How To Achieve Your Goals Using The ONE Thing by Gary Keller

By Kyle Milligan / February 19, 2016

I have a pretty big goal, which I refer to as “the dream.” That dream is: No bosses.

People are asking me how I plan to survive since I left my “real job” to pursue my writing. Particularly interested parties include my roommate, who will be in a bind if I am unable to pay the rent, and my family, who will have to deal with me when I come to them for a roof if I end up homeless.

I’m not terribly worried about my chances for success. I know the key is goal setting: approach your big, big goals like a bunch of small goals and consistently knock them out one at the time. Step by step.

The One Thing By Gary Keller

The book is white. Therefore it renders terribly on web.

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The One Thing By Gary Keller

One of my favorite books for goal setting is The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. The book is basically about focusing your efforts down to one thing, “your ONE thing,” as author Gary Keller calls it in the book, in order to achieve extraordinary results in your life. Gary Keller is Cofounder of Keller Williams Realty Inc., the largest real estate company in the U.S., so I trust his advice.

Keller’s assertion that you should be extremely focused in tackling your goals one at the time actually weighed on my decision to turn down more than generous offers from my old director to return to work. Trying to divide my attention between both a 9-to-5 and my ONE thing would inhibit my success.

The One Thing Examples – Goal Setting to the Now

One of the most important things preached about setting goals, no matter what source your reading, is that goals should have a time frame and actionable steps you can take in order to achieve them. I’ve read the gospel of actionable goals 1,000 times in a lot of different books but I really like the way Mr. Keller broke it down in his book, which he refers to as “goal setting to the now.”

Goal setting to the now involves setting a big goal off in some distant future, your “someday goal” (this doesn’t have to be specific) then backing up to the present using more specific shorter-term goals.

I had the book open beside me and I took out my little notebook and scribbled down my goals in the way that Keller instructed and I think it really helped in making my big big goals feel more attainable.

My goals below are examples for the readers. I did try to quantify them to get you thinking, though.

Here’s how I arranged my goal setting to the now:

First I set a someday goal…

What’s the one thing I want to do someday?
No bosses; obtain total independence from the rat race (the 9-5 grind) via livable earnings from passive income.

Based on my someday goal, what’s the ONE thing I can do in the next five years?
Create passive income via a steady blog readership, investments, and several published works; $3,000/month.

Based on my five year goal, what’s the ONE thing I can do this year?
Sell my first novel when it releases in April, sell my novella, The Selfie Princess, garner a loyal blog audience. Publish a second novel. Earn approximately $100-300/month between my books and

Based on my one year goal, what’s the ONE thing I can do this month?
Write at least two blog posts per week to build awareness of my brand, my dream, and to grow my network. Interact with other bloggers on their platforms. Get involved in online forums and discussions. With only ten days left in the month and no real revenue generating activity, it would be nice to figure a way to earn $1 from

Based on my monthly goal, what’s the ONE thing I can do this week?
Put out at least two blog posts. Respond to every single person who reaches out to me. Build relationships with my audience. Figure out where my niche gathers and interacts online.

Based on my weekly goal, what’s the ONE thing I can do today?
Queue up new content. Write down every thought I have that may be content material. Reply to to readers. Post to my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Based on my daily goal, what’s the ONE thing I can do right now?
Write something of value to my readers. Stay driven. Keep a positive attitude and open mind. Smile. Be grateful.

And there you have it! Goal setting 101. That’s how I get from my big, big goal of “no bosses” down to writing this very article.

Take care of the small ONE-things and the rest will fall into place.

As always, I would love to hear your feedback! Comments start a dialogue and shares spread the word. You can do both below 😉

Again, here is the link to Gary Keller’s book: The ONE Thing. I love this book and highly recommend any ambitious person check it out.

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About the author

Kyle Milligan

I'm Kyle Milligan. I really enjoy writing. I wrote a couple novels (The Hang-Ups and Hangovers series) and now I blog frequently on a bunch of different websites. I also enjoy lifting heavy things and and writing about it.


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