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  • James McNeil

Big Goals and Milestones

Last time, you read about the “Hidden Good News” that even though you are likely to fail your first attempt at reaching your goals, your first attempt need not be your last. Today, I’d like to address what could be the elephant in the room.


How do you keep yourself motivated after failing?

When you’re going for a big goal, you are likely to fail the first time. This is not a bad thing, but it can be discouraging. If you only had the big goal to look forward to, you could easily stay discouraged. What do you do to prevent this discouragement from staying?

When I returned to college in 2018, I had a daunting task ahead of me. Earning my degree at that time was my big goal. I did my best to keep my eyes on that prize, and I struggled. Again, this is normal for a big goal. But when I failed a class in my first semester back, it hit me hard.

Over the summer, I focused on more general education courses (such as biology) and gathered my thoughts about pursuing my education. Quitting was not an option but refocusing was required.

After the summer sessions were over, I returned to college with a new focus. I would no longer be keeping my eyes on the big goal of graduation. I would not ignore that goal, but I did not keep my focus there. I transitioned from there to smaller goals. My goal each semester was to end that semester with my head held high, knowing I’d done the best work I had.

That change in focus helped. I would still visit the bigger goal of graduating, but my smaller goals of finishing each semester strong were where I focused. As a result, my lowest grade was in Spanish 102, and it was a C+.

I graduated in May of 2020, and I can honestly say that keeping my focus on smaller goals on the way to the bigger one was instrumental in earning the degree with honors.

Your life is very much the same way. When you’ve got your eyes on the big picture, you can easily fail. Don’t change your goal. Just give yourself smaller goals on the way that you can use as milestone victories. Before you know it, your bigger goal is now in reach.

What do you do then? Set a bigger goal of course!

If you'd like to know more about this and other obstacles you can overcome, pick up Finding Your Personal Mission at Amazon or Audible today!

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