The Definitive Guide to Accomplishing Your Goals
By Billy Murphy | Follow him on Twitter
Did you achieve the goals that you set for yourself this past year?
It’s not that goal setting doesn’t work, you just suck at it. Don’t worry… I did too.
Are you worried you run the risk of the same thing happening again in 2014?
I know I was, so I put together a solution for myself. I decided to make it public.
Each new year I set goals for what I’d like to accomplish for the upcoming year. Like most people, I used to have a long list of things I wanted to accomplish, only to look back later and realize that not only did I not accomplish a lot of the goals I had set out to achieve, I didn’t even make time to attempt most of them. As a byproduct of setting such a high number of goals, often what would happen is the goals that would have benefited me most from achieving, I unintentionally gave a mediocre effort due to attempting to achieve too many goals. Similar to how diversifying in business is usually the incorrect strategy, diversifying your goals can be counterproductive as well.
I’m a pretty unorganized person. I’d randomly come across my new year’s goals six months into the year, and forget I had even set most of them. I didn’t have any sort of process for achieving them.
Some habits I’d grown accustomed to:
Never waking up with an alarm clock
Being ridiculously disorganized
Being able to do what I wanted/when I wanted, including not working for days/weeks/months at a time.
Procrastinating and being unproductive until the last minute on things.
These are things I would wear as a badge of honor. It felt good that I could be so incredibly inefficient yet still print money whenever I wanted. It was a blessing and a curse. Looking back, this wasn’t a badge of honor – it was a badge of stupidity that was keeping me from accomplishing much bigger goals.
Starting two years ago, something happened with my goal setting. I was still the most unorganized person ever. I’d still often wake up at noon. I’d still travel and take vacations all the time. I was still procrastinating on things. However, I was now accomplishing some of the goals I had set for myself with life changing results. I realized that there was an extremely simple differentiator between the goals I accomplished, and the goals I flopped on.
I focused almost exclusively on the main goal(s) I achieved, and everything else was irrelevant. It’s not that I didn’t want to achieve other goals I had, but it’s just that all my thoughts/energies went into achieving my priority goal.
Starting in 2012 I’d make one main goal, and a few secondary goals. The main goal was my focus, and I got life changing results by making that goal my priority instead of attempting to do ten at the same time.
One very specific thing I did that had a profound impact on my success with the goals I achieved was this:
Before I did anything else when I woke up in the morning, I worked on my priority goal. It didn’t matter if I had lots of things going on that day or not— I worked on the priority goal first before anything else. What I noticed was after a certain number of days, this became totally routine. I didn’t even have to think about the goal much anymore, because I was so used to getting up in the morning and doing that first thing. Right after breakfast, that was what I did— there wasn’t any questioning what I was going to do. If my inbox or voicemail was filling up and I needed to get back to people, or if I was late on doing X, Y or Z… it didn’t matter. My priority goal was what I worked on first.
This keeps you from having any excuse from making progress on the goal.
My main focus the last 2 years have been non-business goals. I may share them in a future post, but for now, I want to share what has and hasn’t worked for me in the past when trying to achieve goals. On top of that, I’m also going to share what I’ll be attempting to do in terms of goal setting this year, which I believe will help me become more successful with goal completions than ever before.
This will be my first time attempting to implement this. However, I believe this will be highly beneficial not only for myself, but for anyone reading this who has goals they want to achieve in 2014. I guarantee that by reading this post in full, and more importantly by following the map I lay out, 2014 will be an absolutely huge year for you.
I’ve done something different with this post. The strategy that I’ll be following to take my 2014 goal setting/success to another level comes from the book The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, by Jack Canfield. It’s a 400+ page book that basically breaks down a lot of different strategies successful people follow that make it much easier to achieve their goals. However, it’s very hard to reference 400+ page books when trying to follow actionable advice on a daily basis, especially for an unorganized/easily distracted guy like myself.
So, I did with this book what I’ve done with a few others in the past. I broke the book down into a snippet of its original self, so that I can easily reference the parts I want to follow. I do think people should buy the book, as despite being 400+ pages, it’s not a fluff book at all, and has great examples and ideas for people to think about/follow. There’s plenty of great information that I decided not to include in this post, as I wanted to condense it down into as actionable of a guide as possible for accomplishing your goals.
