1. BUY INTO GOAL-SETTING
In other words, buy into taking control of your life. If you don't know where you want to go, how do you know in which direction to move? How do you know how close you are, or even if you've arrived? If you got into your car without a destination in mind, wouldn't you just drive around - going nowhere - until you ran out of gas? Reject the route that most people take: shuffling down the life path of least resistance, resigned to "making the most of it."
True, life has a momentum of its own, and while you must respect that, chances are you can control your life much more than you are now. Think about it honestly - most likely 99% of your best achievements in life happened because you set a goal, developed an action plan, and persisted.
Why is it that clearly 97% of the population has never set goals? The reason is FEAR. False Evidence Appearing Real. If the evidence appears real in your mind, then it is real. An example of this is someone who can rob a bank with his finger. He sticks his hand in his coat, walks up to the teller, shoves his finger forward in his pocket like a gun and robs the bank. Now is there really any danger? No, but to all appearances, there is.
We go through life collecting false evidence, letting it build up, and when we think of setting goals - we think of putting ourselves in danger: we might not reach them, we might fail. But it is far better to set them and miss rather than not trying at all. "Failing to plan, is planning to fail by default."
2. START BY FANTASIZING
If you could have anything, what would it be? If you could be anyone, who would you be? Imagine you are chatting with the person you are going to be in 20 years. How does that person look, speak and think? What do others think of them? Do they have any advice for you? Get back in touch with your childhood dreams. This is not frivolity! Many people fail to get what they want because they refuse to let themselves think about it.
Unfortunately many of us were told as children, "Stop daydreaming!" Not only should you think about it, you must visualize the goal - see yourself possessing what you want, and being who you want to be. Embrace it - get a clear view of your goals. Your subconscious mind is a truly incredible device. Although the term "subconscious mind" has been used loosely, it is probably more accurate to think of it not as a mind at all - but rather a mechanism or ability of the mind.
The human system is goal-seeking by design and one of the functions of this mechanism is goal-fulfillment - similar to the concept of the homing torpedo or the ballistic missile. The human brain operates in much the same way but it is much more complex than any system man could ever invent. Amazingly, it cannot distinguish between that which is real and that which is vividly imagined. It stores emotional fantasies as your own reality, and what it sees as reality becomes the "target" to hit - it will start to work with you toward reaching your goals. That is why it is so important to your success that you not skip this step - you must vividly imagine your goals and see yourself achieving them.
3. WRITE THEM DOWN
Goals must be written down to be accomplished. This simple process is a giant step towards the finish line. It's been said that the difference between a "wish" and a "goal" is that a goal is written down. Believe it. If it is not in writing, it is not a goal.
An unwritten want is a wish, a never-happen. The day you put your goal in writing is the day and time it becomes a commitment that will change your life. Another fascinating fact about your subconscious mind is the physical act of your hand writing down your goals in the "I will" tense, signals it to act to fulfillment. Amazing. Only 3% of the world's population writes their goals leaving 90% thinking about them and the remaining 7% doing neither one.
It is a proven scientific fact that writing crystallizes thought and thought crystallizes action. Make a Master Plan, a dream list, a goal sheet. Let your mind run free. Don't limit yourself to just career goals - set them in all facets of your life. Too much emphasis in just one area will throw you off-kilter - and that is the key: BALANCE in your life, an area we all need to work on.
Organize the sheet into 10 categories:
· Health/Weight· Family/Children· Friendship· Spirituality· Education/Self-Development· Community· Travel· House/Auto· Money/Salary/Promotions· Investments/Retirement
4. MAKE THEM REALISTIC & BELIEVABLE
Deciding what is realistic can be tough. Is it unrealistic to set the goal of becoming a millionaire next year? Becoming President of the United States? Living in Tahiti? Only you can decide what is realistic for you. Keep in mind though, that it is far better to set your goals high than to sell yourself short by setting them too low. Remember to aim high - not out-of-sight, but just out-of-reach.
Be sure to make your goals believable - if you don't believe you can achieve a goal, you won't pay the price (time, effort, patience, persistence, tears) that will be necessary to reach it. An effective goal is an exciting challenge. A goal must push you beyond where you are right now. It must demand your best and perhaps a bit more than you realized you had in you - otherwise, it isn't going to force you to change your ways.
