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How to Set Goals like John Kennedy

moon_footprint"Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed." ~ Neil Armstrong

Today we’re celebrating one of the biggest successes of all time. Forty years ago today, on July 20, 1969, three men – Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins – landed a spacecraft on the moon for the first time.

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They had launched their mission 4 days earlier, flying 203,000 miles to get there.

About six-and-a-half hours after they landed, with one-sixth of the people in the world tuned in to watch, Neil Armstrong descended down the ladder of the lunar space module. As he became the first person to walk on the surface of the moon, he uttered those famous words:

That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” 

We never get tired of hearing those words. It gives us goose bumps. They are so inspiring.

But we have to remember that it didn’t just happen. It began as a bigg goal over eight years before.

On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy said:

I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” 
 

How to set goals like President Kennedy

President Kennedy’s goal was very well-stated. It was a SMART goal. SMART is an acronym for:

Specific
Measurable
Action-Oriented
Realistic
Time- and Resource-Constrained

Let’s look at each of these five components of a well-stated goal using President Kennedy’s goal as an example.

Specific
President Kennedy said that we were going to do two things:

  • land a man on the moon
  • return him safely to earth

You can’t get much more specific than that. In this case, it may be easier to think about what wouldn’t be specific. He could have said, “We’re going to land a man somewhere in space.” That’s not specific. He clearly articulated the destination.

Measurable
President Kennedy’s goal was clearly measurable. We would certainly know if a man had landed on the moon. We could certainly tell if he returned safely to earth.

Note, though, that landing on the moon and then not being able to get back safely would have meant the goal was not reached.

Let’s bring this point on being measurable safely back to earth. Here’s an example of a goal that is not measurable:

“I’m going to increase my income next year.”

What does that mean? If you increase it by $1, did you really accomplish what you set out to do? A well-stated goal would be:

“I’m going to increase my income by 5% next year.
“I’m going to increase my income by $2,000 next year.”

Now you’ll know if you accomplish what you set out to do.

Action-oriented
When President Kennedy called for this mission to send man to the moon [PDF], he made clear that it would take a tremendous commitment by the entire nation to reach this goal.

He called for innovation. He called for new money. He said it would take a concentrated effort for an extended period of time. But it would get done.

And get done it did. In a similar vein – with our personal goals or the goals we set for our businesses – we must commit to taking the necessary steps to achieve the goal.

Realistic

President Kennedy said, “I believe we have all the resources and talent necessary.” 

Your goals can and should be bigg goals. They should stretch you beyond anything you’ve ever accomplished before. But they have to be realistic.

Otherwise, they don’t lead to bigg success. They only lead to discouragement.

Time- and Resource-constrained

This one’s easy. President Kennedy said we would accomplish this goal by the end of the decade. It was 1961. The goal was reached July 20, 1969.

He made it clear that resources would have to be diverted from other good causes if this goal was to be reached.

When you set your goals, be sure to give yourself a due date. When will you accomplish this goal? What resources will be required to do it? Do you have them?

Goal-setting is not goal-getting

John F. Kennedy was able to reduce all of this into a simple goal statement of 31 powerful words that set this course of events into action.

Because he wasn’t just a bigg goal-setter, he was a bigg goal-getter.

Setting goals is just the first step in that process. We have a great tool – the Bigg Goal-Getter’s Workbook – which takes you through the entire six step process to put goal-setting and goal-getting to work for you. It’s free when you subscribe to our free newsletter, The Bigg Success Weekly

Just one final point:

Good goals have a reason behind them. They serve a bigger purpose. Every goal should lead you closer to the bigg success of which you dream. So we’ll close with John F. Kennedy himself explaining why sending a man to the moon was so important:

We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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(Image and quotes in today's post from NASA)

Three Levels of Freedom – Part 3

freedomThis is the final installment of the three levels of freedom. First, we talked about freedom of: those basic freedoms that we who live in the developed world take for granted.

Then we talked about freedom from dependence on others, addiction to things and limiting thoughts. Now we’re ready to discuss the highest level of freedom: freedom to.

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Freedom to live your life on your own terms

This is what Bigg Success is all about. It’s the freedom to live your life on your own terms.

As we get freedom from, our confidence grows. We conquer our fears one at a time. We start a new dialog with ourselves. We tell ourselves we do deserve better. We tell ourselves we will do better. We stop listening to what other people say or worrying about what they think.

It’s liberating.

Who cares that your neighbor just bought a hot little sports car?

Not you. You have bigg plans and a new car isn’t part of them right now.

Who cares that your college classmate just got a great promotion?

Not you. You have your own bigg dream to pursue.

You’re the entrepreneur of a very important enterprise – your life. You call the shots. Successful entrepreneurs find a way to press on, to endure. You’ll do whatever it takes – as long as it’s legal and ethical – to live your life on your own terms.

Every day, you’re free to give it all you have. And that’s a level of success you can revel in. At the end of the day, you can be at peace with yourself if you’ve given your all that day to move you toward the life you dream of living.