“Decide upon your major definite purpose in life and then organize all your activities around it.” – Brian Tracy
“Everything you do should be an expression of your purpose. If an activity doesn’t fit that formula, you wouldn’t work on it. Period.” – Jack Canfield
These quotes are perfect for the reason a lot of people have trouble hitting goals. When setting your priority goal, it’s extremely important to pick something you’re genuinely interested in. I won’t get into the whole passion vs. profit argument in this post, but it’s very hard to stay focused/motivated on a goal if you’re not passionate about it.
In 2013 I set a goal for myself that I really didn’t care much about, but if I achieved it I would have benefited a lot financially. What ended up happening is I quickly reverted to another goal that I was extremely interested in, that had nothing to do with money. So I never came close to the initial goal, but accomplished a lot on the goal I reverted to. I think out of my initial main goals for 2013, I accomplished zero of them, and really didn’t even come close. However, I had a lot of success with the goals I reverted to. So besides narrowing your goal focus to an extremely short priority list of goals, making sure you’re passionate about what you’re trying to achieve is also very important. Either that, or passionate about what achieving the goal will allow you to do.
It cost me a good chunk of the year unproductively working on something I wasn’t genuinely interested in. Don’t let it happen to you.
Enter The Success Principals:
What is Your Breakthrough Goal?
Make a very specific goal, with an exact date it will be accomplished by.
Create a goal that will be a quantum leap in your progress. You need big goals that will stretch you and expand your vision of what’s possible.
The goal should be one that if achieved, would change everything for you. Something that changes your life, and takes you to a whole new level.
This is an insanely important part to the goal setting process. The reason my last two years have been life changing on the areas I focused on, was because I set ridiculously high goals. I didn’t set stupid goals like lose five pounds, or make an extra $500/month. What the hell would those do for me? Nothing. It wouldn’t change a damn thing about my life. It won’t change shit about yours either. You want to set goals that would have a RIDICULOUS impact on your life when you achieve them. Don’t think about how hard it’s going to be. Don’t set goals similar to how other people set goals. Other people are mediocre. You don’t want to be mediocre. Set real shit that will give you life changing results. We’re going to map out a plan how to achieve it, so don’t overthink how you’re going to achieve it. Just set the goal you want to accomplish, and make it one that will stretch your limits. You need to raise the bar.
Create a List of Your Goals
Re-read your goals 3 times/day. Do this out loud, with passion and enthusiasm, one goal at a time. While closing your eyes, picture each goal as if it was already accomplished. Feel what it feels like if you had already accomplished each goal.
What does this do?
It activates the power of desire. It increases what is known as “structural tension” in your brain. Your brain will want to close the gap between your current reality and the vision of your goal. By constantly repeating and visualizing your goal as already achieved, you will be increasing structural tension. This will increase your motivation, stimulate your creativity, and heighten your awareness of resources that can help you achieve your goal.
As soon as you wake up in the morning, and before you go to bed, ideally with another time during the middle of the day, you review your goals. Have them available on 3×5 cards or whatever is convenient for you.
Create a goals book— basically a journal or binder, with a separate page for each of your goals. Write the goal at the top of the page and then illustrate it with pictures, words and phrases from magazines, travel brochures, etc, that depict your goal as already achieved. As you get new goals, just add them to your list and your goals book.
Review your Goals Book Everyday
Carry your most important goal in your wallet
Make a list of 101 goals you want to achieve in your life— include vivid detail (where, when, how much, which model, etc). Put them on 3×5′s, a goals page, or a goals book. Each time you achieve one, check it off and write “victory” next to it.
Remember, this doesn’t mean focus on achieving these all at the same time. These are lifetime goals. If you’re going to live 50+ more years, it’s going to be 2 goals/year, and they don’t all have to be priority goals. Things like buying a certain car, living in a certain house, going on certain vacations— a lot of these are goals that will be achieved once you hit your other goals, so don’t get overwhelmed by the number, and don’t attempt to do them all at once. It’s more to keep you focused/thinking of the future you want, not trying to distract you.
