1. Clarity of purpose. For a dream to become a goal, it must be specific. While it's fun to dream about being rich, it takes courage and hard choices to decide exactly how much money you want and how you are going to earn it. Being "thin" is an image; losing 23 pounds by your birthday is a goal. In life, we probably can't have it all. You can lose 23 pounds, or you can have the cake and ice cream. Your choice. Be clear.
2. Commitment. There's a story from ancient Greece about a general who landed his troops on the beach, then burned his ships. He wanted each soldier to know there was no turning back, no retreat, no alternative to victory. Once your goal is clear, emotionally commit to achieving it. There are no alternatives.
3. Talk about it. This is called "accountability". Once you've defined your goal and committed yourself to achieve it, start talking about it! If you want to lose weight, don't blame your spouse for buying ice cream if they don't know and understand your goal! Talking about your goals makes them emotionally real and powerful. It allows people to help you reach your goal and support you along the way. Some people will also criticize or undermine you. Don't talk to them.
4. Write it down. This is basic, and one of the oldest, simplest and most powerful techniques for achieving any goal. Write it down! Describe precisely what you want, how you will earn it, when you will have it, and the benefits you'll receive from achieving your goal. Write the details. Write the colors, the shapes and the dates.
6. Have a plan. Create a map for getting there. And put dates on it! A goal to retire at age 40 has no meaning without a savings and investment strategy. A goal to create your own business is just a fantasy without a plan to attract investors, find a location, hire staff and sell your goods or services. The beauty of a plan is that it allows you to...
7. Take action every day! "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Any goal that is worthy of you, is worth a few minutes of your time and some of your energy every single day. To one day write a novel, write a chapter this week. To open your own business, read a business magazine today. To create a more loving family, give someone a hug today. To be salesperson of the year, make a phone call right now!
8. Use constant affirmations. One of my clients is a PGA golfer. From the moment his ball lands on the green until he sinks the putt, he repeats over and over "I will make this putt!" He repeats that phrase as many 200 times before every putt! Do you think he would be more, or less, successful if he spent those moments thinking, "I just hope I don't miss it."? Tell yourself what you want to hear!
9. Review, and re-commit, often. Never be afraid to review your goals, evaluate whether you are still 100% committed to them, and re-commit to achieving them. If your values, or your choices have changed, change your goals accordingly, and be honest about it! And if your goal still fits, run to it with all your heart!
10. Celebrate each milestone! Never wait to have a party! Each deposit in your savings account deserves a checkmark on the calendar and a hug from your partner. Each day without a cigarette deserves a smile and congratulations from your loved ones. Every step toward your goal should be documented and celebrated! When you get discouraged or have doubts, your record of past successes will quickly get you back on track. Not sure about this? Ask any marathon runner whether they count each mile on their run to the finish line! Celebrate each and every milepost on your path to victory!
© Copyright 2003 by Philip E. Humbert. All Rights Reserved. This article may be copied and used in your own newsletter or on your website as long as you include the following information: "Written by Dr. Philip E. Humbert, writer, speaker and success coach. Dr. Humbert has over 300 free articles, tools and resources for your success, including a great newsletter! It's all on his website at: http://www.philiphumbert.com
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