5. MAKE THEM SPECIFIC AND MEASURABLE
For example, you want to be "well-read". What does that mean? Fiction? Biography? Current events? How many books? When do you want to have achieved it? You set the goal to "make more money". How much? Per week? Per month? When do you want to start earning that amount? Get precise! This may sound compulsive, but it is invaluable.
Guideline: If you can't quantify your goal - with numbers and dates - it isn't specific enough. Goals must be painfully specific. Until vague wishes are translated into concrete goals, progress will not be made. Again, just like the homing torpedo. It cannot function properly without specific data. If it is programmed incompletely or non-specifically or aimed at a target too far out of range on the horizon, this homing device will wander erratically around the sea or space until its propulsion system fails or until it self-destructs.
And so it is with your mind - programmed with vague, random thoughts or fixed on an unrealistic goal - the human system wanders aimlessly around and around until it wears itself out.The goals you program into your mind need to be of intricate detail. Give your miraculous subconscious mind the proper input to fulfill its mission."A goal is a dream with a deadline."
6. BREAK LONG-RANGE GOALS INTO SHORT-TERM DEADLINES
Deadlines have a magical way of producing results, so give yourself lots of them. If you know what you want in 5 years, you can also know what you have to be doing this year, this month, and this week to achieve it. Short-term goals should be set within a 90-day period. There is a tendency observed that you may lose interest if a short-term goal exceeds 90-days. This "divide-and-conquer" game plan gives you the small, immediate victories that keep your momentum and commitment level high.
Winners know that the achievement of one goal is the seed that spawns many more, and multiplies the open doors to success almost spontaneously. Each week, develop your weekly plan from your master plan. Each day, set your daily To-Do list. Crossing off the items as they are completed produces a powerful motivation to keep the day moving and complete the list. Take control of your time.
7. ANCHOR THEM
Have you ever wondered why some people set goals and reach them, while others just fail miserably? Well, there are many ingredients to reaching your goals which we are covering, but
the strongest one is persistence and perseverance that is anchored to a strong WHY. If your "why" is strong enough, the, "how" figures itself out.
Here's an example:It is the middle of the day - outside is a terrible blizzard raging that just seemed to come out of no where. The phone rings - it is the school calling - your son was just rushed to the emergency room and they need you to meet the doctor at the hospital. You run outside to jump in your car and you have 4 flat tires. Do you say to yourself, "Oh well, I tried, I just won't make it there - there is no way." Or rather do you tell yourself, "No matter what - I am getting to that hospital if I have to walk every inch of the way!" We all know the answer. Your "why" was so powerful - your need to get there so strong - that you surely found your way there. So it is true in all aspects of our life.
The goals you set that have a strong anchor are the ones you will reach. What deep-rooted, in-your-gut reasons do you have for wanting this to happen? What will happen to the quality of your life when you reach your goal? What will it feel like? Your "why" will keep you going in the direction of the goal even when it gets hard; even when it seems impossible. It is the tie that binds you emotionally to the task for the long-term.
It has been said that CHARACTER is the ability to carry out a decision long after the emotion of making the decision has passed.So, the next step is to write down your "why" next to each goal you have written down. If you cannot clearly state why you want this on your dream list/goal sheet in one sentence, cross it off the list.
8. MAKE THEM COMPATIBLE
Make your goals compatible with your efforts. If you only work your business about 5 hours each week, don't set a goal to become the "Top Dog" in the next 30 days. Keep your goals compatible with the efforts you are giving. Be realistic.
9. IDENTIFY ANY OBSTACLES THAT STAND IN YOUR WAY
Guess what? You are going to hit obstacles. Road-blocks, resistance. No problem. Anticipate. Prepare. What will you need to plan around to get to your goal? The goal we write is gold, but the plan on accomplishing that goal may be written in sand. You may have to change course, take a detour to get there - but you will get there.
And as far as resistance is concerned? Welcome it. Develop the "bring-it-on" mentality. Why? Because resistance is nothing more than life identifying just how bad you want it. When life pushes and resists - push back. A body builder will teach you a similar principle: Resistance is what builds muscle - it gives you something to push against - it makes you stronger.