Remember to do something each day that moves you towards your goals.
If you finish a day and you didn’t do something to move you closer to your goal, you need to get your shit in order immediately if you want to make sure you hit your goal.
Break down big goals into small, manageable tasks with specific deadlines, and get started on the first one.
This is vital. Without this it’s a dream, not a goal.
Take a piece of paper.
1. Put a circle in the middle of the page. Put your goal inside of it.
2. Divide the goal into the major categories of tasks you’ll need to accomplish to achieve the greater goal.
3. Next to each outer circle, write every single step you’ll need to complete. This will help you create a master “to-do” list.
Make a daily to-do list:
Convert all of the to-do items into daily action items by listing each one on your daily to-do lists and committing to a completion date for each one. Schedule them in the appropriate order in your calendar and do WHATEVER IT TAKES to stay on schedule.
Do First Things First
The goal is to stay on schedule and complete the most important item first.
Eat That Frog is a great book that will help you with this. I’ve read it and I rarely recommend books. It has a lot of the same information that The Success Principles has in it, but it’s a quick read that’s worth picking up.
Identify 1-5 things on a day that you must accomplish, and do the biggest one first. It will make the rest of your day much easier.
Plan Your Day the Night Before
This is one of THE biggest productivity increasers.
Make a to-do list and spend a few minutes visualizing exactly how you want the day to go. Your subconscious mind will work on these tasks all night long. It will think of creative ways to solve any problem, overcome any obstacle, and achieve your desired outcomes.
Know exactly what you’re going to do and in what order, so you can instantly start when you wake up. Already have all the supporting material/information ready for yourself the night before.
I can tell you from experience this will change how your day runs completely. The days where I don’t plan my day out, I get substantially less accomplished than when I plan it the night before. Most people who don’t plan their day ahead of time spend the first part of their day figuring out what heck they’re going to do that day, and often they get distracted by calls, emails, new ideas, and whatever else can distract you throughout a day, and don’t end up getting much done.
This is especially important for entrepreneurs because you have no boss. With no one to ask you why you aren’t getting shit done, you often don’t, but you barely realize it because no one’s breathing down your neck, and you don’t necessarily have specific things you have to do that day. Planning your day the night before in a way that moves you closer to achieving your goal(s) changes all that. I promise you.
Set Affirmations For Yourself
An affirmation is a statement that describes a goal in its already completed state.
Here is what your affirmation should include:
Should start with the words “I am” (The subconscious interprets this as a command, and will help make it happen)
Should use the present text
No negative words allowed, even if saying a double negative.(“I’m NOT doing X”, should be “I’m loving doing Y”)
Be brief but specific (“vague affirmations produce vague results)
Include an action word ending with “ing”(The action verb evokes an image of doing it right now, which increases the effect)
Include at least one emotion/feeling word as if you’d already achieved the goal(happily, proudly, etc…)
End your affirmation with “or something better”
How do I create my affirmation?
Visualize what you want, and place yourself within that picture as if you were already there. Hear the sounds, feel the emotion as if you were there. Describe what you are experiencing in a brief statement, including what you are feeling.
What do I do once I have my affirmation?
Review 1-3 times/day. First thing in morning, middle of the day to refocus, then bedtime.
Visualize yourself as the affirmation describes. See it as if you were living it.
How to Maximize your Affirmations
Put your affirmation in places you’ll see them(3×5 cards around the house, as your screensaver, on your phone, etc…)
Hang pictures of the things you want around your house(feel free to include yourself in the pictures)
Repeat your affirmations anytime you can
Record them and listen to them on loop
Visualize your goals each morning/night. Do it twice a day, EVERY day.
If you give your mind a $10,000 problem, it will come up with a $10,000 solution. If you give your mind a $1 million problem, it will come up with a $1 million solution.
When you visualize your goals as complete every single day, your subconscious will try to make it a reality. It will try to find solutions for you to get what you want. You will start waking up with new ideas, and thinking of new things to achieve your goals throughout the day.
Write down each goal you have, and make sure to review them, affirm them and visualize them every day.
