You cannot pick up a book or participate in a training program today without the author or instructor teaching the power of goal setting. Yet, most people today spend more time planning a two-week vacation than planning their lives by setting goals. It’s been said that achieving goals
is not a problem–it’s SETTING goals that is the problem. People just don’t do it. They leave their lives to chance…and usually end up broke by the time they reach retirement.
I thought that since this is such an important ingredient for developing a successful network marketing business, this was a good time to share with you some of the greatest thoughts about goal setting that I’ve discovered over the years.
So, here goes…The Top 10 Best Ideas For Setting Goals:
1. Make A List Of Your Values
What’s really important to you? Your family? Your religion? Your leisure time? Your hobbies? Decide on what your most important values in life are and then make sure that the goals you set are designed to include and enhance them.
2. Begin With The End In Mind
Tom Watson, the founder of IBM was once asked what he attributed the phenomenal success of IBM to and he said it was three things:
The first thing was that he created a very clear image in his mind of what he wanted his company to look like when it was done. He then asked himself how would a company like that have to act on a day-to-day basis. And then in the very beginning of building his company, he began to act that way.
3. Project Yourself Into The Future
The late, great Earl Nightingale created a whole new industry (self-improvement) after a 20-year study on what made people successful. The bottom-line result of his research was simply, “We Become What We Think About.”
Whatever thoughts dominate our minds most of the time are what we become. That’s why goal setting is so critical in achieving success because it keeps us focused on what’s really important to us. He then said that the easiest way to reach our goals is to pretend that we had ALREADY
achieved our goals.
That is, begin to walk, talk and act as though we are already experiencing the success we seek. Then, those things will come to us naturally through the power of the subconscious mind.
4. Write Down The 10 Things You Want This Year
By making a list of the things that are important to you, you begin to create images in your mind. It’s been said that your mind will actually create chaos if necessary to make images become a reality. Because of this, the list of ten things will probably result in you achieving at least eight of them within the year.
5. Create Your Storyboard
Get a piece of poster board and attach it to a wall in your office or home where you will see it often. As you go through magazines, brochures, etc. and you see the pictures of the things you want, cut them out and glue them to your storyboard.
In other words, make yourself a collage of the goals that excite you…knowing full well that as you look at them everyday, they will soon be yours.
6. The Three Most Important Things
Decide on three things that you want to achieve before you die. Then work backwards listing three things you want in the next twenty years, ten years, five years, this year, this month, this week and finally, the three most important things you want to accomplish today.
7. Ask Yourself Good Questions
As you think about your goals, instead of WISHING for them to come true, ask yourself HOW and WHAT CAN YOU DO to make them come true. The subconscious mind will respond to your questions far greater than just making statements or making wishes.
8. Focus On One Project At A Time
One of the greatest mistakes people make in setting goals is trying to work on too many things at one time. There is tremendous power in giving laser beam focused attention to just one idea, one project or one objective at a time.
9. Write Out An “Ideal Scenario”
Pretend that you are a newspaper reporter that has just finished an interview about the outstanding success that you’ve achieved and the article is now in the newspaper. How would it read? What would be the headline? Write the article yourself, projecting yourself into the future as though it had already happened. Describe the activities of your daily routine now that are very
successful. Don’t forget the headline. (Example: “Jane Doe Wins Top Network Marketing Award Of The Decade.”)
10. Pray & Meditate
As you get into bed each evening, think about your goal before you drop off to sleep. Get a very clear colorful image in your mind of seeing yourself doing the things you’ll be doing after you’ve reached your major goal. (Remember to include your values.) And then begin to ask and demand
for these things through meditation and prayer.
Goal-Setting is a relatively new concept, however, Goal-Setting Laws, just like gravity or physical Laws of motion have existed from the beginning of time.
We might not be aware of them, but it does not mean that they do not influence our life.
So pay close attention!
