As much as entrepreneurs, businessmen, managers, consultants, mentors and coaches talk about goals and how much you need them, you might be surprised at how few people actually have their goals listed out along with a plan to achieve them.
Some people think they are just too busy. Some think that they already know what they want and don’t need to bother writing it down. Some just think that it’s a waste of time. The biggest reason people don’t set goals is because the don’t know how to do it effectively. They might have already done it and not produced the results they intended.
I’ve recently been reading Brian Tracy’s “The 100 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws Of Business Success” and in there he talks about Lloyd Conant (you may have heard of him) who is the founder of the Nighingale Conant Corporation which is one of the largest producers and distributors of audio programs on personal achievement and success in the world. He’s spent over 50 years studying and working with successful people and has come to the conclusion that,
“Success is goals, and all else is commentary.”
Why is that? What makes him so absolutely sure that goals will make the difference?
Because when goal setting is done correctly you have a detailed map and plan of action to get you to where you want to be.
Look at it this way.
Let’s say you and three friends are competing to get from Los Angeles to New York in the shortest amount of time and each one of you is given a map. You all have the goal of getting to New York.
One map is just an outline of the United States. The next map is a satellite image of the U.S. that shows the terrain. The next map is a satellite image that shows the terrain and includes roads. The final map is a navigation system that shows the terrain, the roads and includes traffic updates and verbal directions.
Which one of you is most likely to get to New York the fastest?
That’s right, the one with the most detailed map that will allow them to create a plan of action to reach the goal of New York.
So, which Taekwon-Do school owner is going to become successful the fastest? That’s right, the one who has created the goal, the map and the plan!
Here’s a quick and effective way to start goal setting. This is part of the outline I use with school owners to get them started on the path the want for themselves.
The first thing to do is take out a clean sheet of paper. At the top write “Dream List” and make sure to include the date as well.
On this sheet you want to create your “5 Year Fantasy”, as Brian Tracy calls it. This exercise will require you to let go of all your current concerns and beliefs regarding what you think is possible for yourself. It’s called a 5 Year Fantasy because I want you to let loose, I want you to dream, I want you to give yourself permission to create your ideal life.
Imagine that it’s five years from now and you have accomplished all of your goals, all of your problems are solved and your life is absolutely perfect in every way. Imagine that you are living the life of your dreams!
Write down in great sensory detail (and as if you have already achieved them) what these areas of your life would look like if they were perfect in every way:
- Bank Account
- Family Life
- Physical Fitness
What would you be doing and who would you be doing it with? Who would you no longer be with? What would your lifestyle look like and how much would you be earning? What would your family look like?
After you’ve created you five year fantasy, you can now go through it and pluck out your goals creating a list. This is now the list of your big time, long term goals. Then you want to divide that list into three categories.
The first category is your Personal and Family Goals. These are usually qualitative goals that deal with people, time and quality of life. These are the reasons why you are doing what you are doing. They are the motivation behind the material and tangible goals you have. This is necessary because it often happens that people lose focus and get consumed with working towards material goals, losing sight of the important reasons WHY they are doing what they are doing.
The second category is your Career and Material goals. These are the WHAT of your goal list. These are the goals you have to reach in order to get to your WHY. This includes business and financial goals, career achievements, financial income, sales or profits, and the money and material objects you want for your life.
The last category is Personal and Professional Development goals. These are the HOW goals. These include the tasks you must do, or become competent at doing in order to achieve the material goals that will lead you to the accomplishment of your personal and family goals. You can see how it all rolls from one into another!
The next big question is, “Now that I have this long list, where do I start?”
You have now entered into the planning stage.
Take your three lists of goals and organize each of them in order of importance by dividing them in to A’s, B’s and C’s. The A’s in each category represent those things that are most important to you and that you are passionate about. Then further break the list down as A-1, A-2, A-3, B-1, B-1, C-1 and so on.
Now take each of the A goals, and on separate sheets of paper, write the goal at the top as if you have already accomplished it, as if it is already a reality. Then begin to create detailed plans of action to achieve that goal. After you have done that with each of your A goals, prioritize the plans and actions you have laid out in order of importance using the same A-1, A-2, B-1 system.
After doing this with all of your A goals you job is to create deadlines and get things scheduled on your calendar. Doing this puts the accomplishment of the goal in your future and allows you to see it as a reality.
Review this plan everyday and resolve to do at least one thing everyday that will take you another step closer to achieving your most important goals and your dreams. Soon you will find yourself with a certain level of inertia and momentum and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you begin to make progress on even your largest, most challenging and seemingly most unattainable goals!
You’ve now taken your dreams, those things that most people can’t even imagine as a reality, and have begun creating the detailed map that will take you from where you are to where you want to be in your life!
One more thing. Don’t get stuck on things going exactly as planned. They rarely do. There are many paths to what you want for yourself and your life. As Zig Ziglar says:
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as who you become by achieving your goals!”
About the Author:
Senior Instructor – Karstadt Taekwon-Do
Mr. Karstadt is the founder of 1 TKD Consulting and owns the longest running ITF Taekwon-Do school in Arizona, Karstadt Taekwon-Do in Phoenix, AZ with his father Master David Karstadt. He has been training since 1984, earned his Black Belt at the age of 8 and is currently an internationally renown intstructor teaching the culture, discipline, leadership and business skills of Taekwon-Do in classes and seminars to Instructors around the world. He has been a member of eight U.S. Taekwon-Do Teams and has traveled to 14 different countries competing in Taekwon-Do. He has won numerous medals at the World Championships and in international competition, most notably winning the 2004 World Championships in South Korea with two gold medals and the Men’s Team All Around Trophy. Mr. Karstadt currently resides in uptown Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and three children. Mr. Karstadt can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org