Read through your list of goals out loud, pause at each one and visualize it as completed. It should take 10-15 minutes each time, depending on how many goals you have.
Use a Vision Board to Help You
Take a picture in your dream car, write yourself a check with the amount of money you want, do a mock up of your bestseller, take pictures in your dream house, etc…
Once you have the images, place them one to a page in a 3-ring binder that you’ll review every day (or use a dream board).
One of the most vital things you can do to make your dreams come true is to set aside time each and every day to visualize every one of your goals as already complete.
10-15 minutes is plenty.
Visualize what you want as if you already have it, and include money. See all of your financial goals as having already been accomplished.
See images that affirm your desired level of income: bank statements, real estate portfolios, royalty checks, stock reports, speaking fees, etc.
See all the things you’d be able to buy and do if you’d already hit your goals.
Hear the waves of the ocean at your beachfront vacation home, smell the air, feel the texture of the world’s finest silk on your skin.
Feel the appreciation and gratitude for having all these things.
Act “As If”
One of the great strategies for success is to act as if you are already where you want to be. Talk like it, think like it, dress like it, feel like you have already achieved your goal.
“I think one of the secrets to my success is that I’m willing to be terrified, and I think a lot of people are not willing to be scared to death. And that’s why they don’t achieve the big dream.”
How much do you need to achieve your goals?
Calculate exactly how much it will cost you to achieve your goals.
A good reference for how to go about doing this is “dreamlining” in the 4-Hour Workweek, on page 56 #5, as well as a sample Dreamline on page 57.
Decide What Wealthy Means to You
I will have a net worth of $_______ by the year ________.
I will earn at least $ ________ next year.
I will save and invest ________ every month.
A new financial habit I will develop starting now is _______.
Find Out What it costs to finance your dream life…now and later
To get the kind of life you want 1-2 years from now, and when you retire, find out exactly how much it will cost to live the lifestyle of your dreams.
Research how much it would cost you to do and buy everything you want over the course of the next year.
Also determine how much you’ll need to maintain your current lifestyle once you retire and stop working. You’ll need roughly $230k invested for every $1,000 in monthly income you want during retirement.
Determine your current net worth
Determine what you need to retire
Determine exactly what you’re spending
Put aside 10% of your earnings and make it inaccessible for expenses
“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world and the most powerful thing I have ever encountered.” —Albert Einstein
50% of each dollar earned goes into savings. If you want to increase your personal expenditures, you need to increase your earnings. If you want a new car for $50k, you need to make an extra $100k in income (because 50% of it would have to go into savings).
Obviously the lower income you have the harder this is going to be, but it’s interesting to see this idea. He also states in the book to save AT LEAST 10%, and I have heard the same from many others, but this much more aggressive bar is something to shoot for, and something to consider when trying to achieve your wealth goals.
Improve in small increments to increase the chance of long term success. Don’t do too much too fast as it will overwhelm you and reinforce the belief that it’s difficult.
“You have to measure what you want more of”- Charles Coonradt
Scorekeeping stimulates us to create more of the positive outcomes we’re keeping track of. It reinforces the behaviors that create the outcomes in the first place.
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier
Rule of 5
Do 5 specific things each day that will move you toward your goal.
“If you would go every day to a very large tree and take five swings at it with a very sharp ax, eventually, no matter how large the tree, it would have to come down.”— Ron Scolastico
List Your Successes
Divide your life into three equal time periods, and list three successes for each time period.
Then, write 100 total successes.
Create a victory log and start tracking all of your successes
Do this exercise for a minimum of 3 months
Look directly into your eyes in the mirror for a few seconds. Then address yourself by name and begin appreciating yourself out loud for the following things:
Any disciplines you kept
Any temptations you did not give into
Maintain eye contact the whole time.
Stand there for a few seconds and feel the impact of the experience.
Rewarding yourself powerfully reinforces your subconscious mind’s desire to want to work harder for you.
The Most Important 45 Minutes of the Day
Set aside time at the end of the day before going to sleep to acknowledge your successes, review your goals, focus on your successful future, and make specific plans for what you want to accomplish the next day.
