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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Goals - got a lot on your mind? Write it down!

Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage but simply because they have never organized their energies around a goal. -- Elbert Hubbard

Most of us serve our ideals by fits and starts. The person who makes a success of living is one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That's dedication. -- Cecil B. DeMille

My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose - somehow we win out. -- Ronald Reagan


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Can Putting Your Goals on Paper Give You an Edge? Absolutely.

Very few of us have clear, written goals. Those who write down their goals can accomplish more and stay focused easier than those who don't. Here's a powerful formula for setting and achieving goals that you'll be able to use right away.


First, make a decision about what you really want. Write down a description of what it would look like when you achieve it. Be as detailed as possible, including things such as a timeline and as many actions as you can think of that would bring you to your desired goal. When you have a group of amorphous thoughts floating in your head, it is difficult to conceive of an action plan. However, the simple act of writing it down transforms the formless and ethereal idea into a concrete thing that exists outside of your mind.


Make a list of everything you can think of that you're going to have to do to achieve your goal. This is important. Even if you think of additional things later on, just add them to the list. Let your pen write down anything at all that you can possibly think of that will help you get what you want.

Don't edit or correct it at this stage. Keep writing until you feel as if you've gotten everything out of your mind and onto the paper. A list gives you a visual picture of the larger task or objective. It gives you a path to follow.


Now, organize your list into an actionable plan. Prioritize your list into a logical order. What should you do first? Next? Continue and rough out an estimate for the approximate amount of time each task will take to complete.


Using the loose timeline as a guide, set a deadline. You can be as flexible as you want with the deadline, adjusting it as necessary as you progress; but you need one. A goal without a deadline may as well be a dream or even a fantasy. Setting a reasonable deadline will keep you on track.


Finally, take action. Do something from your list. Once you begin to execute your plan you will be amazed at how easily things fall into place for you. Try to do one thing from your plan's list every day. Add it as a task to your calendar and, as you accomplish each item, cross it off your list. Each time you put a line through an item you are one step closer to your goal.


This technique, which I use with my clients, is a great way to not only define your goals but to reach them.



© New York Executive Coaching 2008

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Growth is change.
Change can be uncomfortable.
Grow anyway.
Deborah Avery
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