These are the goal setting techniques I learned early in life that have been instrumental in helping me to develop the passion to live life to the fullest. I was first exposed to goal setting when I was 18 and a friend introduced me to multilevel marketing. “You get two friends and they get two friends and they all get two friends… and we all make money.” While personally I am not really fond of that business model, my experience with MLM companies taught me how to dream big.
Later I really honed my goal setting process from people like Stephen Covey, Anthony Robbins and Napoleon Hill.
Brainstorm your goals
I break my goals down into different categories:
- Personal Development Goals – anything I want to learn or improve.
- Thing Goals – anything I want to do or experience.
- Financial Goals – how much to want to earn (monthly, yearly), contribute, budget, invest, save, pay off debts and loans, put towards a house, retirement, etc.
- Company Goals – individual goals and milestones for my companies, including financial, product development, number of clients, etc.
I normally play some music and just start writing non-stop on anything I can think of in each category. I do each one individually for about 5 minutes each. I don’t limit myself or try to be realistic during this process.
Set a time line when you want to achieve the goal
After I brainstorm each category, I place a time limit when I want to accomplish the goal.
- 1: within one year or less
- 3: 3 years or less
- 5: 5 years or less
- 10: 10 years or less
- 20: 20 years or less
99% of my goals tend to be within the 1-5 year plan currently.
Choose your top one year goals in each category
Next, I decide which are the top 3 or 4 one year goals in each category and write a paragraph next to each goal on why it is an absolute must for me to achieve and what I will lose in life by not following through and going for it. The more detailed you are with your goal and why you must achieve it, the higher the level of drive you will have to take action.
You should now have 10-12 exciting goals!
Keep the goals in front of you!
Keep the goal in front of you as much as possible. This makes a HUGE difference as you are training your subconscious mind that you deserve this goal and must have it. Common techniques:
- Write your goals on index cards and tape them to your bathroom mirror
- Find photos of your goals and post them on your vision board or wall (near your desk is best)
- Have a list of your goals in your planner and review them daily
- Create a custom desktop wallpaper for your computer with your goals on them
- Create a slideshow of your goals (like an online vision board)
- Create a custom screensaver of your goals
- Put your goal photos in a digital photo frame and keep it on your desk
Note: I’ll post some of my goals and online vision boards / slideshows soon. The one I had was deleted when photobucket stopped their remix program without telling anyone. I’ll also show you guys how to make one.
Outline a plan to achieve the goals
Having a goal without a plan of action means you just have a dream.
When I formulate a plan to achieve my goals I look for people who have already achieved my goal. I find out what and how they did it. I look at their mindset, what they did on a daily basis, what their beliefs were and who they got help from. Resources to find this information:
- Personally reach out and contact someone. You would be surprised how willing people are to help you if you reach out in a sincere way that compliments them and is not pushy or needy.
- Search the internet for interviews
- Read their autobiography or biographies – so much knowledge of what is necessary to succeed is already out there. The basic principles that made someone successful a thousand years ago are the same what will make you successful today.
Then I break down the goal into chunks and set deadlines for each task. I also make sure to ask myself how I can make the process of achieving the goal enjoyable and fun! For example, I recently set a goal to gain 20 lbs of muscle and reduce my body fat to 8%. My main action plan categories are:
- Meal Plan / Nutrition
- Workout Plan
- Making Fun
Detail sample of Meal Plan and Nutrition
- Research proper calorie / protein / fat / carbs ratios for my goal – by 1/10/10
- Explore vegan body building meal plan – by 1/15/10
- Buy a ton of gladware reusable containers – by 1/20/10
- Buy groceries – by 1/25/10
- Research and buy supplements I want to use – by 1/25/10
- Run plan by nutritionist – by 1/20/10
- Food Prep trial run – 1/30/10
Add tasks to your planner and schedule
To keep track of the individual tasks I group them into my quarterly, monthly and then weekly planner pages. That way each week I can see the progress I have made and anything I missed.
Set rewards for achieving milestones and your goals
Most often our goals will take time to achieve. Therefore make sure you reward yourself in the short term as well. Just make sure the rewards are not counterproductive to your main goal or you can accidently program your mind to see that working towards the goal is a negative experience. For example: if reward yourself for working out that week with having a unhealthy cheat meal. A better reward would be something like a $250 shopping spree for new clothes, a trip to the beach to show off your new hot body, etc.
If you really want some added incentive, you can also create consequences to not taking action! Announce to everyone that if you don’t hit your milestone by the deadline you will do something gross or humiliating. Like eat a can of dog food, wear a pink skin tight “I’m a fat pig” t-shirt to work!
Motivation comes from actually starting to DO the thing you want to be motivated about.
Take massive action and review your progress
After you have your plan, just go at it full steam ahead. I normally stick to a plan for 30 days and then review my progress. This gives me enough time for momentum to build and track my results. Often times there is a lag from when we take action to when we see results, so many people quit too early thinking what they are trying doesn’t work. This of course, will depend on the type of goal too though.
Record your successes!
I always keep a journal of my weekly accomplishment and when I hit a big milestone. Then at the end of each year, I review those accomplishments and make a big list to keep. One thing I decided to start doing this year is to actually print out a yearly book on my successes, accomplishment and magic moments in life.
I wish you success to achieving your dreams! Share with me some of the top goals you are committed to achieving and your successes in the comments section. I would love to read them!
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