Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Be A Serious Goal Setter

I recieved a great newsletter from Mac Anderson this week which was just in time. I do not really believe in New Year's Resolutions. Rather I believe in goals.
What's the difference?

New Year's Resolutions for many people are just sort of a fad...like a fad diet. It does not last. Sure. I am certain people approach their New Year's Resolutions with whole hearted enthusiasm and drive. But all too often the spirit and energy to acheive the resolutions fades or they get forgotton.

If you do make "New Year's Resolutions" modify your thinking of them as "goals" and write them down some place where you can see them everyday and be reminded of what you set out to achieve. Then when you see them often, you will think about them and ask yourself how close you are to obtaining it and if you are doing what you need to in order to pursue that goal.

Below is a wonderful discussion by Mac Anderson of Simple Truths on goal setting from his new book "The Power of Discipline":

Why are some people more successful than others? Why do some people live happier lives and accomplish more in the same number of years than the great majority?

If I had to pick one answer to these questions, I wouldn't hesitate ... my answer would be self discipline.
Albert Gray said it best, "The common denominator of success - the secret of success of every person who has been successful - lies in the fact that they formed the habit of doing things that failures don't like to do."
Gray "nailed" it!

Because self discipline affects so many facets of your life. It affects your ability to reach your goals; it affects your personal health, your time management, your ability to manage your finances and even your character.

Brian Tracy is one of America's leading authorities on the development of human potential. He speaks to over 250,000 people a year, and is also a best-selling author who has written 25 books.
I'm honored that Brian has written a book for Simple Truths titled: The Power of Discipline...7 Ways It Can Change Your Life.
Take a quick look at the table of contents...

Introduction 5
Self Discipline and Goals 8
Self Discipline and Character 26
Self Discipline and Time Management 40
Self Discipline and Personal Health 50
Self Discipline and Money 64
Self Discipline and Courage 76
Self Discipline and Responsibility 92

Today, I'd like to share a brief excerpt from Brian's chapter on Self Discipline and Goals. Enjoy!
An excerpt from The Power of Discipline
by Brian Tracy

Your ability to discipline yourself to set clear goals, and then to work toward them everyday, will do more to guarantee your success than any other single factor.

You've heard it said that, "You can't hit a target you can't see."
"If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

Wayne Gretsky said, "You miss every shot you don't take."

It seems that only 3% of adults have written goals and plans, and they earn more than the other 97% put together.
Why is this? The simplest answer is that, if you have a clear goal and a plan to achieve it, your focus is fixed on a set course of action. Instead of becoming sidetracked by distractions and diversions, your time is focused on a straight line from start to finish. This is why people with goals accomplish so much more than people without them.

The tragedy is that everyone thinks they already have goals. But what they really have are hopes and wishes.
A wish has been defined as a "goal with no energy behind it." Hope is not a strategy.
Goals that are not written down and developed into plans are like bullets without powder in the cartridge. People with unwritten goals go through life shooting blanks. Because they think they already have goals, they never engage in the hard, disciplined effort of goal setting, the master skill of success.

USA Today reported on a study a couple of years ago. First, researchers selected people who made New Year's resolutions. Then they divided these people into two categories: those who made New Year's resolutions and wrote them down, and those who made New Year's resolutions, but neglected to write them down.

Twelve months later, they followed up on the respondents in this study. What they found was astonishing! Of the people who made New Year's resolutions but neglected to write them down, only 4% actually followed through on their resolutions.

However, among the group that took a few minutes to record their New Year's resolutions, 44% followed through on them. This difference of more than 1100% proves the simple act of crystallizing resolutions or goals on paper increases likelihood of success.

In my experience of working with several million people over the past twenty-five years, the disciplined act of setting goals, making plans for their accomplishments, and then working on them daily, increases the likelihood of achieving your goals by ten times, or 1000%.

This does not mean that goal setting guarantees success, only that it increases the probabilities of success by ten times. These are very good odds to have working in your favor.
Click here for more information on The Power of Discipline.

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