Saturday, December 08, 2007

Having Goals

On February 23, 2003 I put together a goals list as encouraged by a book I read. From what I read, having goals gives you direction in life - a compass if you will. More over, writing down goals makes them more concrete and "official". Then, you need to put them in a place where you'll see them all the time. For me, the best place is posted in the bathroom right above the toilet. It's a time I'm not doing much, but standing there, and I can get in a quick review at least a couple times a day. When you review your goals, say all of them in the present tense - as if you've already accomplished them. Furthermore, your top 1-3 goals should be written down and placed in your wallet so you have them with you at all times. The last step, and this is the hardest really, is to tell people. Not only does it make it more real, but now you're holding yourself accountable to other people. Believe me, I still get calls and emails from people wondering about my goals.

What's the point of all this? Well, our minds are amazing. You see, over time your brain starts to truly believe what you're telling it each day and to others. Yes, it is a form of brainwashing (but you have to admit it's better than the normal brainwashing that occurs), and over time your brain starts to think of ways to make your goals come true. Want to vacation in Egypt? Your brain will think of ways to save money, borrow money, find discounts, fund raise and all sorts of other creative solutions. You will start to notice (and read) articles relating to Egypt - educating yourself. This concept, of setting your mind on something and then letting your brain figure it out, is exactly what the book "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki is all about.

How many goals is enough? There really isn't any magic number to the number of goals you have, though I do believe you should only have 1-3 top priority goals. You know, these are the big ones that you feel compelled to accomplish. You should even create sub goals that help enforce your main goal. For me, I write down anything and everything I think would be fun to accomplish. Really, this is so I can get it out of my head, but in a secure place, and refocus on my top goals. This practice of writing everything down comes naturally to me, but if you want to learn more, "Getting Things Done" by David Allen is a great read (or audio listen).

If you want how-to's and inspiration beyond what I've written (if that's possible), then one last wonderful book is "One Minute Millionaire" by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert Allen. It's actually written in two parts: One side is the how-to on everything I've been writing (by Allen, author of numerous books). The other is a made up inspirational story of how a young women implements each of these (by Hansen, author of Chicken Soup For the [add topic here] - this link takes you to some of the top searches, it's a hoot).

So that's it. Define your goal, write it down, review it, share it, and make it happen. Yep, it's that simple, but not necessarily easy.

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