Published by Dave Ramsey
When it comes to life, do you want to just roll with it, or will you reach for something more?
We hope your answer is the latter. We hope you are ready to start working toward high-performance achievement.
Being a high achiever means forming habits that push you further than you normally go so you accomplish more than you ever thought possible. The best way to form those habits is one goal (and one step) at a time. And guess what? It just so happens that the best time to start is right in front of you: It’s right now.
The first thing to do is find something that means a lot to you. It may be your career, your family, your money, your health, leading in your community, or something else. Find something that fires you up. That drive is the key to a big accomplishment because it will push you through the pain and sacrifice it takes to get there.
Next, set yourself a BHAG—a big, hairy, audacious goal—in that area. There’s an art to this. The goal needs to be achievable, but you must reach for the stars to pull it off. You want something that requires you to metaphorically stand on your tiptoes and jump, knowing that God will show up to give you that extra push. This tests your boundaries and pushes your limits, and you grow as a person when that happens.
Swimming the English Channel a year from today is certainly audacious, but if you’re new to swimming, it’s not realistic. However, running a half marathon, even if you’ve never laced up a pair of running shoes, is achievable with discipline and hard work.
Now that you’ve made the goal, break it into bite-sized steps. To run a half marathon, start by taking a walk around the block every day this week. Next week, powerwalk the same distance. Slowly start to add to your route, increasing your speed and distance gradually.
It also helps to find someone with experience and ask them what they did to accomplish their big feat. Their knowledge and spirit can rub off on you. Conversely, stay away from all the negative people who tell you that you are just wasting your time by working toward your goal. Who asked them anyway?
In order to achieve a big goal, you must be willing to sacrifice. There’s no way around it. There is no shortcut to any place worth going. This is what usually deters most people from doing big things, because when we get in our comfort zones, we don’t want to get out of them.
But as much as it can hurt to get out of your comfort zone, the feeling of achieving something that seemed superhuman before more than makes up for any temporary inconvenience.
If you want to get into a leadership position in your company, you should probably come in early, work extra hard, and maybe leave late. While you’re working on your goal, you must give up sleep and some time with your family and friends. Running a marathon involves, among other things, the physical pain of training and diet changes. If you are willing to sacrifice, you are able to win.
Visualize yourself succeeding in your goal. Imagine what it will be like to cross that finish line, to earn that promotion, to reach a happiness level with your spouse or kids. Put it in your mind before putting it into reality.
Don’t forget, when you accomplish your goal . . . enjoy it! You’ve relied on your sacrifice, your discipline and your effort. As a result, it’s your reward. Take pride in your high-performance achievement. Not only has the hard work taken you someplace, but the lessons you’ve learned can take you places you’ve never been before.