What can you expect after 30 years of setting goals?
I’m not going to tell you how to set goals today. You may have already read a bunch of stuff on how to do that; I’ve read more than 20 books on this topic and I have an entire chapter in The Unchained Man on that exact subject.
Instead, what I’m going to talk about is what you can expect in terms of goal-setting because I have been setting goals for 30 years — literally. I can tell you exactly what I’ve experienced, and I can show you what to expect from setting goals over a long period of time.
Some guys think that setting goals is bullshit, doesn’t work, or that it’s somehow bad for you. You also have people who think that once you set goals, that’s all you have to do — set goals and think positive and you’ll achieve them.
Wrong. As usual, the reality lies in the middle of the two extremes. You need to set goals, and you need to put action behind those goals.
In My Experience
Let me describe to you what has happened to me during the last 30 years of setting goals. I have kept spreadsheets and kept track of the goals I have set, the ones I’ve hit, and the ones I’ve missed.
I set goals for all different time frames — weekly, quarterly, annually, and then I set long-term goals, which are those that are three to five years out, sometimes a little more.
I talk a lot about your Mission at Alpha 2.0, but Mission is not a goal; Mission is very different. I’m going to show you the results of my goal-setting, and I think most of these numbers will surprise you. But if you set goals, remind yourself of them, and take action on them, this is what you can expect.
The first number I will give you is 100%.
Every major goal that I have set for myself — not mid-term goals or wouldn’t-it-be-nice goals — but every major goal I have set in my life, I have hit.
Now, what’s the catch here? There is one — I have hit approximately 70% of these goals late. I set a deadline for the goal, but the date passed without accomplishing it. Sometimes I was three months, six months, or even a year late.
Of that 70%, I would say I hit approximately half of those goals very late — as in many years late.
For instance, I might set a certain income goal I wanted to reach by the end of 2003, but I might not hit that goal until three or four years later. Some goals I even hit much later than that, but I hit it.
So even if you’re an experienced goal-setter, you’re going to set the deadlines too early, you’re going to miss them, and you’re going to be late. But that’s OK, because you can still hit them. These can include financial, investment, fitness, and woman goals.
That means when I set a big goal and I don’t hit it in time, I’m pissed, but I don’t freak out. I’m still positive and confident about the goal because I know from history that I’ll be late on it, but I also know I’ll eventually hit it.
As I’ve mentioned before, one goal I’m working on now is losing a lot of weight and becoming an actual athlete — and I have missed that goal several times. But I’m not super worried about it. Why? Because my track record shows I’m often late, but I always seem to get there. I know with at least 95% certainty and I’m going to hit my fitness goals.
Now let me give you one more number: 90% of the big goals I’ve accomplished, I have vastly exceeded.
For example, I have constantly set income goals throughout my life; at age 18, I set a goal to have a six-figure income by age 28. That was a 10-year goal. I actually hit that goal a year early. As you can see, that’s not typical for me.
The biggest income goal I ever set for myself in those days was $20,000 a month, which comes to $240,000 a year. I told myself if I could make that much every month, I’d be set and I wouldn’t have to do any more.
Today, I make way more than that. So I have vastly exceeded the biggest goal I have ever set for myself in terms of income.
Now, let me talk about woman goals. Back in 2007 when I started on this Alpha Male 2.0 journey, my woman goal was to have three women I dated in some form or fashion (non-monogamously) who were at least cute. That was my goal.
Today, I am way past that. I laugh at that goal. That was the big goal I had for many years, and I hit that goal. Then, over the normal progression of my life, I vastly exceeded the goal — not just the number of women, but the quality of women and the circumstances under which I am seeing them. Similar to my financial goals, I reached that goal years ago, and I’ve lived that way for many years.
Hang In There
You have to be patient with these things because as you can see from my experience, it’s possible to be very late hitting your goals and still vastly exceed your original expectations.
Think about this very carefully. A lot of guys think that if they set a goal and miss the deadline, they’re fucked. It’s either too big of a goal, maybe they should think smaller, or maybe their timing was off, but none of that is true. Being late (or very late) achieving goals is normal. It’s normal for me.
At the same time, I have almost never had a major goal that I achieved, but that never went any further. In nearly every case, I overwhelmingly exceeded the original goal, given time. And the reason for this is that once you get good at something and you achieve a level of mastery, you’re going to get better and better results naturally.
If you’ve read my content for a while, you know I’m very good at remaining consistent and not getting complacent. A lot of guys will get complacent with money and women, but because I don’t, these numbers are the result. I’ve hit 100% of my big goals, and 90% of those, I greatly exceeded.
This is what you can expect over time when you set big, motivational goals and put in time and effort to reach them. This stuff works. So am I a believer in goal-setting? YES!
Would I have accomplished these things if I had never set any goals?
It’s probably true that I would still be living a somewhat decent life. I’m a motivated, driven guy, and I know what I want. But I promise you: I know for a fact I would not have achieved these results with the overall Alpha 2.0 life I live right now if I had never set a goal.
Goal-setting works, and I have to repeat this because some guys fuck this up. You don’t just set goals and then sit on your ass and play video games. You set goals, you review them often (I review my goals six days a week, minimum), and then you work hard to accomplish those goals.
And yes, often I’m late. So if you miss a deadline, don’t beat yourself up; keep going. Maybe you won’t achieve 100%. Maybe you “only” get 80% of your big goals. But wouldn’t that be a good deal?
The reverse might also be true: You might hit 100% of your goals, but maybe in your case, you won’t be late 70% of the time like I was. You can improve on my numbers.
This is what you can expect when you set goals. YOU NEED TO SET GOALS. You need to keep working at your goals, and you don’t want to get discouraged when you miss your goals. That’s OK, because if you keep at it, you’ll hit them, and often, you’ll exceed them!