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There Is a Big Difference Between Setting Goals and Achieving Goals Saying you want to earn a certain amount of money, lose some weight or start your own business without setting a clear and actionable plan as to how that's going to happen is simply just a hope and a wish.

By Matt Mayberry

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Learning the incredible power of goals has forever changed my life. At 16 years old, I was a full-blown drug addict who was completely throwing his entire life away by living a life with no meaning and surrounding myself with others who degraded my potential and ability to become the best version of myself. It wasn't until I hit rock bottom that I came to the realization that I was either going to end up dead or in prison by my 18th birthday, or I'd have to go to commit to rehab and get very serious about setting goals for my life.

Related: 3 Ways to Make Progress on a Significant Goal -- Today

My parents and all of my athletic coaches throughout the years continuously harped on me about the extreme importance of goal setting; however, I never completely bought in. We all hear about goal setting and how vitally important it is that we create a vision for our lives, but why is it that very few people actually follow through with setting goals for their lives? I think there are varying answers to this, but I think the biggest reason is that most people don't know how to properly set attainable goals for themselves to begin with.

There is a big difference between goal setting and goal achieving. Saying you want to earn a certain amount of money, lose some weight or start your own business without setting a clear and actionable plan as to how that's going to happen is simply just a hope and a wish. And even then, once you are extremely clear about what it is you want, you must come up with an action plan as to how you are going to enter into the highly coveted space of goal achievement -- and then commit to taking massive and relentless daily action.

Shifting from goal setting to goal achievement requires you to do three things exceptionally well. Here are three things that you can start to incorporate into your every day life that has helped me achieve every massive goal that I have ever set for myself, including landing a Division One college football scholarship, playing in the NFL, getting a major book publishing deal and running a successful business.

1. Get extremely clear about what it is you want.

The first part of the process is to get extremely clear about what exactly it is that you want. Saying you want to lose weight or make more money next year isn't being extremely clear. It's a start and certainly better than not wanting anything at all, but it's still just a wish.

How much weight do you want to lose? How will it make you feel when you achieve your goal? Why do you want to lose the weight? What is your deadline to achieve this goal? These are just some examples to help get you started on the process of getting extremely clear about your goal.

Take your most important goal right now -- whether it's to lose weight, make more money, or land the promotion at work -- and spend some time focusing all of your attention towards getting very clear about the answers to the questions I just proposed. To give you an example, when I was 16 years old and felt all hope was lost, it wasn't until I got extremely clear about getting a college scholarship for football that my daily actions and behaviors started to change.

I had to answer the who, what, where, when, why, and how's for myself. When you set a meaningful goal and then get extremely clear about those questions, an incredible transition can begin to take place.

Related: Transform Your Vision Into Action With These 3 Steps

2. Create your game plan for success.

This part of the process can drastically increase your chances of achieving your most audacious goals. After you get extremely clear about your goal, create a list of everything that you have to do in order to achieve that goal.

Looking back at my list when I set a goal to get a Division One college scholarship, I had over 40 things that I needed to do in order to put myself in a position for success. Everything from reaching out to a certain number of coaches every single day, running a specific 40-yard dash time, eating certain healthy foods that would help increase my performance and attending the right summer camps at universities that would put me in front of the right people.

My list was extensive, but failing to list all of the things that you have to do in order to achieve a goal greatly minimizes your chances of actually entering into goal achievement. Take the time right now to make a list of everything that you have to do in order to achieve that major goal of yours. Even if there are 100 things that you write down, write them down.

3. Take consistent and persistent massive action.

All three things are greatly important, but this step is the ultimate differentiator and transition between goal setting and goal achievement. Unfortunately, too many people spend their precious time looking for the secret formula out there that will help them achieve their deepest desires and biggest dreams that will take minimal effort on their behalf.

But there isn't such a thing, and anyone that tells you otherwise is selling you a false hope and a wish. I have never in my life met an incredibly successful man or woman, whether in athletics or in business, that didn't consistently and persistently take massive action on a daily basis.

After you have your action list created, move two to three things from your list over to your daily to-do list. Most people spend their days creating to do lists that consist of tedious tasks that hold very little value in helping them advance their lot in life.

Every single day -- day in and day out -- take massive action doing something that will help you in the achievement of your biggest goal. You will get knocked down, experience all kinds of hardships, but when you consistently and persistently move forward, you will be amazed at what begins to transpire in your life.

Following what I shared with you above isn't going to guarantee that you will achieve your biggest goal. However, it will guarantee that over time you become a new person that wakes up every day with a new passion and desire to face the day ahead.

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

Goals changed my life in more ways than one, and I know that it can do the same for you when you begin to adopt these three ideas. Just remember, there is a big difference between goal setting and goal achieving.

Matt Mayberry

Speaker and Maximum Performance Strategist. CEO of Matt Mayberry Enterprises

A former NFL linebacker for the Chicago Bears, Matt Mayberry is currently a keynote speaker, peak-performance strategist and writer. As the CEO of Matt Mayberry Enterprises, a training and consulting company, he specializes in maximizing the performance of individuals and organizations all over the world. He published his first book, Winning Plays, in 2016. You can contact him and learn more at mattmayberryonline.com.

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