As many of you know, Katie Ledecky is an amazing athlete. After she won one of her gold earlier this week, an interviewer asked her,

"So what does it feel like to keep making these goals and reaching them?"

And Katie said, "Great." Then she paused and said, "3:56. That was the goal."

In that one sentence, years, months, weeks and days of practice and deliberate intention were all rolled into one. She not only wanted to win but she wanted a World Record. A Personal Best. The Next Level.

And of course, I got to thinking, "What's my 3:56?"

Sure, I have the goals of:
  • Launching my book
  • Hosting my event in Boston
  • Reaching and serving 1,000,000 people in the next 2 years

Not to mention wanting to be a better mom, wife, friend, etc. Those are always front and center, too.

But what struck me about Katie's statement, "3:56. That was the goal." is how simple yet powerful it was. She didn't have a long, elaborate speech. She didn't break out her 10 page business plan. She didn't have an excel spreadsheet that marked everything out.

Now, granted, her plan to achieve that goal has to be very detailed. Everything has a time and a place - and she follows that plan because she knows she has to if she really, truly wants to achieve her 3:56.

I think that is where a lot of folks get stuck. You work to develop all of the details without first having that 3:56 - the simple, roll-off-the-tongue version. We like to have a to-do list and fill our calendars with busyness, without giving ourselves time for our business.


A lot of us are busy with "stuff" but without a targeted purpose. It's easy to go through the days checking things off, but when was the last time you set your intentions and items for the day with a greater plan in mind?

There's the old saying, "Don't put the cart before the horse." yet that is what so many of us do. We go through our days looking very busy...yet at the end of the day, not always a lot has been accomplished.

So, the BIG lesson, take-away I have is really digging into my own 3:56. Yes, I have goals - and we all should - but what is the one sentence or phrase that encompasses those goals? What is the umbrella or the thread that brings them all together.

Therefore, I am taking time to come up with my 3:56.

Something that is so clear, so natural and so powerful that I will know exactly what to do to make it happen.

How about you?

What's your 3:56?