5 Simple Rules To Set and Reach Your Goals

Goal setting is the closest thing to magic you can find. It works way better than the ‘hope plan,’ wishing on a star or playing the lottery.

Like most good things, there are rules to follow, and as long as you follow the rules, you’ll reach your goal!

Here are the 5 rules to setting goals…

A Goal Must Be Realistic And Achievable For You.

That means no highballs. If you’re in sales, that means the salesperson sitting next to you may be able to double their sales tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean you can. Nor does it mean you can’t double or even triple your own sales. ‘Realistic’ for you just means set goals you can reach with a ‘targeted’ effort.

Realistic is determined by two things: effort and time. If you’re selling 8 units now and you’re willing to put in the effort it takes to improve, you can easily double your sales within 90 days.

Doubling your sales would be totally unrealistic, though, if you aren’t willing to develop your skills, and if you aren’t willing to do more demos, etc.

Always remember this quote…

“If it is to be, it’s up to me.”

Write Your Goals Down.

  • Only three percent of the people set and reach their goals. Writing them is a rule.
  • Those three percenters earn 10 times as much in their lifetimes as the ninety-seven percent who don’t set goals.
  • Ninety-four percent of written goals are achieved.

If you want to hit your goals, stop saying, “I know what I want – I don’t need to write it down.” Instead put your goals on paper today.

You Must Have A Written Plan.

Imagine you’re in Chula Vista, CA, which is about the furthest southwest point in the U.S. and heard fishing was great in Quoddy Head, ME, almost at the furthest northeast point.

If your only plan for your seven-day vacation is to take a nice drive and just “head northeast,” I don’t care how much enthusiasm you have, without a map (the plan), or even with one, if you don’t follow your plan (the map), you’ll probably never make it, at least not before your vacation ends.

Why? Because whether it’s a trip or a goal, you’ll have dozens of unexpected twists, turns and detours along the way to slow you down. So set a goal, map it out, and follow your plan.

Like I said in the beginning, you can do anything, but you’re going to have to put together a rock solid ‘targeted’ plan to make improvements rather than just working harder.

Follow Your Plan!

Even people who take the time to set realistic and achievable goals, write them down, and even write out their plan, often don’t follow through on the plan they write.

Yep, just like New Year’s resolutions, people do a great job for a few days, but usually not long enough to develop their skills or change their habits.

Self-discipline is critical. Without discipline, or some incredible ‘good luck,’ you may get started, but you’ll almost always miss the pot of gold that’s right in front of you.

Please Note: The only thing wrong with ‘luck’ – it’s usually never there when you need it the most.

Make A Commitment

You’re changing skills and habits that will benefit you for life!

Read Your Goals and Check Your Progress Every Day!

We learn and develop habits through repetition. The repetition of reading your goals and reviewing your progress keeps you focused on your goals.

Pick your battles (your goals)…

You can’t focus on 10 major goals, so keep those BIG goals to a maximum of two or three a month and review your progress (tracking) every day.

Put your top three goals into daily reminders on your smartphone. Or, print them out and put them where you will see them several times a day (refrigerator, bathroom mirror or wallet).

No real rocket science – just five easy steps to get what you want.

“A dream with a deadline…”

Most people just daydream about the things they want, but never turn those dreams into reality.

Don’t just be a dreamer, turn your dreams into achievements. You just have to make changes in what you do, so you can get what you want.

Not just in business, but in everything you do.

Life is too short, so get ahead of the game in sales and stay there instead of always trying to catch up.

Since we’re at the beginning of 2018, it’s good to get on track now…Get my ‘Goal Setting’ book at JoeVerde.com/store – it’s free and get to our class to start reaching those important goals in your life.

Do it – you’ll be glad you did!

 

 

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This article was written by Joe Verde, who as worked in the car business since 1973 and in dealer, management and sales training since 1985. His workshops and online training emphasize common sense solutions to challenges in selling more vehicles, earning more profit and retaining customers for life. 

