Goal Setting

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Goal Setting

By Apr 07,2011 Follow Me on Google+

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Summary
In this article Harrison discusses the importance of goal setting. Goal setting is the single most important aspect of your career. When you look at people who are at the top of their game in sports, entertainment, business and other pursuits, you’ll generally find they’ve set goals in an outstanding way. Most successful people manage their goals in a similar way. Whether you want to be President of the United States, a first class parent, the fastest runner in the world, the head of your organization, or you simply want to feel happy and fulfilled, there are certain scientific goal setting principles you can follow to take you precisely where you want to go. Goal setting is a profound discipline. Our success, the success of entire companies and even the success of entire countries comes down to how well goals are set.

It concerns us to know the purpose we seek in life, for then, like archers aiming at a definite mark, we shall be more likely to attain what we want.

-Aristotle

Goal setting is the single most important aspect of your career. How you focus your time and how you organize what you do will largely determine either your success or failure. When you look at people who are at the top of their game in sports, entertainment, business and other pursuits, you’ll generally find they’ve set goals in an outstanding way. Most successful people manage their goals in a similar way.

Whether you want to be President of the United States, a first class parent, the fastest runner in the world, the head of your organization, or simply to feel happy and fulfilled, there are certain scientific goal setting principles you can follow to take you precisely where you want to go. I believe goal setting is a profound enough discipline that our success, the success of entire companies and even the success of entire countries comes down to how well goals are set. It’s that important!

At the end of this article I have attached several forms I would recommend printing and using on an ongoing basis. They’ll prove very helpful in your goal setting exercises.

What

 job title, keywords

Where

 city, state, zip



I. You Need To Have an Overall Plan of Where You Are Going

During one of my first flights behind the controls of an airplane, between Oakland and Los Angeles, I remember my instructor spent most of his time reading a book and not really paying too much attention to what I was doing behind the controls. However, every few minutes he would look up from the book and shout something like “Heading 17!” when we were supposed to be on that heading, or whichever heading it might have been, and then he would resume his reading. I piloted the airplane for a few more minutes, then he would look up and once again shout out the heading.

By being off even a small number on that flight, we could’ve wound up in Las Vegas instead! However, he kept me on course.

Knowing exactly where you are going is extremely important. But very, very few people do, and they’re flying their personal airplanes with no direction.

If airplane pilots didn’t have a specific course charted, they’d be crashing into mountains and cities on an hourly basis. Therefore, pilots are required by the government and authorities to know exactly how to chart a course. They are given multiple tests and trained for weeks before they’re allowed to pilot an airplane alone.

However, no one demands such training from you in life. Most people are put on this earth and are given very few maps and no course to chart. With no course you can end up in jobs and relationships that are completely unfulfilling. Personally, I find it very disappointing and difficult to believe that neither schools, nor most parents teach goal setting principles. You absolutely must know where you are going, if you’re ever going to get there.

Whenever I meet someone who I’m impressed with on a personal and professional level, I like to ask them numerous questions about how they manage their time and what they want for themselves. People who achieve phenomenal success in this life typically force themselves to set massive and audacious goals for themselves. Once they have set these goals, they figure out a way to get there.

A. State Your Goals and Commit them to Writing

You need to know precisely what you’re after. For example, if you want to get in better physical shape, you might say to yourself, “I am going to lose at least 3 pounds in the next two weeks.” When you set a goal for yourself it’s important you be as specific as possible. Being specific will enable you to know when you’ve achieved the goal you’re after.

You absolutely, positively must know your goal. Commit your goals to writing and be absolutely positive you know what they are.

1. Aim high with the goals you set for yourself

Many people have fears about failing, and therefore, never set big goals for themselves. You need to understand that everyone has a “survival instinct” which motivates them to avoid pain. Failing for many people is painful, and consequently most people do not even try to compete at a level where failure is possible. You need to set big goals for yourself if you are going to achieve something magnificent in your life. The only possible limitations on what you are capable of achieving are those that you accept. If you accept that you are destined to attain only a certain level of achievement, then that is precisely what you shall have.

It Is The Man Who Thinks He Can

If you think you are beaten, you are;

If you think you dare not, you don’t.

If you’d like to win, but think you can’t

It’s almost a cinch you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost,

For out in the world we find

Success begins with a fellow’s will;

It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you’re outclassed, you are:

You’ve got to think high to rise.

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before

You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go

To the stronger or faster man,

But sooner or later the man who wins,

Is the man who thinks he can.

