Mastering the Art of Goal Setting

Do you find this an exciting subject or boring? If you read all that I’ve written here, I expect you to be as excited as I am!

What Goals do I have? Well, I have 17 goals for 3+ years out, 12 for 6 months out, and 6 for next month; oh, and I’m working towards 100 on my “bucket list”! How about you?

All my goals are Written; they are Personal, Positive, Passionate, in the Present tense, and express my Potential. For example, “By the end of 2020 I am in the 100 Club living life to the Plus+!” and “I am completing the Pike’s Peak Marathon”. The last two in each category are “I am fit and healthy” and “I encourage everyone to their full potential”, because these are lifetime goals and my mission.

Recently I helped one of our Sales Coordinators craft her goals:

  • in 3 years “I am an NMD, living my dream, soon to be at the 39 Club Retreat”

  • in 18 months “I am a QNMD at the London Olympics, and in the 12 Club at the Elton Awards Banquet”

  • in 6 months “I am a Senior Sales Coordinator in the 3 Club, at the Nashville Conference”

  • in 1 month “I am averaging 1 tasty conversation a day with my 5-1 secured”

  • every day, week, month I stay connected by joining all Team Calls and attending all events with guests.

I challenged her to write one sentence under each of those goals that describes what it will look and feel like having achieved that goal. This is part of the important process of visualization.

What sets ultra-performers (like Bear Grylls, the Desert Runners and the new NMDs at Conference) apart from mere mortals? It’s that they have developed a goal-setting ability like no other. They know what most don’t: that to achieve anything, whether it’s their full potential, a promotion, climbing Everest, the 4 Deserts Grand Slam, making NMD, or a successful relationship, they must have a goal, a plan, a desire to see it through, commitment, and the faith to believe that it will happen.

This process sounds simple, and it is. But the reason most people fail to live up to their potential is that they haven’t taken the time to understand and master the process of goal setting; they may also have fears and beliefs that paralyze them. Yet mastering the skills of goal setting, explained here, will overcome those fears.

Goal setting is the shortest and surest way to get what you want from life. Once you set goals properly, distractions fall by the wayside. You build a level of focus and momentum that is impossible if you are bouncing from day-dream to day-dream, or messing about in mediocrity. You also enlist your mind as a powerful partner; so few of us do this, because we don’t know how or we don’t believe it could possibly work.

It does work. Just look at successful people. Successful people do not float from achievement to achievement. Success isn’t something that we stumble into, and true success is not a matter of luck.

Success is Not an Accident. Success is the end product of the goal setting process. “Success is the deliberate, measurable pursuit of prayerfully chosen, written goals.” ~ Tommy Newberry (TN)

Goal setting always produces successful results when you use some very special principles found in Tommy Newberry’s brilliant book “Success is Not an Accident”. Please go buy it NOW, read it and follow all his wise advice. You’ll be glad you did. For a taste of Tommy, listen to the introduction to his Make Your Life a Masterpiece.

If you want to make Success a habit, then make goal setting a habit and master the basics. No matter where you are in your life, or where you are with your own personal goals, if you really want success, then it’s vital that you understand these nuts-and-bolts of goal setting, taken mostly from Tommy Newberry’s book:

1. First DREAM Great Dreams. Rekindle those old dreams, build new dreams.  Dream of your God-given potential realized. Dream in pictures, see clearly what it will be like when you are living your dream. Now you can write some Goals to make your dreams come true. “The dream God plants in your heart, in your DNA, will not come to fruition by accident.” ~ TN

2. Know Yourself & Decide the PERSON you will Become. The more accurate your self-concept and self-perception, the more effective will be your Goal Setting. You have potential, amazing potential; you also need to embrace that truth and the desire to live up to that potential. Know your Sweet Spot. Write a Personal Mission Statement that expresses your personal potential – passionately, positively, in the present tense. “A mission statement is a written, present-tense articulation of exactly what type of person you believe God wants you to become.” ~ TN

