‘Reverse engineering’ isn’t a common term used in conversations unless its related to personal development or business coaching. The phrase “starting with the end in mind” might sound more familiar. In fact, it sounds like something your parents or grandparents may have told you growing up. Whether or not you realize it, you do a lot of starting with the end in mind on a regular basis. Consider grabbing a flight. You need to know what time the flight departs to know what time to be waiting at the gate, to get through security, to arrive at the airport, to call a ride to waking up that morning, etc. Going back to the beginning from the end will tell you what time you need to go to bed the night before. That’s just one example of many. It’s time to lift off as we share how to use reverse engineering.

Starting Out And Planning

The best news about goal setting and reverse engineering your goals is that you call the shots. Whatever end goals you want, you can have. Like selecting difficulty in a video game, you decide the end game as well as how you get there along the way. Therefore, the first step should be brainstorming all your goals. Yes, writing them down in your own handwriting can help solidify the discipline to take action. Select the most important goal and include how far out along your timeline you want to achieve it.

For example, you want to become a dermatologist specialist by age 30. Right now you’re age 18 and entering undergraduate school. You know your academic strengths and weaknesses, which will help you navigate through your courses for the next 4 years. You’ll know which biology, science, and health classes are prerequisites for med school. By age 22, you’ll know where you’re going to med school because you’ve applied 1-2 years prior. Four years of med school puts you as a graduate at age 26. Specialist programs and your residency and rotations will last several years, landing you at your goal at age 30. It’s all about planning ahead.

Caution: Self-Awareness Needed

"self-awareness"In the beginning consults we have with potential students, we learn of their frustrations. It’s a simple reason why. They’re not hitting their goals because they’re not aiming. Once goals have been targeted, written down, tattooed on your arm—what have you—then the students are now aiming. However, aiming isn’t the main action. They must DO. Students must ACT and put forth the effort in smaller steps toward those goals.

We’ve noticed that students and people, in general, can veer off-course relatively easy. This is why we put such a strong emphasis on accountability. If you’re going to go this route alone, make sure you bring extreme awareness about your actions. Without realizing it, you can sway off-target. We hope you tackle your goals with the help of a business coach and mentor. It really helps to have someone cheering you on, believe in you and making sure you succeed. That’s what we are here for!

Ask yourself, where do you want to be in:

  • 12 months?
  • 10 months?
  • 8 months?
  • 6 months?
  • 4 months?
  • 2 months?
  • 1 month?
  • 2 weeks?
  • 1 week?
  • Tomorrow?

For this and more, we recommend Stephen Covey’s book entitled “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” The lessons in Covey’s book are great, but at the same time, a book can’t hold you accountable for your actions and goals. If you don’t know where you are going, any road will do.

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Thank you for reading,
Your EXCELLence Performance Coaches