7 Expert Motivation Tips for When You Just Can’t

Starting the new year motivated can be difficult. And many of us can relate to a post-holiday comedown, which experts coin ‘The Blues.” This term is a psychological term that is often used to describe feelings of disappointment and deflation following returning to normal everyday routines after a period of holiday, partying and fewer responsibilities. Sound familiar? Thought so. Here’s how to cultivate and sustain motivation… especially when it feels like you have to dig (really) deep.

1. Power pose

It might seem strange but our body language can affect the way we feel. Research into confidence found that people who stand in the power pose for at least two minutes have increased levels of testosterone, a body producing chemical associated with confidence, and creates a reduction in the production of cortisol, our stress hormone. If you want to feel motivated from the inside out, stand up straight, chest out, lifts your arms above your head like a V and keep your legs hip distance apart.

2. Stay committed

While we all think motivation is the number one ingredient for success, the truth is commitment is the real foundation. Research into elite athletes found, that just like us, athletes have days when they are flat and motivation is at an all-time low, but the difference between successful, elite performers is that they maintain their commitment – however difficult it might be.

3. Routine and rituals

Incorporating a daily ritual or routine that creates calm and relaxation within your body and mind can help build a foundation of mental clarity. Motivation and focus occurs when we are relaxed and having a routine every day incorporates activities or rituals that help create calm. This morning walks, reading or cooking – these all help us gain clarity and calm down.

4. Goal setting

Goal setting is directly correlated to task performance and motivation. Research into the field of employee motivation found that when people create predetermined goals and are working towards them through fixed deadlines, motivation and performance increases. A way to cultivate motivation is through S.M.A.R.T goal setting. This acronym stands for goals that are Sustainable, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-sensitive. Pick resolutions or goals that are specific and not vague, that can be measured so that you can track your progress, attainable as well as realistic and that have a time frame or deadline associated with them.

5. Visualise goals

It’s important to define your goals, but also to visualise them physically. Yes, you’ve heard of mood boards, and it’s time to create one for 2018. Sitting down to physically collage your 2018 goals can help you find clarity around what you are wanting to achieve and manifest for the year ahead. Research into goal setting has shown that those who write down or collage their goals are more likely to achieve them than those who just think or talk about their goals.

6. Reward yourself

Yes, you heard us right! Rewarding yourself for achieving goals is singly one of the best ways to cultivate motivation. Studies into exercise and fitness programs found that those who had external reward incentives such as money for working out had higher attendance and motivation to finish the fitness program. This suggests that not only is it important to map out each goal and aspiration you have in 2018, you should also link them to a specific reward for once you’ve achieved it.

7. Acceptance

Be kind to yourself, it is normal to feel down after holidays. Holidays are a time to recharge, refocus and rest. It is often an opportunity to help us gain some space in our life to see whether there are things we want to change or add into our life to create more joy and less stress. When we come back to our everyday routine after having this period to recharge, we may feel a bit deflated as things have not changed and we are coming back to old habits and behaviors that we may want space from. Be aware that nothing happens instantly. We all have good days and bad days, and having compassion for yourself can help you bounce back from the bad days, faster.

 

 

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This article was written by Jaimie Bloch, an accredited practicing psychologist who has been working with youth and adults with developmental and mental health difficulties since 2007.

How to Use Meditation to Visualize Your Goals

One of the most inspiring and powerful things you can do as a human being is to visualize what it is that you want to manifest, and then make it happen. The power of the mind is astonishing and, when coupled with mindfulness-based practices like meditation, you can increase your ability to make leaps and bounds toward creating the life you truly desire.

Goal setting is the catalyst for making this happen. The purpose of setting a goal is to achieve a desired result. When applied carefully with intention, action, momentum, and focus, setting and achieving goals gets you from where you are now to where it is you want to be. But first you have to know where that is. The “where” begins with your vision.

