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All It Takes Is a Goal summary

Jon Acuff

The 3-Step Plan to Ditch Regret and Tap Into Your Massive Potential

4.4 (126 ratings)
15 mins
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    All It Takes Is a Goal
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    Your absolute #1 goal

    Many people feel like they’re not living up to their potential. Indeed, according to the author, a shocking 50 percent of people report that fully half of their potential remained untapped. It was as if they could see a pile of unopened gifts, but for some reason felt unable to unwrap them. 

    Why does it have to be this way? What if each day could feel like a gift, with every year progressively better than the last?

    First, we need to get specific. Potential is a poorly defined concept. And it’s hard to take action on something you can't clearly articulate. So that’s why we start with goals. 

    Goals provide the concrete finish line that potential lacks. They allow you to orient yourself in the right direction, measure progress, and stay motivated. By distilling the nebulous potential into specific goals, you can trigger a cascade of accomplishments.

    One obstacle? We tend to overestimate what we can achieve in the short-term while underestimating our capabilities in the long run. One year feels like forever, so we pile on a mountain of goals and New Year's resolutions to accomplish right now – only to abandon them in despair when, inevitably, we fall behind schedule.

    The problem isn't with having goals, but with how we set them. Most people's goals are too vague, too numerous, and too disconnected from their day-to-day realities. We say we want to “lose weight” or “write a book,” but don't break those aspirations down into bite-sized, executable steps. And we treat goal-setting as a once-a-year event rather than an ongoing process.

    To really move the needle, you need a different approach to goal-setting. You need a system – one that is specific and measurable; focused on a few top priorities; reviewed and adjusted regularly; connected to your passions and values; and bolstered by supportive habits and behaviors.

    This is the basis for the author’s goal-setting framework. At its core is identifying your number-one goal for the year. Not your top ten goals, or even your top five. Just one, single priority that you commit to above all else.

    The beauty of choosing one goal is that it forces you to cut through the noise and focus on what matters most. It prevents you from spreading yourself too thin or chasing someone else's definition of success. Your number-one goal becomes your North Star – the fixed point you can use to navigate through decisions and align your efforts productively.

    Of course, you’ll still have other responsibilities and aspirations. But by getting crystal-clear on your top priority, you create a powerful filtering mechanism. Whenever a new opportunity or obligation arises, you can ask: “Does this align with my number-one goal? Will it move me closer to or farther away from my target?” Anything that's not a “Hell, yes!” on moving closer becomes a no.

    To bring your number-one goal to life, the author recommends breaking it down into 90-day increments. Twelve months is too long to stay focused, but anyone can commit to three months of dedicated effort. Within each 90-day period, you identify the two to three key actions that will produce the greatest results. Then it’s just a matter of relentless execution, followed by a brief period of rest and recalibration, before launching into the next 90-day sprint.

    By adopting this approach of targeted goal-setting combined with disciplined follow-through, the author was able to make massive strides in his business, health, relationships, and personal growth. What once felt like untapped potential became a series of tangible wins through the power of clear goals and committed action.

    Potential isn’t a finite resource allocated at birth, but an expandable reserve that grows with each milestone you achieve. All it takes is a goal – or, more precisely, the right goal pursued in the right way.

    So what's your number-one goal that will unlock new possibilities and move you closer to your full potential? Define it, commit to it, and get to work. Your future self will thank you.

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    What is All It Takes Is a Goal about?

    All It Takes Is a Goal (2023) is a transformative guide that empowers readers to achieve their dreams. It demonstrates how setting effective goals can help individuals escape their comfort zones, make measurable progress, and ultimately reach their full potential.

    All It Takes Is a Goal Review

    All It Takes Is a Goal (2021) is Jon Acuff's insightful exploration into the power of setting and achieving goals. Here's why this book is worth your time:

    • Offers clear strategies for setting impactful goals and staying motivated throughout the journey.
    • Includes real-life examples and practical tips to help readers apply the concepts in their own lives.
    • Keeps readers engaged with its humorous tone and relatable stories, ensuring a fun and inspiring read.

    Who should read All It Takes Is a Goal?

    • Those seeking personal growth and self-improvement
    • People who struggle with lack of motivation
    • Anyone feeling stuck in their comfort zone and wanting to change

    About the Author

    Jon Acuff is a New York Times best-selling author who has written nine books, including the Wall Street Journal #1 bestseller Finish. He is also a popular podcast host and one of INC's Top 100 Leadership Speakers, having spoken to hundreds of thousands of people at events worldwide.

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    All It Takes Is a Goal FAQs 

    What is the main message of All It Takes Is a Goal?

    The main message of All It Takes Is a Goal is setting and achieving specific goals to transform your life.

    How long does it take to read All It Takes Is a Goal?

    The estimated reading time for All It Takes Is a Goal is a couple of hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is All It Takes Is a Goal a good book? Is it worth reading?

    All It Takes Is a Goal is worth reading for its practical advice on goal setting and personal development.

    Who is the author of All It Takes Is a Goal?

    Jon Acuff is the author of All It Takes Is a Goal.

    What to read after All It Takes Is a Goal?

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