I first wrote this article in 2009 but I’m posting it again. Why? Because I want to make sure that you write down your goals. If you haven’t charted a path for yourself, it’s very possible that you’re not moving forward. Think about it… you’re moving everyday anyway, so why not choose a direction?
No matter what your dreams or desires, in order to succeed you need to set personal goals.
1. First of all, make sure your goal is something you really want. You may think you would like a yacht, but would you really? A yacht can be “a hole in the water that you pour money into.” What is something important that really moves you?
2. Be specific. Saying, “I want lots of money” is not setting a goal. Saying, “I want to be earning $5,000/month one year from now” is. To be real, a goal must be measurable.
3. Dream big but be realistic. “I want to make $500,000 this year” may take a miracle. “I want to increase my income by 10 percent” may be attainable.
4. Write your goals down. There is power in the written word, and writing them down forces you to really think things through. It also sets an unconscious process in motion to get your goal accomplished.
5. Write your goals in positive, not negative, terms. Write down what you want, not what you don’t want. Instead of, “I want to leave my present job,” how about something like, “I want to replace my current income so I can work from home.”
6. Include a deadline for achieving your goals. This prevents procrastination. It also separates your goals from your dreams.
7. Write out what you want to achieve in 6 months, 12 months, 3 years, and 5 years. The first time my husband and I did this, we achieved all five years worth in the first six months! What did this show us? First, that we were moving way too fast… and secondly, that our goals were too small. In fact, the first few years we set goals we far exceeded them. The second year, we had achieved our year goals by the end of August, the next year we hit our mark in October. By doing this over and over, we’ve learned what’s realistic. Knowing what your plans are for the money you make helps when you have to make sacrifices. Giving up a purchase or a vacation isn’t as painful when you know your long term goals. We didn’t take a vacation for 4 years (or really a day off) but we now live a life we love in the home of our dreams.
8. Your goals should be action-oriented. What steps do you need to take to reach your goals? Knowing and measuring your steps tells you what’s working and what you need to modify. Achieving large, long term goals is only possible when you break it down into smaller, realistic, day-to-day actions.
The most successful people are the ones who have a plan and stick to it. They know where they are, where they want to be, and they have an action plan on how to get there.
Anything is possible. All you need is a plan.
Have you written down your goals?