Once you have decided upon your values, vision, mission, purpose, and goals, the next step is for you to analyze your starting point. Exactly where are you today, and how are you doing, in each of the important areas of your life, especially as they relate to your goals?
Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric for many years, once said that the most important quality of leadership is the “reality principle”. He defined this as the ability to see the world as it really is, not as you wish it were.
If you want to be the best you can be and achieve what is truly possible for you, you must be brutally honest with yourself about your point of departure. You must sit down and analyze yourself in detail to decide exactly where you are today in each area.
- Step number one is to have a desire. You must have an intense, burning desire for your particular goal.
- Believe. You must absolutely believe, deep in your heart, that you deserve the goal and that you are capable of attaining it.
- The third step to goal achievement is for you to write it down. A goal that is not in writing is not a goal at all.
- Analyze your starting point.
- Decide why you want a particular goal in the first place. Make a list of all the ways that you will personally benefit by achieving that goal.
- Set a deadline. If your goal is big enough, break your deadline down into sub deadlines. When you break down your goals into daily and hourly amounts and activities, you will be astonished at how much more you get done.
- Determine the obstacles that are standing between you and your goal. You can apply the 80/20 Rule to the obstacles and difficulties blocking you from achieving your goals. This rule says that, in most cases, 80 percent of the reasons you are not attaining your goals are internal. They are within you rather than in the world around you. Only 20 percent of the obstacles are contained in your external situation or in other people.
- Determine the additional knowledge, information, and skills you will require to achieve your goal.
- Determine the people whose cooperation and assistance you will need. Relationships are everything.
- Make a plan to achieve your goal. A plan is an organized list of tasks that you will have to complete to get from where you are to where you want to go. A plan is a list of activities organized by time, sequence, and importance.
- Visualize your goal each day as if it were already attained. Imagine the pride, satisfaction, and happiness you would experience if you were already the person you wanted to be, with the goal that you want to enjoy.
- Back everything you do with persistence and determination. Resolve in advance that you will never give up. You must decide, in advance, that nothing will stop you. Then, when you face the inevitable obstacles and difficulties that occur, you will be psychologically prepare. You will bounce rather than break.
The first key is that goals must be clear, specific, detailed, and written down.
The second key to goal setting is that goals must be measurable and objective. They must be capable of being analyzed and evaluated by a third party.
The third key is that goals must be time bounded, with schedules, deadlines, and sub deadlines. If you don’t achieve a goal by that deadline, you set another deadline – and, if necessary, another – and work toward that until you finally succeed.
The fourth key to goal setting is that your goal must be challenging. They must cause you to stretch a little bit. They must be beyond anything you have accomplished in the past. Your goal should have about a 50 percent probability of success.
The fifth key is that your goal must be congruent with your values and in harmony with each other.
The sixth key is that your goals must be balanced among your career or business, your financial life, your family, your health, your spiritual life, and your community involvement.
The seventh key is that you must have a major definite purpose for your life. You must have one goal that, if you accomplish it, can do more to help you improve your life that any other single goal.
If you lack an exciting vision for your future, you will “perish” inside in terms of lacking motivation and enthusiasm for what you are doing. But the reverse of this is that with an exciting future vision, you will be continuously motivated and stimulated every day to take the actions necessary to make your ideal vision a reality.
“Happiness is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” When you have clear, exciting goals and ideals, you will feel happier about yourself and your world. You will be more positive and optimistic.
Resolve to think about your ideal future most of the time. Remember, the very best days of your life lie ahead.
The future is going to be better than anything that may have happened in your past. There are no limits.
In blue-sky thinking, you imagine that all things are possible for you, just like looking up into a clear blue sky with no limits. You project forward several years and imagine that your life is perfect in every respect. You then look back to where you are today and ask yourself this question: what would have to have happened for me to have created my perfect future?
When you practice idealization and future orientation, you make no compromises with your dreams and visions for yourself and your future. You don’t settle for smaller goals or half success.
“We greatly overestimate what we can accomplish in one year. But we greatly underestimate what we can accomplish in five years.” Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t underestimate your potential.
As the sign on the wall of a inner-city school reads, “God don’t make no junk.” Each person is capable of achieving excellence in some way, in some area. You have within you, right now, the ability to function at genius or exceptional levels in at least one and perhaps several different areas. Your job is to find out which one.
Successful people look for the good in every situation. They know that it is always there.
If your beliefs are positive enough, you will seek the valuable lesson in every setback or difficulty. You will confidently believe that there are many lessons that you have to learn on the road to achieving and keeping your ultimate success. You’ll therefore look upon every problem as a learning experience.
The more you discipline yourself to live consistent with the very best you know, the greater is your level of personal integrity. And the higher your level on integrity, the happier and more powerful you will feel in everything you do.
Decide today to be a man or woman of honor. Resolve to tell the truth and to live in the truth with yourself and others. Crystallize your values in each area of your life. Write them down. Think of how you would behave if you were living consistent with those values, and then refuse to compromise them for any reason.