Jullien Gordon on How to Increase Personal Potential Using a 30-Day Goal Framework

In Chapter 5 of 14 in his 2010 Capture Your Flag interview, motivation teacher Jullien Gordon shares why he pushes others to achieve goals in 30-day increments. This is part of his "30 Day Do-It" program, that uses accountability controls to push participants beyond their perceived limits and move toward reaching their full potential. Accountability controls, costs, are designed to tip scales on the cost-benefit analysis we all use for intrinsic motivation. Gordon uses creative applications to then motivate program participants to execute on plans within predetermined deadlines. Gordon holds an MBA and Masters in Education from Stanford University and a BA from UCLA.


Erik Michielsen: Why do you push people so hard to achieve goals in thirty-day increments?

Jullien Gordon: Well, you’ve heard the quote, “If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, then it’s yours.”  I don’t believe that. [laughs]  I believe if you love something you should push it and if it comes back then you should push it harder.  It has been my understand that it’s not till you push something to it’s perceived limits, like say this table is the limit, that it actually realizes that it’s limitless.  A lot of us actually confine ourselves in what we think is possible for our lives. So, I’m willing to take a stand for the people that come to me, to push them beyond their own perceived limits of who they are because I believe we are infinite beings and I want to see people reach their full potential and I can see potential in them that they don’t necessarily see in themselves.  So, I just challenge them to expand who they are and that’s why I challenge them to do as much as they can in these thirty-day increments. 

Erik Michielsen: What tools do you use to hold others accountable for their actions?

Jullien Gordon:  The biggest part in 30 Day Do Its is actually creating a cost.  So, what I’ve actually discovered is when you have a cost-benefit analysis, if the cost out weighs the benefit you don’t move, if the benefit out weighs the cost you move.  In most cases when we set goals, the cost and benefit are equal.  The benefit of saying I wrote a book verses the cost the one-hundred hours it going to take to write that book are pretty equal, but if you tip the balance and you increase the benefit or add more cost it actually gets people move because now they have to make a choice.  By not moving, they can’t stay in the same place.  So, they know that they go backwards.  So, I bet my friends who want support from me and accountability, I said, “Okay. Write me a check for $100 right now and give it to me and if you accomplish the goal I’ll rip it up and if you don’t, I’ll cash it.”  So, that’s how I get people to move forward on their journey.