Personal Productivity

One Shot One Kill – Plan Like a Sniper and Achieve your Goals

Achieve your goals like a sniper
wrote this on September 4, 2013
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We already know that a critical component in reaching our goals is focus. The problem is that focusing is not too easy with all the temptations and distractions which surround us.

After serving in the army, the one thing I learned is that snipers can teach all of us a thing or two about focus.  It’s unbelievable what snipers can achieve simply by focusing and drowning out all distractions.

Throughout history, snipers captivated our imagination and were regarded as the most terrifying infantry unit, and for a good reason…

A good sniper can stop almost any unit in its tracks, punishing it with a hail of accurate shots that can cause it to pause or even retreat.  And, they do it all undetected, like spectators.

There are many tales of famous snipers, Simo Häyhä AKA White death or Vasily Zaytsev the hero of the movie “Enemy at the gates”, who single handedly turned the tide of battle.

Reach your goals

The funny thing is that you don’t even need to be an amazing sniper to a successful one, no sir. You just need to know how to plan and follow a certain set of rules consistently that each and every one of us can apply to use in our day to day to achieve your goals.

Do Your Research

Before you begin any endeavor, understanding the magnitude of your undertaking is crucial for its success.

Rule number one and the most important rule: One shot, one kill.  To make this happen, you need to know everything about your target before making a single move.

In your endeavors, be sure to research and know everything you can prior to making a single move.  There’s an old adage, making changes to your plan will cost you pennies before you start, making those same changes months into a project, will costs you millions.

Be Patient – Don’t develop a hair trigger

Timing is everything.  Good snipers are patient and are willing to wait indefinitely for the right opportunity.  They realize that ill timing not only can sacrifice the mission but also can have serious ramifications for their well-being.

Temptations often drive us to act impulsively.  A decision made on impulse is not your decision, you are not in control, and most likely will cause you to miss your mark.

Remember rule No. 1, one shot one kill.  Don’t let your surroundings make your decision.  Be patient and calculating when executing any of the actions in your plan to achieve your goals. Don’t be pressured to make the right move at the wrong time.

Higher Ground

Snipers are literally on higher ground when they operate.  Why?  Because taking the higher ground gives them on overview of the entire setting.  It helps them calculate and see possible scenarios that you may not see if on lower ground.

For us, in our day to day, it’s important to take a step back.  Take a 10,000 foot view of your objectives and targets.  Often, we get settled in a particular task or project that we don’t see the possible negative implications on other equally important goals.

Change you vantage point often enough to ensure that the big “life” picture is as it should be.  You’ll never be able to see this unless you seek the higher ground.

Shoot when Calm

Good snipers shoot only when they’re calm and their arm is steady.  Contrary to what you may think, it’s not the sniper’s eye that gets the mark, it’s his heart rate.

Simply put, when you are calm, relaxed, you get things done effectively.  Stress is a state in which your body is in alarm and you’re fighting to keep control.  When you operate under stress, you may think you are getting a lot of things done, but you may be wasting your ammunition.  You are simply not accurate and will ultimately stress those around you.

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Consider the elements

When a sniper shoots he needs to take under account the environment.  Elements such as wind, altitude, and temperature come into play.  On some shots you even need to consider the earth’s rotation!

Same goes for us when we try to achieve our goals and objectives.  Consider your environment: work, health, colleagues, other projects, family, time of the year, finances, etc.  These are just some of the many elements that can affect our personal environment.

If you keep the following in mind, you’ll ensure success almost all of the time: “Everything that can go wrong will!”

Plan for your environment to throw you many curve balls, so when it does, you’ll be prepared.

Get a spotter

Often snipers are teamed with a spotter.  A spotter is someone that helps a sniper to get his mark.  He is a critical part of the sniping team and probably a sniper in his own right. A spotter gives the sniper the bigger picture and helps him focus on the intended target offering him intel, measurements and even some help with carrying equipment.  Think of a spotter as the ultimate player / coach.

If possible, try to get someone involved in helping your achieve your objectives.  They can be a partner or just an accountability buddy that will give you a slap helping you get back to focus on the task at hand like this duo below…

In my opinion, it doesn’t matter if you fail or succeed to accomplish a goal as long as you stay on target and continue according to plan, you live to fight another day.

Stay on target, until next time!

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6 responses to “One Shot One Kill – Plan Like a Sniper and Achieve your Goals”

  1. lukasz.paszke says:

    Your parallels are great.

  2. Daniel G Taylor says:

    You’ve found a great metaphor that works organically with what you’re writing. The content is helpful and as a writer I admire your structure. Keep up the great work, Haim.

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