1. THE LAW OF NEUTRAL POSITION. You can not know whether you are going in the right direction and plan your route, while you are driving at full speed. If you are always busy trying to achieve one goal after another, you have no time to ask yourself, if this is what you truly want. To make any changes in your life you have to first stop and only after that change direction.
2. THE LAW OF A STRAIGHT LINE. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. To find the shortest way to your goal you just have to know two coordinates – your current position and the position of your goal. If you do not know where you are going, the chances are that you will get lost and continue to go in circles.
3. THE LAW OF TAXI. The moment you let another person drive you, you give them full control of the car and the route that you take. Similar, if you let another person place priorities in your life, you will end up following their path, instead of yours. It is also not a secret that the longer you stay in the cab, the more it will cost you and the longer it will take you to get back. If you do not like where you are going in life, it is probably time to take the initiative back into your hands.
4. THE LAW OF EMPTY SPACE. You cannot bring a new closet into a room without throwing away the old one. There simply will not be enough space. You have to take out the old useless closet first, than clean up the space and only after that can you fill this space with something new. Similar to change your life, you have to eliminate old beliefs that are no longer serving you and only then will you be able to replace them with the positive ones.
5. THE LAW OF A MAGNIFYING GLASS. Neither of us has an objective perception of reality. Every person is limited by their own past experience, beliefs, and vision of life. We magnify those details that we are actively looking for. If we concentrate our attention on the problems, they become bigger and more terrifying. If you direct your attention to positive areas of life, they expand. There is only one way to change your reality, shift your focus.
6. THE LAW OF UNPREDICTABILITY. We can not objectively take into account all the possibilities and obstacles that we will have to face on the way to our goal. Therefore, you can not predict everything that might happen. While having a good step-by-step plan is an important part of successful goal setting, it should be flexible enough to adapt to what life might throw your way (be it unexpected opportunities and problems).
7. THE LAW OF SNOWBALL EFFECT. We are motivated a lot more by current problems than by future benefits. Problems are given to us to help us grow and learn valuable lessons. By ignoring one problem we are provoking a snowball effect. One problem drags along another one and then another one, until the pile of problems becomes too huge to be ignored. If we are not motivated to learn our lessons the easy way, we will have to learn them anyway, only the hard way.
8. THE LAW OF LIMITATION. The universe has an unlimited number of opportunities and choices. Our energy is limited though. That is why we need to chose wisely what we spend it on. We can not have everything we want at the same time. By choosing one goal we are letting go of another one. Know your priorities, otherwise you might end up with a whole bunch of things you do not really need.
9. THE LAW OF INERTIA. If something is moving, it will keep moving until something else stops it. If something is not moving, it will just sit there until something comes along to move it. It is safe to say that until you take action to achieve what you want, you will not see any results, because you will remain a “body at rest”. However, even a tiny action towards your goal is sufficient to create momentum and overcome inertia (also known as “procrastination”).
Kevin W McCarthy gives good advice on how to prioritize your goals in his book The On Purpose Person. In The Power of Focus Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Les Hewitt suggest the same idea for prioritizing your goal list.
There is no need to prioritize your goals if you have only one or two of them.However, what happens when you have 20 or 30 goals?
Problems tend to crop up when you have set several personal goals covering various aspects of your life, or even in just your business for example.
Faced with this list, how do you know which to work on first?
Which is your top priority?
The recommended method is called The Tournament Draw.
1 — Start by listing every goal
2 — Then split your list into 1 year, 3 year, 5 year and 10 year lists.
3 — For each category take action as follows:
STAGE ONE - THE LIST & THE PRELIMINARY DRAW
- Get a big sheet of paper and list all the goals on the left hand side in any order you like, one under the other, assigning each goal a number starting at one at for the top of the list. The next item on the list is two and so on.
- To make the Tournament Draw method work, your list needs to contain 4 or 8 or 16 or 32 or 64 goals. You may have to do some premliminary work to get the right starting number.
- For example let’s say you have 11 goals. You will have to exclude 3 of them to leave 8. This initial exercise - for which you use the Stage 2 comparison process below - is called the ‘Preliminary Draw’.
