09-2016 Setting (and Actually ACHIEVING) Goals, Here's How...
Setting goals… does just reading those words make you cringe a bit? Do you oftentimes set goals just to let yourself down when you don’t accomplish them? I get it – been there, done that.

You probably feel that pressure regarding goals because you know how important and necessary they are for success. Goals carry a lot of weight, and rightfully so.

No doubt, you’ve heard this advice a million times: Write down your goals. Well, studies have shown that people who write down their goals and look at them on a regular basis are, in fact, more successful and effective than people who don’t. (That’s science for ya!)

Have you ever written down your goals?

I’d be willing to bet that most people don’t do it despite that it’s sound advice backed up by proven studies.

Or, let’s say you’ve written down goals… you were really motivated to do it and even bought a new notebook, which was only to be used for your very special goals. You even filled out the first few pages with great goals – and never looked at it again.

Well you know what – there’s no time like the present to do goals the right way. Starting now is certainly better than tomorrow… and much better than never!

So to get there, I want to help you change your mindset about goals by showing you how to set them with a new, creative method that I, personally, have found to be very helpful. And I think you will too.

I’m going to walk you through a different kind of goal-setting strategy so you can easily create your own goals and give yourself a better life and business. Setting your goals with the plan I’m going to lay out for you is the first part to seeing results – keeping those goals organized is the second. So we’ll also talk about user-friendly software you can use to help ensure you’re staying on top of your well-organized goals.

I’m really excited about this because I know how effective this goal-setting method is. You’ll see that this exercise will make a huge difference in your life and business – I’m telling you from experience – this plan works really well.

Let’s get to it.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
~ Tony Robbins

Step 1 – Goal-Setting Success: Create Your List

You need to get a notepad or notebook and a pen. Stay away from doing this part on your computer because it’s too distracting. You’ll be too tempted to quickly check email or hop on Facebook. So eliminate that distraction while doing this exercise.

On the first page of your notebook, write a list of items – one item per line of things that are important in your life. They don’t need to be in any kind of order – just list them as they come to you.

My list includes the following:

  • Spiritual
  • Family
  • Love/Relationships
  • Friends
  • Hobbies
  • Travel/Recreation
  • Fitness/Health
  • Income
  • Self-Improvement
  • Business

Your list can be similar to mine or different. You might have topics like ‘Helping Others’ or ‘Residence/Location.’ Your list can have 3 things or 30 things. It’s up to you. Write down the topics that pertain to your life.

I actually want you to do this right now – spend a few minutes creating your list so you can follow along. Use my list of topics as inspiration for your own.

Step 2 – Goal-Setting Success: Gratitude Paragraph

On the second page of your notepad or notebook, at the very top – write a date in the future. If it’s September, for example, and you want to accomplish your goals within the next 3 months, then simply write December at the top of the page. If you want 6-month goals, you’ll write March of next year. If you want yearlong goals – that’d be September of the following year.

Underneath the date, you’ll pick one of your topics to write about. I’m going to use my Hobbies topic as our example here.

Under ‘Hobbies,’ I’d write about how it would feel to have accomplished my hobby goal – as if I had already achieved that goal. I’m going write how excited and grateful I am to have accomplished that goal. (I’ll use an actual hobby goal I really did have at one point.)

Here’s what I wrote:

“I love my new hobbies! I learned to fly helicopters, and I actually got my pilot’s license. It’s so amazing to cruise the skies and see everything from that perspective. I made some great new friends – these people know how to have fun! It’s great to be able to catch a lift with a buddy or take a bird somewhere to spend a few days. What an amazing new accomplishment!”

Can’t you sense my excitement in that gratitude paragraph?! That’s the feeling you want to convey as well.

Now, if I had another specific item for my Hobbies topic, I would have skipped a space and written another gratitude paragraph about that second hobby topic.

You’ll do this for each and every item on your list – you only need a few sentences. Be as descriptive as you can – and write with emotion:

  • It feels so great to…
  • It’s so amazing that I finally…
  • I’m so happy I got to…

Step 3 Goal-Setting Success: The Secret Sauce

Once you have your list and you’ve written your gratitude paragraphs – do this…

Every day, find a quiet place and take a few minutes to read your list of goal topics. I suggest you do this first thing in the morning, it’ll only take you a minute to read your list.

Then, you’ll pick a specific topic each day. Maybe Monday you choose Hobbies, Tuesday you choose Spiritual, and so one. Choose your topic and spend 3-5 minutes imagining that you are doing that goal. What I mean is, get in the zone and imagine yourself living out that goal.

