Research tells us that when we write down a goal we are more likely to achieve it. Since written goals can be reviewed regularly, they have more long-range power. Goals are not a dream that you hope to achieve. Goals are like a contract with yourself that you WILL achieve. When you write your goals, they should be:
- Present Tense. State goals as though they are being realized right now, or have already been attained. Our subconscious minds only operate in the present. If you create goals in the future tense, your subconscious will never get there.
- Positive. State goals in positive rather than negative terms. ("I am a neat and organized person," rather than, "I am no longer disorganized.")
- Personal. Goals must be about you, and under your control, not about someone else.
- Precise. Write goals in a manner that clearly describe what you intend to accomplish. Do NOT say “I want to earn enough to quit my job.” Instead, say exactly how much monthly income it will take you to enable you to quit your job. $500 per week? $3000 per month? For example, your goal may be: “I am working my business so I’ll be earning $3000 per month by March 31, 2013.” You can decide on a date, or break it down into mini goals by weeks, months or within 24 months.
- Possible. Goals should be realistic. Achieving them must be within the realm of possibility. If you’ve never written any business with your company, don’t write down a goal that you’ll make 100 sales by the end of the month. While it is not totally impossible, in most businesses, it is not likely. Instead, use a realistic number, breaking it down by weeks, months or by the end of the year. For instance:
“I am growing my team by two members by the end of August.” Then: “I’m building my team by an additional six members by the end of October.” Next: “I’m working my business so I’ll have 12 team members by the end of the year.” If you surpass that goal, great, but meanwhile, you can actually achieve those goals, and you’ll feel good that you’ve accomplished them.
Repeated victories will result in higher self-esteem and more confidence in setting higher goals, which result in greater productivity. You also don’t want to set your goals too low. Your goals should be challenging, but attainable.
- Deadline. Give yourself a deadline by which you intend to reach your goal. As I mentioned, you can break them down by mini goals you’ll reach in days, weeks, months, etc.
- No Deadline… Some goals can be about your work habits or schedule, without a deadline. For instance, if you have not been participating on forums as much as you think you should, one of your goals may be “I am participating in forums one hour three times a week.”
- You must REALLY want your goal and work every day towards accomplishing your goal. If you are wishy-washy about whether or not you achieve your goal, you likely will not do so.
Even if you have no time during the day to take action towards your goal, you can take a few minutes to visualize it. Constantly visualizing yourself accomplishing your goal is a powerful way to help achieve it.
Place written goals where you will see them at least twice a day. If possible, read them aloud and visualize each one.