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Set goals, grind and win — tips from Daymond John

Daymond John has been writing goals since age 14. Learn how goals help him achieve success in business — and in life.

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    I’m a firm believer in setting goals. Why? It doesn’t matter whether you’re starting your own business, punching a clock for someone else, trying to eat healthier or training for a marathon: You won’t get anywhere without a destination in mind.

    Think about it. You can’t go from New York to California without a plan. So, what do you do? You get up and set a time for when to get in the car, whether it’s an Uber or a cab. Are you going to get there on a plane? Are you going to take a bus? Are you going to have a connecting flight? What are you going to do when you get off the plane? This is the same stuff for your goals.

    Now, I know my way isn’t the only way to set goals. I’m just letting you see how I power up and press play. You’ve got to find a way to set goals that works for you. However you do it, just make sure you set them.


    "Even after you’ve made it, you’ve got to keep digging, keep reaching. Like you’ve got no choice but to hit your goals, one after another, because failure is not an option."

    – Daymond John, “the People’s Shark,” Founder and CEO of FUBU


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    Accentuate the positive

    Too often, we let others set negative goals for us. We become convinced we won’t get the job or can’t do a job or we’ll never get rich or find success. We take in all those negatives, and that becomes our baseline. Once I started setting positive goals for myself instead of letting other people’s opinions lead the way, my life changed completely — don’t know how exactly, but there was an undeniable shift. Keep focused on what you will do, what you should do.


    Add purpose to your whole life

    You may have a health goal, a business goal, a family goal or even a volunteering goal. Whether it’s building a killer startup or making a breakthrough in your spirituality or relationship status, only you know what you really want. Goals help you push through whatever stands before you as an obstacle.


    Have a plan, not a vague idea

    Your goals shouldn’t be foggy. It’s not “I want to lose weight.” It’s “I will drink 10 glasses of water per day. I will not eat fried foods or red meat. I will walk over 10,000 steps per day, do cardio in the morning and weightlift at night. In return for that, I will lose 2 pounds per week to get down to my goal weight of 170.” Goals are a plan of action.


    All goals need a good “why”

    How will your goals benefit you or others? Think about why reaching your goal really matters. Write it down. It’s motivation. It keeps you energized. Here’s one I wrote for my personal health goals. Feel free to steal it for your own life. “Constant improvement of my health will allow me to stay in my family’s life longer and will give me the tools I need to be a more productive person.”


    Set the clock

    Give your goals an end date. Whatever time frame works for you is great. Write down goals that you think you can accomplish in three months, six months, a year, two years.


    Halfway there isn’t failure: It’s a win

    You might accomplish only two of three goals before time runs out. The rest, maybe you’ll be 30% there, 60% there. That’s OK. Just hit reset and start in on them again. You’re not setting yourself up to fail. Think about it like this: You’ve accomplished 60% of what you set out to do in an area, so you’re more than halfway there.


    See the outcome you want

    Envision your goals coming to life. I read my goals every night before I go to bed and every morning when I wake up. But I don’t just read a goal — I visualize it. I close my eyes and picture what I want to happen because, hey, you can’t hit a target you can’t see. Some of my goals are super specific, like the one that says I want to cash a check for $102,345,086.32. You may think it’s crazy to visualize a check of that size all the way down to the penny. But think about the power in this approach. We need to see something to believe it.


    Do the grind

    Think about what you can do today to meet your goals. Keep your list realistic and manageable. Don’t pile on each and every target and every objective. That would be self-defeating, right? Most days, I make forward progress. And if I don’t, I rise the next day and get after it again. This is how I get the most out of every 24 hours.

    Goals give you a map to follow. This article describes just how I make mine. In my book “Rise and Grind,” I’ve collected a lot of different approaches from successful people. Build your own grind. Live your life this way and you’ll find the power to do anything, to get past anything, to become anything. You’ll come to know that success is in our court and that we rise to meet our challenges and grind our way to the top … or not. Either way, it’s on us.



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