The first step is to start with the end in mind and work backward. The end result is your highest vision for a given area of life—be it health and fitness, relationship, family, career, or finance. Once connected with your vision, you then need to set specific goals that will aid you in actualizing the vision.

Many people mistake the goal for the vision thinking the goal is the end result. They set a goal without thinking ahead to what that goal will allow them to be, to do, or to have in the long run. To make the most out of your goal-setting process, it’s important to link it up to the quality of lifestyle you ultimately want to be living. For the purpose of creating some clarity, let’s outline the key differences between a vision and a goal.

Your Vision vs. Your Goal

Your vision isn’t something that needs to be created—it already exists within you. You just need to get in touch with it. Your vision is the big picture of your desired outcomes. It’s an internal representation of what is most important to you; it’s exciting, inspiring, compelling, and filled with positive emotions.

A goal, on the other hand, is a specifically designed milestone that requires completion if you are to get to the end of your yellow brick road. The downside is that a goal may not necessarily provoke positive emotions. Goals are simply stepping stones on the path that lead you to your ultimate destination.

A popular and effective way to set goals is to use the acronym SMART, which stands for specific (clear and precise), measurable (you can quantify or measure progress), achievable (meaning, it’s realistic), resources (you have the resources needed and you aren’t relying on divine intervention or other people), and time (there is a start and end date).

Using highly detailed, vivid imagery is an extremely powerful way to train the mind to go after—and get—what you want. Professional athletes use mental visualization to help them become more agile in their game. For example, Tiger Woods has been using visualization techniques to improve his game since he was a teenager, and World Champion Golfer, Jack Nicklaus, was quoted as having said, “I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp in-focus picture of it in my head.” Former NBA All-Star, Michael Jordan, used mental imagery to get into what he referred to as “the zone” to make his game-winning, three-point shots. Many public speakers practice anchoring themselves to a state of motivation prior to taking the stage in front of their audiences.

If professional athletes and stage presenters use visualization techniques to enhance their ability to be the best of the best, you too can utilize this approach to making your own dreams come true.

10 Meditation Steps for Achieving Your Goals

Try the following steps to practice a guided visualization on putting a goal into the future:

  1. Begin with an area of your life in mind. Choose an area where you have been struggling or would like to experience some transformation.
  2. Now begin to imagine the highest possible outcome that you would like to be living in this area of your life 6 to 12 months from now. Imagine living your life the way you would envision if all your hopes and dreams were to come true. What is your ultimate reality? Try not to get hung up on limitations or negativity; instead, just allow yourself to get carried away with your wildest aspirations.
  3. Next, connect with one goal you would like to achieve in the next three months. Make it a good one. If you choose a goal that doesn’t carry a lot of weight or isn’t all that meaningful, the end result (if you even bother getting there) won’t feel all that special. So be sure to choose something that is big enough that, once you’ve carried out this goal, you will be left with a high level of accomplishment and feeling super motivated to set your next goal. Run the goal through the SMART acronym to make sure it meets all the proper criteria. Then, you’re set!
  4. Now that you’ve connected with your goal, imagine what your life will be like once you have completed it. Create a picture or movie in your mind and step inside the visual representation as if you are inside it and looking through your own eyes. Adjust all of the qualities of sensory perception (taste, touch, sight, sound, smell) to create the most positive and most real feelings. Who is there with you? Where are you? What is happening around you?
  5. Next, step out of the image you’ve created and imagine floating up in the air above where you are now, taking the mental image with you. Take a deep inhale and as you exhale, use your breath to energize the image, filling it with positive energy and intention. Do this five times.
  6. Now it’s time to imagine floating out into the future and visualize dropping the internal representation of your goal down into your life below you at the date and time you’ve set for this goal to reach completion.
  7. Notice how all the events between then and now re-evaluate themselves to support you in accomplishing your goal. Visualize this process to make it feel real.
  8. Once you feel complete, come back to now and, with your eyes still closed, consider what action steps you will take in the next week to move you closer to your goal.
  9. Take a few deep breaths to ground yourself before opening your eyes. Write down your list of action steps and do any journaling about your experience.
  10. Last, you must take action and maintain your focus. Every single day, do something that moves you closer to realizing your goal and living your dream.

