Goal Setting Rules

The topic this week is going to be goal setting. Nothing happens without goals. Let’s review my Goal Setting Rules.

This is part 1. To view part 2: Building your map, click here

  1. Goals must be specific- the more specific the better. Not, “I want to be rich.” Instead, “I have $1,000,000 dollars in the bank.”
  2. Goals must have a “Due Date”- so let’s continue with the example above. “It’s December 2007 and I have $1,000,000 in my Bank of America Money Market Account.”
  3. Goals must be measurable- the $1,000,000 certainly meets this requirement.
  4. Goals must be stated in the First Person Present Tense- I have instead of I will have.

Let’s talk a little more about each of these. Goals must be specific. A goal that isn’t specific isn’t a goal, it’s a wish. Goal setting works because you are painting a picture for yourself. If I say, “Let’s go get a hamburger,” You might say, “Sure whatever.” Instead, if I say: “Let’s go get two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun!” you’d say: “Let’s go!!!” Why? Because I painted a complete, delicious picture for you, it’s not just a hamburger it’s something special that you can almost taste just from the description. The same thing is true when you set a goal. The more specific, the more vivid, the more accurately you can describe your goal the more likely you are to reach it. Another example, “I want to have a hot rod.” Versus “I am driving my fast and sexy bright red 1968 Chevy Camaro that I just paid for in cash.” See how different it feels?

Goals must have a “Due Date”. Why? Because most of us are born to procrastinate. Don’t feel bad if you have this problem too. It’s normal. Without some internal or external pressure we tend to put things off as long as possible, even things that are good for us. A “Due Date” solves this problem. A “Due Date” forces action. It creates urgency and responsibility. Without a due date I’m just as bad a procrastinator as anyone, but put a due date on a goal and my “inner over-achiever” kicks in and I usually beat the due date and then some. Try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. This is a great place to throw in a “black-belt” goal setting skill. If you really want to increase the odds of hitting your goal, share your goal and your due date with somebody who cares about you. You will have just added rocket fuel to the engine driving you to your goal. The pressure to perform once you’ve “called your shot” is incredible. You find unbelievably creative solutions to problems that would normally stop you cold. This is a great bonus strategy.

Goals must be measurable. You’ve gotta know exactly what you’re shooting for. Not approximately. Not sorta kinda, but exactly. The more precise and measurable, the more likely you are to get there. Instead of, “I will have $1,000,000 in the bank.” Try, “I will have exactly $1,238,658.” It may sound like I’m splittin’ hairs here, but I’m not. There is method to the madness. You see, the more precise and measurable the goal the more believable it is. The more believable it is, the more likely you are to reach it. You’ve gotta believe and exact measurable goals make this easy.

Goals must be stated in the First Person Present Tense. This one is a lot like the measurable rule. The whole reason for this is to make it real. This changes it from a wish, “I want to…or I will” to a reality, “I am… or I have…”. To some of you this may just seem like simple word games, but its not. It’s much more than that. This is the magic. “Owning” the words by saying them as if they have already happened magnifies their power a hundred times. Always state your goals in the First Person Present Tense. Simply put, say them as if they have already happened.

In the next couple blog posts I am going to expand on the power of goals and how to reach them and what to do when you have reached them so there is meaning in your life. There is nothing worse than reaching a goal and then thinking.. Is that it?

Keep an eye on the inbox and check back frequently.


1 Comment


    Reply Reply May 7, 2014

    Great little tid-bits on goals. I look forward to the next one

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