Part Four: The Six Steps
Here is the SIX STEP PLAN to be successful in setting goals. Remember for true and lasting success, you must apply these six-goal planning steps to each and every area of your life (Financial, Physical, Spiritual, Intellectual, Social, Career):
- WRITE IT ALL DOWN – COMMIT TO IT
- LIST THE BENEFITS – SELL YOURSELF
- LIST THE PEOPLE / ORGANIZATIONS WHO WILL HELP – YOU’RE NOT ALONE
- LIST THE ROADBLOCKS – PREPARE FOR SETBACKS
- BREAK IT DOWN – IT’S EASY TO EAT AN ELEPHANT!
- SET THE TIMELINE – TIME FOR A CELEBRATION
We have made easy to follow templates for all this information that you can fill out.
1) WRITE IT ALL DOWN – COMMIT TO IT.
Believe it or not, this can be a very difficult thing to do. It’s easy to talk about what we dream about, but a lot harder to actually sit down and write out the whole plan. In this first step, all you have to do is write down what it is you want. These are the dreams and goals that relate to one of the Success Matrices. (Financial, Physical, Spiritual, Intellectual, Social, Career). So if your working on your Physical goals, you could dream about, losing weight, exercising more, eating better or whatever you consider important to your physical success. These are your long-range goals, your long-range dreams, the big ones. Go ahead and write down all that you want. Let them take some shape and then take the time to sit down and physically write out what they are. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Writing things down is part of this exercise. By writing things down you will sub-consciously COMMIT YOURSELF to them. It takes a fair amount of time and thought to accomplish this, but it’s worth it if you are serious. But then that is also part of the problem. Many of us just don’t take goal planning as seriously as we should. Writing it down helps you commit to it. Its there in front of you, reminding you. Committing to it is the foundation of seeing it through.
We certainly teach our children to have big dreams in life, but when it comes to later in life and adulthood, complacency sets in, a comfort zone starts to wrap its arms around you and in many cases it feels nice. Setting goals requires breaking out of the comfort zone. Thinking “outside the box” is not as easy as it sounds. I’m sure you’ve heard that the definition of insanity is someone who does the same thing every day, day in, day out, thinking that one day it will change.
2) LIST THE BENEFITS – SELL YOURSELF
The heart of a good salesman is one who is able to successfully show you the benefits of your purchase. The same can be said for your goals. You need to sell yourself. While doing this you will have to ask yourself, “Why do I want this goal?” By asking the ‘why’ you will form your benefits list of why this goal is good for you. It will help you commit to it. More importantly, it will help you through the tough times when you hit some roadblocks. The benefits are the good things; the end results, the things you can be proud of. For example, what are the benefits of losing weight? Better health, strength, longer lifespan stamina, etc…It is easy to think of all the “negative” things you will have to do to lose weight. The dieting, the exercise ( ugh!) the discipline !! These things you already know about. They’re obvious. But, by writing the benefits down, you again reinforce in your mind, your commitment to your goal. You have to sell yourself on your own goal!
3) LIST THE PEOPLE / ORGANIZATIONS WHO WILL HELP – YOU’RE NOT ALONE
It is true that no man is an island and that your true friends and family will want to see you succeed. But this list focuses not on friends or family for support, but on the people who will help you accomplish it. For example before losing weight, seeing a doctor may be a good idea. Maybe talking to a nutritionist, a personal trainer, exercise clubs etc…These people are usually specialist, trained in a very specific area. Their guidance will be invaluable. They may know shortcuts, “the easy way”. But most importantly they probably have done it. They are going to know the troubles and roadblocks that lay ahead for you. They will form your NETWORK of people that will add to your NET WORTH. Many times their advice will save you time and prevent any possible headaches. You never know until you list them.
