Make Traction to Move Closer to your Goal


“I want to be a billionaire”.”

“I want to be promoted to CEO.”

“I want to run my own company.”

“I want to retire by 40.”

“I want to do my masters.”

That’s you, right? Lofty dreams. Lofty ambitions.

Now that we are well into 2014, just a month ago you were probably fondly re-iterating these dreams to yourself and perhaps your nearest and dearest.

And yet … is this your day?

6:00: {Alarm Rings}

6.01: {Snooze}

7:00: Wake up, shower, dress, breakfast

7:30: Stage

8:30: Arrive at work

8:31: Twitter. Facebook. Blogs

9:45: Email. Memos. Work

10:00: Tea

10:30: Twitter. Facebook. Blogs

11:15: Work

12:30: Twitter

12:50: Lunch

2:00: Return from lunch

2:01: Twitter. Facebook. Blogs

2:30: Work

3:30: Meeting

4:00: Work

4.30: Put out feelers on evening action – drink ups, nyama, coffee dates, movies, etc

5:00: Exit, stage left

6:00: Coffee joint

7:30: Local

9:00: Home

9:30: Supper

10:00: Movies / Series

12:00: Sleep

Rinse and repeat.

It is, isn’t it?

Chances are you started January like this and before you know it it’s December.

You will then wonder how time flies as you pop the New Year drink. You will then say:

“I want to be a billionaire”.”

“I want to be promoted to CEO.”

“I want to run my own company.”

“I want to retire by 40.”

“I want to do my masters.”

And before you know it another year has passed.

The next thing you know you are married, have two kids, a dog, a mortgage and credit card debts.

And come New Year …

“I want to be a billionaire”.”

“I want to be promoted to CEO.”

“I want to run my own company.”

“I want to retire by 40.”

“I want to do my masters.”

Notice anything? Your goal is no nearer than it was 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 years ago.


Because you’re not doing anything consciously to move closer to your goal. You’re not making any traction.

So, you are stuck in the same job you have been at for the last x years, at the same level – or perhaps a level above.

And the world moves right on without you.

On top of that, threats are coming up every day.

Younger, faster, more energetic kids are being churned out of campus every day. Who don’t mind spending the night in the office.

Which you can’t. Because you must pick up the kids from school. Or cook. Or pick up your wife. Or take the baby to the doctor.

What happened?

No traction!

You don’t just magically do your masters. Or magically become a millionaire. Or magically start a business.

You must WORK at it.

Take “do my masters”.

That is an amorphous goal that you will probably never hit.

Break it down like so.

  1. Do research of what master’s degree I want, which includes WHAT PURPOSE
  2. Find out which universities offer
  3. Get the prospectus
  4. Choose the university and course
  5. Find out the fees
  6. Save / borrow / find money to pay
  7. Enroll for the course
  8. Do the course, assignments and group work
  9. Do the dissertation
  10. Graduate
  11. Plug in to #1

This way there one amorphous goal is broken into several concrete tasks that you can track progress.

You then assign resource to each task. Resources are not just money. Time is another resource, which you probably have plenty of.

However we fail to realize that you cannot be enrolled in a master’s and spend your day as the timetable above. You must find time somewhere. And since the day is just 24 hours, you must make sacrifices.

This requires you to cultivate discipline. You must be ready to say no to your friends. Ready to not follow the crowd. Ready to make tough choices. Ready to pass up fun for the greater goal.

Success is a long game.

If you like sleeping in, wake up early to get an extra hour or two of work. Cut down your going out and use that time to study or do research. Don’t spend the entirety of Sunday sleeping off hangovers.

If it gets to December 2014 and you find you are still at #1 – then you know you have wasted your year.

And that – that’s a pity

By M

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