GoalsOnTrack Blog

A systematic approach to achieving goals and getting results.

The Magic Lamp: Goal Setting for People Who Hate Setting Goals

Do you hate setting goals? Many people do. If you happen to be one of them, you may want to check out this book called “The Magic Lamp: Goal Setting for People Who Hate Setting Goals”.

It describes a simple yet unforgettable process for how to obtain what you want from both your personal life and your career. You can read it as a goal-setting guide for people who hate setting goals.

This book tries to convert the process of setting goals from a dull routine into an exciting adventure by combining the methods of goal setting with the magic of making your wishes come true.

It offers a 4-step process:

  • Step 1: Lock On
  • Step 2: Act
  • Step 3: Manage Your Progress
  • Step 4: Persist

For more detaied reviews of the book, you can check it out at Amazon.com.


Time Management Advice from Last Lecture Professor Randy Pausch

I came across this great video on YouTube on time management. It was a talk given by Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch, the professor who gave that famous “Last Lecture”.  He did this talk about only one year before he died of cancer. Who else could have given us better advice on time management than he?

The speech offers a lot of great advice on how to make plans for goals, how to better manage your time, and be more productive with your life. It’s full of very practical techniques and tricks that anyone can take advantage easily, such as:

  • Use quadrant method for your TODO list
  • Have 3 monitors
  • Have a speaker phone
  • Stand up when you are on the phone
  • Write thank-you notes
  • … …

It’s a great talk.

How to Do Your New Year Goals?

Perhaps you have been wondering what’s the best way to set and achieve your new year goals for 2010.

There are certainly many different goal setting strategies and theories that people can use , but I think what Khuram Malik suggested in this new blog post “How to have your best year ever” shed some great light on how to make goal setting really work for you.

Also Khuram went on to create a video reviewing how GoalsOnTrack.com can help you keep track on your goals. If you have never used GoalsOnTrack before, this could be a great tutorial tour of how it works and how it can help you achieve goals.

Top 10 New Year Resolutions of All Time

Have you wondered what New Year resolutions most of people create all these years?

According to polls from Quicken, nutrition centers and others, the top ten New Year’s resolutions are (remarkably consistent year after year):

  1. Spend more quality time with family and friends,
  2. Get in shape and/or lose weight
  3. Quit smoking and/or drinking
  4. Enjoy life more
  5. Get into a good relationship
  6. Find a better job
  7. Get out of debt
  8. Volunteer more and/or help others
  9. Learn something new
  10. Get Organized

I guess this list only applies to people in the U.S. or western world. In many other countries, with different cultures and traditions than here, I would seriously doubt “Spend more quality time with family and friends” could be the number 1 goal for most people. :-) Of course, that doesn’t mean people in those countries wouldn’t want to spend time with family and friends, but just that it wouldn’t be their first priority, amongst all things. What do you think?

Be Better Organized With A Mind Map Template

Have you ever tried mind mapping tools? I find it sometimes useful and effective for organizing things related to goals, projects, schedules etc. I guess the reason that it’s very good organizer tool is because the mind map is very easy for the brain to hold these things we try to remember as a picture in mind.

If you have never tried it, you may want to start with a free Personal Organizer Template mind map. It’s built with BiggerPlate.com.

Personal Organiser Template Mind Map

Personal Organiser Template Mind Map

There is another very good mind mapping tool I’ve used before is called Mindjet.

Goal Setting Strategies Learned from Olympic Champions

When it comes to setting goals for the New Year, have you wondered how Olympic athletes do it? What can we learn from those Olympic champions? World records and Olympic champions are never accidental. The ways and strategies they use to set and accomplish their goals can be very effective and must have really worked for them. In similar ways, they can work for us too.

When we set goals, an important decision is about the size. Is it better to set large goals, or small ones? The idealistic answer to that is “large ones”. Because they bring us maximum result and realize our full potential. That’s also how you get to win gold medals if you are an Olympian.

But those large and lofty goals are usually very difficult to accomplish, so for average people they are rarely realized. On the other hand, smaller goals are often easy to achieve, but may not be significant enough to make any real change in our life.

The best strategy therefore is to aim high and celebrate incremental progress toward our larger goals. It is also a better approach to finding happiness and fulfillment from the goal setting process.

When we watch the Olympics, we usually see teams that ranked 3rd and 4th compete for the bronze medal, while 1st and 2nd fight for the gold. In both finals, the teams who won bronze and gold medals were often jubilant and would dance around in excitement, while the losing teams in both matches were understandably disappointed.

This is all normal, and there is nothing unusual about any of these reactions. But what seems illogical is that the silver medal winners tend to react far less positively than those who won bronze medal, even though one would think placing second is still preferable than being third.

Therefore, psychologically it’s much better to feel like you’ve won, even if it’s an easier goal. There is a great advantage to setting a high goal. It will inspire and motivate you to reach for the stars. But what really works for most people is to break that big goal down to relevant and smaller goals, which you will more easily get to by staying positive and motivated. And once these smaller goals are achieved, the large ones are often very close to reach.

How to Set Goals for Your Business in 2010

If you run or own a business, you may want set some goals for your business at the beginning of the new year. I’ve stumbled upon a very nice video on this topic. The main idea behind the whole talk is originally from Anthony Robbins’ goal setting principles, which include four main steps:

  1. Know your outcome (goal)
  2. Take action
  3. Notice your results
  4. If necessary, change your approach

I believe this formula also applies to almost any kind of goals you have, not just business goals. Anyway, enjoy the video and hope it gives you some ideas you can work with.

Top 5 Tips for Keeping New Year Resolutions

It’s that time of the year again. Time for New Year’s resolutions! What are your goals for 2010? More money, less weight, more travel, or less work? Whatever your resolutions for the New Year, here are some tips to keep you on track and motivated so that you CAN attain your goals.

  1. Set realistic goals - If you have created 5 New Year’s resolutions, you are almost certain to fail. Be realistic and pick one or two things you really want to do and be specific. Don’t say just “lose weight”, change that to “lose 10 pounds by June 1st.”
  2. Break it down - If your goal is to lose 10 pounds or work out 3 days a week, break it down even further. Write down monthly, weekly and daily goals that will help you reach your long-term goal. It can be really hard to lose weight, exercise, save money or stop smoking if you don’t know what steps you are going to take to get there.
  3. Tell everyone! - You need a support system to help you stay on track. Tell your family and friends what your goals are, and even better, see if you can find a buddy to do it with you. It is great to have someone you are accountable to, and who can share your discouragements and your triumphs.
  4. Reward yourself - Give yourself a weekly and monthly reward. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks, but if you have a great week, you accomplished your goals, then celebrate! Put a picture on your computer, or create a vision board of something you really want for your reward WHEN you reach your final goal. It will motivate you every day!
  5. Keep a journal - write down your long-term goals, and break it down into monthly and weekly goals. Then every day, keep track of what you accomplished or did not accomplish for that day to measure your success. Don’t beat yourself up if you messed up, but you may see a pattern of things that may help you or hurt you accomplish your goals.

Look at your goals for the New Year, and put these tips into practice if you have not already. It takes 21 days to create a habit and 6 months for it to become part of your daily life. If you have a slip-up today, remember tomorrow is a new day. You have only failed if you quit…so be realistic, reward yourself for baby steps, and keep on keeping on!