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  • Writer's pictureNick Klingensmith

Fail Your Way to Awesomeness: Setting EPIC Goals for 2020

If you’re anything like me, you’re working on your personal and professional goals for 2020. Before I begin, I review the goals I set for the current year and look at what I managed to accomplish. The results aren’t pretty.

I can see that I failed to achieve nearly every one of the goals I set for myself.

Financial goal – fail.

Marathon time goals – fail.

Spartan Race finish goals – fail.

Books read -fail.

Places traveled – fail.

Even my social goals – fail!

Before I take pen to paper for 2020, I look back at this list and think, “Wow, what a successful year.” The reason being is that I don’t set small goals. I set EPIC goals.

EPIC goals are so bold that even in failing to achieve them, the result is always an improved version of yourself. “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Normal Vincent Peale.

Plagued with injuries during my training, then burdened with a stress fracture and debilitating diabetes issues throughout the race, I missed my goal time for the New York City Marathon by over an hour. Having endured similar issues in Boston earlier this year, I missed my goal time by nearly 30 minutes. I failed – but I still got the Unicorn and I still got the Apple.

Most importantly, I helped show other Type 1 Diabetics (and other idiots running a Marathon on a broken foot) that they too are without limits – and raised about $15,000 for charity in the process.

Set EPIC goals, pursue them with an unmatched work ethic and discipline and fail your way to awesomeness.

What makes a goal EPIC?

EPIC GOALS are Extraordinary; Purpose-Driven; Inspiring; & Challenging.

Extraordinary – Epic goals are aimed at remarkable accomplishments, beyond the ordinary. There is an inherent risk of failure and the commitment required to achieve them should be daunting. You’re setting out to accomplish something you’ve never thought possible.

Purpose-Driven – Epic goals should be transformative. They require you to change in order to achieve them. They make you uncomfortable, but it isn’t comfort that you seek. You have a WHY that is greater than yourself and that WHY carries you through the rough patches.

Inspiring – Epic goals serve as inspiration for others. Your journey is important and so is what you’ve had to overcome to get here. Share your story in the hopes it will help others! The great irony being is that when you pursue goals that impact others, they tend to serve as inspiration for you as well.

Challenging – If there’s no risk of failure, there’s no chance for success. Failure is a critical component of success. It is in failure that we learn. It is in failure that we improve. It’s in accepting our failures and overcoming our challenges that allow us to be successful.

In 2019 I failed – a lot – and where did it get me?

I completed the Boston and New York City Marathons.

I raised $15,000 for charity.

I will have earned my 3X Spartan Race Trifecta and completed a Spartan Ultra.

I started my own business and am grateful to be helping new clients.

I still read dozens of books, experienced new places, shared activities with friends and there’s still so much to be done.

It’s important to take an honest, inward look at your failures. No, you can’t reasonably expect to fail your way to success. But if you set EPIC goals, you can fail your way to awesomeness.

It’s about the process. Adjust, adapt and achieve.

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