8 Critical Goal Setting Tips

New Year, New Goals! To help you make 2013 your best year ever here are 8 critical tips to keep in mind when setting your goals for your business and life.

  1. Ownership: Taking 100% ownership and personal responsibility for your goals and whether you achieve them is the first most empowering step. We all know that there are factors that are outside of our control in life; however, when you live each day with a sense of complete ownership – that is, you live with the mantra “if it will be, it is up to me!” then you are unleashing a powerful motivating force within. Give up the “complain” and “blame” games. They do you no good. There are no winners in these games, only losers. Accept responsibility for whatever comes your way, and give your best to shape your world in a way that you want it.
  2. Clarity: Clarity and precision is power. Know exactly what you want, and have a specific way of determining your outcome. Goals like “I want to be happier” or “I want to make more money” are well intentioned but hard to determine when they have been completed. What does it mean to make more money? Is $1 “more money”? Precision has real power. So make your goals specific – for example “I will complete [X] by [X] date”. The more specific you are the better chance you will complete your goals.
  3. Why Power: What is driving your desire? Why do you want to accomplish this goal? Your “why” is your motor that will power you through the trials and difficulties that you will surely encounter along the path to achieving your goal. If you don’t know your “why” then you will not have the persistence and determination to “stick to it” and “dig in” when the going gets tough (which if your goal is challenging, it is certain to happen). Common “whys” include the pursuit of something you want, or the elimination of something in your life that you don’t want (or is undesirable). In our experience the elimination of pain can be a much more powerful motivator than the pursuit of pleasure. So think about what it will mean to accomplish your goal this year. Will it mean that you can quit the job you hate because you are making enough money in your business? Will it mean that you can provide your family with certain comforts that you used to not be able to (and because of this you always felt sad in the past). Use this pain to drive you. Make it your “why”. A person who has enough reasons (“whys”) to accomplish a goal can deal with any “how”.
  4. Planning: A strong desire is critical but it is only half of the battle. Once you have set a goal, determined your “why” (your reasons that you want this goal), the next step is to then create a plan. Write it down or type it up. That way you will begin to take efficient action each day. The more organized you are the better chance you will have to make the most of your time. At the end of the day we all have the same amount of time, and those who accomplish things are those who can maximize this finite resource.
  5. Flexibility: Make plans but don’t get stuck in them if you find a couple months down the road that they are not helping you to accomplish your goal. Be flexible and try new things. At least give your initial plans long enough to determine their effectiveness, but after a while if it is clear that they aren’t getting you closer to your goals then don’t be afraid to change them. Remember you are looking to achieve a certain “outcome” so it doesn’t really matter what your “output” is as long as it gets you closer to your “outcome”. Don’t get hung up on the “output” so much that you forget the “outcome”. Outcome is what is more important.
  6. Resiliency and Effort: Expect that the path to achieve your goal will be hard. So don’t complain or whine if it is hard, or if you encounter difficulties along the way. If you encounter no difficulties then you haven’t set a goal that is challenging enough. If this is the case then you need to revisit your goal and set a new goal that causes you to stretch more. So “when” you encounter difficulties (notice that I didn’t say “if”) then instead of getting discouraged, or complaining (which will get you nowhere), simply dig in, re-focus, adjust your plans if necessary and get to work. Work is the key to action. You have to work. Work isn’t easy. Work is challenging. You have to give a serious effort to accomplish a serious goal. There are no shortcuts.
  7. Model: Don’t try and reinvent the wheel. Find a mentor. Find someone who has already accomplished what you want to accomplish. Talk to them. Pick their brain. Find out how they accomplished the goal and then model their strategies. Usually people who are successful want to give back and they will be more than happy to give you some tips and strategies that you can put into play in your business to achieve your goal.
  8. There Is No Such Thing As Failure, There Are Only Results: This one speaks for itself, but it is critical. You set a goal, you give your absolute best, you use the best strategies, and then perhaps you fall a little short. It happens to everyone. Don’t give up and don’t get discouraged, just reset, learn from what you did and then set a new goal, make a new plan, and get at it. It is never one and done. You don’t need to be scared of failure. If you don’t get your goal, you at least got something; you got a “result”. If it isn’t the result you want then take new action. Keep taking new action until you get what you want.

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