Setting Goals Like a Black Belt

jimbouchardToday on The Bigg Success Show, we continued chatting with Jim Bouchard. Jim is a speaker, coach, author and Martial Arts Hall of Famer who helps people Think Like a Black Belt! Last time we talked about branding like a black belt. Now let’s get to the conversation …

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jimThe first word that comes to mind is that people talk about the black belt as a symbol of excellence. We’ve talked about this before. We can couch “excellence” in the term “perfection”. Perfection isn’t a destination; it’s a never ending process. Excellence isn’t something where you get to some level of attainment and then that’s it. Excellence is an ongoing process. It’s harder to keep a black belt than it is to earn one. It’s harder to keep success in business than it is to get there. They always say your first million is the hardest. And then your second million is the hardest, right?

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george
The next million is the hardest.

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jimIt’s a constant process – making sure you’re staying current, making sure you’re staying relevant and making sure you’re still servicing the people that you want to service. That’s really at the heart of it. The idea of excellence. Excellence implies action; it’s a constant process of self-perfection. The way you get there is through discipline and focus. As far as I’m concerned, discipline is the key to all of this. Discipline means doing whatever it takes to get where you want to go. You want bigg success, right? It’s a series of small steps done on a daily basis when things are going well or when they’re not. That’s discipline. Motivation is an easy one. Everyone who starts a new business, everyone you guys coach, aren’t they really motivated? They’re happy and passionate.

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marylynn
Yeah, it’s exciting. It’s a new adventure.

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jimThen about three or four years later, when they’re taking a second on the house to keep the business going, the motivation starts to crumble a little bit.

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marylynnWe were talking with a gentleman who works with a lot of small business owners. He said that he notices they start to wear down about sixteen months in.

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jim
Yeah, that makes sense because, all of a sudden, the reality is staring them in the face.

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marylynnYou’re working so hard. You’re always working. You know this as a business owner, Jim. Sometimes it just seems that there isn’t time for yourself. You do start wearing down.

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jimExactly. That’s where the discipline part has to kick in. And focus. Let’s talk about focus. If focus is unchecked, it becomes an obsession. We have to take care of our entire life. Three key areas of life to me are emotional, material and spiritual. We may let the emotional and spiritual sides deteriorate because we’re focusing on the material. Sometimes that happens – you need to focus a little more on one area than the other. Let’s say there’s an illness or one of your loved ones needs attention. Then you’re going to focus a little more on the emotional side. That’s okay. You just have to remember that in the greater scheme of things, there has to be a relative balance. If you find yourself hyper-focused in one area, you have to catch yourself and make sure you’re planning to correct it. People ask about exercises to develop discipline and focus. The first thing I say is this, “It ain’t that hard. Make a decision and then go forward.” You have to decide you’re going to be a disciplined person. Then you just take something that you want or need to do, create a series of steps and go for it. Now, we can create exercises around that. That’s fun sometimes. But really that’s what it boils down to. Sometimes, like we talked about with the branding, we make it too complicated.

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georgeYeah, I was going to create an exercise to make myself be more disciplined, Jim. I just couldn’t get around to it!

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jim
I’d be glad to help you, George. We’ve got to get you into martial arts class!

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marylynnAh, George is always goofing around! It seems to me, as I’m listening to you talk, Jim, that when you are studying for a black belt, it’s a lot of physical discipline – you’re learning this move or that move, when to use it or when
not to – but is mental discipline harder than physical discipline?

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jimThey go together. So, all joking aside, when people ask me how to have more discipline, I tell them to pick a thing that has a logical goal – or logical conclusion – to it. Not to say that the black belt or anything is the end, but some measurable achievement.

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marylynn
Let’s say I want to keep my desk more organized. Something simple like that.

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jimGood, that’s a great goal. To systemize this a little bit, I might walk you through belt ranks. Let’s say we’re going to get to black belt in desk organization! We’re going to turn you into a Master Desk Organizer!

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marylynn
Hye-yah!

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jimThat’s good! Take ten levels – white, yellow, orange, purple. For the sake of time, I won’t go through the whole thing. You get the idea. You go up through brown and then black belt. At each level, just outline a couple of steps. What’s the simplest thing you can do to start the process of getting your desk organized? It might be just taking an inventory. What’s on my desk? There’s your white belt step. The yellow belt step might be deciding what to do with some of the stuff you don’t want. Or I’m going to choose what I want and what I don’t want on my desk. So on and so forth. You just create a set of levels. It’s very simple.

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marylynn
I like that!

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jimSometimes people do tasking without mindfully being aware of that end goal. We can task ourselves into busy work. That’s not very effective. That’s why the idea of a goal – a black belt level in some sense – is really important to us.

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Thanks so much for reading our post today.

Learn more about Jim, his book, speaking and coaching. Next time, Jim will share how the Black Belt Mindset can help us avoid plateaus as we reach for our bigg goals. Please join us. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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Related posts

Branding Like a Black Belt

How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

Is Passion Overrated?

(Image in today's post from jimbouchard.org)

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