We’re 33 days into the New Year – how close are you to reaching your goals?

80% of people who join gyms in January quit within four months. 75% of travel goals are abandoned within the first few weeks. 42% of savings goals are disregarded after one month.·

People are as good at breaking resolutions as they are at making them but it doesn’t have to be that way. This could be the year that we actually reach our goals.

This is the 3rd of 4 post dedicated to helping you look back on 2017 as the year you moved from “I wish I could” to “I did”. If you’re just joining us hop over to How To Reach Your Goals and let’s do it together.

Today we’re diving into Step 3 of How To Reach Your Goals.

Reverse Engineer Your Goals
(Warning, this will be a longer post.)

By now you’ve Identified Your Goals and Prioritized Your Goals. You know what you want to do and you have an executable plan to get it done. Now it’s time for the 3rd and most technical step, you must Reverse Engineer Your Goals.

Reverse Engineering is defined as ”The reproduction of a product after a detailed examination of its construction or composition.” So basically, reverse engineering is taking something that already exist and figuring out how it was made.

Step 3 to reaching your goals is to reverse engineer them, see yourself doing them and figure out how you got there.

As I said, this will be the most technical of the Steps. This is the Meat & Potatoes of how we do what we do, how we go where we go, how we reach our goals.

Here are 3 methods to help you Reverse Engineer Your Goals.

  • Start With Yes
  • Work Backwards
  • Support The Yes


Start With Yes
It was the winter of 2016 and the pending snowstorm threatened our youth service. It wasn’t Snowmageddon-Icepocalypse-Return of Elsa, but it was enough to be concerned about.

We had a decision to make. Do we broadcast from the leaders home, or do we have a full service? Our pastor asked if we could do both; Broadcast a live service.  The low murmur of “what if’s” begin to churn when someone said, “It can’t be done.” Now, beyond the fact that this is one of the worst statements ever uttered by a human being, it was said with such certainty you could feel all the creativity get sucked out of the room. He begin to list all the parts and components we didn’t have to make the live broadcast work. When he was done I asked, “So, we need all that to make it work?” “Yes”, he replied. “Great, sounds like you’ve already got your shopping list.” He stared at me as if I was speaking another language and in reality I was. I was speaking the language of Yes.

I later explained to him this mindset, this language of starting with a yes in your heart and why it’s the key component to accomplishing the goals in front of you.

When looking at your dreams, a destination, a goal… Start With Yes. When you start with a yes in your heart, when you have a yes in your mind, when you have a yes in your spirit you are more than halfway there.

To reverse engineer your goals, see yourself doing them and figure out how you got there, you must Start With Yes.  No matter the obstacles, no matter the difficulties or circumstances, if you start with Yes there is always a open door for you to walk through.

This is beyond self help and empowerment. This isn’t just believing in yourself. This is telling your mind to get on board with the dream.

Starting with Yes is the difference in “I want to” and “I will”.

It’s in your actions and in your language. Many people don’t reach their goals because they never truly settle in their heart that they’re going to do it. When you Start With Yes, “I know I’m doing this”, anything in your way can be defeated.

The yes in your heart drives you to the destination you’ve never been.

Always Start With Yes.

Work backwards.
After you Start With Yes then it’s time to Work Backwards.

This is where it gets technical – aka the Nitty Gritty.

The distance between when you want to accomplish your goals and where you are now is the most valuable time in the world. You already have your destination, you can see yourself there; now what directions did you take, how did you get there?

One of the reasons many people fail at reaching their goals is they try to storm the gates head on. Often often the bigger the goal the more complex it is. With multiple moving parts, money to be saved, and things to be coordinated goals, can quickly go from exciting too exhausting. Decision fatigue can creep in, robbing you of your motivation.

When you Work Backwards, you place the goals on the calendar and determine what pieces were needed, what funds were spent, and what items were pulled together to make this wonderful thing happen. Write them down – follow them – these are your directions to the places you know you’re going.

The motto of Working Backwards is “How did we get here?”

So, you made it to Bora Bora! Well done.
How did we get here?
Time off is due in March – check
Flights are $2,068. Lodging is $2,399 – check
Need to save $297.80 per month over 15 months – check
Child / House / Dog Sitter is needed – check

And now you have your step by step playbook on how you’re getting to Bora Bora.

So, you developed a healthier lifestyle! Well done.
How did we get here?
Learned 3 healthy staple dishes you can make – check
Limited eating out and choose healthy options – check
Removed extra sweets from the shopping list – check
Went to gym at least twice a week – check

And now you have your step by step playbook on how you developed a healthier lifestyle.

When we decided on Paris we had to Reverse Engineer it.
Since, as our girl Audrey Hepburn says, “Paris is always a good idea” we didn’t take long on the Yes.
We found the dates we wanted to go, placed it on the calendar and went from there.

We have 160 days.
In 30 days we need flights – check
In 35 days we need NesBaby passports – check
In 40 days we need lodging – check
In 80 days we need Metro Tickets / Uber money – check
In 90 days we need Louvre & Eiffel Tower tickets – check
In 100 days we need the final itinerary – check

The clock is ticking and I know exactly what I need to do and when. This is our personal Parisian roadmap. Without this breakdown to keep us focused and on track we would be busy doing things that don’t have to happen now and missing deadlines that can’t be missed.

Working Backwards gives you a “What Happens Next” method that will help you reach your goals.

Support the Yes.

You’ve Started With Yes & Worked Backwards now it’s time to Support the Yes.

Supporting the Yes means changing your spending, behaviors and desires/wants to make room for the goal. It means saying no to something’s so you can say yes to the right things. To borrow another line from Dave Ramsey, “Live like no one else, so you can live like no one else.”

Without Supporting the Yes you have an outer promise with no inner commitment; no substance to uphold your goals.

Take Bora Bora for example:
You know you’re going.
You have an item by item plan to get there.
Now – (The most common question) Where’s the money?
You need to save $297.80 per month to make this happen. How?! From where?!

By Supporting The Yes.

The average annual cost of Starbucks $1,092 ·
The average annual cost of Eating Out $2,784 ·
The average annual cost of Entertainment (Movies, Game Consoles, etc) $2,827 ·

That’s a total of $6,703 or $446 per month. That’s more than you need to get to Bora Bora – with spending money.

Supporting The Yes means you run your spending through the filter of your goals.
It means changing your inner voice.

Me: I want the new iPhone.
Inner Me: That’s 2 nights in Bora Bora.  Go sit down somewhere.

Me: I want to see the new (non-Star Wars) movie.
Inner Me: That’s dinner in Paris. Boy Bye.

Only You – have the power to quiet your immediate wants to reach your goals. Reverse Engineering Your Goals, seeing yourself doing them and figuring out how you got there, will require discipline, focus and determination but I guarantee you can do it. We all can.

Next time we dive into the last step, Step 4. Execute Your Goals.


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