Here is a simple seven-step formula for setting and achieving goals. I teach it everywhere I go, and it has often been life changing for my seminar participants.
First, decide exactly what you want. If you want to increase your income, be specific about the exact amount that you want to earn.
Second, write it down. A goal that is not in writing is merely a fantasy. It has no power or energy behind it. It is like a cartridge with no powder or like cigarette smoke in the air.
Third, set a deadline on your goal. Your subconscious mind loves deadlines. It requires a “forcing system” to activate all its powers.
If it is a large enough goal, set subdeadlines. If it is a ten-year goal, set a goal for each year, and then for each month of the coming year. Continually measure your progress against your goal and your deadlines.
Fourth, make a list of everything you can think of that you can possibly do to achieve your goal. When you think of new activities, add them to your list. Keep working at it until your list is complete.
The more individual steps you write down on your list, the more excited you become about achieving your goal and the more motivated you will be. Henry Ford said, “Any goal, no matter how large, can be achieved if you break it down into enough small steps.”
Fifth, organize the list by sequence and priority. When you organize by sequence, you decide what has to be done before something else has to be done. You determine what comes first, what comes second, and so on.
When you organize by priority, you determine the most important item on your list, and then the second most important, then the third, fourth, and so forth.
Once you have a list of steps, organized by sequence and priority, you have a plan. A person with a goal and a plan will run circles around a person with only a wish and a hope.
Sixth, take action on your goal, whatever it is. The primary reason that people succeed greatly is because they are action oriented. The primary reason that people fail is because they do not take action. Failures always have an excuse to procrastinate, until finally their energy and desire are gone and they are back to where they started.
Seventh, do something every day that moves you toward your most important goal, whatever it is at that time. Do this 365 days per year. Develop the discipline of working on your goals daily so that it is as normal and as natural to you as breathing in and breathing out.