Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Goals 101

GOALS 101.001It’s been said that the number one reason people don’t achieve their goals is because they have too many. I think it’s more likely that people confuse a list of wishes with goals. Goals should give you vision and direction so you can create an actionable plan toward achieving them.

I seriously doubt people have too many goals, rather they have too many competing priorities clamoring for the A1 slot.

Here’s an exercise that will help you identify the one motivating goal that is burning inside of you.  Think of it as your Great Goal. Everyone should have a Great Goal, the one that take precedence over all others. After you achieve it you can find another one, but not before because if you work on multiple Great Goals you risk diluting your efforts and weakening your chance at success. Follow these five steps to help focus your thinking.

1. Answer these questions:

  • If I won one million dollars tomorrow, what would I do?

  • If I could change one thing about my body, what would it be?

  • Who do I wish to be and why?

  • What skill do I wish I had learned as a child?

  • Where do I see my career in five years?

2. Pick One
Choose the one answer from above that provokes the greatest reaction in you.  That’s your goal; reflect on it and determine what part of it you believe you can accomplish in less than a year.

3. Pick a Time Frame
Determine, how long will it realistically take to accomplish this goal; one week, one month, six months, one year?

4. Determine the cost
What will it cost you to achieve this goal in either time, talent (effort) or treasure (money)?

5. Fill in the blanks
I resolve to (answer from step 2) in (answer from step 3) by (answer from step 4).

Now, refine your statement in a way they speaks more clearly to you.  Write it on a note card, fold it up and bring it with you everywhere you go. Read it as often as you can; certainly at least twice a day, first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

Congratulations, you’re on your way, and already have done more work on your personal development than ninety percent of the people you interact with each day.  I’d love to hear about your success.  Send me an email once you’ve achieved your goal and tell me how long it took.  You can also contact me if you want an accountability partner to help you stay on track and achieve your goal.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Three Paths. One Clear Way.

A PathPeople who want to be, do or have something generally follow one of three paths.

There are those who make no plans and do not set goals. It's not that they don't have a list of wants in their life but they tend to be dependent on outside resources out of their control; like winning the lottery. 85% of the people you meet fall into this category. They have no specific goals that they're focused on achieving. They work day by day, maybe weekend to weekend with little thought of cause and effect or the role their own action, or inaction plays in their life.

The next group of people are different. They have goals. The level of specificity may vary from person to person but ask them what their goal is and they can tell you. It might sound more like a wish to some, but these people know what they want. They're capable of achieving their goal but they get bouts of insecurity and feelings of doubt. 10% of the people you meet are in this group.

The final group also have goals. You'll notice they are far more specific when they describe them. Even if they sound far-fetched, there's something about their confidence and self-assuredness that convinces you it's not an idle dream of theirs. It's a worthwhile great goal and there's probably no stopping them. They have a secret weapon. Not only do they physically write down their goals, (something 95% of the people you know don't do) they also make plans toward accomplishing their goals. A plan needn't be more elaborate than a series of tasks and a deadline to meet each of those tasks. People with great goals achieve the important things they set out to achieve because they do the work it takes.

Before you decide which path you want to take next equip yourself with a clear goal and a plan.