10. IDENTIFY WHO YOU WILL NEED TO WORK WITH
No one is an island. The influence and cooperation of others is critical to your success. Assembling a group of people who have the same goal, drive and ambition you have is priceless. If you are going to reach your goals, surround yourself with people who will help you get there. Teaming up with a peer also holds you both accountable to the commitment - an excellent way to keep your head in the game.
11. IDENTIFY WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
We all need to be students. You are either "green and growing" or you are "ripe and rotting". As soon as you think you know it all, you are through. Keep reading, attending workshops, listening to tapes and sound advice whenever you can. If there is a specific part you don't understand or need help with - ASK !!! You certainly can't achieve your goals if you don't have the knowledge required.
12. DEVELOP AN ACTION PLAN
Goals load the gun, but action pulls the trigger. What is a clear-cut goal without an action plan? A waste of time. Imagine a football team that has developed some of the most effective plays to score touchdowns, they map them all out - but when they get on the playing field they don't put them into action. What a pity - no superbowl for them - just a waste of time and talent.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is confusing activity with action. Activities, many times are tension-relieving (shuffling papers, etc.) rather than goal-achieving. Activity is writing down a list of names, action is picking up the phone and making the appointment. Develop an action plan for each of the goals you set. Develop a "do-it-now" philosophy. If not now, when?"
The first step in achieving your goals is to recognize that ‘someday' is not a day of the week." - Ed Bliss, Author of Getting Things Done How many times are you going to review where you want to go? Analysis causes paralysis. Get moving! Put your plan into action!
13. STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Time to stop kidding yourself. We are all guilty of procrastination and playing-it-safe. The sting of rejection and the fear of failure keeps us from our own destiny. "If you want to keep on getting what you've got, just keep on doing what you've done."We should take our cue from nature.
When the time has come for the babies to fly, the mother bird literally throws her babies out of the nest - and guess what? They start flapping instinctively and they fly.We all want the "fruit" in life - funny, there's no fruit close to the safe tree-trunk - all the fruit is out on the limb of the tree where you'll have to risk falling to get it, Oh, there's that 4-letter word again - RISK. "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that's not what ships were made for." And neither were you.
To go forward in the face of overwhelming odds is to risk failure. But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or love. Chained by his fear, he is a slave. He has forfeited freedom. Only a person who takes risks can truly be free. Yes, it's risky stepping out into the unknown - away from your comfort zone - but it is the first step toward reaching your goals.
14. MAKE A COMMITMENT TO YOURSELF THAT YOU WILL NOT QUIT
"Winners never quit, while quitters never win." Such a true statement. Understand ahead of time that there are going to be people and events that will stop you temporarily, but only you can make yourself stop permanently.
Don't ever let the negative influence of others change your chosen course. Stay in control - decide ahead of time what you are willing to give up in order to reach your goals. Understand that failure cannot cope with persistence.Guideline: Abandon goals only if they have lost meaning for you - never because they are too tough or you've had a setback.
15. REVIEW YOUR GOALS REGULARLY
Cross off the goals you've completed (what a good feeling) and revise, add to, or delete the others. Which ones have you ignored? Which ones are you flat-out avoiding? Now is the time to be honest with yourself about which ones you are really committed to, and which ones are only paper dreams. It is okay to change your goals as you go along - scratch some off if you need to. Recommit to the ones you are dead serious about. See goal setting as a process. The direction and focus you get from goal setting is just as important as the achievement. START RIGHT THIS MINUTE
Make a commitment to yourself that you will begin; that you will take over the helm of your life and no longer let time slip away from you. You can direct your own course in life by designing your life through the power of setting goals. Don't wait for external changes to trigger your activity - let an internal change begin to move you forward. Do it now.
GOAL SETTING IS THE POWER OF PURPOSE
"The credit belongs to those people who are actually in the arena, who know the great enthusiasms, the great devotions to a worthy cause; who at best, know the triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst, fail while daring greatly,so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."- Theodore Roosevelt
Thank you to Elvire Smith for sharing this.