Personal Development Course
Becoming an Authentic MVP: Master the skills, attitudes, and discipline to be the Best in Your Business and Personal Life.
Lesson 6 – Go for Your Goals
Please listen to the audio file first in each section as it contains greater detail than the written text. Then follow the instructions, if any, at then end of each lesson.
(Listen to Mp3, audio message 5, Your GPS (Goal Positioning System)
In my work with prisoners of war, astronauts, world-class athletes, executives and their families, I have seen an obsession that was a flimsy cobweb of an idea at first — through long hours of practice and effort — solidify into something as tangible and worthwhile as an Olympic gold medal. We all have the power within. There is a potential gold mine inside each of our goals. You and I are different from most people because we genuinely expect our dreams to come true. We are interested in improving our lives and the lives of those we touch. We are not fanatics. We do not fall for bizarre or fad notions, potions, or lotions. We want to understand how we think and why we do things. We want to learn enough about how our mind functions so we can get it to work for us, rather than against us. Concentrate your attention on where you want to go, not away from where you don’t want to be. You will always move in the direction of your currently dominant thoughts. Since we are well into the third decade of the 21st Century, I like to think of my mind as a marvelous GPS system, but instead of a Global Positioning Satellite system, either hand-held or in our cars, our brain is like a GPS system, where GPS means Goal Positioning System. Tell your internal GPS, where you want to go. Be as specific as possible. The more inputs the better. And it will guide you there. But first you must know where you are right now. And where you want to go. What you see is who you’ll be and what you set, is what you’ll get.
This winter will not vary much from previous winters. It may to colder or warmer than usual. There may be more or less snow or wind-chill. Most of us on or before December 31st will make New Years’ resolutions. (Notice I said “resolutions,” not commitments.) These resolutions will involve any or all of the following:
- Better health habits, especially weight control
- More quality time with loved ones
- Increasing both immediate and residual income
As we gaze into the glowing embers in our fireplaces, many of us will visualize the coming year and make a silent pact with ourselves to make next year our “breakthrough” year in which our dreams became realities. What if we turned the tables on the odds-makers and followed through on our resolutions and made tangible, specific progress during the early months of the coming year? Well, we can and we will. All we need to do is follow through with our most important priorities. No one really has a time management problem. We really have a focus problem. We spend too much energy worrying about the things we want to do but can’t, instead of concentrating on doing the things we can do but don’t. Dreams are the creative visions of our lives in the future. Dreams are what we would like our lives to become. Goals, on the other hand, are the specific events that we intend to make happen. Goals should be just beyond our present reach, but never out of sight. Think of your goals as previews of coming attractions of an epic, real-life movie in which you are the screenwriter, producer and star performer.
Goals are our method of concentrating energy. By defining what needs to be done within reasonable time limits, we have a way of measuring success. In this sense, goals are like the rules of games like tennis.
If you try to practice with a net that’s too low or with a baseline too far away, you’ll never know when you’ve hit the ball too low or too hard. You may never know the disappointment of missing a shot, but neither will you ever know the satisfaction that comes from playing the game well. In terms of bringing about true accomplishments, the “obstacles” that seem to be standing in the way are really the foundations of our achievements. What specifically are the obstacles standing in the way of you moving up to the next level in your business and life? Who will help you go over and around them, and how?
Laser technology and effective goal achievement are based upon the same scientific principles. When light waves are concentrated and in step they produce a beam of pure light with incredible power. When goals are kept in focus and are approached in orderly progression, they ignite the human mind’s awesome creativity and powers of accomplishment. In the next message, I’ll share with you what I call the Five Powers for framing your goals.
(Listen to Mp3, audio message 6, The Power of Focused Goals)
One of my most respected friends and colleagues during the past 30 years has been the inimitable, Zig Ziglar, who is arguably one of the most influential figures in the personal development movement. Zig calls a goal a dream with a deadline, because it needs to be defined and measured. How you frame your goals in your mind is very important, since your goals are previews of coming attractions and what I call images of achievement. We all know that every invention and product was first a thought. A figment of some creative individual’s imagination.