~Author Unknown~

The point of setting high goals for ourselves is not just to motivate. Aim for the stars and you will go high. The quality of the goals you set for yourself will determine the quality of your life.

2. Do not let others influence the quality of your goals

It’s important you take control of your life and do so through your own goals. Most people are so afraid of disappointing other people and maintaining their relationships they often spend their time doing for others and not for themselves. You need to worry about yourself and your goals as well. Other people are who they are—and you are who you are. Allow yourself to dream big dreams and become the person you want to become.

Writing out your goals is something that will dramatically take you forward in your life. There is a real power to committing something to writing. Once you’ve done this, you’ve committed to achieving those goals.

3. Set both personal and professional goals

Goal setting is a way of life. Therefore, everything you do needs to have a goal attached to it, and be measurable. You need to have both professional and personal goals. If you do not have personal as well as professional goals, your personal success engine will not run as it should.

It’s important to keep in mind and trust old adages, such as, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” If you are focused on nothing but professional goals, then your personal life will suffer. Once your personal life suffers, you will doubt whether or not the pursuit of your professional goals is worth it.

Having both personal and professional goals is part of an overall and comprehensive system to manage your life and get the most fulfillment out of everything you do. Once you reach this point, you’ll be very excited about everything you are doing and everything will have a purpose.

The purpose of any goal management system is to give you total and complete fulfillment. You deserve to be fulfilled, and this is something you need in order to ensure your life engine is running as smoothly as possible. It’s my firm belief your personal goals are just as important—if not more important—than your professional ones. Once you strike a balance with these goals, you will find more success and fulfillment in everything you do.

4. Make sure each goal has a purpose

Every goal you set for yourself needs to have a purpose. Without a purpose you are simply spinning your wheels. This is the reason most people fail when they are setting their personal goals. They do not know why they want to achieve something in particular. When you know why you want to accomplish each goal you write down, you are further empowered and far more likely to achieve it.

Simply setting “to do lists,” like most people do, does not give you the reason why you want to achieve something. When there is a powerful “why” behind each of your goals, you are likely to accomplish far, far more with the same amount of time and effort. Your goals then have “meaning,” which is crucial to their success.

You need to ask yourself the following questions about each goal you set:

-Why do I want to achieve this goal?

-Why is this goal important to me?

-How will I feel once I achieve this goal?

-How will my life be better once I achieve this goal?

-What is the real reason I want to achieve this goal?

Giving each goal a reason and real purpose is something that will continually push you towards success. For example, if you wanted to fly from Oakland to Los Angeles, a reason for doing this might be to get home, or see a friend, for example. Having a purpose gives a goal much more force and meaning.

B. Review daily goals throughout the day, weekly goals each day, quarterly goals at the beginning of each week, yearly goals at the beginning of each week, goals for the next three years at the beginning of each week and five year goals at the beginning of each week.

Remember the example of the airplane at the beginning of this article. Your life is also like an airplane—you must stay on course. If you get off course you will never get where you want to go.

In order to get where you want to go, you need to be like the flight instructor I discussed at the beginning of this article. He constantly looked up, looked where we were going, and yelled out the proper course so I would correct it. One of the keys to being great at anything is constantly correcting your course and ensuring you are going where you want.

It’s imperative you review the daily goals you’ve set for yourself throughout the day to remind yourself what you are setting out to accomplish. It’s also imperative you review your weekly goals each day in order to ensure you’re on the right track.

In my goal setting I generally do the following:

1. Annual goal setting

At the beginning of each year I set yearly goals and goals for the first quarter. I also review my lifetime goals. I generally spend about two days (a Saturday and Sunday) thinking about these goals each year. I review what I have accomplished over the previous year and set new goals for the prior year. I have found the two days I spend each year on this have a profound impact on what happens to me the rest of the year.

You deserve the time to do annual goal setting. Make it a reality in your life each year.

2. Quarterly goal setting

It’s important to review where you are going each quarter—every three months. Each quarter you want to set a plan for the next quarter, based on what you’ve accomplished over the past quarter, and what your annual and lifetime goals are. This is time well spent. It’s best to schedule a time in advance for quarterly goal setting.

3. Weekly goal setting

Every Sunday evening between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm I review my annual, lifetime, quarterly and weekly goals from the prior week. I see what I’ve accomplished and what I haven’t, and budget my time for the following week accordingly. I set goals for the following week.

This two hour block of time each week is some of the most productive time I spend. This is the time when you can set and calibrate your compass to make absolutely positive you are headed in the correct direction.

