Last week, my wife Karin and I received an e-mail inquiry about one of the goal-setting programs we offer through Early to Rise. The gentlemen indicated that he was at a point where he was looking for a real change, not a temporary fix. He was interested in the program, yet skeptical. He wanted more than a money-back guarantee. He said that he would follow the material to the letter, but was hesitant to invest his time unless we could guarantee that his time wouldn’t be wasted – that the program would work specifically for him.
Karin and I talked about how best to reply. Of course, we stand behind our programs. But, as with any product, a blanket guarantee of results is impossible. Yes, we can return his money if he’s not satisfied. (ETR has an exceptional money-back guarantee.) But no, we can’t return his time.
Our decision was to politely thank the gentleman for his interest.
Taking Action: the Most Important Key to Success
A good program will provide you with the raw materials for achieving your goal – but no one can guarantee that you will actually achieve it.
For instance, an Internet business-building program will give you instructions for setting up a website, starting an e-mail newsletter, and writing sales copy. But the best Internet business-building program in the world won’t help you build a million-dollar business unless you put what you learn to work in the real world. You’ve got to follow those steps for setting up a website and set up a website. You’ve got to use that copywriting information to write sales copy.
When I started off in insurance sales, I had to invest a lot of time in studying to pass the licensing test. Did having an insurance license automatically guarantee that I would make sales? Of course not. I became a successful insurance salesman because I took action. I marketed myself. I mastered dozens of sales techniques. I learned my product inside and out.
Taking action may be the most important component of success – but it’s not the only one. There are three more:
Know What You Want
It is interesting to me that many people spend precious time thinking and talking about what they don’t want. Like that fellow who said he didn’t want to waste his time on our goal-setting program if we couldn’t guarantee it would work for him. Or the people who say they don’t want to be broke… or don’t want to be overweight… or don’t want to lose their jobs… or don’t want more stress.
What they should be doing is turning those negative thoughts around and taking a positive approach: By telling yourself what you want to do (I want to be fit and trim… I want to create additional income… I want to feel relaxed), not what you don’t want to do, you will inspire yourself to take action to achieve the goal.
It starts with forming a specific and detailed plan. This is where visualization is helpful.
If you want to be fit and trim, visualize a new post-weight-loss achievement outfit you are going to buy… or that favorite pair of jeans you want to get back into. In addition, visualize the favorable responses you will get from people when you reach your ideal weight and fitness goal.
If you want to increase your income, visualize how you will feel when you see your bank account balance increase… and what you will do for your family with that money. Would you buy a bigger house? If so, picture exactly where you’ll live – the neighborhood, the size and color of the house, etc. A new car? Picture the exact car you’ll buy.
Measure Your Results Along the Way Keeping track of how you are doing with your goal-setting plan helps you determine the effectiveness of your actions.
You may find that you no longer want to pursue a goal you assigned yourself. Or perhaps you want to modify that goal. Maybe you want to keep the goal but you’ve discovered a more convenient and efficient way to get to the “finish line.” Let’s say you set a physical fitness and weight-loss goal. And the plan you came up with to achieve that goal was to go to the gym three nights a week. You’ve been doing that for two months, and you’re happy with the results. But now you think there’s a good chance you can stay on track by working out at home.
Only YOU can determine the most effective way to use your time. But you won’t be able to do that if YOU don’t measure and monitor your progress along the way. Make Constant Improvements The Japanese principle known as “kaizen” (which means continuous improvement) can be applied to all aspects of life. But it is perhaps best known for the way it’s been applied to business.
Some scholars think kaizen is what enabled Japan to go from defeat in World War II to being one of the world’s strongest economies. What the Japanese did was commit to continuously improving their manufacturing industries to be more efficient, cost-effective, and productive. The idea was that everything could always be done better.
This is exactly what we here at ETR want for you! We want you to believe that you can always find new and better ways to achieve your goals. If an action is working and bringing the desired results – do it more often. If an action is not working or throwing you off track – do it less often. (Or eliminate it altogether.)
The beauty of goal setting is that it is all about YOU and what you want to achieve. You choose… you act… you monitor your actions… you celebrate and continue refining your actions.
Each one of us is very different, yet we are all alike in that we are success-seekers on a life journey that is just that – a journey to success. You want guarantees? I can guarantee that you won’t have success unless you are proactive in using the four simple success components I outlined for you today.