Setting goals is a game of precision. You want to set clear and explicit goals that can be measured. In other words, you want to set SMART goals – which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timeframe – and put them in writing.
The goal must be specific. By that, I am saying that you must be crystal clear to the world – and to your own subconscious mind – about what you will accomplish as part of reaching your goal. Remember, your conscious mind is much less powerful and can only hold one thought at a time, but it is the guardian of the subconscious mind. And you, fortunately, have the power to choose that one thought. On the other hand, our subconscious mind is so powerful. By making a choice to appropriately ‘program’ our subconscious mind with the precise, detailed written plan for our specific goal, we tap into Infinite Power (sometimes called infinite intelligence or Universal Mind). We can accomplish virtually anything, as our subconscious mind works on our goals 24/7, providing creativity and inspiration, even while we sleep. We can ask the Universe for anything. I control my thoughts and direct the work of my subconscious mind.
Any goal absolutely must be measurable. How else will you know if you are winning the game? I love playing pickup basketball. However, it gets boring quickly if no one is keeping score. You should identify exactly what you will see, count, and experience when you reach your goal. Your happy feelings about your future successful experience will be like fuel to your subconscious mind.
You also need your goals to be attainable. For example, it is not realistic for me – now well past my athletic prime – to make it to the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a player. If that were my goal, I would just be setting myself up for failure, based on my capabilities. Set goals that are challenging yet attainable.
To make it all worthwhile, your goals must be relevant, totally congruent with your Definite Major Purpose (DMP – as covered in Chapter Two), the main thing that you desire out of life. If and when you achieve your goal, how will your business or your life be enhanced? Will this achievement make a significant difference? If you are not crystal clear on how to answer those questions, your goal may not be truly relevant.
Finally, your goals should each have a timeframe for completion. This helps keep you accountable. And having a timeframe for completion enables you to break down the goal into the weekly and daily tactics necessary to reach the goal. The daily tactics should be put in your calendar because what doesn’t get scheduled will usually not get done. These daily tactics become habits. And when we establish a new habit, which often takes about 30 days, the tactics become easier. See Chapter Five for more on habits and self-discipline.
And make sure you remember to ask yourself, “What am I willing to give up to reach my goal?” There is a price to be paid for anything worthwhile. Maybe to create the time to reach your goal, you give up playing in your local softball league. Maybe to create a healthy lifestyle, you limit your chocolate intake to only once per month.
Do not have too many goals. I would suggest three to five big goals. If you have too many goals, no matter how well they are written, you are at risk of losing focus. Add other goals only as you complete the big ones currently on your plate – reaching for higher goals after each accomplishment is a great way to get momentum in your life and your business.
Write down your goals and look at the list weekly, or better yet, daily, and make sure you pause to reflect and assess your overall progress at least once per month. Facts on the ground may change, necessitating a modification, or even an acceleration of your list of goals.
Let’s look at an example. The majority of Americans drag themselves to a job they no longer like while simultaneously worrying about getting fired. So, on New Year’s Eve, many people set a goal or a resolution to achieve time freedom and financial freedom during the subsequent new year.
Do not make “resolutions”, and do not only think about your dreams on January 1st. If you want something in any area of life, do not focus on anything else daily except the positive thing or the S.M.A.R.T. goal you want to achieve. Do not dwell on any weaknesses or deficiencies that you want to remove from your way of being.
Robin Sharma, one of the world’s premier speakers on leadership and personal mastery, puts it this way, “What you focus on grows, what you think about expands, and what you dwell upon determines your destiny.”
Can you get out of debt by constantly thinking, ‘I need money, I am in huge debt’? Not for long, and you are making it harder by thinking about ‘need’ and ‘debt’. You are actually growing the tendency to have situations in your life that create (or attract) more ‘need’ and ‘debt’. You need to focus on being wealthy for life, instead. Focus on the positive side of the situation.
You cannot receive your prize if you continue to focus on what you lack. We reap what we sow, exactly. We must make room for only constructive thoughts, such as success, servant leadership, kindness, wealth, and health. We must use only pleasant language.
When you are in a leadership role, you want to give your attention to the Definite Major Purposes (DMPs) of the folks on your team. When you do that, their success or income grows, and your success or income grows as a result. If we ‘think’ we are struggling, what we focus on grows in our subconscious mind, and we struggle. If we manage to focus on the progress we are making every day, then our progress accelerates.
I am elated to be a Servant Leader who knows, goes, and shows the way, and because of this I am very wealthy for life.