When you set your goals for each week, you need to review the previous week and see what you’ve achieved and what you haven’t. Review these goals closely and then budget time to complete your goals the next week.

4. Daily goal setting

You need to review your goals for the previous day – each and every day – at the end of the day. Review what you have accomplished throughout the previous day and then do goal setting for the next day. This is crucial, and I generally do the following:

First, throughout the day I jot down notes for important things I need to accomplish the next day or over the next few weeks. I keep a list of “Attention Items” that I schedule for the next day and the following week.

Second, at the end of each day I review the goals I set for myself for that day and I review the goals I have for the next day. I think about what I need to do in order to achieve those goals. I spent around 5 minutes each night doing this before I go to sleep. I find this is a very good time to review my goals because I’m relaxed and I’m able to gain perspective about what I want to do the following day.

C. Your Subconscious and Conscious Minds Will go to Work on Your Behalf Once You Have Set Goals for Yourself

Several months ago, I attended a seminar where I met a man who, from what I recall, was the most successful real estate investor in Venezuela. He told me he’d once been quite ordinary but his life had changed dramatically after attending a conference about the programming of your subconscious mind. While I’ve heard countless speakers and others talk about the power of the subconscious mind before, I’ll always remember what this man said to me: “It is like there are two of you—there is another person inside you who tells you what you can and cannot do. You need to make that person do what you want them to do.”

Every motivational speaker of any substance I’ve heard speak generally focuses on the subconscious mind and the importance of programming it to do what you want it to do. I believe that failure to do this is the reason many people sabotage their own success—they may want to do one thing but allow their subconscious mind to sabotage them.

Consider the following statement from Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich:

“Everything which man creates begins in the form of a thought impulse. Man can create nothing which he does not first conceive in thought. Through the aid of imagination, thought impulses may be assembled into plans. The imagination, when under control, may be used for the creation of plans or purposes that lead to success in one’s chosen occupation.

All thought impulses, intended for transmutation into their physical equivalent, voluntarily planted in the subconscious mind, must pass through the imagination, and be mixed with faith. The “mixing” of faith, with a plan, or purpose, intended for submission to the subconscious mind, may be done only through the imagination.”

From these statements, you can easily see that voluntary use of the subconscious mind calls for coordination and application of these principles.

When you are setting goals and finding a reason for each goal, you are influencing your subconscious mind. I believe you must work on your subconscious mind on a daily basis. Virtually every motivational and business speaker I’ve encountered concurs with this belief. Following the procedures outlined above will help your subconscious mind function as it should.

Conclusions

There is no limit to how many goals you can set for yourself. By simply setting these goals, you can change who you are and who you will become. It is essential you—regardless of who you believe you can become—aggressively set goals for yourself. If you were to do this and nothing more, your life would change profoundly. In fact, very few people ever take this step. Once again, doing this and nothing more will make a profound difference in your life.

Unfortunately, most people who read this article will not follow this system. In fact, I believe less than 1% of the world even commits their goals to writing. If you do this, and reaffirm your goals on a daily basis, you will immediately notice major changes in your life.

I have one final point and it is one which sticks with me because I believe it is a metaphor for how most of us live their lives. When elephants are young and their keepers want to keep them in one place, they tie a rope around one of their legs and it’s secured into the ground with a stake. When an elephant is young it will pull hardest to free itself from the rope, but no matter how hard it pulls, it cannot free itself. After a week or two of pulling, the elephant begins to realize anytime a rope is fastened around its leg it cannot free itself and it never moves from the same place.

After an elephant is full-grown and is strong enough it could snap the rope with virtually no effort, the same size rope is still used. The reason for this is the elephant continues to associate a small rope with the impossibility of escaping. The elephant therefore does not even try to move—even though it could easily escape.

Imagine if the elephant had set the goal when it was young of freeing itself from that rope. If it had, it never would have stopped trying and one day would have freed itself. Most people consider themselves bound by things that happened to them in the past or by who they once were. You are not constrained by the past, and who you can, and want to become, is right here and now.