4) LIST THE ROADBLOCKS – PREPARE FOR SETBACKS
Let’s face it, nothing valuable in life comes easy, otherwise, everybody would do it. Setbacks and problems will arise. We hate to say it, setbacks will occur. This is why we stress the importance of writing down all the benefits. The benefits list will help you see the results of your goal. Listing the roadblocks and objections will help you prepare for them. It forms the “roadmap”. of your goal. It helps show you where all the sharp corners are, where the mountains are. When they come, you were expecting them, and are ready to get around them. That is the purpose of this list. Ask yourself ‘how will you get around this roadblock?’. Write it down so that when they come you are ready. The previous third step (List the people who can help) is actually designed to help you get through these roadblocks. They would have information on overcoming them.
5) BREAK IT DOWN – IT’S EASY TO EAT AN ELEPHANT!
The idea of eating a whole elephant is a daunting task, to say the least, ( yeah but how does it taste!!). It is actually easy to eat an elephant – One bite at a time. Breaking down your goal into weekly, or daily objectives or tasks is what we are saying here. Not only does it organize your time, but it helps to reinforce your commitment when things get difficult. By setting daily objectives ( baby steps) you WILL move forward. We have developed a SUCCESS TRACKER to help you with this. Because it is the daily grind that makes goalkeeping so difficult, this tracker will help you visually see your progress on a daily or monthly basis. We even have assigned a point system to help you watch your improvement as you move closer to your goals. I know in some cases it seems impossible but it is true. My 2-year-old son loves to run around the house. One day I measured one lap around. We ran 55 times around the house once. That worked out over 1.2km !!. If I were to go outside and look at how far 1.2km’s is, I wouldn’t believe it. So there you go, if a 2-year-old can do it so can you!
In Step Five you are not at the end yet. Step Five is the “process” of achieving that goal which should / will inspire you. The “process” we are talking about is the daily grind. It is the day to day tasks that you have to do in Step five which is the reality we are talking about. Step Five is the most important step. It is also the longest and hardest to achieve. But take heart. Your inner strength comes from your hunger to achieve. The more hunger you have, the greater your achievement. My advice is, get hungry and stay hungry. Once you think you can definitely accomplish this goal, then you will naturally slow the process down. You will lose some hunger because its human nature to get overconfident once you’re close to the finish line. Keep your head down. Work to completion. Here is an example; losing weight. You know the amount you have to lose is achievable. You are so confident that you can do it, that you don’t start for a few days. Don’t get complacent, don’t relax. Stay hungry, stay focused, the “process”, the daily grind is what will help you COMPLETE your goal. It’s the daily tasks that you complete, as small as they are, that will set you apart from the crowd and enhance your success.
6) SET THE TIMELINE – TIME FOR A CELEBRATION
Let me say that by setting the date first you actually will be doing yourself a disservice. Setting some sort of timeline or deadline LAST is what we need to do. You need to physically see (written down) all the other things you need to do first, before setting the date. Everybody seems to want to set the date first. “I want to lose weight by the summer” is what someone might first say. To properly set a goal requires going through the previous 5 points and clarifying ON PAPER all the things that need to be done BEFORE you set the date. In fact I feel so strongly about this I hesitate to use the word date. I would rather have the word “timeline”. Setting a valuable goal often requires life-changing events to occur. For them to take root can sometimes take a lifetime. And some goals are lifelong. Yes, losing weight is a LIFELONG GOAL. I’ve heard many a comment made about thin people. “yeah it’s easy for them, they do not have a weight problem”. That is exactly the point. They set a lifelong goal to be thin. And they work at EVERY DAY!
So now you have the six steps laid out for you in plain sight. Take that next “step” and map it out. Download our goal setting templates and get to work. This where the “rubber meets the road”, where you have to take action. Do it! You will not be sorry you did. Spending time to lay out the foundation of your life is a worthy cause. YOU are worth it. Don’t you agree? The six links to the side are there to give you examples of how these templates will work. If you have any further questions or insights we would be more then happy to oblige you. Please go to our contact page for more info. We especially like to receive emails that tell of how this website impacted/changed your life.