There are numerous books, online webinars and workshops on goal setting. I’ve learned that one of the major reasons so few people reach their goals is that most people don’t set specific goals and the mind just dismisses them as irrelevant. Most people want financial security, but have never considered how much money it will take. The mind cannot begin to formulate the strategies and actions required without specific information. Your mind will simply not respond to a request to get rich, have more, do better or make money. You must act like a bank loan officer with your goals. The reason loan officers want to see a detailed business plan in writing is that they know the entrepreneurs who are precise and specific are the ones who will succeed and pay off their loans. Written goals are like contracts with yourself.
If you ever begin to feel that you are losing your drive; if you feel that your energy level is down, your frustration level is up and you just can’t seem to muster the enthusiasm to face a challenge, check the pulling power of your goals. You may have outgrown your current targets and present lifestyle.
It may be time for motivation by elevation. Raise your sights and challenge yourself with some goals that are farther out on the horizon. This may require more knowledge, new skills, a new lifestyle. If so, that’s great! Many people resist goal-setting because they assume it leads to a formula-driven, highly uncreative life. Actually, the exact opposite can be true. People who passively assume that everything will somehow work out in the end can hardly be termed creative. They’re not creating their lives, they’re just hoping against hope that something good will happen to them. Once you set a goal, you can adjust and fine tune it any way you wish. That’s creativity. And persistence is what allows you to keep progressing toward the goal no matter how many adjustments are required, and no matter how long it takes to accomplish it. Since you move in the direction of your currently dominant thoughts, like a set of travel instructions from the GPS system in your car, there are roadmaps you can utilize to help you get to your destination faster and with fewer road blocks.
Here are five “powers” that will help you create more focused goals to achieve your dreams:
- The Power of the Positive. Your goals should be framed in positive terms. Winners dwell on the rewards of success, while losers dwell on the penalties of failure. In other words, instead of focusing on “not being late,” “not being fat,” “not being in debt,” or “not working in my regular job,” you want to concentrate on images of achievement, such as “I’m an on-time person,” “I am lean and am in great shape,” “I am financially free,” and “I am creating wealth and success in my business.” Remember that your mind cannot concentrate on the reverse of an idea, so keep your goals framed in the positive.
- The Power of the Present. Your goals should be framed as images of achievement in the present tense as you affirm them in your own self-talk. Your long-term memory stores information in real time, that is critically important to you. The reason your memory stores information in the present tense is obvious. Can you imagine what would happen if your mind had to remind your heart to beat tomorrow? Or what if it put the command for breathing, eating, or calorie burning on next month’s agenda? If you’re a woman and you say, “I want to weigh 130 pounds by next summer,” your long-term memory won’t even consider working on the goal because it is so far away. It will simply dismiss it as something that might come up later in the distant future. So by combining the first two powers, you will have your goals framed in the present and in the positive. Some examples: “I weigh a lean, trim, healthy 130 pounds.” Or if you’re a man, “I weigh a fit, strong, healthy 170 pounds.” Or you can make it an income image such as “My business is generating $150,000 (or whatever the target is for this year.)
- The Power of the Personal. I cannot stress this enough. Your images of achievement must be yours. They cannot be your boss’s goals, your spouse’s goals, or your friend’s goals. They also cannot be goals that the media or filmmakers are placing in front of you. Goals that are created by others for you have very little staying power. No goal set for you by others will ever be sought with the same passion, effort, commitment, or motivation as the one you set for yourself.
It’s important when selecting a weight control program, or participating in a contest based on quotas, that you set realistic, challenging targets that will mean the most to you, individually, and not simply echo the targets of your associates or team members. Keep your mind focused on your own goals, but achieve them by helping others succeed.
As you set your goals, share them only with those individuals who will take the time to give you positive feedback and input. Never share a personal image of achievement with a cynic, a jealous relative, or an acquaintance who is likely to rain on your parade. Share your goals only with winners who have similar goals, who have achieved similar goals, or who are really interested in helping you accomplish your own.
