The Lessons of Brian Tracy #1:
Goals and Due Dates

Doesn’t it feel amazing when you set a goal for yourself and you accomplish it right when you expect to? As a corollary to that, doesn’t it feel awful when you set a goal and you fall way short by the time you reach your due date? It makes you want to give up and move on. If you do give up, however, you may be ignoring the Universe and how goal setting sometimes works.

Brian Tracy is a famous motivational speaker and writer who has written heavily about goals. Something he said about goal due dates has stuck with me. If you don’t reach a goal by a certain due date, it doesn’t mean that it was necessarily a bad goal; just not the right date. Move the date and keep plugging away at the goal.

Two years ago, I tried to get a Web series off the ground called Covenant Coffee. I gave myself about six months to talk to investors and attempt to raise about $1.5 million. Seeing as I had few contacts, resources, and knowledge about the industry (I’d mostly done theatre to that point) I was unsuccessful. Instead of moving my due date or attempting to pick up new knowledge on the subject, I simply gave up. This decision has eaten at me ever since.

Recently, I decided that I would finally extend my due date for Covenant Coffee. Even two years later, this was still a viable option. This is because the goal was sound, just not the due date. I’m attempting to raise money for the show through a site called Kickstarter ( click here to watch a trailer for Covenant Coffee and to spread the fundraising word :)). I have a due date set of 2 months from now to raise a much more manageable $25,000. If it doesn’t work out, I can always set a new due date and see what happens.

Take a look at some of the goals that you’ve put on the backburner (or in the garbage can) in the past few years. Did you give yourself an unachievable due date for any of them? If so, do a Brian Tracy and try pulling it back out of the rubble. If you are working on one now that seems impossible given the approaching end date, try pushing the due date (and the pressure) back a bit and see what happens.

And if you happen to want to help my goal to happen… click here :). 

Done with Brian Tracy?
Go back to Motivation Techniques.

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Written by Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on and Facebook.
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