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Jon Gordon and Jon Acuff | GOALS

On a recent episode of his Positive U podcast, Jon Gordon interviewed best-selling writer and speaker Jon Acuff.

Acuff recently wrote a book called All it Takes is a Goal, and Gordon asked him why a goal is all that it takes.

Acuff said, "A goal is the fastest path between where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow. Find something you are curious or passionate about and turn it into a goal so you can actually do it."

Acuff said he wanted to be a better friend, but that was too fuzzy so he made a goal of texting a different person every day for 30 days.

Acuff said he wanted to be a better dad, so he made a goal of intentionally encouraging his daughters once per day.

He took those desires - be a better friend or be a better dad, and he put action on them.

Acuff then says don't confuse a wish with a goal; until you have plans and actions, all you have is a wish.

When asked why so many people don't achieve their goals, Acuff says too many people have too many goals. When you have too many goals, you can't appropriately focus on any of them.

He also said fear keeps people from achieving their goals. Acuff says one way to combat fear is to write your goals down. Paper shrinks fear. Inside your hair, fear looks large. When you feel like you have 100 things to overcome, write it down. There is real power in taking something from your head and putting it on paper, and often, that list of 100 turns into a much more manageable list of 3 when you write it down.

Plus, it's a good test. If you aren't willing to write down your goals, they probably don't mean enough to you.

Applying This as a Coach and Parent

Later in the interview, Acuff talks about his wife's ability to forecast into the future. He said his wife says things like, "We aren't raising kids; we are raising adults." He then said one of their soundtracks became, "If you want a kind 16-year-old, teach a 6-year-old kindness and give them 10 years to practice."

He said his wife is able to see around 9 corners. She can see something being an issue in 7 years, so they make tweaks now. Things show up in your 50s and 60s that were planted in your 40s.

When trying to make decisions about your kids, ask yourself, "Who do I want them to be in 5 or 10 years?" and then teach them the skills they need now, give them opportunities to practice those skills, and provide check-ins and feedback along the say.


1 - What is one goal you have for this week?

2 - What is one thing you can do today and tomorrow to help you achieve that goal?

3 - What is one long-term goal you have?

4 - What is one habit you can start to help you achieve that goal?

5 - Who do you want your kids to be, and what characteristics do you want them to master?

6 - What do you need to teach them today, and how are they going to practice?

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