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Setting & Achieving Goals

29 Things You Should Accomplish Before You’re 30

These are essentials for young people to accomplish before beginning the fourth decade of their lives.

John Rampton

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young-person-before-30

I’d like to think that I’m a “it’s never too late” type of person. For example, it’s never to late to visit a foreign country, start a new career or learn a new skill. But, let’s be honest, there are a lot of things that you should accomplish before you turn 30. Why? Because you have the energy, time, and freedom to do so.

While I’m over 30 now, I can look back on things I did do and things I didn’t do and laugh.

While there could be hundreds of accomplishments that I could have listed, here are my essential 29 things that you should accomplish before you turn the big 30. As Nike would say, “Just Do It.” You will be glad you did.

Note: I still recommend doing most of these things after 30 as well, it’s just easier to do most before.

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Attend college

Getting bogged down with student loans is definitely a concern. However, college provides priceless experiences like meeting new friends, getting out of your comfort zone, and learning skills that will help land a sweet job. And, most employment will require this.

Graduating will also give you a leg up on other people applying for a job.

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Learn to cook for yourself

There’s nothing quite as rewarding as making a home-cooked meal and receiving compliments from friends and family. Besides, cooking your own food ensures that you stay happy and healthy for the rest of your life since it always includes fresh ingredients (wink) but overall, it can be a fun hobby.

You don’t have to become a gourmet cook unless you want to – think simple, straightforward, healthy meals.

Related: 6 Surefire Ways to Realise Goals

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Know your family history

This gives you a chance to actually sit down and talk with your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles while they’re still in your life. Also, you may be able to learn about a new culture and even plan a visit to where your family originated from.

I ended up visiting England last year. This is where my heritage comes from. It gave me a new sense of meaning and understanding.

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Run a marathon

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“Running a marathon is one of those epic milestones,” Mort Nace, general manager of Medved Running and Walking Outfitters, tells USA Today. In doing so, you set goals, push yourself, build confidence, explore new places, and meet new people.

It’s also nice that for the rest of my life I can say I ran a marathon. Bragging rights.

Related: The Tim Ferriss Approach to Setting Goals: Rig the Game so You Win

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Start a workout routine

The sooner you start working out, the better chance you have in maintaining a set routine for the rest of your life. It should go without saying that exercise controls your weight, mood, decreases stress and prevents many negative health conditions and diseases.

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Start saving

It may seem too early to think about your retirement. However, the sooner you start saving, the more money you’ll have when it’s time to enjoy your golden years.

The money you save in your 20’s will equal millions by the time of your retirement.

I would start by setting up a retirement account and contributing monthly to it. Even if it’s R200 a month, it’s something and will help long term.

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Improve your wine knowledge

wine-knowledge

As you get older, you’re going to be invited to more events where wine will be served, so you don’t want to be intimidated. While it doesn’t mean that you have to become a sommelier, you should, however, learn the basics like general wine and food pairings or how to properly open a bottle of wine.

I don’t even drink wine and I could tell you a lot about it.

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Find your BFF

It’s funny about friendship. When you’re younger everyone is your friend. As you get older, however, you realise you only really need a handful of friends. And, that most important friend is your bestie. You know.

The person who knows everything about you and is still friends with you. Find a quality friend whom you enjoy and remember that friendships require effort.

Put the time in so you have this important stabiliser in your life.

Related: The 10 Traits You Must Cultivate To Achieve Highly Ambitious Goals

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Land your dream job

There’s something to be said about working various jobs since they can teach you a variety of skills. But, do you want to be doing all that change-up for the next 20 or 30 years?

Find your dream job and make sure that you do all you can to secure it.

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Find your cause

Doing good for others makes you a stronger and more well-rounded individual. Find out what you care about and devote yourself to it – whether it’s throwing a fundraiser or volunteering at the local soup kitchen. I personally help with Open to Hope, it gives me a sense of meaning and worth.