The reason you do it at the end of the day is because whatever you read, see, listen to and talk about during the last 45 minutes of the day has a huge influence on your sleep and your next day. Your unconscious mind will replay and process this late night input up to 6x everything else while you sleep.
Close your eyes and ask yourself where you could have done better during the day. Replay it in your mind with the way you would have preferred it had been done. This will help form the desired behavior for next time.
Create Your Ideal Day – Visualize
After you’ve planned your next day’s schedule, spend a few minutes to visualize the entire day going exactly how you want.
How to Get Organized
When you don’t complete the past, you can’t be free to fully embrace the present. You can only pay attention to so many things at one time, and each item left to do on your list leaves fewer attention units to dedicate to completing present tasks and bringing new opportunities into your life.
Four D’s of Completion:
Anytime you get an email/letter, decide right then whether you’ll ever do anything with it. If not, dump it. Anything you don’t want to do but needs to be done, delegate it. Anything you can do within 10 minutes, do it. All else, delegate.
Get rid of all clutter in your living and work space. This will help clear your mind of clutter.
Take care of at least 1 major incomplete each quarter. You can also schedule a “completion weekend” and get done as many old to-dos as you can.
Go through every room of your house and write down anything that bothers you. Arrange to get them handled. These things drain you of some energy each time you notice them/think about them.
If needed, hire a professional organizer.
Take action now. Make a list of what isn’t working in your life. Choose one action and do it. Then keep taking actions until you get the situation resolved.
Whatever habits you currently have established are producing your current level of results. If you want to create higher levels of success, you are going to need to drop some of your habits and replace them with more productive habits.
Good or bad, habits always deliver results.
“Success is a matter of understanding and religiously practicing specific, simple habits that always lead to success.” – Robert Ringer
Change 4 New Habits/Year
Step 1: Make a list of all of the habits that keep you unproductive or negatively impact your future.
Step 2: Choose a more productive success habit and develop systems that will support them.
If each quarter you focus on making one new specific habit a priority, it will become a habit you keep for life.
One tip to help you with your ‘new habit priority’ is to put up signs anywhere you’ll see them that will remind you of your new habit. You can also partner with someone and keep score to hold each other accountable.
Follow the “No Exceptions Rule”
No exceptions rule: Successful people adhere to the “no exceptions rule” when it comes to their daily disciplines. Once you make a 100% commitment to something, there are no exceptions.
This is extremely important. Excuses are SOOO easy to come up with. I’m not going to go to the gym today because….
It’s probably crowded right now
I don’t want to overwork myself I heard that’s bad
I need a rest day
I’m tired so I probably won’t get a good workout in
If excuses equated to success, everyone would be living it up. Listen to the way most people conduct themselves. Excuses as to why they can’t/couldn’t do something dominate the amount of times they actually follow through. Commit — don’t make excuses. NO EXCEPTIONS.
If you break your commitment one time, it will be much easier to break it the next time.
Read for 1 hour each day. Also learn to read faster by taking a course.
I know for me when I read I get a lot of ideas that I can implement in my businesses. It helps stimulate your mind in ways you don’t even realize you’ve been missing until you start reading again.
“Success follows doing what you want to do. There is no other way to be successful.” – Malcolm S. Forbes
One you delegate a task, you delegate it completely. Don’t delegate it again each time the task has to be done.
Once you’ve specifically laid out the details/come to an agreement:
“If I’m ever not happy, I’ll let you know. If I’m not happy a second time, I’ll find someone else. Does that feel like a workable agreement?”
“The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy.” – Malcolm S. Forbes(279)
Most entrepreneurs spend the minority of their time on their core genius.
This is something that sucked the life out of me for a long time. The more businesses I would start, the less time I’d spend doing the things I wanted to be doing/was very good at. All my time was spent managing employees, dealing with developers, trying to stay organized with a lot of menial shit that didn’t really add much value to my life, or to my bottom line. If growing a larger business may affect your ability to focus on your core genius, sometimes it’s more beneficial for you to NOT focus on growing, and as a byproduct you may actually make more money, and be a lot happier. I’ll probably write a post on this subject in the future. In the meantime, outsource the SHIT out of everything you can besides your core genius.
