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January 15, 2024

Jon Acuff: Reach Your Potential Through Goal Setting

Jon Acuff

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To help us get motivated and realistic with our goals, I’ve invited speaker and author Jon Acuff on the show today. Jon is the New York Times bestselling author of nine books, including his most recent one “All It Takes Is a Goal”.

When he's not writing or recording his popular podcast of the same name, Jon can be found on a stage as one of INC's Top 100 Leadership Speakers. He’s also a family man living outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife and two daughters.

Overview: How to Reach Your Potential Through Goal Setting

Jon Acuff reviews the following:

  • The three “zones” of high achievers
  • Smart habits to reach your potential
  • How micro goals help you achieve your big goals


Key Takeaways from Jon Acuff

Here are my top three takeaways from my conversation with Jon Acuff.

Find the “Potential Zone”

When Jon talked about the “chaos zone” … that was me to a T!

January starts and I’m like, “Exercise every day, eat healthy every day, go on a weekly date with Nicole, take my kids for individual one-on-one time, and crush my business goals too … like NOW!”

And ya know what happens every single time? I surprisingly find out that my energy is not endless and there is not more than 24 hours in a day. I then bounce to Jon’s “comfort zone” of doing a lot less and missing out on my potential.

So this year, with Jon’s inspiration, I’m going to create realistic habits and goals that help me find that potential zone and avoid the chaos zone!

Think of Life in 5 Games 

I liked Jon’s breakdown of the 5 games when it comes to setting goals

  • Career Game
  • Financial Game
  • Health Game
  • Relationship Game
  • Fun Game

When you get a free moment, take out a piece of paper, notebook or journal and write out these 5 games.

For a fun thought experiment, write down one SMART goal you have in each of these areas. 

For example, for my financial game this year, a SMART goal for me would be to increase our emergency fund from 3 months to 6 months of expenses by year’s end. That’s going to take some planning, discipline and systems to make it happen, but it would definitely help me rest easier at night as a small business owner. 

Seek Inspiration from Others You Respect 

Many times, we don’t know what goals we want to have. That’s okay! Take inspiration from others you know and respect in your life. 

Think of a person you know and when you think of them you’re like “That person is successful” or “That person is winning at life”.

What are they doing that makes you feel like they are winning?

Well, you might want to experiment with those actions and those habits that person has.

Soon enough … you might just be that person you look at in the mirror and say “That person who is winning at life … is me!”

Guest Bio – Jon Acuff

Jon Acuff Headshot

Jon Acuff is the New York Times bestselling author of nine books, including his most recent, All It Takes Is a Goal: The 3-Step Plan to Ditch Regret and Tap Into Your Massive Potential.

Published in more than twenty languages, his work is both critically acclaimed and adored by readers. When he’s not writing, Acuff can be found on a stage, as one of INC’s Top 100 Leadership Speakers. He’s spoken to hundreds of thousands of people at conferences, colleges and companies around the world including FedEx, Nissan, Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, Chick-fil-A, Nokia and Comedy Central. Known for his insights wrapped in humor, Acuff shared the stage with an American Icon when he opened up for Dolly Parton at the Ryman Auditorium.

For over 20 years he’s also helped some of the biggest brands tell their story, including The Home Depot, Bose, and Staples. His fresh perspective on life has given him the opportunity to write for Reader’s Digest, Fast Company, The Harvard Business Review and Time Magazine.

He lives outside of Nashville, TN with his wife Jenny and two teenage daughters.

Podcast Resources:

  • Family Wealth + Happiness Guidebook: Get the 10 steps to young family wealth and happiness for free by signing up for our bi-weekly newsletter. This 39-page PDF gives the tools, guidance and resources to achieve your own version of family financial independence.
  • MKM Coaching: Looking for someone to walk alongside you on your financial independence journey? Book some time on my calendar today.
  • Corporate Financial Wellness Presentation: Contact me to discuss how I can support your company's overall financial wellness.
  • Recommended Resources: You won’t reach your financial goals without the right tools. Here are my suggestions!

Carpe Diem Quote:

Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.”

James Clear

What do you think of the advice from Jon Acuff? Are you struggling to reach your potential?

Please let us know in the comments below.

Andy Hill

Andy Hill, AFC® is the award-winning family finance coach behind Marriage Kids and Money - a platform dedicated to helping families build wealth and happiness. With millions of podcast downloads and video views, Andy’s message of family financial empowerment has resonated with listeners, readers and viewers across the world. When he's not "talking money", Andy enjoys being a Soccer Dad, singing karaoke with his wife and relaxing on his hammock.

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The Marriage Kids and Money Podcast is dedicated to helping young families build wealth and happiness.

With over 400 episodes and counting, we share interviews with wealthy families, award-winning authors, and personal finance experts to help you find your version of family financial independence.

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