Until tomorrow.

Bigg goal-getters are usually happy, but they’re never content. Be happy today while eagerly anticipating all the bigg things you will accomplish tomorrow.

Freedom to relish in the success of others

You also have the freedom to help other people live their life on their own terms. But there’s a step in between.

As we get beyond our limiting thoughts, as we start to conquer our fears one by one, as we move past the freedom from level, we gain that confidence that is so crucial to bigg success.

The way we think starts to change. We see the potential within us. We come to appreciate our uniqueness.

Small-minded people get jealous of others and their achievements. As a bigg thinker, you welcome the success of others. You applaud it. You feel the freedom to relish in it.

Freedom to help others live their lives on their own terms

Now you’re ready for the highest level of freedom to – freedom to help others live their lives on their own terms. You’re ready find synergies with other people.

You can look for ways to combine your respective strengths while shoring up your shortcomings. You know that by working together, you can accomplish far more than either of you can accomplish by yourselves.

The reward? You both reach bigg success even faster!

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Thank you so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time as we continue this discussion of freedom. We’ll talk about financial freedom. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00428-070109.mp3

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Three Levels of Freedom – Part 1

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(Image in today's post by svilen001)

When Your Definition of Success Changes

questioning_terms.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. That’s how we define it. We were talking a few days ago …

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marylynnI said that we should make something clear about life on your own terms. I could be going through a mid-life crisis. Does life on my own terms mean getting a fancy new sports car, spending money like crazy, going clubbing, shirking my responsibilities, and walking away from relationships, all in an attempt to get my youth back?

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Life on your own terms is not a license for poor behavior

In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It should be an ideal that we strive to live up to. It’s about finding our purpose for being here and then deploying all of our resources to live up to that promise.

Because of that, it’s not a selfish thing. We can’t reach bigg success without the help of others. In this age of interdependence, we are able to live our lives on our own terms by helping others live their lives on their own terms.

Life on your own terms is also not a passing fancy

It’s a direction, not a point. It’s very emotional because it is so personal, but it’s not based on one’s feelings at this moment.

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georgeI may feel depressed right now. Does that mean life on my own terms means being depressed? Of course not.

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marylynnFeeling down from time to time is something we all experience, but we have to respond to it, not just accept it or give in to it. Going to the mid-life crisis example, maybe I’m not feeling as young as I used to. Is the answer really to blow a bunch of money and waste a lot of time?

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georgeBigg goal-getters accept that there are some things that we can’t change. No amount of money is going to make me any younger physically. We recognize the realities of our situation and respond positively to keep moving toward our bigg goals – where we want to go, what we want to achieve, who we want to be known as.

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Each day we write another page of our autobiography. We show the world who we are by how we live our lives.

Life on your own terms is dynamic, not static

While it’s not a passing fancy, it does evolve over time as we discover more about ourselves and the world around us.

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georgeI remember when I was in my early twenties – life on my own terms then meant being in the Forbes 400. I wanted to get rich in my own business. Then I heard Donald Trump asked about the difference between $70 million and $700 million. He said, “A bigger boat.” I realized then that I didn’t need a bigger boat!

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marylynn
So how did that change your terms?

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georgeI decided it wasn’t worth my time to work that hard to make the extra money. If all I was going to get out of it was a bigger boat, I wasn’t interested. Don’t get me wrong; money still helps! But life on my own terms evolved to building quality relationships and sharing experiences.

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marylynn
Your desire to own your own business didn’t change?

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george
Oh no, that desire definitely stayed the same.

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marylynnSo life on your own terms changed as a result of this new information. You realized there were more important things to you than the money you thought you wanted. But you still wanted to be in business for yourself.

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georgeYou may decide that less is more like I did. Or you may realize that you’ve been selling yourself short and you want more.

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It’s life on your own terms. It’s not a license for poor behavior. It’s not a passing fancy. But it is dynamic; it may change over time as you gain knowledge about yourself and your environment.

How has your definition of life on your own terms changed over time?

Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thank you so much for reading our post today!

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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New research shows that a promotion may be good for your wealth, but not necessarily your health. Please join us next time to find out why.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00373-041509.mp3

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The Power of Momentum

momentum.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. As we’ve discussed before, the “terms” in our definition of bigg success means several things. One of the ways we can look at “terms” is in time frames.

Sometimes when we think about life on our own terms, it’s hard to see how to achieve something that bigg. Want to know how we respond to that?

We say, “Don’t try!”

Before you click away, give us just a second to explain. What we mean is …

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Don’t try for the bigg goal all at once. Break it up into little actions. Give yourself a due date for completing each action. Suddenly that bigg goal isn’t so bigg at all. You advance toward it action by action. Those little actions are milestones. You can think of the period of time between due dates for your milestones as terms.

Vision to Victory

We introduced this subject last time when we talked about how to ramp up your savings, but we left out something really important. You must have a clear vision of bigg success in your mind. What exactly does life on your own terms look like?

Then, as you map out the actions required to get there, it’s crucial that each action build upon the previous action. “Success breeds success,” as the saying goes.