- The Power of Precision. Make your images of achievement specific and precise. Remember when you talk about goals in generalities, you will very rarely succeed. But when you talk about your goals with specificity, you will very rarely fail. A good way for you to determine if your images of achievement are focused enough is to simply ask yourself, “Can this goal be timed, checked, or measured?” If you cannot time, check or measure your performance, your goals are not specific enough.
- The Power of the Possible. A formula that works well is that your goals should be just out of reach but not out of sight. Another way to state that is that your goals should be realistic, but not achievable by ordinary means. You don’t want the daydreaming, pie-in-the-sky kind of goal. At the same time, your goals must be challenging. You can’t get a loan for a goal or put in on a charge card. The challenge is what engages your mind and gets the adrenaline flowing. Your goals should also be broken down into small, incremental action steps.
Remember the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. So set challenging, realistic goals with small, doable action steps.
The mind is the most magnificent bio-computer ever created. But remember, like a computer, it only responds to specific instructions, not to vague ideas. Get specific in your “goal mind” and you soon will have a gold mine of achievement.
(Listen to Mp3, audio message 7, Go for Your Goals)
If you don’t set goals, your mind will set one to get through the day
Most people spend more time planning a vacation or a party than they spending planning their lives
If you don’t know where your going, it doesn’t matter if your alarm doesn’t go off in the morning
Television is technology that lets you watch other people having fun, making money reaching their goals
There is no such thing as a time management problem, only focus problems that steal time from priorities
Purpose is the engine than that powers our lives
Focus always precedes success
With focused, concentrated goals you have the power of a laser beam
Written goals are contracts you make with yourself
What you can clearly visualize, you can realize
(Listen to Mp3, audio message 8, The Magic of 90 Days)
What do farmers, major corporations and sports’ teams all have in common. They take their long-term goals and deal with them in terms of one season after another, usually about 90-days in length. The business world operates on a quarterly basis: “Earnings are up during the third quarter,” “Sales are slightly down in the first quarter report,” Analysts are expecting a fourth-quarter upturn.” Sports’ teams operate in seasons. Football, basketball, baseball and hockey seasons for example. These are about three months in length, or a little longer, with post-season play. The academic world, in many universities and colleges, is generally set up on a quarterly basis, the fourth quarter usually being summer.
I highly recommend a 90-day goal-setting cycle, rather than monthly or just annual goals. It’s a time period that is long enough to plan for, begin, work hard at, and accomplish specific, major objectives. At the same time, it isn’t forever. It is a short enough time to generate a sense of urgency and also see a reasonable period to make good progress, even with normal weekly or monthly interruptions.
Your 90-day season of success will build your motivation because, often, yearly or five-year goals are so distant that it’s easy to get discouraged and give up on them in frustration. When your goals are proximate and before your eyes on your computer, tablet or smartphone calendar, you are more likely to muster the motivation necessary to achieve them.
Here are some exercises that you should block out some time to work on. Take time to review and write down your lifetime “magnificent obsession” we discussed earlier. Create a personal mission statement around it.
- Write down your biggest “Why” in motivating you to succeed. Go beyond educating your children and saving for retirement. Write down your core passion.
- Take 30 minutes to an hour to write down everything you must do professionally and personally in the next 90 days. Write down both “to-dos” and commitments, such as appointments, meetings and events.. I’ve given you another exercise in the written bonus files that accompany this program to help you categorize your goals into areas like business, family, financial, social, etc.
- Now review your list of things you believe you must do and spend another 20 minutes adding activities to the list that you really want to do.
- Take ten minutes and record three things that you keep putting off and tend to let slip through the cracks in both your professional and personal life. Now go to your calendar and put an action date on addressing that event.
- Now re-listen to message 6 about the five powers of stating your goals as images of achievement, using Positive, Present, Precision, Personal and Possible.
You will almost guarantee success in goal achievement by stair-stepping your 90-day goals into the smallest increments possible. I call this: LGST. Low goals, Short Term. This is what Olympians do. By the inch goals are a cinch. By the yard they start to get hard. Make the next 90 days your season of success!