Structure your Days
Focus Day: a day in which you spend at least 80% of your time operating in your core genius, or primary area of expertise— interacting with people or processes that give you the highest payoffs for the time you invest. To be successful, you must schedule more Focus Days and hold yourself accountable for producing the results.
Buffer Day: a day when you prepare and plan for a Focus or Free Day— either by learning a new skill, locating a new resource, training your support team, or delegating tasks and projects to others. Buffer Days ensure that your Focus Days are as productive as possible.
Free Day: extends midnight to midnight and involves no work-related activity of any kind. No meetings, emails, calls.
Free days will help you come back to work refreshed and more creative which will help you come up with more ideas and solutions to problems.
1. List the best 3 focus days you’ve had. Figure out what made them so good, and plan to make your future focus days more like them.
2. Figure out how you can use 80% of your time on your core genius, which will give you the best results
3. Schedule at least 4 vacations for next year.(can be long weekends, or longer trips)
4. List the best 3 free days you’ve had. Schedule more of what made these days so great.
I’m planning to have a monster calendar in my house and/or office, to list out everything from vacations, to focus days, etc. Look to the bottom of this post for an example weekly schedule.
The Total Focus Process
Every high achiever has a team of people who do the bulk of the work so they are free to focus on creating new sources of income.
Your goal is to find the top 1-3 activities that best use your core genius, bring you the most money and produce the greatest level of enjoyment.
1. List all tasks that occupy your time (even small tasks).
2. Choose 1-3 things you are particularly brilliant at, and that few people can do as well as you. Any activities that you’re brilliant at and generate the most income are where you want to focus your time and energy to.
3. Create a plan for delegating everything else
Create a schedule of monthly and/or quarterly meetings with each member of your team.
“If you don’t have an assistant, you are one.” – Raymond Aaron
To be successful in achieving your goals and creating your desired lifestyle, you will have to get good at saying no to all of the people and distractions that would otherwise devour you. Successful people know how to say no without feeling guilty.(292)
If you want to increase your income as well as the number of R&R days in your life, you need to eliminate tasks, requests and other time-stealers that don’t have a high payoff.
I’ve definitely battled with this. I recently listened to an interview Pat Flynn did with Michael Hyatt, and Michael said something that was a perfect analogy relating to what they tell you on an airplane. They tell you that in the event of an emergency, a mask will drop down to provide you air, and before you attempt to help children and other passengers, you must put the mask on yourself first. Reason being, you wouldn’t be able to help anyone else in that situation if you ran out of air yourself.
It applies the same way when achieving your goals. If you’re spending all your time and energy straying from your goals to attempt to solve everyone else’s goals/problems, you’ll suffocate in requests that won’t help you get to where you want to go. A byproduct of you suffocating in requests that lead you away from accomplishing your goals will actually decrease your ability to help others, because you’ll constantly feel like you have too much to do, stressed, and unsure of what to focus on. Just remember to concentrate on your priority goals, and this will allow you to do more of what you want to do in the near future, including helping others. You just need to help yourself first, to be able to help others. Many people don’t understand this.
Don’t Just Delegate, Eliminate.
Don’t get caught up in opportunities or projects that are merely good. This often prevents the great from showing up because there’s no time left in our schedules to take advantage of additional opportunities.
Instead of dedicating yourself—and your time— to mundane, nonproductive, time-stealing activity, imagine how rapidly you would reach your goals and improve your life if you said no to those time-wasting activities and instead focused on the 20% of activity that would bring you the most benefit.
Create a “Stop Doing” List
Literally make a “stop doing” list of things that take you away from achieving your goals.
List Good/Great Opportunities
“Concentrating on merely the good often prevents the great from showing up, simply because there’s no time left in our schedules to take advantage of any additional opportunity”
1. On one side of the page write “good” opportunities, on the other side write “great” ones.
This will help you decide if it’s something that will fit with your life purpose or is taking you down a side road.