10 Lifetime Goals (Personal)

Lifetime Goal #1: ______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ______________________________________________________

Lifetime Goal #2: ______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ______________________________________________________

Lifetime Goal #3: ______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ______________________________________________________

Lifetime Goal #4: ______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ______________________________________________________

Lifetime Goal #5: ______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ______________________________________________________

Lifetime Goal #6: ______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ______________________________________________________

Lifetime Goal #7: ______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ______________________________________________________

Lifetime Goal #8: ______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ______________________________________________________

Lifetime Goal #9: ______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ______________________________________________________

Lifetime Goal #10: ______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ______________________________________________________

10 Lifetime Goals (Professional)

Lifetime Goal #1: ______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ______________________________________________________

Lifetime Goal #2: ______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ______________________________________________________

Lifetime Goal #3: ______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ______________________________________________________

Lifetime Goal #4: ______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ______________________________________________________

Lifetime Goal #5: ______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ______________________________________________________

Lifetime Goal #6: ______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ______________________________________________________

Lifetime Goal #7: ______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ______________________________________________________

Lifetime Goal #8: ______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ______________________________________________________

Lifetime Goal #9: ______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ______________________________________________________

Lifetime Goal #10: ______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ______________________________________________________


10 Annual Goals (Personal)

Annual Goal #1: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Annual Goal #2: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Annual Goal #3: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Annual Goal #4: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Annual Goal #5: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Annual Goal #6: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Annual Goal #7: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Annual Goal #8: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Annual Goal #9: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Annual Goal #10: _______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

10 Annual Goals (Professional)

Annual Goal #1: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Annual Goal #2: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Annual Goal #3: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Annual Goal #4: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Annual Goal #5: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Annual Goal #6: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Annual Goal #7: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Annual Goal #8: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Annual Goal #9: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Annual Goal #10: _______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

10 Quarterly Goals (Personal)

Quarterly Goal #1: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Quarterly Goal #2: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Quarterly Goal #3: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Quarterly Goal #4: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Quarterly Goal #5: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Quarterly Goal #6: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Quarterly Goal #7: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Quarterly Goal #8: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Quarterly Goal #9: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Quarterly Goal #10: _______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________


10 Quarterly Goals (Professional)

Quarterly Goal #1: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Quarterly Goal #2: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Quarterly Goal #3: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Quarterly Goal #4: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Quarterly Goal #5: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Quarterly Goal #6: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Quarterly Goal #7: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Quarterly Goal #8: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Quarterly Goal #9: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Quarterly Goal #10: _______________________________________________________

Why I Want This:

_______________________________ _______________________

10 Monthly Goals (Personal)

Monthly Goal #1: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Monthly Goal #2: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Monthly Goal #3: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Monthly Goal #4: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Monthly Goal #5: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Monthly Goal #6: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Monthly Goal #7: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Monthly Goal #8: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Monthly Goal #9: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Monthly Goal #10: _______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________


10 Monthly Goals (Professional)

Monthly Goal #1: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Monthly Goal #2: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Monthly Goal #3: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Monthly Goal #4: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Monthly Goal #5: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Monthly Goal #6: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Monthly Goal #7: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Monthly Goal #8: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Monthly Goal #9: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Monthly Goal #10: _______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________


10 Weekly Goals (Personal)

Weekly Goal #1: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Weekly Goal #2: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Weekly Goal #3: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Weekly Goal #4: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Weekly Goal #5: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Weekly Goal #6: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Weekly Goal #7: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Weekly Goal #8: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Weekly Goal #9: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Weekly Goal #10: _______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: _______________________________________________________


10 Weekly Goals (Professional)

Weekly Goal #1: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Weekly Goal #2: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Weekly Goal #3: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Weekly Goal #4: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Weekly Goal #5: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Weekly Goal #6: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Weekly Goal #7: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Weekly Goal #8: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Weekly Goal #9: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Weekly Goal #10: _______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________


10 Daily Goals (Personal)

Daily Goal #1: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Daily Goal #2: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Daily Goal #3: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Daily Goal #4: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Daily Goal #5: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Daily Goal #6: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Daily Goal #7: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Daily Goal #8: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Daily Goal #9: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Daily Goal #10: _______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________


10 Daily Goals (Professional)

Daily Goal #1: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Daily Goal #2: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Daily Goal #3: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Daily Goal #4: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Daily Goal #5: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Daily Goal #6: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Daily Goal #7: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Daily Goal #8: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Daily Goal #9: ________________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

Daily Goal #10: _______________________________________________________

Why I Want This: ________________________________________________________

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  • somen

    This web site are very good career advice. Goal setting is the single most important aspect of your career.with out goal life is nothing. so every one should a goal.

  • John Murray

    This is a wonderful and useful article which I came across after a long time. The insight and information given in this article helps various people from various walks of life. I would highly recommend anyone to go through the article once.

  • Gaurav

    Another very insightful article by Harrison Barnes. Undoubtedly, setting of goal in life is extremely important. It not only helps one in staying focused but also acts as a motivating factor. However, one thing that should be kept in mind that goals set must be high but realistic and achievable.

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