STAGE TWO - WHICH OF THESE TWO IS MORE IMPORTANT?
For each item on your list, make a note of why you want to achieve that goal. What benefits will it bring?
- Then you need to look at two goals and ask yourself ‘which is more important?’. First of all you need to do this to get the right starting number for the Tournament Draw.
- Compare two goals at a time as you go down the list. For each pair, decide which is more important. Continue on down the list until you have found a winner from each pair. These winners move onto the next round of the tournament.
- In the next round of the tournament you match winner against winner in the same way. Eventually you end up with just two goals and you decide the overall tournament winner. That goal is your single most important priority.
When you are initially thinking about how to prioritize your goals, this tournament draw may seem a somewhat artificial exercise. In fact, it’s a very good method for really thinking about what’s important to you.
First, make a decision Decide clearly that you are going to begin acting in a specific way 100% of the time, whenever that that behavior is required. For example, if you decide to arise early and exercise each morning, set your clock for a specific time, and when the alarm goes off, immediately get up, put on your exercise clothes and begin your exercise session.
Second, never allow an exception to your new habit pattern during the formative stages. Don’t make excuses or rationalizations. Don’t let yourself off the hook. If you resolve to get up at 6:00 AM each morning, discipline yourself to get up at 6:00 AM, every single morning until this becomes automatic.
Third, tell others that you are going to begin practicing a particular behavior. It is amazing how much more disciplined and determined you will become when you know that others are watching you to see if you have the willpower to follow through on your resolution.
Fourth, visualize yourself performing or behaving in a particular way in a particular situation. The more often you visualize and imagine yourself acting as if you already had the new habit, the more rapidly this new behavior will be accepted by your subconscious mind and become automatic.
Fifth, create an affirmation that you repeat over and over to yourself. This repetition dramatically increases the speed at which you develop the new habit. For example, you can say something like; “I get up and get going immediately at 6:00 AM each morning!” Repeat these words the last thing before you fall asleep. In most cases, you will automatically wake up minutes before the alarm clock goes off, and soon you will need no alarm clock at all.
Sixth, resolve to persist in the new behavior until it is so automatic and easy that you actually feel uncomfortable when you do not do what you have decided to do.
Seventh, and most important, give yourself a reward of some kind for practicing in the new behavior. Each time you reward yourself, you reaffirm and reinforce the behavior. Soon you begin to associate, at an unconscious level, the pleasure of the reward with the behavior. You set up your own force field of positive consequences that you unconsciously look forward to as the result of engaging in the behavior or habit that you have decided upon.
By Dan Rockwell
“Do your best,” is an excuse for not doing your best. It’s code for, don’t worry if you don’t make it. Stop telling people to do their best; give them a goal, instead.
Goals motivate because they define desirable results. “Do your best,” is obscure babble. You don’t know what your “best” is. Goals, however, bring out your “best.” Make three sales calls by 5:00 p.m. is better than, “Do your best to make sales calls today.”
10 Ways to make goals work:
- Don’t waste your time setting easily attainable goals. If it’s easy to attain, you don’t need a goal.
- Set goals that are out of reach but attainable. Challenging goals inspire higher performance, unless they go too far.
- Goals without feedback die. Tell people where they are in relation to their goals, frequently.
- Create tools that enable people to assess their progress, self-feedback. Milestones are a good example; reports are another.
- Don’t assign goals; develop them together. The chances of buy in are higher.
- Buy-in fuels achievement. Be sure everyone fully embraces the goal.
- Confidence enables buy-in. People that don’t believe they can achieve don’t buy-in. Instill confidence by expressing confidence.
- Don’t set individual goals when groups are involved; set group goals.
- K.I.S.S. – keep it simple stupid. Complex goals confuse rather than motivate.
- Shout it from the roof-tops. Public goals are more likely to be achieved than secret goals.
The other side:
Developing goals together isn’t always best (#5). Some people respond well to having goals set for them. People who respect you – who seek your approval – may be energized when you assign them challenging goals.
