Epic Goals and Goal Setting

Those who consistently set and attain their epic goals accomplish great things in life. These lofty goals are different from other goals and require a unique goal setting strategy.

When pursuing these life-changing goals, you may be moving into unchartered territory, often out of your comfort zone. It takes time to acquire new skills and information and to change your mind set. And the epic goal's lack of urgency will require self discipline and learning new time management skills.

So what’s an epic goal?

In surfer lingo, an epic wave or ride is one that was exhilarating beyond belief: the crazy frightening out-of-control free fall down the face, the smooth, calming bottom turn, and then the spine-tinkling rocket-ship screamer slide down the pipe.

Your goal must evoke that same type of emotion. It must be life changing in nature. You'll not only be "stoked" when you attain it, but you'll enjoy the ride!

Take time to reflect. What is epic to you? We're talking the big Kahuna, the idea that inspires passion, inspiration and emotion in you!

Is there a book in you that's dying to get out? How about finally making that career change, owning up to a fitness goal, or doubling your income?

Acting on an entrepreneurial idea, losing 40 pounds, or starting that website could make good ones too, but only if the thought of it gets you stoked!

Epic goal characteristics

  • takes you out of your comfort zone
  • requires a great deal of time and effort
  • considerable knowledge/skills must be acquired
  • profound and positive affect on your life
  • thought of achievement invokes emotion
  • important but not urgent in nature

Be careful what you wish for

Determining which goal to pursueand making sure it truly is epicis the first step in the goal setting process, but it is by far the most important one. Time and care must be taken.

By all means, reach for the sky, but don’t set the wrong goal at the wrong time. Give yourself a fighting chance at attainment.

Considerable time, money, and resources may be put forward, and if joy, happiness, and fulfillment are not the result of your epic goal’s pursuit, this time could have been better spent. This is true of course for all goals, but especially epic ones.

That’s why I like to do a dry run first. In computer lingo, a dry run is when a programmer tests each component of an algorithm separately in their mind before actually running the program on a computer.

You need to do the same with your epic goal.

Try it out for a moon phase

I use the moon to measure time when I do a dry run. It’s much sexier than a 30-day trial or other traditional measurement of time, and it’s a cool way to take any type of goal out for a spin, so to speak.

Start your dry run on the full moon. Once it wanes and disappears, you know you’re half way home, and the coming waxing moon will help guide you to your successful completion of your dry run, which is the night of the next full moon.

If a full moon phase seems a bit daunting time-wise, start your dry run on the new moon instead, once again letting the waxing moon guide you to a successful goal conclusion the night of the full moon.

Follow your goal setting strategies as with any goal. Commit your epic goal to words, put a completion date on it, and come up with a moon phase’s worth of actionable steps.

Acting like you’ve already achieved your goal, complete with the feelings and emotions that go with it, is especially important during your dry run. Writing out your goal in paragraph form using first person language and descriptive prose helps with this.

Once you start your dry run, you’ll find yourself looking to the sky often. Even if you can’t spy the moon, every time you look up you are reminded of your goal. Take a few seconds and once again use visualization to conjure those feelings and emotions you’ll have once the dry run is completed successfully.

If your epic goal is way out of your comfort zone, you might have trouble with this part because your goal is so foreign to you. Be sure and include in your actionable steps activities that will give you glimpses of your new reality.

For example, if you want to write a book, you need to understand what it’s like to be a successful writer. Your actionable steps should include activities like going to local book readings. Writers often go to hear other writer’s speak, so be sure and try to mingle some, and by all means make it a point to have a few words with the featured author.

Writers also write a lot, most every day, so make sure you’re working on your novel or book proposal during your dry run too.

Say doubling your income is your epic goal. If that was your reality today, what would you do differently? If you’d go buy a new Mercedes Benz, then act like you can afford one now and go take a few test drives. Save up a few bucks and go to a fancy French restaurant, if that’s what you’d want to do.

Someone with double your income may work harder than you, get up earlier, make more cold calls, and ask for more responsibility at work. Hopefully you know a few people that make what you want to make. Ask them for advice (trust me, they won’t mind). Re-write your actionable steps accordingly. 

Each time you look to the sky, gauge your progress against the moon’s ancient cycle, and conjure up those emotions and feelings once again. Now you’ve got the Universe on your side.

On the night of the full moon, celebrate your success or figure out what went wrong. If it didn’t work out, either the goal was the wrong goal to pursue or your personal development skills are lacking. Be honest in your evaluation.

Now is your opportunity to retreat gracefully if it’s not the right time, or living the life of the goal wasn’t what you thought it would be. Be grateful for your dry run, and learn from your new experiences. If you’re more excited then ever about achieving your epic goal, commit to it fully. Look to the full moon for guidance.

Somehow, looking to the sky and searching for the moon is cerebral, calming, and connecting. Even if it’s cloudy and you look to the internet for your moon phase information, you’re still getting in touch with an ancient rhythm that just feels right.

Surf’s up, dude!

I’ve named these special goals “epic” for a reason. Learning to surf in 5 months was a past goal of mine, and it met all the characteristics of what I now call an epic goal.

  • It took me way out of my comfort zone. I was used to excelling at sports, especially those where I had a physical advantage because of my size like basketball and football. At 6'5" and 290 pounds, my size put me at a distinct disadvantage for once.
  • Learning to sit on a board in a constantly moving ocean, paddle fast and efficiently, duck-dive under waves, understand waves and how they break, and learning surfing etiquette were just a few of the skills necessary to even get out in the lineup, much less actually surf.
  • Surfing is a great, low-impact way of staying in shape, which helped save wear and tear on my joints later in my football career, and led me to wonderful experiences and a profound love for the ocean.
  • It would have been easy for me to put off scheduled actionable steps because none of them were ever urgent.
Keith Dorney attaining his epic goal, circa 1984, Magnalana Bay, Baja California, Mexico

I was and always will be a Kook with a capital “K,” but I don’t care. Nothing is off limits when it comes to epic goals. Don’t let others judge you. You and you alone control your future.

Important but not urgent

Epic goals are usually never urgent. That’s why they can be so slippery and elusive. With everything that needs to get done, it's easy to shove aside an actionable step in lieu of one that’s supposedly more urgent.

You must make these actionable steps urgent!

You and you alone control the minutes and hours ahead. Maybe you think that your hours, minutes, and seconds aren't as important as others? Start valuing that time, start making it important right now. Great things can be accomplished with that time, tremendous pleasure can be derived from that time.

Allotting time in your busy schedule to pursue these non-urgent epic goals is a necessary step to achievement. You have to make them urgent!

Many epic goal achievers get up early or stay up late to find this extra time. It is well worth it because of the joy, happiness, and purpose you will derive from your pursuits.

Set and Achieve

FinancialAuthor.com is dedicated to helping you set and achieve your epic goals and developing the mind set necessary for achievement. It is a treasure trove of wealth building and goal setting strategies and toolsboth time-tested and new. Look to this site for motivation and support before starting your day.

Remember, those that set and achieve epic goals are the ones who accomplish great things in life.