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No matter your stage of life, I bet you could benefit from real change. I don’t mean losing a few pounds or drinking more water. Those are excellent goals and smaller goals like these must be part of our lives. But today I’m talking about the bigger visions you see – the business ideas, investment goals, and retirement dreams. These are still goals, but I’m going to encourage you to reach them in a unique way.

Goal setting is not a new practice. Some of the time we reach our goals because of persistence and perseverance. But what happens when we can’t achieve the goal we set? Or when the goal is lofty and lifelong? Do we give up or lose momentum?

No, we make small adjustments to help us reach those goals.  

Back in the day, I attended a NCAA Division 1 school on a baseball scholarship. I was a pitcher. I had some success playing ball in high school, and I headed off to college thinking I was big stuff.  I soon discovered that playing at the Division 1 level was much more challenging than playing in high school and that I would have to make some small adjustments to reach the goals I had set for myself.

The first day of practice, the first batter I faced hit my third pitch 410 feet over the centerfield wall. That was a pro-level shot. I immediately thought, “Toto, you are not in Kansas anymore!” The pitching coach came to the mound after the hit and said that they were going to have to teach me a new pitch. So, he taught me how to throw a “slider”. I learned the grip for a slider and it dramatically helped me get people out at the plate.

So, I thought with this new pitch that I was ready for our first game. I was put in to pitch at the beginning of the second inning. Then, the bases were loaded in 6-8 pitches.

I was feeling quite a bit of pressure at this point, when Coach walked out to the mound. He didn’t say a word. He just reached up, took my middle finger and moved it one eighth of an inch from the left side of the seam to the right side of the seam. Then, without a word, he turned around and walked off.

I struck out the next three batters and got out of the inning. No one in the stands and no one on my bench – including the head coach – knew what he did when he made a small adjustment of my grip on the ball. That one eighth of an inch adjustment made a dramatic difference in the effect I was able to have in that game and future games.

Sometimes all we need is a 1/8 inch adjustment to help us reach our large goals in life.

What kind of goals are you working on in your personal life? Whatever the goal is, when you reach a point where you are ready to give up and walk way, it’s time to make an 1/8 inch adjustment.

What do small changes look like practically? 

1. Break down your goals. 

If the goal seems too big to accomplish, break it into smaller goals to help you get there. This is essential for all lifelong, large goals. Think about it: if your goal is to one day be able to give away 75% of your income, you must start planning for that NOW.

To plan, you’ll need to think through the next several years and decide how to make this lofty – but amazing – goal a reality.

It seems simple, but don’t underestimate the power of simply breaking down your dreams.

2. Consider changing the direction of your goal.

If an obstacle arises, find a new way around the obstacle in order to reach your goal. Being flexible is key. Yes, you want to have specific and actionable goals. Yes, you want to be able to measure your success and track your progress. But ultimately, you must be able to change the direction of the goal if it’s not working.

Don’t get so bogged down that you can’t imagine your goal any other way. If you want to create a successful real estate business and think you need to obtain rental properties to make it, don’t get so bogged down that you forget the power of fix-and-flips.

Flexibility is key to success.

3. Control your thinking. 

There is power in edifying thinking (and speaking). Proverbs 15:4 says, “A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it crushes the spirit.” Word have the power to lift you up and encourage your soul. Simply speaking positive statements and meditating on truth can give you the boost you need to keep moving forward.

Instead of being self-deprecating and frustrated by lack of progress, start speaking and thinking about what is working. Positivity sinks into our souls. So if we choose to make our thoughts and words uplifting, then we might find life springing forth – and therefore motivation to keep moving forward.