Do this process once a week or upon completion of your action steps so that you continue moving powerfully forward toward achieving your goal and living your vision. Seeing is believing, so use your mind to create your most compelling future.

 

 

 

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This article was written by Tris Thorp, an expert in the field of emotional healing Board certified by the Association of Integrative Psychology, has a passion and dedication to gently guide people on their inward journey through emotional healing.

This 1 Question Will Prepare You to Tackle Big Goals

This is the time of year when people pause to think about what they want to be different about their lives, or what specific goals they want to achieve in the coming new year.

Thus they make resolutions year after year to be better, fully optimistic that this will be the year their dreams become their reality. But unfortunately, most new year’s resolutions fail. Data shows only 9 percent of people achieved success with what they set out to achieve.

That abysmal number can often be chalked up to folks not going deep enough when it comes to making a plan for how to reach their goals.

For instance, most people’s strategy for changing their behavior is relying on their willpower. They think simply deciding to do better will be enough to actually help them. But willpower and motivation have proven to be unreliable allies over the long-term when it comes to impacting your behavior.

As such it is understandable why so many people abandon their resolutions within the first few weeks. No bueno.

This doesn’t mean that goal setting isn’t fruitful. It just means you need a smarter strategy that will support you in your journey to success, rather than working against you.

The key question that sets you up to actually achieve your goals

It isn’t enough to just know what you want to achieve. You’ve got to go one step further in your planning to get a view of what will be required of you to make your goal a reality and to sustain it over the long-term.

Thus a key question that needs to be integral to your planning is this: “Who do I need to become to reach my goals?”

So if your goal was to lose twenty pounds, and of course keep it off, then an answer to your “who do I need to become” question might look like this:

  • I need to be someone who works out for 30 minutes at least 3 times a week
  • I need to be someone who eats homecooked meals 5 to 6 days a week
  • I need to be someone who preps healthy meals in advance, so I don’t make poor food choices out of convenience

And if your professional goal is to publish a book, then the output of your “who do I need to become” exercise could look like this:

  • I need to be someone who writes at least a thousand words a day, 5 days a week
  • I need to be someone who reads at least twenty minutes a day every day
  • I need to be someone who is able to engage in at least one hour of deep work 5 days a week (for efficiency)

See how that works?

By connecting the attainment of your goals to specific behaviors that will enable you to achieve them, you can chart a clear path for what will be required for success.

I’ve seen the benefits of walking through this exercise in my own life. When I set a goal to take surfing lessons, I knew I had to first become someone who was able to swim well. So I signed up for private swim lessons and then had a weekly swim workout on my own to improve my skills.

And when I decided I wanted to put a cap on the number of hours I worked each week, that meant I had to become someone who was more productive. For me, that meant blocking off two days a week with no meetings, so I could dedicate time on those days to do creative work. And now it means scheduling planning and research time into the calendar, so when I sit down to work on projects, I already have the information I need to complete the task efficiently.

There are a number of entrepreneurs and business leaders who subscribe to this approach. As a result, they are quite prolific in consistently producing high-quality work.

For instance, in his book On Writing, famed author Stephen King noted that if you want to be a writer, you have to read and write a lot. He recommends four to six hours of reading and writing a day.

And in their international best-seller The One Thing, authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan encourage readers to follow their lead to time block the first four hours of every day to focus on working on the work that makes the biggest impact.

You can reach your goals. But you’ve got to be willing to consistently engage in the specific actions that will help you achieve them. A smart way to get started is by asking the essential question that helps you map out what key changes need to be made in how you operate.

