Be more productive by identifying your ‘Apex Goal’

Goals are hard.

Well, they’re hard because we look back over a year of forgotten goals — a goal graveyard.

They seem hard in retrospect because they appear so untouchable, so intangible.

So pointless.

But they tell us to set goals, and so every year we write out our list and try again.

We might make some progress, but usually, we fail.

“People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.” — Brian Tracy

And yet some of us do find goals genuinely useful. Life-changing. Targets are hit with gusto. And sometimes they are greatly surpassed.

What was different?

Discipline?

A coach?

More interesting goals?

A team?

Better genetics?

A more positive outlook?

Better goal-setting software?

Could have been any, all or none of those things.

What I do know is that you will never hit your goals if you don’t:

  1. Maintain continual awareness of your target.
  2. Take consistent action in moving towards that target.
  3. Expect the achievement of such a goal to be much more complicated than anticipated.

For example, if your goal is to write a horror novel within 6 months, you must continually be aware of finishing this book, you must continue writing every day, and you must deal with all the unforeseen crap that happens in your life and in the creation of the said book.

When you can handle and overcome all three, you have your book.

Put simply, you need to know where you are going, take consistent action, and you need to take more action than you ever anticipated.

The trouble is, many of us are unable to dedicate the time and energy required to keep moving towards our targets in this way.

And so the goal peters out and dies.

We lose faith both in our ability to get things done and in the worth of setting goals themselves.

How to become a goal-achieving powerhouse?

We try to do too much. But, more significantly, we treat all our tasks and goals with equal significance. If we view everything as important, nothing is important.

There needs to be an imbalance.

We need to prioritise or die.

My approach to this is to focus on one primary goal. One at a time.

You can take on other ’sub-goals’ and tasks, but they are always secondary to the actions you take for your number one goal that sits at the top of the pyramid.

I call this the Apex Goal.

This is the one goal you focus on daily, obsessively until it gets done.

It’s your all-or-nothing goal.

The one goal that matters more than any other, and gets treated as such.

I’d suggest making it the target you hit within three months.

It could be a year-long goal broken down into 3-month pieces.

Choosing your number one must-complete goal is going to make you think differently about what it is you decide to do with your time.

Suddenly, you are thinking hard about what is a worthy target. You will become conscious of those things in your life that hold you back from making this a reality, and you will get busy about dropping those anchors because you have clarity and the excitement associated with that clarity.

What matters the most to you?

Answer this:

What one thing do I want or need to happen within three months that would have the most significant or most desirable impact on my life out of all the alternatives?

What is a precise, highly-detailed goal statement that best reflects that?

Go with that one.

What daily habits will move you towards that goal?

The cool thing about your Apex Goal is that it will give you the focus, energy, and motivation to be more disciplined, focused and energised in other areas too.

One great goal completed every three months, with improved general well-being and productivity is better than a heap of goals you never reached.

What’s your Apex?

If you enjoyed this, you will enjoy:

Make sure you have followed me here, and my newsletter for extra bonuses.

If you have 10 seconds, I’d love to hear what you think. Just a few words below. I appreciate them all.

To get laser-focused on what matters daily, get your Book of Lift here — my unconventional planner book.


Originally published at alexmathers.net on February 5, 2019.