My friend Victor Encinas outlined the 8 Laws of Successful Goal Setting as we were working on our Goal Victory Seminar. Here’s my take on it as a companion to my post yesterday about goal failure.
Knowing the things that will derail your goal success rate are important. Defeating those things will only get you to zero though. To win and be truly successful in your goals, you have to follow these laws:
1) Put Goals in Writing
A written goal is tangible and real. Think Pinocchio after he became a real boy. We can lie to ourselves about losing weight or getting a new job or getting out of debt, but if we don’t write it down, we haven’t taken a single step in making it real. Written goals can be accomplished. Unwritten goals…aren’t really goals at all. You could call them dreams or wishes I guess, but that’s probably granting them more reality than what they are.
2) Be Realistic
A good goal is realistic. It can be achieved within the parameters in which this world exists. I cannot realistically set a goal to gain Jedi-like mind powers in order to win the lottery. Not going to happen. But I can have a goal to double my income in the next five years. Daunting goals are fun and challenging. Have some smaller ones to keep you motivated, but the BHAG‘s will inspire you.
3) Clarify Motivations
Why is this your goal? Your life has a purpose. Your goals should align with that purpose. Dream a big dream. Have an amazing vision. Just keep it lined up with your overall purpose. Otherwise, you may achieve your goals but miss the point altogether.
4) Have a Plan
Jesus told a story about a man who began to build a tower and became a laughing stock in town because he couldn’t finish it. He didn’t have a plan. He didn’t have the money or the bricks or the mortar or the tools. He didn’t just get sick and fail to finish; people wouldn’t mock him for that. He’d have had everything he needed if he had only had a plan. Hmmm, wouldn’t a plan ensure the first three laws were met before starting? There’s a reason architects use blueprints.
5) You Must Take Action
Let’s just say you’ve done well so far. You’ve written down your goals and they are realistic. You know your purpose and have the perfect, fool-proof plan. Except that if you fail to act, you fail. Period. Done. Game over. The fool failed to execute and the fool-proof plan was worthless.
6) Stay Focused
Remember that whole vision and purpose thing? Take your eyes off of that and it’ll ruin you. The thing about plans is that there really are no perfect plans. There are an infinite number of variables that have to be adjusted for, and any one of them can take you out of the game. But most can be overcome if you stay focused and remain true to your vision. Remember that ordinary light can be focused into a laser beam (or at least concentrated enough to burn ants). Focus will help you with #8.
7) Become Accountable
When you invite another human being into your goals, you’re valuing them and letting them value you. A true accountability partner will not only challenge you, they’ll help you. Remember, they’re investing a part of their life in you…and they want you to succeed! Don’t go it alone.
8) Must Follow Through
The sports analogies here are plentiful…but they’re right! A batter and a golfer have to finish their swings. A quarterback must finish their throw. A, uh…karate guy (?) has to see through the board in order to break it. Fight through the obstacles. If you get knocked down, get back up. (There’s a time and a place for quitting, but it’s not normally at the first sign of opposition.) If it’s a good and worthy goal that’s aligned with your purpose, you’ll have the energy to see it through.
Need some help discovering, documenting or achieving your goals? Join Victor Encinas and myself for our goals seminar starting January 13th. Just go to http://www.GoalVictory.com for details and to register. (BTW, the 10% discount has been extended through Jan 10th!)
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