10X Goals: How to Set Ambitious Objectives

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The 10X Rule" by Grant Cardone. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What are extraordinary goals? How do you set these 10x goals and what do they mean?

The 10X Rule is all about reaching greater success with greater effort, but you need to also set ambitious targets. That’s where 10X goals come in.

Keep reading to understand how to set 10X goals.

How to Set 10X Goals

People often set goals they never get started on or soon quit on. While it may seem counterintuitive, the major reason for failure is that they don’t set their goals high enough.

Instead of following their dreams with extraordinary goals, they set average goals based on what others think is possible. Others encourage us to be realistic and avoid setting goals that are too high, so we limit ourselves to doing what others do—for instance, going to college, practicing the religion and speaking only the language we grew up with. 

This is a recipe for failure because these goals aren’t motivating, so you don’t reach for them or achieve them. You can’t get excited about working toward realistic goals with an average payoff. So you put in average effort, if any. If you encounter obstacles, you quit because your goals aren’t worth the additional effort of overcoming obstacles. 10X goals need to be big to inspire you and hold your attention. However, many people’s goals are so unremarkable that they write them down only once a year and then forget them.

If you’re inclined to follow someone else’s lead, base your goals on exceeding those of successful people. Better yet, set your own big, unrealistic 10X goals. Start by reminding yourself of the following:

  • You’ve been trained to think in terms of limits.
  • You’re setting goals for yourself, not others.
  • You have more potential than you think.
  • You have a duty to be successful.
  • There are no limits on how much success you can achieve.

The 10X Rule is for those who aren’t satisfied with average and who are determined to create an exceptional life.

Write Your 10X Goals Daily

Since your daily actions determine the course of your life, do the following:

  • Write down your goals two times every day to fix them in your mind. Make it the first thing you do each morning and last thing you do at night, every day until you achieve them. Also, revise them during the day as you think of ways to improve them.
  • Choose goals just beyond your reach, which will motivate you. If your goals are so small that you aren’t compelled to think about them daily, you’ll lose interest.

What to Write

  • Set goals that encourage or require you to live up to your potential. Approach goal setting with a 10X mindset (big goals, followed by big action equals big success). Remember, the bigger the goal, the more motivated you’ll be to overcome resistance. Further, only big goals generate so much success that they can’t be scuttled by unexpected problems, such as financial or health emergencies.
  • Word your goals as though you’ve already accomplished them. Here are examples of Cardone’s 10X goals:
    • I’m in great physical shape.
    • I have a net worth of $100 million.
    • My income is over $1 million a month.
    • I own a home with no debt.
    • I create unique programs that improve people’s lives.
    • I have a top-rated TV show.
  • Align your goals with a larger purpose to generate additional motivation and energy. To do this, you must be clear about the reason for each goal. For example, if your goal is to save $100 million, include what you want to do with the money, such as financing a dream like post-graduate education, buying a ranch, or helping your community.  
  • Align your actions with your goals and purposes. When you need to be taking 10X action to achieve 10X goals, don’t spend your time doing unrelated things. For example, when Cardone worked at McDonald’s as a young man, he hated the work because it wasn’t helping him achieve any significant goal (he didn’t know what his goals were). But a coworker loved the job because it aligned with his goal—he wanted to learn the business and open his own franchises, which he eventually did.

The bigger (and further from average) your goals are—and the better they’re aligned with your purpose and duty—the more they’ll energize you and drive your actions.

Reject ‘Realistic’ Goals and Pursue Extraordinary Goals

Many people set average goals based on what others think is possible. Others encourage us to be realistic and avoid setting goals that are too high, so we limit ourselves to doing what others do.

  • What are your current goals? How was your choice of goals affected by your upbringing or by those around you?
  • Which of your goals would be considered average or ‘realistic’ by most people? How can you reframe them as (10X) goals? 
  • What goal could you align with a purpose to motivate you to achieve it?
10X Goals: How to Set Ambitious Objectives

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Here's what you'll find in our full The 10X Rule summary:

  • How to set goals that are 10 times bigger than average
  • How to use extraordinary thinking to achieve extraordinary results
  • The 3 myths that will sabotage your chances of success if you let them

Rina Shah

An avid reader for as long as she can remember, Rina’s love for books began with The Boxcar Children. Her penchant for always having a book nearby has never faded, though her reading tastes have since evolved. Rina reads around 100 books every year, with a fairly even split between fiction and non-fiction. Her favorite genres are memoirs, public health, and locked room mysteries. As an attorney, Rina can’t help analyzing and deconstructing arguments in any book she reads.

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