For my Hobby example, I imagined flying around in a helicopter, looking down over the city and seeing beautiful scenery from above. I imagined the controls in my hands and the pedals at my feet… I’d hear the buzzing sounds and feel the vibration of the chopper and smell the fresh air. And, I also imagined how grateful I’d feel for accomplishing that goal and how good it feels to move that helicopter through the air.

That is the secret sauce that makes this goal-setting method work – feeling in my mind how amazing it is to accomplish this goal.

Do this every single day.

Each day, pick a new goal topic, read your gratitude paragraph about it and spend a few minutes imagining the greatness.

Step 4 – Goal-Setting Success: Take Action

We’re at the final step of your new goal-setting strategy. As nice as it would be, we can’t just hang around all day imagining what it would be like to accomplish our goals and living a perfectly happy life – we must take action.

How?

Map out a plan to take action toward your goals.

Simply create an action plan for each goal and act on it. This part can be worked on as you go… the important part is first writing down your goals. If you haven’t written down your list of goals with your gratitude paragraphs – start it now. Then begin creating your plan of action on how you’re going to go after and accomplish those goals.

The goals are your destination – the action plan is your road map.

Let’s go back to my Hobby example of earning my helicopter pilot’s license…

I Googled some local flight academies and asked them the process for getting a license and asked them to send me some information. From that, I’d know what all was involved and the steps needed. Then, I listed those steps and added timeframes:

  1. Reach out to flight academy (enter month and date)
  2. Review the process for obtaining a pilot’s license (enter month and date)
  3. Register for classes (enter month and date)
  4. Take classes and flying time with instructor (min. 40 hours of classes, 20 hours of flying time – enter month and date)
  5. Study for license exam and flying test (enter month and date)
  6. Obtain pilot’s license (enter month and date)

(I want to note that sometimes I find that working backwards is the easier way to create an action plan.)

So, you’ll determine your destination (your goal), map out the route (your action plan), and then follow your route by taking those steps toward your destination. Now you have a game plan all mapped out that makes sense – you’ll feel your goals are achievable and not overwhelming.

You might accomplish some of your goals in 1 month, maybe you’ll accomplish some in 3 months or even 6 months to a year… but by setting and planning your goals with this method – you’ll be amazed at the things you’ll be able to accomplish.

Again, you don’t have to do all of this today – at the very least get your list written down with gratitude paragraphs – that’s where you start. Then one by one, create action plans for each goal.

I’m telling you – this is super effective and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by your results from this goal-setting method.

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached,
don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”
~Confucius

As you might know, I’m a big believer in systems and organization. To grow and scale your business, they are a must, in addition to your goals, of course. Now that we have this spiffy new strategy for effectively creating and achieving goals… let’s talk about how to organize them to better ensure we’re staying on top of them.

Organize Your Goals with Mind Mapping

I use a great, user-friendly software program called XMind for this. You don’t even have to buy the pro version, you can download the free version, which provides everything you’d need. (They have it for Windows and Mac.)

I use mind mapping regularly…

You can use it to map out a business process or a vacation or, yep, your goals. What I like about this is that mind mapping allows you to empty your brain of all the ideas you have swimming around and lays them out in front of you so you can see them clearly and focus on one thing at a time. You’ll simply transfer what you’ve written in your goals notebook to your mind map.

XMind offers several layouts to choose from. All you have to do is select the one that works for your purposes.

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From there, you can easily customize it with various categorization and coding options:

9.6.16, Image 2

Let me show you how I had organized my goals using XMind so you can see how clearly they are all laid out.

9.6.16, Image 3

You’ll notice that there are plus signs next to each goal topic. When the plus sign is clicked, it expands to open my list of specific goals within my Hobbies topic. Below you can see I included 3 specific goals, one of which we’ve been talking about, which was to obtain my helicopter pilot’s license. You can add boxes of info for each topic.

9.6.16, Image 4What I like about this feature is that if we were to click on every plus sign, there would be a huge spider web of content and your brain would go nuts trying to digest it all. Organizing the details this way helps you stay focused without clutter. You can see them at a glance or dive into them for more details.

Go Forth and Goal Set

Stop waiting around for things to happen. You have to make them happen.

Start by creating your goals list, gratitude paragraphs and spending a few minutes each day visualizing and imagining what it feels like to accomplish your goals. And make sure you create your action plan to get there.

Stay organized using mind mapping software – get it now, for free. Plug in your goals and plans and keep them all in one location for easy access and to help you move forward toward success.

Talk to Me

Do you have any questions or comments about this post? Talk to me in the comments section below.

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