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Rage at a music festival

festival-celebrations

image credit: holifestival.com

While it would sound awesome to be 70 years old and attending an all day festival, chances are that you won’t be up for that.

Enjoy the loud music and large crowds while you can. Even if you don’t like it, try it once.

Related: How Craig Bright And Brian Little Launched Rocking The Daisies

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Write a story

Writing something like a fictional story can boost your creativity and help develop your writing skills, which in today’s fast-paced world of texting and tweeting could be in low supply.

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Read, read, read

Reading has several benefits like boosting your imagination, improving your communication skills, keeping your brain sharp and help you learn new things and experiences.

Make reading a habit now and stick with it throughout your life.

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Learn to get organised

This may not sound like the sexiest of topics. But working on your organisational skills now will pay off later since it will reduce stress and save you a whole bunch of time and money.

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Stop smoking

We all make foolish mistakes when we’re younger. And, for many of us, that mistake is smoking. It might have been cool in college, but it’s not a habit that is good for your health or those around you. And it’s pretty pricey, too.

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Indulge yourself in luxury at least once

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This doesn’t mean that you should max out your credit card. It does mean that you should enjoy the finer things every now and then, such as eating at an exclusive restaurant or purchasing a luxury item like a Gucci bag.

It will help you to save and budget for the purchase and the experience or product will last for years. Don’t be that person that always has to have the best and spend away your “real money” for the future, but do make a splurge at least once. It will also motivate you in the future and push yourself for better.

Related: 5 Habits Of The Wealthy That Help Them Get Rich

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Fail

Yes, you read that correctly. Fail. And fail a lot. There’s no better way to learn, grow and drive yourself to succeed in the future than to fail. Fail fast and learn to pick yourself up fast as well.

I’ve failed countless times but it’s made me a much better person. Much easier to fail before 30 than after.

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Learn how to network

Building a network can be beneficial in both your personal and professional lives. For example, maybe you had drinks with a couple from Britain while they were visiting the U.S. Now you have a contact overseas.

If you attend an industry event, you should be able to interact with influencers or employers and make an impression with them. If you need their assistance to advance your career, they’re only an email or phone call away. Networking rounds out your life.

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Sing in public

Believe it or not, singing changes your brain. In fact, singing can make you happy and reduce depression or feeling lonely. If you have a fear of public speaking, there’s not a better way to overcome this fear than by singing your heart out in front of strangers during karaoke night.

Sing so much that someone tells you to shut-up and you won’t be fearful again.

Sing – even if you are really lousy at it. If you are truly too shy to do this – the shower is also a good option and so it belting out a tune in the car.

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Travel by yourself

This may sound frightening. But traveling by yourself will push you to get out of your shell, help you discover who you really are and have experiences that you probably wouldn’t have had if you traveled with someone else. It will also give you valuable thinking time.

Related: Simplify Work Travel With Flapp

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Familiarise yourself with a foreign language

I speak two languages and am learning another. If I can do it, you certainly can. You don’t have to become fluent in another language, though this would be the best option. You should, at least become somewhat acquainted with a foreign language.

After all, this helps you learn about new cultures, exposes you to new people and helps you become more open-minded. The older you get, however, the more challenging (but not impossible) this will become.

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Enjoy the outdoors

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There’s nothing as beautiful and inspiring as nature. Don’t take it for granted. Regardless if you’re just star-gazing, hiking or whitewater rafting, get outside as much as you can.

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Rent a house with your friends

Whether if it’s renting out a beach house or cabin for skiing, take the opportunity to spend as much time with your friends as possible. You probably won’t have too many times to relive these experiences. Besides, you may even learn how to budget as you set aside money for the rental. I personally like to do this at least once a year.

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Get lost

There’s really nothing like hopping in the car and just driving to some unknown location. You never know what kind of adventure you’ll run into. Eventually you have to abandon some of these types of opportunities once you have responsibilities like a family.

