Reality Blog: Reverse Engineer Your Dreams for Faster Success


How to Create a Customized 21-Day S.M.A.R.T. Challenge

I’ve encountered a lot of copywriters with very big goals. I count myself among them. Perhaps you have them too. Big goals like:

  • Travel the world
  • Get out of debt
  • Supplement an income
  • Secure a nest egg

I think of these goals as “uneaten elephants,” big projects that require steady attention and consistent work to finish off.

My biggest elephant is to be able to help my parents settle in their dream retirement home by this time next year. And, just to make things fun, I want to go from making an almost-comfortable living as a freelance copywriter to being able to put a significant down payment on this dream home — while simultaneously making a more comfortable living as a writer.

But while I excel at picking out the next elephant I want to conquer, I struggle with the actual day-to-day execution of my dreams… the “one bite at a time” part.

Anatomy of a 21-Day S.M.A.R.T. Challenge

When I discovered AWAI had courses that focused on completing a big goal in 21 business days, I felt like a video game character who just achieved a major gear upgrade.

With shorter-term goals that are:


I don’t have too much time to lose track of where I am and slide off the rails. Of course, as wonderfully useful as the prepped 21-Day Challenge courses were for me, AWAI can’t be expected to think of everything for me.

Fates, get ready to be taken into my hands!

Because for the next year, I’ll be crafting my own 21-day challenges and working as hard as I can to fulfill each one.

Reverse Engineer Your Goals

Math’s not my favorite subject, but numbers do play a large part in achieving freelance success:

  • 21 days is roughly a month, when you take out weekends, holidays, and family celebrations.
  • There are 12 months in a year, so until I invent a time machine, I can reasonably expect to finish 12 big self-challenges per year.

Which means that each and every one of those 12 big goals must be something that either makes me money, or builds up a self-sustaining part of my business to free up my time so I can make more money.

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Suzanna Fitzgerald

Suzanna Fitzgerald

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