Giving up on your goal because of one setback is like slashing your other three tires because you got one flat.
But that’s exactly what some people do when they do not quickly, instantly, and easily reach their goal. They let a setback stop them from taking any more constructive action.
Maybe you do that on occasion. In a tough job situation, you may say, “Well, there’s nothing I can do about it.” Or in relationship that’s going nowhere you may say, “Well, I guess it wasn’t meant to be.”
Baloney! There’s always something you can do to reach your goals. The problem is you may not know HOW to reach your goals.
To be precise, there are 6 steps in the process. I gave you the first 3 steps in last week’s Tuesday Tip: 1) get off your butt, 2), focus, and 3) determine your give-back.
Let me give you the other 3 steps that you can apply to ANY goal you want to achieve.
4. Establish a Deadline.
Decide the exact date you intend to have the money you desire, the relationship you want, or the career goal you hope to achieve.
Tasks without deadlines never get done. Just take a look at the stack of stuff on the corner of your desk that’s been sitting there for weeks. Most likely, you don’t have a deadline to go through all that stuff and get it done, so it won’t get done for a long, long time.
Likewise, goals without deadlines are no more than fanciful wishes.
But specific dates create a sense of commitment and urgency. That’s why you tell your coworker you “want the XYZ report at 2:00 p.m. on Friday” rather than saying, “I’d like it later this week.” Due dates mean you mean business.
Get rid of all the fuzziness in your deadline … just like you need to get rid of all the fuzziness in your communication. That’s what one appliance salesperson should have done. As my wife and I walked by, the salesperson asked, “Washer? Dryer?” I said, “No, I’ll just hose her off when I get home.”
5. Create a Plan.
Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Now that might sound a little corny in today’s sophisticated world, where people like to “wing it,” but he’s absolutely right.
Success researcher Napoleon Hill said, “Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.”
Again, right on.
And write on. In my Extraordinary Success 2.0 Master Class coming this fall, I’ll let you in on a little secret … that the top 3% in any profession write out their goals and write out their plans to achieve those goals. The act of writing is magical. It propels you beyond wishful thinking to … almost … automatic action.
If you’re a manager who wants to ensure an employee’s follow through, you might ask him to write down your instructions. If you’re giving directions over the phone, you might ask the other person to read back what she has written. You wouldn’t let the other person off the hook without making sure they got the message, right? So, why would you let yourself off the hook by not writing out your plan?
6. Turn Your Goal Into an Affirmation.
Take the essence of your goal and turn into a simple statement that you tell yourself over and over again. If your goal is to lose weight, repeatedly tell yourself “I easily maintain my ideal weight of 144 pounds (insert whatever number you want).” Say your goal is to build greater teamwork with your coworkers. You could tell yourself, “I am giving my coworkers more respect by listening to them more closely.”
The more you do this, the more you will be doing the things that will lead you to the successful completion of your goal. Napoleon Hill put it this way. “Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after arising in the morning. AS YOU READ, SEE AND FEEL AND BELIEVE YOURSELF ALREADY IN POSSESSION OF THE GOAL” … you want to achieve.
One of my clients, Martin Rickers, the Executive Director of Client Community Services, talks about the power of this goal-achieving technique. He wrote me, saying,
“Dr. Zimmerman: I had to write and tell you something remarkable that happened to me immediately following your seminar last Friday. I took your teaching on affirmations to heart as I have not always been the most positive person during my lifetime. One of my Personal Affirmations is: “I am a good golfer with skills in all areas!” as I have played golf almost my entire life, but my skills have slipped the past few years. On Saturday, after driving all night for our local prom, I had a 9:00 a.m. tee time. On no sleep whatsoever, I went over my affirmations from your class, and went to play golf with some friends. Guess what? I played the best round of golf in several years and was ‘medalist’ in our group.”
“However, it gets better. Last night I went out to play a quick nine holes and teed-off on our #10 hole – a 118 yard par three, completely surrounded by water. Over the years I have peppered that hole with good shots, coming close to a hole-in-one on many occasions. Last night my pitching wedge shot hit about 5 feet directly behind the cup, drew back and trickled into the cup for an ace! But, that round of golf got even better as I had four more birdies, two pars and one bogey during the subsequent eight holes to shoot a career low score of 31 – five under par!”
“I know that your positive-thinking, goal-setting, affirmation seminar had something to do with my recent success. I don’t think I am quite ready yet to try the Champions Tour, but it sure was fun for one brilliant evening to play the kind of golf that I know I am capable of playing and to ‘live my dream’ of being a sub-par golfer! Thanks for your ideas on how to reach my goals!”
Action: Turn one of your goals into a written affirmation and begin to say it twice a day … and keep on saying it until your goal becomes a reality. No one would argue with the fact that we’re living in a time of information explosion.
Dr. Zimmerman’s Tuesday Tip, Issue 894 – Giving Up on Your Goal and Slashing Your Tires