 

 

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This article was written by Sonia Thompson, a marketing strategist, consultant, and author who helps businesses get the customers they want and keep them coming back for more. 

8 Daily Habits For A Positive Life

Discussions around habits often include the topic of failure.

Many people follow a list of steps for a certain period of time, but then struggle to establish patterns they can stick to. But despite failure, I have discovered that we form habits in our lives whether we are intentional about creating them or not.

Daily routines where I grab an easy meal instead of eating healthy, binge on Netflix marathons instead of reading a good book, or complain to my husband instead of offering a kind word have become habits that didn’t require any conscious effort.

I’ve determined that creating a positive life requires replacing patterns that pull me away from a life of joy and purpose.

When I think about habits for a positive life, I think about feeding the soul. There is a lot of information and plenty of resources surrounding how to feed your mind and body, but not a lot on how to feed your soul. I believe nurturing the spiritual part of ourselves will then overflow into a positive mind and body. Here is a list of 8 daily habits for a positive life:

1. Take a moment to sit quietly.

Whether this is through meditation, journaling, or prayer, take the time to reflect and listen to your inner self. Create space for positive energy and force out negativity. Find a location that allows you to sit, shut out the noise of the world, and sort through the noise within. Doing this in the morning will release stress and start your day with peace and clarity.

2. Practice gratitude.

In a world of entitlement, we sometimes forget to be grateful. Acknowledging your blessings each night will put your mind in the positive state needed to welcome rest. Keep a notepad by your bed where you can write down your blessings. This way, if it’s been a hard day, you can see several examples of good.

3. Learn something new.

Continual learning and the growth produced, as a result, help to mold us into well-rounded people. We may not always be the best at the new things we try, but taking risks and being open to new learning will ultimately develop confidence and courage. Read a book, take an online class, or skim through articles about a topic that interests you. Growth from learning empowers positivity.

4. Connect with positive people.

Every now and then we find ourselves around a person who brings us down. If we build relationships with positive people and work on connecting each day, we will soon reflect that same positivity in our other relationships.

5. Spend time in nature.

Go outside, breathe in the fresh air, walk, or ride your bike, and take notice of the beauty around you. Movement combined with the outdoors is always nourishment for the soul. Nature makes us slow down and appreciate what’s alive and thriving around us. We will soon thrive as well.

6. Let go of the past and focus on new possibilities.

It’s easy to get sucked into disappointment about the things we haven’t accomplished or the many failures we have all experienced. But if we take the time to dream and dwell in possibilities instead, we will soon develop a natural, positive way of thinking.

7. Share kindness.

The old saying, “Treat others the way you want to be treated” really holds true! Spreading kindness through words, acts of service, or giving your time not only instills positivity but also shares positivity. Practice taking notice of situations around you in which you could share a kind word or deed.

8. Set fear aside.

Fear of failing or taking risks can be paralyzing at times. But if we get into the habit of naming our fears, owning them, and then setting them aside, we create room for positivity to take root. Just as fear can embed itself into our souls, we can dig up the roots and plant positivity in its place.

Habits take time to develop and stick. As you incorporate these eight daily practices, be kind and patient with yourself. Don’t let a small failure keep you from trying again. A positive life is worth the attention and effort it will take to weed out bad habits and replace them with good ones.

 

 

 

 

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This article was written by Amanda Foust, a professional writer for www.downsupsteacups.com and certified life coach.

How to Focus Your Resources on Achieving Your Goals

Many people spend more time planning a single vacation than planning their lives.

The press of daily events makes it easy to put ourselves on the back burner. Yet every day spent without focus is like water flowing through your hands.

Time, like water, is a precious resource that cannot be recovered once it’s gone.

As the new year begins, resolve to think through your life purpose — your personal mission statement — and then focus your time, your activities and your resources to make sure you’re making steady progress toward well-defined goals that support your life mission. Be sure to consider all the important aspects of your life: family/friends, health/personal interests, career/finances and spirituality/giving back.

