The 2021 Challenge: Day Nine

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Day 9: Get Started

We’re on the home straight!

It’s time to lock in your goals and make them EASY:

Day Nine: Bonus Content

Congrats on making it this far through the programme.

You’ve done the heavy-lifting. Now, we just want to make it stick and actually HAPPEN.

In my eyes, this would be a pretty pointless challenge if you learned how to set goals but didn’t know where to even begin to achieve them – so let’s map it all out today.

The easiest way that I have found to do that, is to use a principle that I like to call ‘phasing’.

What is ‘Phasing’?

Phasing is the term I use when describing the process of breaking down my big goals into the manageable steps/ chunks that will ultimately collate to being the complete project.

Let’s take an example that I’ve consistently referenced throughout this course; writing a book.

This is a big goal that I have set and rather than tackling the entire challenge on Day 1, instead I’ve broken it down into several phases:

  1. Idea Generation (Getting as many ideas about the direction and topic of the book)
  2. Planning (Collecting all of the information and research and bringing it into a complete book outline)
  3. Drafting (Taking the ideas from the plans and putting them into an written draft of the book)
  4. Review (Feedback, refinements and improvements to the first draft)
  5. Publishing (Printing, marketing etc.)

What you can clearly interpret from the above phases is that each phase has it’s own specialties and focuses. For example, the Planning phase involves coordinating the research and threading the narrative of my book, whereas the Drafting phase actually involves taking action and writing the book.

These are two very different skillsets, yet they all combine into a logical order that will help me reach the overarching goal.

It is worth noting that the number of phases doesn’t matter, providing they encompass every stage of the goal without too much of a skillset overlap for the most part. (The last thing you want to be doing is confusing yourself with different types of task)

What this allows you to do is chase a smaller, short-term target and as a result of achieving this, you’ll find yourself fuelling your brain with the reward chemicals that stimulate and continue motivation in such a way so that you’ll be able to keep taking consistent action.

Deadlines vs Phases

At this point, it is worth bringing back into discussion the deadlines you’ll need to be setting for each phase (because yes, you have to draw the line somewhere!)

  • The first thing you need to do is set the deadline for the overall goal – ambitiously.

Rather than setting a deadline that is comfortable or realistic, we’re instead going to be choosing a deadline that’s not unreasonable, but it is slightly uncomfortable. The slight discomfort will mean that you’ll need to take more potent action in reaching the desired outcome but you can be confident in the process at large.

  • From here, you can define and deadline your phases for the goal – appropriately.

There’s no point in allocating an equal amount of time for each phase if you know that one is going to be naturally more time-consuming than others. Instead, take a rough estimate based on your own personal strengths and start playing around with deadlines until you find something that you feel is going to work for you – then aim for that.

  • Following these, you’ll be able to outline the tasks you’ll need to do – accurately.

What are you going to do in each of the phases that will allow you to move on? What are the specific tasks and outcomes that you will need to present in order to confidently close the phase and progress with your project?

In the book example, I might not move from Phase 3 (drafting) until I have a complete 75,000 word outline that covers all 12 chapters and matches all of the criteria from Phase 2. (planning)

This is the time to reinstate the hyper-specificity that you’ve been doing so well so far and get rigorously clear on the outcome and how you’ll actually make that possible.

(Part of this will actually come down to your daily habits too, but I’ll leave those discussions until tomorrow)

  • Finally, you’ll then need to find out your suitable review cycle – adequately.

This is an important element to the process because it will set yourself up with a metronome to hold yourself accountable with the goal itself.

Personally, I check in with myself on Sunday morning’s for a meeting I schedule in as ‘Ground Zero’ and I do the same with Ashley for our company, The Successful Mentalist (except we call that meeting, ‘Mission X’)

During these check-ins, you can assess your progress to the overall goal and make any adjustments to your deadlines and tasks in the process. Use these meetings however you would like, though it is important that you find a way to routine the check-ins at an appropriate time.

Too many check-ins and you won’t see a good amount of progress to keep you motivated.

Too few and you’ll wander off-course and miss key deadlines.

I have personally found that the weekly meetings and some time each evening to plan my next day is enough of a cadence for me to keep making good progress.


  • Create Your Phases (Chunk your goal into a number of key steps that will guide you to the final outcome)
  • Set Your Deadlines & Tasks (Be ambitious, appropriate and accurate)
  • Define Your Review Periods (Bonus points for an awesome name!)

That’s your mission for the day.

This is Day Nine of my complete Goal Setting Blueprint.

Phase your goal and celebrate along each step of the way because you’re on the path of success.

Let’s make 2021 the BEST year of your entire life.


“Ideation without execution is delusion”

– Robin Sharma