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Big Thinking does not mean having Big Goals

Matt Furey is one of my favorite self-development teachers. I have been learning from him for years.

Below you will find his approach towards goal setting. The idea is to Think Small, so you can Grow Big over time. Incremenetal growth.

This approach makes sense. It works. You cannot become Superman overnight. You bank on the fact that Success Breeds Success.

It took me a while to get this right. I have always been one to Think Global, Act Local. Look at the Big Picture. But I learned that Thinking Big does not mean having Big Goals.

You can have in mind climbing the big mountain, but you have to first ascend the smaller hills to get to it.

This is how I built my life insurance brokerage. Started small; got bigger in time. Each step built on the one prior.

How about you? Is this how you built your business?

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From Matt:

There’s a way to scare people off. 

It’s called giving them BIG GOALS.

Hold on.

I realize this is the opposite of what you’ve probably heard, but just because you’ve heard something doesn’t make it true. 

I’ve tested what I’m telling you, not only on myself, but with many, many others whom I’ve coached over the years. And straight down the line, the people who are frustrated, the people who aren’t getting the job done, either have no goals whatsoever, or they have gargantuan goals that, statistically speaking, they have almost no chance of achieving. 

But when you give someone small, incremental daily goals – you increase the likelihood of success to the point where victory is practically guaranteed. 

Let’s take pushups as an example. 

When I was a freshman in high school, I had a conversation with Ken Nurse (older brother of Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse) about doing pushups everyday. Ken told me to start with 25 pushups in a set and to do them during commercials of whatever ball game I was watching on television. 

“Just keep doing sets of 25 until they get super easy,” Ken said. “Then go to 50 reps in a set.”

I followed Ken’s instructions and within a few weeks, hammering out sets of 25 got easy, so I doubled the number of reps to 50. 

Using this method, I realized I was doing at least 100 pushups a night. So I thought about doing 200 a night, and shortly thereafter, it became so. 

When 200 pushups per night was easy, I thought about doing 400 a day. Within a day of thinking about 400 pushups per day, I was doing that many. 

Then I watched a special about a professional heavyweight boxer who was doing 1,500 pushups a day. 

I got excited watching this show and decided to upgrade my daily goal even more.

About a month later I was doing 1,000 pushups per day. I didn’t wait until evening to get started either. I began shortly after arising in the morning, and did sets of 50 pushups all throughout the day. 

As a result my pecs and shoulders grew. My muscles were in a constant state of “pump.”

The regular pushups lead to me doing handstand pushups. I began doing them after another guy at the gym, Dave, told me that your overhead pressing strength will explode when you do handstand pushups on a regular basis. 

After getting good at handstand pushups I wondered about walking on my hands. Although I never saw anyone in my hometown walk on their hands, I read about Walter Payton doing so, and so I began working on it. 

The initial goal was to walk one step forward on my hands. When I could take one step, the goal became two steps. And so on. 

Again, small incremental improvements. Not gigantic leaps. 

Today, I encourage people to focus on “here and now” goals – and as momentum builds, to upgrade.

Setting big goals when there’s no momentum usually leads to negative results.

Tis why I say, “Start small and you can have it all. Start too big and you stumble on every twig.”

If 25 pushups per set is not possible for you at this time, then begin with 10, or 5, or as few as one. 

If you cannot even do one pushup, then begin by holding the position for 30 seconds, or 15, or 5. 

The point is, make it easy for yourself to succeed. Give yourself a daily victory by achieving a seemingly small goal, one you can accomplish without any unnecessary effort. When you nail this easy goal, you will want to naturally upgrade. And this will end up doing you far more good in a relatively short period of time, than you ever thought possible. 

Here endeth the lesson. 

Matt Furey

P.S. A good place to start on the road to daily victories is with my international best-seller, Combat Conditioning. If you already have it, then increase your flexibility dramatically by getting involved with Combat Stretching. If you already have both of these products, I encourage you to read Expect to Win – Hate to Lose. It kicks azz.