It’s that time again: time to create a plan that improve your life, whether they help you become a better person or experience greater levels of success. What if I told you I could show you a proven method for following through on your plan – this year, and every year?
The starting point of setting goals for the coming year is for you to project forward and think back. Practice what we call “Back from the Future” thinking. Project forward to the end of the next twelve months and ask yourself, “If everything happens perfectly, what will it look like?”
The one quality of men and women who become leaders in their own lives and societies throughout all of history, is the quality of vision. They have the ability to visualize. They can see the future well in advance of it becoming a reality. They can then see the steps that they will need to take to get from where they are to where they want to go.
So if your next twelve months were ideal, in every respect, what would happen or, what would have happened, at the end of that twelve month period?
Here is the basic seven-step model of goal setting. You can use this like breathing in and breathing out on a regular basis to accelerate your attainment of any goal you can imagine for yourself.
Step number one is for you to decide exactly what you want. This immediately moves you into a separate category of people because most people have no idea of what they really want. Clarity is the most important single quality of goal-setting and perhaps the most important single quality of success. Decide exactly what you want in each area of your life. Instead of fuzzy goals like more money, better health and happiness, be specific about exactly how much more money you want to earn in a specific period of time and combine that with exactly what level of health and fitness you desire.
Step number two is for you to write it down. Only three percent of living Americans, or adults anywhere for that matter, have written goals. Everyone else that thinks about a written goal and plans to write them down, someday. But they never get around to it. Most people spend more time making a list of groceries before they go shopping or planning a vacation than they do in planning their lives. But again, this is not for you. Success begins with a pad of paper, a pen and a few minutes of your time. One of the most important keys to success is to “think on paper.”
The third step is for you to set a deadline. If it is a large goal, set a series of sub-deadlines. A deadline acts as a “forcing system” on your subconscious mind and begins to move you toward your goal rapidly while it moves your goal toward you.
The fourth step is for you to make a list of everything you could possibly think of that you will have to do to achieve your goal. The more comprehensive your list, the more motivated you will become, the more intense will be your desire and the more you will believe it possible.
One of the things that hold people back is even if they get to the point of a written goal; they do not take the time to lay out a list of all the little things they will have to do to get there. And with additional experience, you will add new items to your list until it finally becomes complete.
The fifth step of goal setting is for you to take your list and organize it into a plan. A plan is really quite simple. It is a list organized by priority and importance. You decide what you will do first and what you will do later. You decide what is more important and what is less important. And most of all, you decide upon the one thing that is more important than anything else that you can do immediately to begin moving more rapidly towards your goal.
Step number six is for you to “take action!” This is the big killer for most people. They are procrastinators. They have great ideas combined with great hopes and dreams. They may even get to the point of writing down their goals. But when it comes to taking action, they always have a reason or excuse to procrastinate to put it off until a later time. However, as the Bible says, “Faith without deeds is dead.”
Step number seven is for you to do something every day to move you toward your major goal. Never let a day go by without you engaging in some action that helps you move another step in the direction of what you really, really want in life.
Remember, you can’t hit a target that you can’t see. And if you don’t know where you are going, how could any road will get you there? The simple seven step act of deciding exactly what you want, writing it down, setting a deadline, making a list, organizing the list into a plan, taking action on the most important item on your list and then doing something every day towards your goal will change your life and your future in ways that you cannot even dream of today.
[Ed. Note. Brian Tracy has accumulated over four decades of studying the success habits of successful people. He has then taken these practices to train groups, both individual and large corporations what is necessary to make personal success simple. He has offered his guidance as one of the ETR Transformation Contest experts, find out about Brian Tracy and his expertise here.]
The Best Time for This is Now,