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Go out on dates

How else do you expect to meet Mr. or Mrs. Right? Best of all, you meet interesting people as well as enjoy the process of the dating scene before you do settle down. Stop worrying about having an awful boring night.

Learn to enjoy whatever happens and have fun with it. So what if lightening doesn’t strike? Learn how to date well.

Related: DatingBuzz: Dave Burnstein

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Pull several all-nighters

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No one is stopping you from partying hard after you’re 30. It’s just going to be a whole lot harder to recover. Get this out of your system while you can. This doesn’t have to be a binge of some kind. Go laser tag all night, dance all night, play pool, games or cards all night.

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Get yourself out of debt

Debt is bad. There’s really no other way to say it. Make sure you can pay off as much debt as you can so that you’ll be able to save for the future. This will help you be able to afford things like a home or car. Better yet, stay out of debt in the first place. Debt is a downer and a stressor you don’t need as a weight choking you and holding you back from great opportunities.

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Build your brand

Thanks to Google and social media we all have a brand nowadays. If you aren’t working on becoming the top Google result when you search for yourself or have some sort activity on social media then you’re doing something very wrong for your business.

Having a brand will help you network and potentially even land your dream job.

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Move somewhere entirely new

It’s scary as hell. But it will force you to get out of your comfort zone and experience everything from new cultures to meeting new people. Everyone should do this at least once and don’t let yourself go back to the comfort spot until you have made it in your new local.

You won’t believe the difference in yourself. Here’s to some of the best years of our lives.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the online invoicing company Due. John is best known as an entrepreneur and connector. He was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine and has been one of the Top 10 Most Influential PPC Experts in the World for the past three years. He currently advises several companies in the San Francisco Bay area.

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Setting & Achieving Goals

6 Reasons Why Concrete Goals Are Essential To Entrepreneurial Success

Making dreams come true is a precise, step-by-step process.

Timothy Sykes

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goal-setting

Believe it – there is a right way and a wrong way to approach setting career goals. In a nutshell, the more specific your goals are, the better.

If your professional goals are nebulous, like “become rich” or “gain success,” you may be psyching yourself out without even realising what you’re doing. Setting specific goals gives you the motivation and focus to begin making them a reality.

Ready to readjust your goal setting methods?

Related: The 7-Step Formula For Goal-Setting

Here are just six reasons why you need to set specific goals to get ahead in your professional career to get ahead:

1. They keep you motivated

Setting specific goals allows you to get really clear on what you are working toward in your career and why.

For instance, if you have a vague goal like “Make more money,” it will supply similarly vague motivation. When you reach the first sign of resistance, that goal will seem unattainable and too hard, and you’ll be more likely to give up.

On the other hand, a specific goal like “Buy a condo in San Diego” is very specific and gives you something specific to work toward and to help you maintain motivation.

2. You’re more likely to achieve specific goals

Goal Setting Theory is the culmination of research that began in the 1960s by Dr. Edwin Locke and Dr. Gary Latham. In researching the connection between clear goals and performance, they found that there was a relationship between how difficult and how specific a goal was and people’s performance of a task. Further, they discovered that specific and difficult goals led to better task performance than vague or easy goals.

Related: You Need This One Trait To Succeed In Reaching Your Goals

Basically, research shows that when you have specific long-term goals, you’re far more likely to perform better, which will ultimately make achieving said goals far more possible.

3. You can break big goals into mini goals

A benefit of setting specific goals is that you can then get tactical about how to make them a reality. Namely, you can break each goal down into mini goals or milestones.

Say that one of your goals is to increase sales for your business by 25 percent this year. You can set specific dollar amounts as milestones for each month or quarter.

Having mini goals like this will help you stay inspired and will give you an impetus to put specific actions in work to make them happen.

4. You can adjust as needed

gpsSpecific goals are kind of like a career roadmap.

However, just like your car’s GPS, sometimes you need to shift the destination for various reasons. It’s easier to shift or adjust a specific goal than it is to change a vague one.

