My first year in business, I made a whooping $20,000. And that was mostly from doing massage and person fitness training, two skills I had picked up along the way.
At the beginning of my second year, I told my bookkeeper—my sister—I would buy myself a new car if I made $100,000 that year. I promptly forgot about this goal, and was surprised when she told me to go by myself a new car in January. Rather than buy a new car, I bought myself a trip to Greece—another goal on my list.
I don’t tell you this to brag—I tell you because that was my first lesson in the power of goal setting.
One year later, a friend who had just started his business, set a goal of $250,000 for the year. I thought, “If he can do it, I can.” And so I did.
Goal setting is the art of learning your unique preferences. Believe it or not, most people don’t know what they want—they know what they don’t want, and magically, they keep getting it.
Focus on what you want in 2015. What experiences, skills, or opportunities would you like to gain? Who do you want to meet, how much do you want to earn, and where do you want to visit?
While there are many different type of goal setting worksheets, the most important step is writing down what you want. Not what other people want you to have, or what you think you should have. Focus your list on what you want.
A powerful addition to that one simple step is to answer the question why for each goal. For example, I will learn how to shoot video in 2015. Here’s my “why” behind this goal: I can reach more people, and strengthen the value I share. I will also take an improv class in order to strengthen my speaking skills, and meet great people.
Okay, your turn.
An important tip: skip the top three most important goals, and focus on completing as much as you can in the worksheet. Then, come back and fill in your three high-level focus goals at the top of the first page. They are meant to remind you of your most important goals for 2015.
Additional tips to successful goal setting:
• Be specific (one way to check yourself is to ask, “How do I measure the results?”)
• Stay away from the non-specific – “more, better, different” – words ending” er.” (i.e. To be healthier, wealthier, happier, etc.)
• Use inspiring words (i.e. “To be at my ideal weight of ___,” is stronger than “To lose 15 pounds.” Choose your words carefully and remember to stay focused on what you want.)
• Begin with, “to be, to do, or to have___.” Rather than focus on “how,” stay focused on what you want.
• You will notice 3 focus goals of the top of the form. Once you have completed the entire exercise, extract the 3 most important items or general themes and fill them in.
• Review your focus goals daily.
P.S. Remember: while this structure to goal setting has the highest success rate and proven results, the most important step in setting your goals simply writing what you want. Once you know that, the rest is simple.