January is the time of year when we create lists of goals and strategies to achieve success and live our best life. This is good and I hope you have done this. The problem is that you probably have created distractions and barriers to your success and you don’t even know it.


If you are looking for the easy button, the magic bullet and the ONE THING you need to do to achieve your goals, the answer is not what you think.

In order to find the answer to the ONE THING, you need to ask the question:

What is the ONE THING I need to do today/this week/this month that will best help me achieve my goal?

You don’t need a task list 20 items long. You don’t need a complex system comprised of strategies, priorities, initiatives and goals. You need to know 1 or 2 things that are wildly important and do that one thing every day, every week, and every month to get you there.

A wildly important goal or objective is one that makes all of the difference. If you fail to achieve this goal it leaves all other achievements inconsequential. Your wildly important goal affects all other goals and objectives.

Look at your existing goals and objectives for this coming year. What is the most important thing you can do that will help you to achieve these goals? If all things stay the same, what one change or action will best help you achieve your goals?

Once you have narrowed your list to 1 or 2 wildly important goals the next step is to determine the ONE THING.

For example:

Lose 25 pounds by June 1st Count all of my calories daily this week
Learn to speak a new language Buy Rosetta Stone and listen to one hour
Grow sales by 15% Create an ideal client profile
Save $10,000 Create a family budget


Lose 25 pounds by June 1st Limit calorie intake to 1,900/day or less
Learn to speak a new language Rosetta Stone for 1 hour 4x/week
Grow sales by 15% Make a list of ideal clients
Save $10,000 Craigslist items around the house not using


Lose 25 pounds by June 1st Exercise 30 minutes 3x/week
Learn to speak a new language Meet 1x/week with someone to speak language
Grow sales by 15% Contact 2 ideal clients/day to set appointment
Save $10,000 Auto transfer $250/pay period to savings

What is the ONE THING this month that if you do it, has the best opportunity of helping you achieve your goals?  Next, ask yourself, what is the ONE THING I must do this week to achieve my goals? Finally each day, you must ask yourself, what is the ONE THING that I have to do today to help me achieve my goals?

  • At the end of each day ask yourself – Did I do the ONE THING today to achieve my goals?
  • At the end of the week ask yourself – Did I do the ONE THING this week to achieve my goals?
  • At the end of the month ask yourself – Did I do the ONE THING this month to achieve my goals?

If your answer to any of these questions is no, ask why, adjust the next day, and keep asking the question. This doesn’t simplify the goal setting process, it simplifies the goal achievement process.

Long to-do lists simply end up being procrastination reports. They end up longer each day than the day before. You get caught up in the whirlwind of life and rarely focus on the most important things. 20% of our activities produce 80% of the results. By asking “What is the ONE THING?” you will learn to spend more and more of your energy on the most important things.

Your ONE THING will change and it should change. Each week and each month your focus will adjust as you consistently achieve the ONE THING that is most important.

As you progress and alter your ONE THING you will gain clarity on the highest payoff activities. You will gain clarity of focus and you will learn to eliminate things that get in the way of your ONE THING.

Everyone wants to win. Everyone wants to do something that matters. Sometimes all that is standing in your way of success is just ONE THING.

Lead Well, Lead Often and LEAD STRONG!