Do you have them? BHAGS, that is.
BHAGS is a term that was coined by James Collins and Jerry Porras in 1996, and cited in their book “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies”. Collins and Porras talked of big hairy audacious goals as big and bold, often taking a ten to thirty year commitment.
Times have changed, and there’s no need to think in terms of decades to reach your BHAGS. Today’s the day to set, start and attain those big hairy audacious goals, by making them R.E.A.L.
The problem with most goal-setting is: we often sell ourselves short. The initial goal is often not the “real” goal. You might say:
My goal is to make x$ (insert number) in my business this year, when you actually mean: I want to feel comfortable with my financial situation, and not worry about making payroll.
My goal is to exercise daily, when you actually mean: I want to feel more energy to commit to my business, my family and my life.
My goal is to win a business award, when you actually mean: I want to feel respected as the go-to person in my business sector.
You get my drift.
My advice? Go for what I call the R.E.A.L. goals. The ones that underlie the ostensible ones. The ones that create a feeling…an emotion…a sense.
Your R.E.A.L. goals will:
Resonate with you, to your core
Evoke emotion: you’ll feel good/happy/challenged/scared/excited about it
Activate: you’ll take action, instead of ruminating and procrastinating
Liberate: you’ll feel free and freed!
You know when you’re on course and when you’re off course. The subtle and not-so-subtle indicators are always there.
You’re on course when you feel empowered, energized, challenged and having fun, even when the going gets tough.
You’re off course when you feel angry, bored, hurt, minimized and frustrated.
To be on course, set R.E.A.L goals.
I like to think about R.E.A.L. goals like a pearl. A pearl is created when concentric layers of a protective coating are deposited around an irritant.
In the case of recognizing your R.E.A.L. goals, the irritant is actually the spark within us: the candle that’s waiting to be lit. It’s a positive irritant, not a negative one. It’s that little voice inside you that’s begging for you to hear it.
Peel back the layers and recognize that your goals, in business and in life, should ignite that spark, light that candle and be BHAGS. And to be BHAGS, make them R.E.A.L. Do it today.
Guest Post by Roger Wohlner
Two baseball players arrive at spring training. Player A declares this is the year he becomes an elite ballplayer. Player B has the same aspirations for the upcoming season, only he defines what constitutes an elite player. His goals are a .300 batting average, 30 home runs, and 100 runs batted in. He also takes stock of how he did last year when he batted .247, hit 17 home runs, and batted in 68 runs. He meets with the team’s hitting coach to improve his swing and for other tips on how to be a better hitter.
Which player do you suspect achieved his goals for the season?
Most of us dream of things we’d like to do in the future or perhaps what we would like our lives to become. When it comes to the world of financial planning, these aspirations need to be translated to goals in order to determine how best to achieve them.
One of the initial discussions most financial advisers have with a new client centers on the client’s goals for their money. Typical aspirations for clients might include funding their children’s education or saving for their own retirement. In order to translate these aspirations into goals, the following must be attached to these aspirations:
A time frame. A goal must have a time frame in which it needs to be achieved. For college, it is generally near the child’s 18th birthday. Retirement is typically at a certain age. If the time frame is open-ended, how will you know when the money is needed? How will you track your progress? How will you know how much you will need to save over time?
You can certainly have multiple time frames for a goal. For example, you may need $X for the first year of college for one child. But your second child is seven years younger, and, therefore, your time horizon is different.
Goals need to be quantified. In our baseball example, Player B knew what he was trying to attain, and he was taking steps to achieve his goals. Saving for retirement is the same. What is a comfortable retirement? How much will it take annually to fund a comfortable retirement? Start out by looking at your current level of savings, and try to quantify how much you will need annually to live comfortably in today’s dollars.
Take this annual amount and subtract things like a pension or social security that will provide you with monthly income. The balance is what you need to fund. Translate this “gap” into an amount that you need to accumulate by some date, and now you have a retirement accumulation goal that is quantified and has a time frame. Keep in mind, you will also need to factor in the impact of inflation.
