Here is the goal-setting process of known motivational speaker Brian Tracy. He is a Canadian entrepreneur, public speaker, author and personal and professional development trainer. Tracy’s work has been featured in major media including NBC, FOX, KPBS, CBS, Business Week, The Huffington Post, Success Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Forbes, Oprah.com and ABC News.
The Goal-Setting Process
- Decide exactly what you want in every key area of your life. Start off by Idealizing. Imagine that there are no limitations on what you can be, have or do. Imagine that you have all the time and money, all the friends and contacts, all the education and experience that you need to accomplish any goal you can set for yourself. Imagine that you could wave a magic wand and make your life perfect in each of the four key areas of life.
If your life was perfect in each area, what would it look like?
INCOME – how much do you want to earn this year, next year and five years from today?
FAMILY – what kind of a lifestyle do you want to create for yourself and your family?
HEALTH – how would your health be different if it was perfect in every way?
4 NET WORTH – how much do you want to save and accumulate in the course of your working lifetime?
- Write it down. Your goals must be in writing. They must be clear, specific, detailed and measurable. Make your description clear and detailed in every sense. Only 3% of adults have written goals, and everyone else works for them.
- Set a deadline. Your subconscious mind uses deadlines as “forcing systems” to drive you, consciously and unconsciously toward achieving your goal on schedule. If your goal is big enough, set sub-deadlines. If you want to achieve financial independence, you may set a 10 or 20-year goal, and then break it down, year by year, so that you know how much you have to save and invest each year.
- Identify the obstacles that you will have to overcome to achieve your goal. Why aren’t you already at your goal? The Theory of Constraints – there is always one limiting factor or constraint that sets the speed at which you achieve your goal. What is it for you? The 80/20 Rule applies to constraints. Fully 80% of the reasons that are holding you back from achieving your goal are inside yourself. They are the lack of a skill, a quality or a body of knowledge. Only 20% of the reasons you are not achieving your goal are on the outside. Always start with yourself.
- Identify the knowledge, information and skills you will need to achieve your goal. Especially, identify the skills that you will have to develop to be in the top 10% of your field. Greatest Discovery: Your weakest key skill sets the height of your income and your success. You can make more progress by going to work on the one skill that is holding you back more than any other.
- Identify the people whose help and cooperation you will require to achieve your goal. Make a list of every person in your life that you will have to work with or work around to achieve your goal. Start with the members of your family, whose cooperation and support you will require. Once you have identified the key people whose help you will require, ask yourself this question, “What’s in it for them?” Be a “go-giver” rather than a “go-getter.” To achieve big goals you will have to have the help and support of lots of people. One key person at a certain time and place in your life will make all the difference. The most successful people are those who build and maintain the largest networks of other people whom they can help and who can help them in return.
- Make a list of everything you will have to do to achieve your goal. Combine the obstacles that you will have to overcome, the knowledge and skills you will have to develop, and the people whose cooperation you will require. List every single step that you can think of that you will have to follow to ultimately achieve your goal. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” You can build the biggest wall in the world one brick at a time.
- Organize your list into a plan. You organize this list by arranging the steps that you have identified by sequence and priority. Sequence – what do you have to do before you do something else, and in what order? Priority – what is more important and what is less important? The 80/20 Rule says that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your activities. The 20/80 Rule says that the first 20% of time that you spend planning your goal and organizing your plan will be worth 80% of the time and effort required to achieve the goal. Planning is very important.
- Make a plan. Organize your list into a series of steps from the beginning all the way through to the completion of your goal. When you have a Goal and a Plan, you increase the likelihood of achieving your goals by 10 times, by 1000%!
• Plan each day, week and month in advance.
• Plan each month at the beginning of the month.
• Plan each week the weekend before.
• Plan each day the evening before.
The rule is that each minute spent in planning saves 10 minutes in execution. This means that you get a 1000% return on your investment of time in planning your days, weeks and months in advance.
- Select your number one, most important task for each day. Set priorities on your list using the 80/20 Rule. Ask yourself this question: “If I could only do one thing on this list, which one activity is most important?” Whatever you answer to that question, put a number “1” next to that activity. Then, ask yourself, “If I could only do one other task on this list, which one task would be the most valuable use of my time?” Then write a number “2” next to that task. Keep asking this question. Focus and Concentration are the keys to success. Focus means that you know exactly what it is that you want to accomplish and concentration requires that you dedicate yourself to doing only those things that move you toward your goal.
- Develop the habit of self-discipline. Once you have decided on your most important task, resolve to concentrate single-mindedly on that one task until it is 100% complete. Your ability to select your most important task and then to work on it single mindedly, without diversion or distraction, will double and triple the quality and quantity of your output and your productivity. Single Handling is one of the most powerful of all time management techniques. This means that when you start with the task, you avoid all distractions and stay with that task until it is done. The rule is that each minute spent in planning saves 10 minutes in execution.
- Practice visualization on your goals. Create clear, vivid, exciting, emotional pictures of your goals as if they were already a reality. See your goal as though it were already achieved. Imagine yourself enjoying the accomplishment of this goal. If it is a car, imagine yourself driving this car. If it is a vacation, see yourself on the vacation already. If it is a beautiful home that you want, see yourself living in a beautiful home. Visualization is perhaps the most powerful faculty available to you to help you achieve your goals faster than you ever thought possible. When you use a combination of clear goals, combined with visualization and emotionalization, you activate your superconscious mind. Your superconscious mind then solves every problem on the way to your goal. Your superconscious mind activates the Law of Attraction and begins attracting into your life people, circumstances, ideas and resources that will help you to achieve your goals even faster.
Resolve in advance that no matter what happens, you will never give up. Persistence is self-discipline in action. Each time you persist and overcome the inevitable failures and disappointments you will experience, you become stronger and better. You develop stronger and deeper character. You increase your self-esteem and self-confidence. Your goal is to eventually become “Unstoppable.”