The Only Goal-Getting Tip You’ll Ever Need

by Coach Stevo
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The Only Goal-Getting Tip You’ll Ever Need

I like to think of goals as Point B—that place you want to get to from here (Point A). And, obviously, you want to find the path that gets you from Point A to Point B the most quickly. This idea is simple enough, but it can be surprisingly hard to execute.

We all struggle to get to Point B. And staying focused on it without losing hope that we can ever get there is tough—it’s far too easy to become distracted and to beat ourselves up for not making progress. But when I was a young Marine Corps Officer Candidate, I learned a great tip that has proven to be the only tip I’ve ever needed to reach my goals.

Every morning, I went to the Berkeley Marine Corps Officer Selection Office to workout with the other candidates. These workouts were led by a Master Sergeant with 22 years in uniform and 5 tours of duty under his belt. His biceps were so large the Marine Corps made special shirts for him, and his smile was even bigger. Every day after physical training, the Master Sergeant would ask us one question about the rest of our day: “What are you going to do to make your life better today?”

I answered this question countless times during my 14 months of officer candidacy, and it slowly dawned on me that the most important word in that question was all the way at the end of the sentence: today.

The Master Sergeant didn’t ask us what we did yesterday, or so far that day—that was the past, and didn’t matter anymore. And he didn’t want us to make promises or predictions about distant days in the future, either. He cared about how we were going to use that day—today—to reach our goals.

We knew we would be seeing him again tomorrow, so it was clear that we couldn’t get away with the same answer for long. But he never judged the answer as long as we were being realistic about what were we going to do to make the world a little better between that moment and when our heads hit our pillows.

I took that lesson to my clients as my slogan, “Have the courage to aim low, but often.”

Many of us tell ourselves that our Point B is “six pack abs,” “to weigh what I did in college,” or even “lose 30 pounds.” These are Big Goals that take months and years to accomplish. So big, in fact, that it’s easy to get tripped up trying to plan, strategize, out think, and power through. But all you really need to do to make progress TODAY is to remember that you can. You can make your life better today by making choices that eventually add up to that Big Goal.

There are many goal-achievement tips out there, and none of them are wrong. This one is just easier.

So what can you do to get closer to your goal today? Share in the comments below!

About the Author

Coach Stevo

Coach-Stevo-Logo.pngCoach Stevo is the nutrition and behavior change consultant at San Francisco CrossFit. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of Chicago and an MA in Sport Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. He teaches habit-based coaching to wellness professionals all over the world and he contributed to Intervention by Dan John in 2012. 



19 responses to “The Only Goal-Getting Tip You’ll Ever Need”

  1. Bummers says:

    Excellent bit of advice, I like it!

  2. forrestbivens says:

    Good…no great advice! Thank you for making it simpler.

  3. Awake4777 says:

    One day at a time! Sometimes it one hour at a time.

  4. Jenngles says:

    Thank you… I needed this today.

  5. bhavya2912 says:

    I can do this 🙂

  6. Elisabeth says:

    This is a great reminder to stop getting overwhelmed and focus on the short term goals for long term success. Life advice I can use for improving my health, helping my child have a better day at school, and assisting my patients succeed in reaching their goals in early recovery from addiction. Very practical advise in a easy to understand package. Thanks!

  7. Habib says:

    Slow but consistent!
    That’s the key to success! 🙂

  8. sam says:

    to make my life better today, i will try a new healthy reciepe thanks

  9. True Software Testing says:

    Really great post! I love the message of “Have the courage to aim low, but often.” It’s related to the “Tiny Habits” concept by BJ Fogg that I subscribe to.

  10. GNote says:

    Great advice. Thank you.

  11. Moonwillow1010 says:

    Love this…thank you!

  12. Moonwillow1010 says:

    Love this…thank you!!

  13. Granite says:

    Thank you that one word today is something to focus on.

  14. Joyous1da says:

    I will pass this great advice onto anyone who will listen. Love it, thanks! 🙂

  15. cdans19 says:

    I love this idea! Thank you for sharing 🙂 I think it’s cool that, for me, it aligns with my spiritual walk too, learning to depend on God day by day. How wonderful to know that I can approach my fitness endeavors the same way: day by day. What I do TODAY is what matters. This is how I make my life count. This is how I can take control over my battles. Thank you for your awesome post!

  16. Clk says:

    The best advice ever! I needed this TODAY! Thank you for your help.

  17. SlimJaques says:

    So – TODAY I will record and will pack in as much wonderful nutrition for my calorie target as possible. So much more manageable than “lose twenty pounds before my daughter’s wedding”!! Thank you!

  18. Lusangel03 says:

    My point Z is to get back down to my pre baby weight. Point B was logging ALL of my food/snacks/drinks and exercise on myfitnesspal. Now that I have been there for a week or two point C is to add a little more exercise in each day. Even if it’s just dancing in the living room to the radio with my toddler. Eventually I will make it to my big goal, but I am taking it one day at a time. 🙂 Thank you for the advice!! Much more doable!

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