Success deadlines & goals: Do they really work or lead to failure?
Last Update: Aug 7, 2022
I see success deadlines being thrown around a lot in business and in WA for instance, I do run into people who make statements such as:
"I'm giving myself 6 months to succeed"
"I'm setting a quota to write 50 articles by so and so date"
"If I don't succeed in 3 months, I'm quitting"
The mindset and premise behind such statements is that most people think that if they set a deadline or goal of this nature, that this will stimulate their ambition and push them towards that goal.
But the question I pose in this article is: Do success deadlines actually work?
Post your answer below but in my personal experience, 9 out of 10 times they do not. Why is that?
Well I think I have a sufficient answer based on my own experiences setting them, and seeing the outcomes from my own history and of others who have set them too. First, I want to make something very clear:
Goals and success deadlines are not the same thing.
A goal is simply an outcome you set in any matter of your life. It could be business. It could be personal, but the point of a goal is to have an outcome in mind that you visualize reaching.
A success deadline is in my opinion a "tainted goal" in which you think your outcome can be achieved by a general time or date.
The main problems I find with success deadlines are the following things (one leads to the next):
First, most people want faster results so they set their success deadlines to be shorter.
Second, a success deadline may cause you to force yourself to get to work which seems nice, but at the same time, when you add a deadline to the process, that makes you work faster and when you're not experienced enough at doing this, working faster means producing less quality content and work.
Third, Less quality content and work ultimately hinders your results and while you may reach your ultimate success deadline goal (whatever that is), you may often find that you sacrifice quality for speed and that may ultimately cause failure.
Fourth, after this happens, most people quit because they focused on getting whatever they wanted done in a certain amount, but it tainted the quality of their work and they don't realize it and quit because their expectations (speed) did not lead to their desired results (success).
And for the few who DO realize this mistake, they will often find (like I have) that going back and correcting their mistakes takes just as much work to fix it, essentially doubling their efforts.
And ironically enough, if they had just worked at a comfortable pace and focused on producing quality work by applying what is taught here, the time they put into getting results there is probably around the same time it would take to produce their rushed work + the time it took to fix it to have it actually be quality work.
Solution? Focus on incrementally getting the job done, not setting success deadlines or quotas you probably can't meet.
If someone comes to me and says "I want to complete 50 articles" by 3 months time, my usual response is: Focus on getting 1 article out first and having it be a quality article.
Then use the same principals you applied for article 1, to article 2. Then 3, 4 and up. Don't worry about how long it takes to get to 50 articles. Focus on getting 1 article out at a time that is high quality and actually has substance.
Same thing for the training in WA: Someone who usually says they finished "all the training" in one month's time will get a skeptical response from me. They may have indeed done this, but the odds that they actually absorbed the lessons, did all the tasks, let alone with quality results is HIGHLY unlikely. And they too are rushing the process.
Instead of that, why not focus on doing 1 lesson at your pace? Or completing whatever task/s in each lesson according to your comfort level?
A lot of people who are in WA have lives outside of this program, responsibilites, work, family to take care off an more. It's tough to sit down at your laptop after a hard day's job and with all the mental weight on you and focus on completing what you set out.
If you're someone in that position and you set a goal to complete 5 lessons a day in the WA training, you are FAR BETTER OFF doing 1 lesson a day instead. That way you are more likely to absorb the lesson vs spreading out your attention for 5 lessons when you're tired, thereby screwing up your success.
Pace yourself and set it to doing things little by little. If you think you can go faster and have the work you produce be authentic and high quality, then increase it, but through increments.
The 1% incremental rule. Why it's your key to success:
I've learned that in ANYTHING you attempt to get better at in life, it's better to get better at that thing 1% a day. Even that 1% seems "miniscule", added up by a week, month or even year, those small increments add up very quickly and the substance and value of getting 1% done fully holds more weight than doing 10 times that, but with your attention divided 10 ways.
I've applied this rule in my personal life, professional life and so forth. Right now, I'm training to do a very long hike that is 25 miles and 6 mountains. I'm planning to do it in a day (10 hours or less). Preparing for such a hike doesn't just happen in a day.
I could set a goal to get ready for it in 30 days, but that would be foolish. I'd be rushing the process, overtraining and ultimately getting hurt, thereby destroying my chances of actually being ready for this.
Instead what I'm doing is incremental training. 1% more each day, giving my body time to recover (which I listen to by the way). This small incremental growth has been leading to some awesome results, and by continuing to apply that, who knows how far this can go (of course I'm trying to be safe at the same time to avoid issues).
I strongly recommend applying the same principal in your goals here folks. There are always exceptions to what I say, but in most cases, I have found this to be true.
Another HIGHLY helpful thing is growing your business in a passion you have in life. This really helps you produce that high quality work.