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How to Achieve Anything in 2011

Written by Subject: Just For Fun!
How to Achieve Anything in 2011
Yesterday, I rode on the backs of dolphins...
My two chariots were Pandora and her baby daughter, Luna.
No, I wasn't dreaming. And no, I haven't lost my mind... I really did that, yesterday in the Florida Keys.
How did it happen?
My mother-in-law made it happen. A year ago, she decided she was going to swim with the dolphins before she died. She started planning the trip back then. And now, she's done it.
What do you want to get done? And have you made plans yet to accomplish it?
If my mother-in-law hadn't announced her goal... and if she hadn't made a point to make it happen... it never would have happened.
Yesterday morning, she was up before dawn. She was excited and apprehensive at the same time. She's approaching 70, but still got a thrill from doing something new. "I've never worn a wetsuit before," she said, as she wrestled it on.
Life is what you make it, I thought, as I watched three generations of our family wrestle into their wetsuits, too. In the end, she loved it. We all did. I was proud of her for setting out to do something new, planning it, and then doing it.
Riding on the backs of dolphins might not be on the top of your list. But what is?
And what are you doing to make it happen?
In order to accomplish your goals, you must first set them!
Often around this time, I write to you about my goals for the year. I like the idea of setting specific goals for different areas of your life. (You can read a couple of my previous essays here and here.)
"Getting in better shape" seems like it's a goal every year. But that's not a specific goal. So it doesn't get you anywhere. Make it specific...
"This year, my goal is to lose 20 pounds." Now that's getting specific. And that's a goal of mine.
To help inspire me, I will enter the "Battle of the Paddle" standup paddleboard race in Dana Point, California in October. All things equal, the lighter I am, the more competitive I'll be. So being lighter will benefit me in the race... and in life.
But what's the PLAN?
Over the break, I've been reading Tim Ferriss' book The Four-Hour Body. Tim Ferriss thinks about the body like I think about the financial markets... He doesn't blindly follow the conventional wisdom. He shares ways to "cheat" the system. Some are kooky. But some make complete sense... and have next-to-no downside risk if he's wrong.
The plan is to try some of the things in his book, including his diet (which includes one eat-whatever-you-want day every week.)
So my fitness goal for this year is to lose 20 pounds. Training for the Battle of the Paddle will keep me on track. And the diet in Ferriss' book should get my weight down and be maintainable.
What's your big goal for 2011? And what's your plan?
What is something significant, but achievable, that you can do in 2011? Announce your goal, plan for it, and make it happen.
The only secret to swimming with the dolphins (or achieving whatever you want to do this year) is making the plan and doing it.
So make your plans! And get on it with it!

Further Reading:

Take a look a Steve's previous "Achieve Anything" essays... from 2006, 2007, and 2008.
In early 2009, Steve's family ran into trouble with hackers. Click here for the story... You'll find the resolution – and Steve's goals for securing his and his family's information online – here: