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.