2. Talk to advisors about potential new pursuits
3. Test the waters
Spend a limited amount of time/money to see if it’s definitely something you want to do/will be as successful as you think it can be
4. Look where you spend your time
Will these activities truly serve your goals, or would saying no to them free up your schedule for more focused pursuits
Don’t Wait Until you Retire to Start Doing What you Really Want to Do
They gave a great example in the book about this. Jason Dorsey was in college when he told his mentor what he wanted to do when he retired, which was work with hard-to-reach youth. His mentor asked him how old he’d be when you’d be able to do it, and Jason thought around 45. His mentor asked a life changing question:
“Why wait 25 years to start doing what you want to do?”
Jason took the advice to heart and quickly became a best-selling author and speaker and travels the world doing what he loves to do.
If he’d waited he wouldn’t even have started yet.
I know Jason, and bumped into him at a Christmas party recently. I told him I’d just come across the story in the book, and got to chat with him for a few minutes about it. He’s clearly very glad he made that decision, and it makes me kick myself to think I’ve set a lot of goals in the past so that “some day” I can do what I want to do. Some day is now.
Hire a Coach
Participating in some kind of coaching program is at the top of the list of things successful people do to accelerate themselves to success.
Participate in a Mastermind Group
“I don’t know anybody who has become super-successful who has not employed the principle of masterminding”
Ideal size: 5-6 people
Weekly or bi-weekly, 1-2 hours.
Push each other to reach new goals, and keep each other accountable.
I’ll be participating in mastermind groups this year. It’s important to be involved with a group that has high aspirations and/or similar goals. Structure is also very important, or you’ll just end up spending a bunch of time talking about stuff. It’s a mastermind group, not a talking group.
An intuitive insight or new idea not captured within 37 seconds is likely to never be recalled again. In 7 minutes, it’s gone forever.
“As soon as you think it, ink it!”
Carry a Digital Voice Recorder or 3×5 Notecards
Take any question you need an answer to and write about it. Write down answers as soon as they come to you, and you’ll be amazed at the clarity.
If we were meeting three years from today, what has to have happened during that three-year period for you to feel happy about your progress?
What are the biggest dangers you’ll have to face and deal with in order to achieve that progress?
What are the biggest opportunities that you have that you would need to focus on and capture to achieve those things?
What strengths will you need to reinforce and maximize, and what skills and resources will you need to develop that you don’t currently have in order to capture those opportunities?
Write these four questions on an index card and carry it with you.
Learn to say no more often. Don’t make any new agreements before thinking it over. Write the word “no” on all your calendar pages to remind yourself to really consider what you’ll need to give up to say “yes” to something new. Do you really want another commitment in your life?
I hope this break down gives you a new perspective on how to set your goals up for this year. I’ve actually gone a step further, and given you a specific breakdown broken up between the things you need to do to begin, and the things you’ll need to do on a daily basis to stay on track with everything:
Beginning Guide to follow:
What is your major purpose in life?
Think of this when setting your goals.
Now create a big goal, that is extremely specific, with measurable action steps and an exact date you will accomplish it by.
Now create a complete list of your goals.
Write them on a 3×5 card or something else convenient for you to look at every day.
Create a goals book, with a separate page for each of your goals.
Create your mind map.
Turn the to-do items from your mind map into action items that you can put in order of priority into your daily schedule.
Set affirmations for yourself.
Put your affirmations in places you’ll see them.
Create a vision board/dream board and/or 3 ring binder.
Calculate exactly how much it will cost to achieve your goals.
List your life successes (100 total)
Create a victory log and start tracking your successes
Get rid of all clutter in your living and work space.
Take care of at least 1 major incomplete each quarter.
Go through every room of your house and write down anything that bothers you. Use this to start a list of what isn’t working in your life. Choose one action and do it. Then keep taking actions until you get the situation resolved.
Make a list of all of the habits that keep you unproductive or negatively impact your future. Then choose a more productive success habit and develop systems that will support them.
Start scheduling your Focus, Buffer, and Free Days.
List all tasks that occupy your time(even small tasks). Choose 1-3 things you are particularly brilliant at, that few people can do as well as you, and that generate the most income. Then create a plan for delegating everything else.
Schedule meeting times with your team(s).
Create your “stop doing” list.