For instance, say you are approaching your very specific goal at a more rapid rate than anticipated. To keep yourself motivated, you can look at that goal and adjust it to meet your current circumstances. This way, you always have something to work toward and can continue to push yourself in positive ways.

5. They will make you more confident

There’s nothing like the sense of accomplishment that comes from setting a specific goal, working hard and then finally attaining it. It makes you feel confident and secure in your own abilities.

Related: Follow These 8 Steps To Stay Focused And Reach Your Goals

When you’re imbued with this sense of self-accomplishment, it has the effect of making you feel more self-confident. Self-confidence can help you advance quicker in your career and improve your performance, which helps keep you working toward your goals with ease.

6. They make you more ambitious

Once you’ve set and then attained a few specific goals, you’ll believe in yourself even more. This means that as you progress in your career, your goals will become even bigger and more ambitious.

By continually setting specific goals and adjusting them to remain aspirational, you’ll create a powerful source of inspiration that will serve you throughout the course of your career and life.

Set specific goals from now on and you’ll see a big difference over time!

Related: Feel Like Quitting? These 9 Women Prove Grit Can Lead You To Massive Success

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Setting & Achieving Goals

How You Can Do Big Things

The secret to achieving impossible dreams is accretion — slowly and steadily working towards your goals.

Erik Kruger

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line-in-the-sand

When you realise that accretion is about the accumulation of all the things that you do and all the decisions that you make, you start to see the importance of aligning everything in your life in the direction of your goals.

In 2005, four Navy Seals were sent on a mission to extract a high value target. Unfortunately, the mission didn’t go according to plan, leaving the Seals to fight for their lives. Three of them were killed in action. The other was shot, fell off a cliff, and in the process shattered his back and legs. He also bit off half of his tongue, and endured multiple gunshot wounds.

Yet, despite the fact that he couldn’t walk, he managed to crawl 11 kms to a nearby village and to safety.

When he was asked how he did it he said that he took a stone in his hand, stretched his arm out in front of him and drew a line in the sand. All he wanted to do was get across that line.

As soon as he managed to drag his feet across the line, he drew a new one. In fact, he kept drawing lines and crossing them for 11 kms.

Related: Follow These 8 Steps To Stay Focused And Reach Your Goals

That is how he did the impossible. One line in the sand at a time.

The Paradox

Motivational speakers love telling us to take big actions; to think and act big. Although I can appreciate the sentiment, and sometimes it’s apt, I think that it often has a counterproductive effect.

It scares people. It implies that there is also the possibility for massive failure. But it’s not just about the actual failure of a project or business. It’s the internal dialogue that goes with it.

The inner voice that starts telling you that you aren’t good enough. That you shouldn’t even try. I’m sure you can relate. We all have a judger inside us that rears its head when we are trying to do meaningful things. That criticises every move and decision. The judger has a great ability to prevent us from taking any action at all. Let alone massive action.

The Way

It’s for this reason that I always encourage entrepreneurs to simply focus on the line in front of them.

Keep in mind the direction you want to move in, and the goal you would like to achieve, and then start by crossing that first small line. And when you’ve done that, cross the second.

As you continue, you pick up momentum. Your actions become bolder because you become more confident.

Soon you find yourself taking bigger and bigger decisions and actions.

But they were born from the thousands of small decisions and actions that you took before.

Related: 7 Steps To Achieving Our Higher-Level Goals

Accretion

I talk about this principle often.Accretion is the accumulation of all of your compounding efforts, small wins, abilities, knowledge, and experiences. Over time this process accumulates and perpetuates what you feed into it.

When you realise that accretion is about the accumulation of all the things that you do and all the decisions that you make, you start to see the importance of aligning everything in your life in the direction of your goals.

The reason I am writing to you today is because of the body of work that I have accumulated through the writing of my daily email. An email that has gone out more than 580 times. Every day without missing a beat.

It’s my line in the sand that I cross every day. And the result of it has not simply been an accumulation of 580 emails. It has been a successful business, the opportunity to become a coach, to speak on stages with well-known businessmen, and write this column for Entrepreneur magazine.