For example, you might determine that $750,000 is needed in 15 years to fund your retirement. Armed with this information, you can start looking at where you are and what you need to do to achieve your goals. Some typical questions:
- How much will I need to save each pay period?
- Are my investments allocated to allow me to achieve my goal?
- Am I fully using all retirement savings products available to me including company retirement plans, IRAs, and other savings and investment options?
- If I own a business, how will the value of this entity factor into my plans?
- Have I looked at all sources of income available to me during retirement?
- What milestones do I need to shoot for at certain time intervals to know whether I am on track?
Monitor your progress. Establishing quantifiable, measurable financial goals with a set time frame is just the first step. The real work comes on an ongoing basis. You need to monitor your progress on a regular basis, because things change. For instance, the stock market may rise or fall rapidly, you might lose your job, an illness could occur, or you might find yourself ahead of schedule in terms of the amount accumulated.
It is important to monitor your progress and adjust when needed. It is also not uncommon for goals to change over time. If this happens, you will need to start the process again.
While there are no guarantees that doing all of this will lead to achieving your financial goals, in my experience those who fail to plan their financial futures are simply planning for failure.
Remember: Financial planning is an ongoing process, not a one-time event.
In order to get anywhere – either literally or metaphorically – we need to create and maintain a certain level of momentum. Sitting in your very-capable Porsche won’t get you anywhere unless you choose to start the engine, engage a gear (or six), steer the car and operate the pedals. In my time as a coach, trainer and teacher I’ve encountered many people who have not only been sitting in their Porsche for decades, but they’ve never even opened the garage door! Such a massive waste of talent, power and time.
The person who doesn’t find a way to create momentum is the person who won’t realise their dreams, move forward or explore their potential. Sadly, some people will spend their lives sitting in neutral, almost doing something but never really doing anything significant. Talent, opportunities, ideas and even brilliance will amount to nothing if we fail to create and maintain momentum. Consider the person in your life (past or present) who is/was always talking about their grand plans for greatness, success and change in their world. You know; the one who is great at the theory (the talking bit) but not so good at the practical (the doing bit).
Here’s some momentum-creating suggestions that work… if you work.
Procrastination is the enemy of potential, the refuge of the weak and a synonym for fear.
1. Take that first step and keep stepping. As anyone with a basic understanding of physics will tell you, maintaining momentum is significantly easier than creating it. The first step is both the scariest and the most empowering. It’s also the most important. Procrastination is the enemy of potential, the refuge of the weak and a synonym for fear. The vast majority of people who take that long-overdue first step usually say something very predictable like “I wish I had done this years ago” or “I don’t know what I was so afraid of”. Get your potential out of neutral, engage a gear, hit the gas and don’t look back. Everything after the first step is a blessing or a lesson.
2. Consider the cost of not changing. Imagine your life in five or ten years from now if you don’t change, if you don’t address the things you should and if you don’t pursue your dreams. Right now picture yourself being ten years older; you still haven’t made a significant decision, still haven’t taken that chance, still haven’t taken charge of your body, you’re still talking too much and doing too little, still coughing up the endless excuses, still being controlled by people and circumstances and still wasting your potential. Do you like that picture? Change is rarely about the right time and usually about the right attitude, choices and behaviours. Sometimes picturing what we don’t want is enough to get us moving in the right direction.
3. Gain some clarity and certainty. Get clear about what you want and don’t want for your life. Stop going through the motions and stop living that repetitive existence of habit – the one that makes you miserable and the one you really don’t want. The more certain you are about what you want, the easier it will be to stay focused, proactive and productive. If you don’t have clarity, then do your best to de-clutter your mind, step back, gain some perspective, spend more time by yourself, stop being so ‘busy’ (even for a day) and listen to that still small voice; it knows. When we make the effort to find some space, time and quiet and then genuinely listen, the clarity will come. The tricky bit can be when we find that clarity (about what we need to do) and it scares the crap out of us. When this happens, refer to point one!
