Updated: May 14
Setting goals is about having a vision. It’s about knowing what you want out of life and then figuring out how to get it. Have you ever taken a car trip? Did you have a map of how to get where you were going? If you didn’t, how did you get there? Clearly not having a map makes reaching the destination hit and miss. The less familiar you are with where you are going the greater the need for a map.
A study initiated where graduates of Yale University were tracked. Three percent of those graduates set goals. Twenty years later the 3% who set goals were at higher levels of income than the 97% who didn’t set goals!
Setting goals shifts you out of the comfort zone. By setting goals a little higher each time it keeps you alert, your attitude alive and your achievements successful.
Goal Setting Exercises
1. Write a list of 100 things you would like to do before you die. Describe things that you would like to do in your lifetime. Eliminate all barriers and think of things you would like to do. Don’t let money, time, ability, experience or location be a barrier. Obviously there are some barriers that must be considered. An example of this would be if you wanted to be a famous rock star, but had the type of voice that makes even animals run and hide, you may want to consider being the drummer not the vocalist. Be realistic about any barriers that you think of. In most cases there is a way around it.
Anthony Robbins describes writing a list of what he wanted to accomplish in life, when he barely had a dime in his pocket. The items on his list seemed unrealistic, but now has come to be reality. Your list of things that you would like to do may include personal and professional achievements. You may include things such as: places you would like to travel, type of work you would like to do, position you aspire to, family structure you strive for, volunteer goals, physical goals, spiritual goals and financial goals.
What types of activities would make you feel good, fulfilled, fill a need you have? Take the time you need to complete this. You may, and probably will find that your mind will need more that one pass at this. How many times have you given your mind this freedom to create your future? I suggest that if you reach a dry point, come back to it later and add on to it as your mind creates more goals for you.
2. List things you are afraid to attempt. What have you always wanted to do but have been afraid to do? Interestingly the fear may be a fear of failing, trying something new, or even a fear of succeeding. What would happen if you were to succeed?
3. Describe a perfect day, 1 year from now. Consider your career, family life, home location, volunteer work, health, friends, social activities and education.
3. If you had 6 months to live, which of your top 100 would you choose to do?
4. If you were the $1 million winner what would you do with your money? How exciting to think about the possibilities. I’ve known 2 different big lottery winners. Each handled it differently. What would you do with a big win?
What you listed in question one, about your top 100 goals reflects your aspirations, goals and drive. How did you feel writing this list? Did you smile? Did you hesitate on any of them, questioning whether you could do it or not? Be confident. Know who you are. This list opens a window to your future. Don’t allow the window to close.
In the second question, things that you are afraid to attempt are based on self-limiting beliefs. That is to say that you have imposed on yourself beliefs about what you can and cannot do. These may be obstacles that you have created to stop yourself from achieving your goals. Are these truly prohibiting you from achieving your dreams? If so, how can you overcome them?
In the third question, listing what you would do in your last 6 months to live refers back to your basic values. Are you doing those things now? How do you know when you are living your last six months. Make it count now!
The lottery winner question reflects values. Money can sometimes limit what we choose to do. By eliminating this potential obstacle you can attempt whatever you choose. If you set goals and work toward them you can make your dreams come true.
You have just created a good start to your goals. These reflect your ultimate potential. If you set your goals, plan well and identify any obstacles you can make anything become reality. Now look at your answers to each of these questions and find the commonalities. As you re-read your answers, which items get you fired up and excited? Those are your goals.
For more specifics on actual goal setting read my article on Creating and Achieving Goals.
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