I believe so strongly in the power of goals (based on plenty of personal experience and learning from experts) that I present an occasional workshop to share my thoughts and document best practices on this vital topic. It’s impossible to share all the learnings from a multi-day workshop in the space of a single article, but I will hit the highlights here and provide a resource list if you’d like to learn more.

Why bother? Because Oprah has it right with her focus on “living your best life,” and that’s exactly what smart goals help us do.

Start with the big picture

After a discussion about values that drive personal codes of conduct (it’s a particularly timely topic given our current cultural issues), I ask workshop participants the $64,000 question: “What is your ultimate purpose?” Or, put another way, “What’s the primary question that you’re trying to answer with your life?”

This question leads to other questions, such as:

  • “Why was I put here?”
  • “Why do I want to do this?”
  • “What’s the purpose of my life?”
  • “Why do I want to be the kind of person that I am?”

Take the time to really wrestle with these big-picture questions. The answers you come up with will form the foundation of your personal life mission statement and the goals to support it.

If you are struggling, borrow a page from Huckleberry Finn and imagine your own funeral. Visualize the people in attendance and imagine what they would say about you. This exercise can tell you a lot about who you are now and, most importantly, who you want to be.

Ideally, your daily work not only financially supports you (and those you love), but also supports your big-picture reason for being on earth. If not, maybe it’s time to think about making some changes — either at your current job or somewhere new.

This happened to me early in my career when I realized I wanted to make a recognizable difference in the lives of my customers. Working at a large corporation would never give me that opportunity, thus my IT consulting and training company was launched soon thereafter.

Define goals that support your mission

When thinking about work goals, consider these questions:

  • What’s the ideal role for your professional life?
  • How much money do you want to make when you are at the top of your earning potential?
  • In what ways can you provide the absolute most value to your organization?
  • Think of times when you were at your absolute best in terms of performance. What do those days have in common? How do you make this the standard for every day?
  • What are things you can either not do or can delegate in your work life?
  • What tools, technologies or methodologies can you leverage to be the most productive?
  • Who can be a mentor in your career?
  • What organizations have members that could provide insights and relevant experience to help you shine in your career?
  • What books, CDs or courses could help you advance your career?

Get real

Thomas Edison reportedly once said, “Vision without execution is hallucination.” This is why it’s important to get all your big-goal decisions on paper.

Be clear about what you want and, most importantly, why you want it. (Does each goal support the things that you’ve decided matter most to you?)

Some people struggle with this phase of the process because they’re not 100 percent sure about certain goals. I advise weighing each option that could lead to a similar outcome by looking at the pros and cons of each. After weighing consequences and insuring you’ve reasonably limited the downside risks, make choices and resolve to succeed.

I’ve found that having my mission, values and goals clearly written and posted in multiple places — exercise equipment, desk, notebook, bathroom mirror — where I can see them every day helps me to stay focused. When a new decision must be made relative to my time or other resources, I can weigh the choice against these well-articulated priorities. It saves time and, most critically, keeps me from wasting my time or money on things that do not move me closer to achieving my goals.

Happiness matters

No matter where you land with your goals — work-related and otherwise — keep in mind that happiness matters and it’s easier to achieve than you might think. Research consistently has shown that people who report feeling happy and fulfilled in their daily lives share three common attributes:

  • Healthy relationships
  • Sense of purpose
  • Appreciation for everything good in their lives

Some people even manage to appreciate their problems and challenges as the learning opportunities that they are.

So, remember to engage with life in meaningful ways, say thank you, and spend quality time with the people who matter most. At the end of your life, you may be lucky enough to enjoy your own funeral — even if you’re not there to appreciate it.

 

 

 

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This article was written by Tom Salonek, the founder and CEO of Intertech, an IT consulting and training company, who has published more than 100 articles on business, leadership and technology.

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