you will have stretched yourself and grown in the process. And the successes you have will be that much sweeter.

Now, on to #2: You may work hard and keep busy, but your labor lacks direction. Your successes are haphazard and unrepeatable. You’re like an archer without a target: sending arrow after arrow off in some general direction. Your avoidance of goals probably means you’re afraid to fail. “If I don’t set any goals, then I can’t fail at meeting them,” is your mantra. Again, you’re not taking any risks. Your solution: Paint some targets, in a variety of sizes. Give yourself big, medium and small goals, so you can start succeeding and develop momentum.

For today: Think about something you’d like to achieve. Make it big enough to scare you a little. Now write down a plan for moving toward it. Create mini-goals within the big goal, to set yourself up for continual progress. And include some risks. Find parts of the process where you can push the envelope, take more chances, and increase your opportunity for success.