So when you succeed with one action, you’re more likely to succeed with the next. It’s all about momentum.

Momentum is a precious thing

Once you get momentum, you want to do everything you can to keep it because it works both ways. We think of an interview with an excited football player whose team had just won a bigg game. He described their victory by saying:

“We had the momodum, but then we lost the momodum. Fortunately, we were able to get the momodum back!”

He may have been too excited to get the word “momentum” right, but he certainly understood what it was all about. It’s something we see all the time in sports.

It doesn’t just happen on the playing field. We think it’s particularly important to understand this right now. Things haven’t been going the way a lot of people would like lately. We just have to work all the harder to get the momentum (or should we say “momodum”) back.

Life may throw you something unexpected. That’s part of the price of bigg success. That’s okay. You know you can do it. You know you will win. In those moments when things don’t go your way, don’t get discouraged. Overcome your fear. And charge back.

Get momentum working for you again because success does breed success. Build a cumulative advantage to turn success into bigg success.

Build success into bigg success

You do that by staying hungry. We’ve said before that bigg goal-getters are usually happy, but never content. That’s one of the secrets to building on your success.

Another secret is to understand the fine line between confidence and cockiness. Stay humble, but be proud of what you’ve accomplished.

Perhaps most important, stay focused to gain a cumulative advantage. Make sure your milestones work together so you get where you want to be as fast as you can get there. Then focus exclusively on reaching your next milestone.

If you’ve done everything you can today to get to that next milestone, then you are living your life on your own terms right now. You may not have reached your destination, but you’re well on your way to bigg success!

How do you stay focused on what you need to accomplish today?

Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks so much for spending your time with us today!

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Next time, we’ll talk about when your definition of success changes. Please join us!

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00372-041409.mp3

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(Image in today's post by cobrasoft)

The Hero Behind the Hero

eagle Today we continue our series on heroes. Last time we talked about what makes a hero a hero.

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Captain Chesley Sullenberger (Sully as we’ve come to know him) inspired this series. He is, of course, the pilot who landed his plane in the Hudson River to ultimately save over 150 lives.

But we haven’t heard much about the co-pilot on that fateful flight – Jeffrey Skiles. He, much like Sully, was a veteran of the industry as well. And let’s not forget the flight crew and also the passengers who stepped up to the challenge. The news coverage has largely ignored them too.

Heroes aren’t alone

We love our heroes. They are usually a single person. But a person usually doesn’t become a hero by themselves.

Which got us thinking about the Wind Beneath My Wings. Doesn’t that song seem particularly appropriate when thinking about heroes and airplanes? Pun fully intended!

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marylynn
On the show, I had to try hard not to cry as we talked about the lyrics of this song.

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georgeI tried not to admit that I’m a huge Bette Midler fan! But so was Johnny Carson … so I guess I’m in good company.

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Unsung heroes

The song starts …

“It must have been cold there in my shadow, to never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that's your way. You always walked a step behind.”

This is the case with many heroes. There are the heroes we see. And for every hero that we see, there are many unsung heroes, working behind the scenes, that we never see.

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marylynnWhen I was in radio, I did a segment called “Superstar Employee of the Month,” where people could nominate their co-workers. The nominations were always so heartfelt and touching. People often recognized those co-workers who seldom got any credit.

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Plenty of work, very little credit

The song continues …

“So I was the one with all the glory, while you were the one with all the strain.”

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georgeThis reminds me of something I heard my dad say a number of times about the employees of his business. “They do all the work and I get all the credit.” This is so true for many leaders. At least he recognized it!

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We all have people behind us that help us succeed. And they often don’t get the credit they deserve. Just like the co-pilot and crew of US Airways Flight 1549.

Lifting us up

These unsung heroes, who do so much work for so little credit do much more than just support us.

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marylynnMy favorite line of this song is in the chorus, “I can fly higher than an eagle, for you are the wind beneath my wings.” It shows how important some people are to us. They lift us up to heights we can’t achieve on our own, to levels we can hardly imagine.

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A hero’s response

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georgeWhen my dad passed away unexpectedly, I kept a journal for awhile. The chorus to this song was the feature of the very first entry. There wasn’t much left unsaid between the two of us. We had a great relationship, but I’m not sure that I ever told him that he was a hero to me. I think he knew, but I sure wish I had said it explicitly.

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The song closes with the appropriate response of a hero …

“Thank you, thank you, thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings”.

Whether we feel like a hero or not, it’s important to understand that any success we achieve isn’t reached alone. There are people lifting us up every step of the way.

Don’t just think about how much you appreciate them. Tell them. To go back to the song one more time, it says it explicitly …

“It might have appeared to go unnoticed, but I've got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.”

We should do the same!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Do you have any idea how much we appreciate that you are part of our community? Well, let us just say, it means more to us than words can say. But we’ll try anyway:

You lift us up! Thank you, thank you … 

Join us next time as we wrap up this series by discussing the hero within the hero. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00314-012209.mp3

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