Remember that consistency breeds success.

I’d much rather bet on the guy who consistently executes well than the guy who hits a home-run every now and then.

Draw a line in the sand.

Cross it.

Then tomorrow, do it again.

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Setting & Achieving Goals

Working Hard Or Hardly Working? 5 Hacks To Get More Out Of Your 8-Hour Day

Time is a finite resource and your most valuable currency.

Ron Guerrier

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productivity

With the coming of a new year, most of us have once again resolved to make ourselves into better people – the people we were meant to be. Last year’s resolutions may be only a fading memory, but this year, we’re sure, will be different.

Sadly, that’s probably not true. Eighty percent of New Year’s resolutions are broken by the second week of February, according to an article in U.S. News & World Report by clinical psychologist Joseph J. Luciani.

If you’re an entrepreneur, maybe you’ve vowed that this year you’ll be more productive. Are you doomed to be disappointed like everyone else?

Not necessarily. According to some psychologists, if you experiment with small potential solutions to your problem, big changes are possible. You may need, in other words, some handy hacks.

The wise words my aunt shared with me more than a decade ago still resonate today and guide how I structure my daily routine and schedule: Time is your most valuable currency. It’s the one finite resource we work with daily where we can’t simply create more should we come up short in a given day. This can be especially true for entrepreneurs, who are consistently challenged to do more with fewer resources.

Related: 5 Ways to Tweak Your Morning Routine for a Better Day

So, to get more out of your day and ensure you’re maximising your most valuable currency, here are five small changes to experiment with.

Stop multitasking

Research at Stanford University showed that people who are media multitaskers are less productive. Those who can juggle many tasks at once certainly appear to be productive. But, this study showed that that is an illusion. It was assumed that these people had some sort of ability – perhaps a better memory – that enabled them to accomplish what others could not. But, it turns out that they may just be more easily distracted.

Concentrate! (But only for 52 minutes)

concentrateIt’s counterintuitive, but research has shown that people who take short breaks during the day are more productive. One study demonstrated that the most productive 10 percent of workers, worked on average for just 52 minutes before taking a break. And the perfect break was 17 minutes long. The idea that breaks can make you more productive is not new. Back in the 1920s, Henry Ford realised that his company could get just as much work done by limiting the work week to five days and the work day to eight hours.

Related: 14 Of The Best Morning Routine Hacks Proven To Boost Productivity

Get an app for that

If there is a task that hinders your productivity, see if there is some technology that will help you do it better. For example, if you’ve lost business because you’ve repeatedly missed customer calls, think about forwarding your office phone to your mobile device via voice-over-IP, or VOIP. It’s technology that has been around for a while and can keep you in touch with your customers no matter where you are.

Delegate

If you’re a person who believes if you want it done right, do it yourself, you could be wrong. Smart entrepreneurs know what they’re good at, and they know that delegating the rest may be more efficient than doing it themselves. It may take some time to determine which responsibilities you should hand off to others, but that time could pay off by freeing you up for more productive tasks.

Eliminate some meetings

Meetings can be an enormous waste of time, so attend only those that are absolutely necessary. Is that luncheon with the local chamber of commerce likely to generate some leads or not? If not, find a better way to drum up business. If you can’t eliminate meetings, try to make them more productive. One way is to keep them short, 30 minutes or less. Another is to create an agenda and send it out a day ahead of time.

Related: 10 Things Successful People Tell Themselves Every Day

If none of these experiments work, maybe the problem isn’t you. According to a Harvard Business Review article, some people just aren’t comfortable with techniques designed to make them more productive. They feel these techniques impose a regimentation on them that interrupts the flow of work, damages the quality of their work experience and even hampers their productivity.

So, if you’ve tried techniques to make you more productive and they haven’t worked, don’t sweat it. Just focus on other resolutions instead. Didn’t you sign up for a new gym membership?

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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