4. Get excited. Excitement creates momentum. When we’re excited we do stuff. We overcome fears. We take chances. We make tough decisions. We push the boundaries. We explore our potential. We become solution-focused. We become more resourceful. Chat with any successful person about their goals and their passion and you’ll see what I mean about excitement. If you’re not excited (on some level) about your goals, then you may need to find some different ones.
5. Set deadlines. Set yourself some non-negotiable deadlines and make a public (or semi-public) declaration. Not everyone’s cup of tea but works well for many. Sometimes we’ve gotta put our butt on the line to create some real momentum. Don’t be scared of pressure, discomfort or deadlines; they can make all the difference and they can be your greatest teacher. By the way, I’m not suggesting that you do this some time in the future when it suits your schedule and the planets have aligned, I’m suggesting that you do it in the next five minutes.
We all have dreams, goals and plans for our lives. The problem is that it takes persistence to achieve even the simplest goals. Learning how to achieve your goals will demand that you become a consistent and persistent individual.
Quite often in life the difference between those who are constantly achieving personal goals and those who do not will hinge on those two qualities. It is often not ones ability or knowledge level but the ability to stick to a task in a consistent and persistent manner. To realize any type of success in life, you have to consistently set goals and persistently work at them to completion.
There comes a time in life that we all feel the need for a fresh jolt of something in our motivation. We are striving, setting and achieving goals and then all of a sudden, you got nothing. You hit a brick wall, draw a blank and generally cannot see what the next step is or how to take it.
You can give yourself that much need jump-start by first of all being resistant to the urge to give in and give up. Consistence, persistence and resistance are the three concepts that will see you through the rough patches on your way to achieving goals for the rest of your life.
Let’s look at how we can incorporate those concepts into our business plans to make a new beginning everyday. Some people can mistake consistent behavior with being in a rut. Doing the same things over and over and getting the same or less result can be seen as being stuck.
It is not how quickly you get to the end just that you do. It is only by making consistent efforts, in a timely manner that you will eventually get the results you are looking for. Never forget the story of the tortoise and the hare.
Now that you understand that being consistent is one of the keys to achieving goals in the long term, you are ready for the next piece of the puzzle. This is being persistent. The only way to achieve a goal is to never stop pursuing it. if you get blocked at one turn try a different avenue. A winner is not always the one who crosses the finish line first but sometimes it is the guy who fell down and got back into the race. He may come in dead last but he finished the race, that is the important aspect of the exercise.
You have to thicken your skin and resist listening to those who say that you will fail. Look at how many times Alexander Graham Bell failed before succeeding with the telephone. There are many others who despite of the odds against them went on to find great success.
If you follow through on all of the things you start, you will be one of them.
By Carl Natale
I once worked for a boss who wanted us to assign a Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal (BHAG) to every project and proposal. When we created a site for small business owners, it was supposed to be “The top visited site for small business owners looking for solutions to their problems.”
We never got close.
That doesn’t mean we failed. It was a good site that attracted decent traffic and feedback. But it didn’t live up to it’s BHAG. It could be argued that if we didn’t set our sights so high, we wouldn’t have landed as far ahead as we did.
So it’s tempting to apply the same BHAG strategy to personal growth and goals. Why just take up running when you can set out to be the fastest marathon runner in the world? Why settle for setting realistic goals?
Because it doesn’t work argues Ray Williams in Psychology Today:
“My experience in working with individuals and organizations is that most do not actually achieve the goals that are set. One of two things occur: Either the goal is so difficult that the individual or organization is actually demotivated or demoralized early in the process of trying to achieve it; or, the goals are set, and thereafter, little or no attention is focused on them. The result is often demotivation and negative attitudes toward goal setting.”
Basically, the brain is built to resist change. And audacious goals inspire a lot of resistance to change. Williams argues that smart goal setting focuses on incremental changes and improvements. And align those goals with our current values. This will get us much farther.
How far do you reach when you set goals?