3. WRITE Your Goals Down. Doing so will pull each goal out of your head, out of your dreams, and make it a little more real. Just looking at it, reading it over to yourself should give you butterflies. Express it well and it’ll paint a picture in your mind of what your life will look like and feel like once you achieve it. This is a very powerful motivational tool. “Writing down your goals helps you to crystallize your thinking and gives you a physical device for focusing your attention.” ~ TN

4. Write POSITIVE Goals. Avoid “I don’t want…” goals. In sports terms, this is playing not to lose, when you should be playing to win. It’s a subtle difference, but it’s significant. Instead of panicking and growing anxious that you won’t be able to do something, focus on doing. If you want to “not be in debt” write your goal as “I am debt-free” (I can hear Dave Ramsey’s Friday callers screaming that at the top of their lungs!) We think in pictures. Words are symbols for thoughts and ideas. Your brain doesn’t understand negatives, so if you say “I’m not going to eat junk food”, your sub-conscious mind only hears, and creates a picture of, “I eat junk food”. Instead your goal should be “I only eat healthy food.” “You will always act consistently with the dominant pictures you allow to occupy your mind.” ~ TN

5. Write PRESENT Tense Goals. Instead of writing “I will, will be, will do, will have…”,  write “I am…”, “I do…”, “I have… ” Writing a Goal in the present tense causes “cognitive dissonance”. “There’s a gap between reality and your vision for the future, and since your mind hates tension of any kind, it immediately begins to alert you to all sorts of people, resources, and breakthroughs that can help push you toward a goal.” ~ TN … I believe God has a big hand in this.

6. Write Passionately PERSONAL Goals. Is this goal just “right” for you? Does this goal keep you up at night? The goal should be something that you are so passionate about that you are willing to invest significant time and resources into achieving it. Unless you care deeply about what it is you want to achieve, you will quickly lose interest and your dream will fall by the wayside. “The best way to keep your commitment to reach a goal is to understand why you are striving for it. It’s the why, or the link to your values, that keeps you motivated.” ~ TN

7. Write SMART Goals. Nothing ambiguous or wishy-washy is allowed. Your goals must be specific, measurable, attainable (but challenging), relevant (personal to you), and timely (with time deadlines, so you know if/when you are there). Set goals that are slightly outside what you currently believe about yourself.  “You’ll find that your creativity will increase as you more clearly define your goals.” ~ TN

8. BREAK Your Goals Down into Manageable Chunks and make a PLAN. Take your biggest, long term goal and methodically break it down into doable pieces and segments. Your first, big goals should be 3+ years in the future (maybe 10 years or 30 years); your second should be 6-12 months out and clearly lead to achievement of your big goals; your third goal should be for next month (your first step towards your bigger goals). Do not wait for tomorrow. Complete today your plan that will lead to the achievement of your goals. Each and every day, starting today, contribute to the
next step in your plan; do it without fail. “Success is not an accident.” ~ TN

9. COMMIT to your Goals and your Plan. The most powerful goals in the world are useless without the will to plan to achieve them and to act on that plan. Taking action fuels your commitment. Taking action builds discipline. The harder you commit & work at something the easier it gets. “There is no try. Only Do.” (Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back). If you find yourself wavering, or beginning to have doubts, go back and work forward from step one. Rework them, rewrite them until your goals are perfect; do this weekly if possible – you’ll be amazed how great your goals will be, and your success. “Success is not an accident.” ~ TN

10. Make your Goals PUBLIC and Yourself ACCOUNTABLE. In a study conducted at Dominican University, they found that those who wrote their goals accomplished more than those who did not; those who wrote their goals and sent their commitments to a friend accomplished even more; and those who wrote their goals and sent weekly progress reports to a friend accomplished significantly more than the others. Make your goals public and ask someone (your coach) to hold you accountable. “Success is not an accident.” ~ TN

Training on Goal Setting