I want to tell you why I despise this ritual of setting a new year’s resolution. Then I want to help you set your new year’s resolutions. Yes, that’s a little schizophrenic but let me explain.
I am an avid goal setter. I believe it is the starting point of success. If you don’t have clear goals, you’re likely not going to get what you want in business and life.
I am going to share with you the method of goal setting I’ve used for years. It’s simple, effective and powerful. But only if you follow through and stick with it.
The reason I hate it
Everyone feels compelled to set a new year’s resolution. But the vast majority of people who set them don’t follow through and stick with them. They are just words and nothing more.
The health clubs love new year’s resolutions. They know a gazillion people will set a goal to get in shape. They then join a gym.
What happens next for most? They go once or twice.
The key to success
To really be successful at goal setting it needs to be an ongoing process. Not something that happens once per year on a whim.
They have to be focused and specific. You have to really know what it is you want, why you want it, how it is going to benefit you and how it will get done.
There needs to be a start and a finish. When will this goal be achieved?
There must be specific actions that will move you toward the goal. Want to get in shape? Great! How will you do it? What will you do every day to move toward the goal? How will you be held accountable?
Telling the world you want to get in shape is all fine and good. But it’s just a statement. Knowing what you will do to achieve it, why you’re doing it, what the benefits are, how long it will take and having the confidence you can achieve it is the right way to set goals.
Throwing down the gauntlet
I challenge you… yeah you… to join me in 30 days of goal setting. If you do it, I promise you this will change your life. If you don’t… yer yella!
Write it down
The first step is to write it down. If you just say it out loud, it’s not a goal.
And sorry but writing it on Facebook doesn’t count either. You have to write it where you can see it. Where it will become part of your every day.
It has to be written on an actual piece of paper with a pen or pencil. There is something about writing it down that makes this really come to life. It makes you think deeper.
This is the goal setting I have used for almost 10 years now. Here are the steps:
- Get a notebook
- Every morning write out ten specific goals in the present tense with a deadline
- Think big
- Review them during the day
- Define actions
- Write new ones every day without looking back
- Take weekends as review days
Now I will break down these steps:
First thing in the morning
Buy a simple notebook. I like the composition books you see pictured below. I bought a green one because it’s the color of money…
First thing in the morning, before emails or Facebook or anything else, write out ten goals. Write them as if they’ve already happened and give yourself a deadline. Here’s an example:
1: I have quadrupled my net income by Jan 1st, 2016.
2: I am at my perfect level of health and fitness by June 1st, 2015
3: 100 new members have enrolled in the OMGFormula.net free offer this month.
Remember to think big
When I first started doing this years ago I used to set very easy to achieve goals. Everyone taught that you should not set goals that are too impossible because you’ll just get frustrated and stop.
That might be true, but I think setting average goals will produce average results. And I don’t think you want to be average, do you?
If you want to be a billionaire, write it down. If you think it is impossible then you’re right… it’s impossible.
If you believe you can do it, you still may not achieve it… but at least you’re in the game.
You will be amazed at how writing these things down makes you feel and think. We’ll talk more about that in the next step.
This process may take a little thought and time if you’ve never done it before. You may stare at a blank page for a while. It’s not uncommon to have writers block.
Just let it flow. You’re going to do this every day so don’t stress too much. Think of the first few days as practice. It isn’t about getting it right on day one. It’s about getting clear on what you want and understanding how to get there. It may take you seven to ten days before you get clarity.
Read what you wrote
After you are done and have your ten, review them. Think about them but don’t edit them. They are there for the record. It’s amazing to look back at these after time has passed. And with a lot of time, you’ll start seeing how you’ve achieved many of them.
This process will get the creative juices flowing. It will motivate you. It really can be an exciting process.
Define your actions
Take out a blank sheet of paper… not from your goals book… that’s just for your goals. On the top of the page write ‘Actions’.
Write down some small steps you can take to move towards these goals. What can you do today to step toward these goals?
Don’t set actions until you’re really clear on your goals. You may not want to write actions for at least a week.
You don’t want to go and put energy into doing something you may change your mind about in a week. Only when a certain goal becomes a commitment to you should you start taking action.
One of my actions above was to add 100 free members to the OMGFormula.net program. The process of writing this down really made me think about it. It kept it as a priority in my mind.
I know to get 100 people I need about 250 people to see the offer. So my actions revolved around getting traffic to the offer.
During the day
You can and should review these throughout the day. I recommend keeping this book with you at all times. It should become your new best friend.
When you need a break during the day, read through the goals. And very important: read them once more before you go to bed at night.
The next day
First thing in the morning turn the page without looking at your goals. Then once again write your ten goals down again.
Don’t try to write what you wrote yesterday. Just write down what you feel are your top ten goals.
These may change from the day before. And that is perfectly normal. Each day you’re becoming clearer and clearer on what it is you really want and how to get there. Do you see the power in this process?
This is a daily process. Do it every single day except the weekend.
Promise me you will do this for at least 30 days. Ok?
Instead of writing your goals, read them on Saturday and Sunday. Page back through the past days and see how they’ve changed. Take note of how your goals seem to be evolving.
A funny thing will happen after about a week. You will see goals on day one that were gone on day two. You will see new goals appear in different order.
At some point you will be re-writing the same thing every day. Not because you have them memorized but because you now know exactly what you want.
I’ve been using this daily process for years. It works like nothing else.
Here’s the real New Year’s process
Because I set regular goals all year I don’t need to set any resolutions. They are already done.
But what I do is review the year that’s past to see where I have succeeded and where I have failed. I take a deep look at how well I’ve done moving towards my goals. And yes, a part of this is going to be failures too.
But when I talk about failures, I don’t mean it in a negative way. Failure is just a part of success. You can’t achieve your goals without the risk of failures.
Sometimes things just don’t work. I may have a goal to launch a new membership site. But for whatever reason, it doesn’t sell well.
I need to evaluate why this didn’t work. Where was the breakdown? Is this something I close down and abandon? Or do I adjust the goals and move ahead?
This is a powerful exercise that I recommend people do at the beginning of the new year instead of setting resolutions.
In podcast episode 73 I shared my top failures of 2014. In the episode I dive deep into the process and why it is so important.
It is truly amazing what has come true in my life because of active goal setting. My only regret is that I cannot go back in time and set bigger goals.
Just do it
Things don’t happen by accident. Good or bad.
The truth is energy flows where attention goes. If you put your attention on something enough, seeds will sprout.
It really doesn’t matter how far fetched something seems. Big things are just bigger not necessarily harder.
What’s the difference between one million and one billion? Technically it’s a few little zeroes.
If you think the mountain is too hard to climb, if that’s where your attention goes, you won’t climb it. Your energy will flow elsewhere. Off to something easier like watching someone else climb the mountain.
Now it’s your turn
Will you do it? Make sure to let me know how your goal setting goes by emailing me or leaving a comment here.