Personal goals for success

By Vince Panella

Goals are great time-accelerating devices if built and used correctly. Keep in mind that goals can be dangerous if not created in way that balances both your career and personal lives. The following goal workshop steps are the culmination of 20 of the best goal-setting tools I've ever tested:

  1. Relax. The first thing you want to do is create a relaxing and creative atmosphere for your goal setting session. Having the phone ring often or being interrupted by others in your home or office every few minutes will stifle your ability to list your goals and generate their purpose effectively.
  2. Brainstorm your Personal Goals. Brainstorm all of the personal goals you would like to fulfill for about 5 or so minutes. Be creative! Don't worry about deadlines at this point, just get down on paper your dreams and desires. Don't worry about how you'll accomplish a goal just worry about if you want it.
  3. Choose deadlines for your Personal Goals. Place a number by each of your goals representing within how many years (or months) you would like to fulfill that goal. The purpose of deadlines are to tell you how much energy to put towards your goals and when. No negative pressure just the positive pressure to create the actions you desire.
  4. Choose top 3 short-term Personal Goals. Now choose your three top short-term Personal Goals. Look at your deadlines and circle, check or highlight the three goals you would like to fulfill first. These are going to be the ones that require the most energy for action the soonest.
  5. Brainstorm Costs of not accomplishing and the Rewards of accomplishing your three chosen Personal Goals. Now do a Cost vs. Rewards brainstorming for your three top short-term Personal goals. Write each of the three goals in the following format: "I am totally committed to." Then list below all of the applicable emotional, financial, physical, social, and spiritual Costs if you do not achieve your goal. Do the same for your Rewards, except now you're focusing on the rewards for the same 5 areas when you do achieve your goal.
    Be emotional. The more personally painful you list your Costs and the more personally enjoyable you list your Rewards, the stronger this tool will be and the greater your chances of fulfilling your goal.
  6. Clean up your listed Personal Goals. Now go back to the Personal Goals you've brainstormed and rewrite them in a neat, chronological order

The rest of the workshop follows the exact same routine, except now you're focusing on your Financial and Material Goals. Repeat steps one through six for both your Financial Goals and Personal Goals.

Creating your goals means absolutely nothing, unless you commit to using them!

Review your Personal, Financial, and Material Goals Cost vs. Rewards daily, meaning at least 5 days every week. This creates the focus to build the necessary blinders to your daily distractions. Review the chronological listing of all of your short and long-term goals at least once a week. This allows you to be on a frequent and consistent lookout for opportunities for action to fulfill longer-range goals. And every 3 months or so, reevaluate all of your goals and create new Costs vs. Rewards as needed.

Vince Panella, a partner of Dovico Software, is the founder of Success-Centered Time Management and author of The 26-Hour Day.

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