Make your good/great list
Hire a coach
Get in a mastermind group
Plan to carry something with you to record any new ideas.
Write “NO” on all your calendar pages
Decide what wealthy means to you.
Determine your current net worth.
Determine what you need to retire.
Determine exactly what you’re spending.
Daily Guide to follow:
Re-read your goals 3 times/day out loud. Spend time in the morning/night really visualizing them.(10-15 minutes on visualization) Visualize what you want as if you already have it(include money).
Review the goal book every day.
Carry your most important goal with you at all times.
Do the most important and/or most difficult task of the day first.
Create your to-do list in order for the following day before you go to bed. Have any supporting material prepared for when you wake up. Visualize exactly how you want the day to go.
Review your affirmations 1-3 times/day.
Review your vision/dream board or 3-ring binder.
Do 5 specific things each day that will move your towards your goal.
Do the mirror exercise before bed.
Close your eyes and ask yourself what you could have done better that day, and replay it in your mind the way you would have liked it to go.
Read for 1 hour.
Anything you come across: Do it, delegate it, delay it or dump it
Here is an example of how you could break down your day:
2. Work on Priority Goal
3. Work on most important and/or most difficult task of the day before other tasks
4. Read(30 min)
1. Review goals
2. Other tasks
1. Create following day’s to-do list
2. Review goals/affirmations/vision board/successes/goal book
3. Mirror exercise
8. Read(30 min)
Here is an example of how a breakdown I may break down my week:
Weekly Calendar Breakdown:
I actually wrote an extremely detailed plan of how I plan on breaking down my days in our PDF if you’d like to see it. Just go to the top or bottom and put in your email and I’ll send it to you.
A couple closing thoughts:
Make sure you attempt to accomplish AT LEAST one thing that will change your life this year.
Don’t fall into the trap of setting low goals so you can hit them. Then you’re just going to be “successful” at hitting goals, but unsuccessful at life.
“It’s very hard to fail completely, if you aim high enough.” – Larry Page
I’d recommend not telling everyone about your goals. You can get a false sense of accomplishment/enjoyment just by continuously talking about them. I think Derek Sivers sums it up nicely here: http://sivers.org/zipit
I don’t think you need to take it to the extreme of never telling anyone, ever. For me, I only tell my goals to people who will help keep me accountable, and push me to hit it. I don’t really see a point in telling other people about it. You should be working on it, not talking about it.
I mainly just accomplished two goals the last two years. This year, if I achieve my priority goal, the end result will also help me accomplish many of my other goals. This should make a huge difference for me. The two goals I accomplished were somewhat standalone goals. This year’s goal if achieved, will have somewhat of a domino effect.
I heard Michael Hyatt say: “Focus on the one goal that would make all the other goals easier to achieve.” in his interview with Pat: http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/best-year-ever-michael-hyatt/
Luckily I’d already set my year up to do that, but I feel really stupid for not having done that the last two years. This alone will have a huge impact. You can have one priority goal, and possibly achieve 3-5 goals just by achieving the one priority goal.
One cool thing to think about too: once you start making the priority goals a routine and they become engrained as a habit, when you move toward the next year you don’t just stop getting the results from them. The goals that had life changing results for me the last two years are now something that are habits of mine, and will compound with new goals as the years go on— I just won’t be spending as much time on them, because I’ve achieved a top level of success in them, and they’ve become 2nd nature now so I don’t spend much mental energy on them.
One additional trick I’ll be using to make sure I’m 100% focused during my priority goal time:
No alerts of any kind!
Just on this final edit of the post, I received multiple texts and phone calls. I had it on mute so it didn’t distract me too bad until I felt the urge to check, but even having the phone around you is a distraction, as I lost enough of my focus to write about it in this blog post!
I don’t even plan on having my phone in the same room with me during priority goal time.
I wish you amazing success in 2014. I hope this post helps you achieve your life changing goals.
If you want me to hold you accountable this year, leave a comment below with what your priority goal will be, and if you’d like to share— how it would change your life. At some point during the year I’ll follow up with you and make sure you’re on track. Just leave a comment below.
Do you have a friend or family member who have some goals? Help them have a life changing year by sharing this post with them.