🌼How to Achieve Your 10-Year Goal in the Next 12 Months


🌼How to Achieve Your 10-Year Goal in the Next 12 Months

## Warning: this is not what you think

> “How did it get so late so soon?” ― **Dr. Seuss**


I was that person that came up with a million excuses when asked what do you want to do with my life. You see, I’d always had a burning desire to be a businesswoman, _whatever that meant_. But for a long time, in fact, the entirety of university and a short time after, I never did anything about it.

I talked a lot about it, I had ideas but as you well know, ideas are cheap, execution is the money.

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So I stayed in this weird alternative universe that was me believing I could without any evidence that I would. It was fake but the bubble kept me safe.

# Seek evidence

There are loads of reasons you need to strive towards the life you want. The biggest one is this amazing quote by Steve Jobs:

> “When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is — everything around you that you call life, was made up by people who were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.”

You know this phone your reading from, this laptop I’m typing on, these postits that surround me, my empty coffee mug, the books that fill my desk. They are all evidence of someone saying that they were going to live a life where they went after their dream.

Me writing this is just that. And trust me, I am no smarter than you.

# It’s criminal really

The thought of anyone getting to the end of their life, looking back and saying ‘Ahh, I wish I’d tried to achieve my dreams’ turns my stomach to a brick.

You probably read that article by the palliative care nurse, the one that opens your eyes to what most people’s dying regrets are. Top of the list? A life not lived for themselves.

That thought enough shakes me into action but action in the moment is not enough and this is where I went wrong for such a long time. I was in this loop of energy bursts. I would decide that today I was going to take over the world, do it for a day, burn out and then give up.

# Then you need perspective

Usually at this point I’d be bouncing. I’d have decided that, yes I absolutely can chase my dreams and let’s immediately dive into it.

This is where I went wrong every single time. It was the start of the cycle. So instead, I needed this thought:

_Whatever I’m choosing to do, it will take me 3 years until I see an ounce of success. It’s therefore imperative that I choose something I can fall in love with. Something that maintains my attention, challenges me, something that enjoy doing just for the sake of it._

Everything I’d chosen up until that point was purely financially motivated. I didn’t love making socks, I wanted to be a millionaire. I didn’t love making dog beds, I thought it was a gap in the market. But the truth is, I needed to dig a little deeper and here’s how I did it.

# The ‘dream day’ test

First, it starts with your goal, let’s take mine. I wanted to be a dog-bed mogul, a millionaire. So there I am, a millionaire. Then I work backwards and ask, what would a day in life look like to get me to millionaire status?

I’d spend my time organising suppliers, writing emails, marketing, stock checking and quality checking. I’d probably have a team, I’d have to manage people. I’d have to take phone calls and have meetings.

Playing it through, actually, that was absolutely not what I wanted. A goal is a milestone, but you have to live many days to get there, if you don’t like what your day looks like, you’ve missed the point altogether.

Play out the life you will likely live in order to attain your goal, if you’re not liking the sound of it, maybe you need a new goal.

# And so now what

You have your perspective (you know it’ll take three years), and you have your actual goal (the one that aligns with the days you want to have, so how do you actually achieve everything you want?

Simple. Science.

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Here’s what I’d do:

1. **Slice everything you face into problems.**Can’t write good headlines? Cool, that’s a problem. Can’t figure out how to market? Good, another problem. Take a problem each month, find the book written by the best in the world at solving that problem and implement every single learning.

2. **Test everything as a hypothesis.** I talk about this all the time. You don’t know until you test your ideas, and get in the habit of doing so. Write up what you think will happen, test it, and write up what happened.

3. **Solidify**. Each month, or better, each week, write up everything you’ve learned. Human beings have a tendency to learn and then forget. Spend an hour each work solidifying what you’ve learned and what you need to take into next week, here’s a [framework for that](https://medium.com/swlh/the-sunday-review-system-that-every-part-time-creator-needs-to-implement-right-now-689cba5b0e26).

4. **Become an expert in finding your problems.**Most people don’t know what problems they are facing. Get really good at understanding what it is that you are trying to solve. If you don’t know, ask more ‘why’ questions.

5. **Build your emotional resilience each day. **The one thing standing between yourself and your goals is you. You need to do all of the above, the only reason you won’t is because you’ll tell yourself you can’t. You need to work on rewriting the narrative in your head and building your own resilience.

# Hey, I know the title says 12 months

That’s for two reasons.

1. You can change your life in 12 months, so it’s not wrong.

2. But you probably won’t see the benefits for 3 years.

_Eve, what are you talking about?_

I started writing 3 years ago, for those first 12 months, I was changing my life. Seriously, I was. I just didn’t get to see the benefit of it until today. Today, well, I can’t really believe what’s happening.

And it’s all because I started 3 years ago and changed my life in 12 months.

Contributed by Eve Arnold

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