Starting with a To Do List

Starting with a To Do List


To Do Today:

  • Fly to the moon
  • Climb Mount Everest
  • Run a marathon

Zig Ziglar, a famous author, salesman, and motivational speaker once said that, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” Everyone should have goals, whether they are big or small, short term or long term, and so on. In order to be successful, we all have to start somewhere, and work our way towards our goals. It is an essential part of navigating our everyday lives. Each individual person has different goals; it depends on what is important to you and what YOU want to make out of yourself and your life. Ziglar also said that “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” Goal setting keeps us honest and persistent. It takes hard work to achieve your goals. No matter what you get once you achieve a goal, chances are you will be a better person because you worked so hard to get there.

Goal setting can be challenging. January 1st rolls around every year and people set out to do great things, but life often gets in the way of accomplishing these goals. Have you ever noticed that the gym is always busiest right after New Year’s? Regardless of what your goals are, it’s more about how you go about setting and achieving them, rather than when. The first thing you can do is make a list. Even if you’re not usually a planner, it helps to write down your goals. It holds you accountable for keeping up with them.


The exaggeration of the to-do list above is extreme. It is clearly impossible for any human being to accomplish those three goals in one day. The point is, one of the reasons why people struggle to accomplish their goals is because they are not setting achievable goals. Even if your goal in life is to run a marathon, you have to start small in order to get there. If you are completely out of shape, you physically will not be able to run ten miles on the first day that you start training. It’s not reasonable, and it will discourage you from continuing to pursue your ultimate goal. Let’s say your first week you decide you want to choose two days to run one mile.

The specifics of this goal are important as well. Which days are you going to do this? Will you get up early to run before classes? Do it during your lunch break? Will you go to the gym or run outside? If you don’t decide on a specific plan, you are more likely to let it slide and skip your workout. So, choose a specific time and place to build into your schedule and stick to it!

Another important part of setting goals is making sure they are measurable. In this example of running, an immeasurable goal would be “start running more”. What does that really mean? How often? What do you want to get out of that? Make sure you can measure your goals to keep track of whether you are accomplishing them. For example, once you start running, an example of a measurable goal would be to run a mile in 8 minutes. Once you have set a specific value, you can start timing yourself. You may not reach your goal the first few times you run a mile, but you will be able to see your progress each time!

Think about what is important in your life, and what goals you want to achieve. Even if they are small or short term goals, they are still extremely important. Working hard towards achieving a task creates discipline, responsibility, and many more great qualities. Once you succeed, because you will, you’ll be a better person for it. Don’t give up on yourself.

Now let’s get started on that “To Do List.”

Author: Brandon Gosselin, Oklahoma
Ziglar Youth Certified Trainer