Since the age of 16, I have literally tried every possible goal setting strategy.
- Categorizing goals in the A-B-C format (A — most important, B — medium importance & C — average importance)
- Writing goals in detail & making them descriptive
- Posting my goals as a vision board all over my vision board
- Plastering my entire house with my goal statements
- Verbally sharing my goals with my friends
- Making public announcements of my goals so as to have the ‘pressure’ to achieve them
- Repeating my goals day in and out as an affirmation
- Having a goal written on a sheet of paper and keeping that paper in my wallet
- Having a massive poster of a visual representation of my goal stuck on my wall, right in front of me where I work.
- I have divided my goals into physical, mental, emotional, materialistic, financial — various categories and given myself targets
Now I have tried all these strategies, gimmicks, methods. You name it, I have tried it. However, what I realized worked best for me — is the following:
- Have a black book that you dedicate for your important or private work — one that you would love to keep next to your workstation. My preference is to have a leather bound book — one that has a pen holder support & a plastic band that can keep the book closed. And this book should not be used for anything other than jotting down your IMPORTANT thoughts.
- One one side of that book write down in Big Bold Black letters what you goal is for the next month.
- Make sure there is ONLY one goal for the month OR a series of small goals that you will achieve for the month.
- Ensure the goals are doable — something you know for a fact you can, you will and you must do.
- The goal should also have a sense of URGENCY (as in you MUST do it) and a sense of IMPORTANCE (If you do it, it will make your life better)
- Make sure this is a goal you would love to do and you enjoy doing.
- Be clear about this goal as in what benefit you will receive if you complete this goal and what pain you will go through if you do not achieve this goal.
- Ensure after you have written this goal clearly, the book is closed and kept near your table every single day.
- It is recommended from time to time, you open this book, write down your thoughts, write down your challenges, scribble your feelings and just jot down ideas in this book while looking at your goal statement.
- If you like being creative with this book as in coloring it, highlighting any particular sentence, sticking a picture — go ahead and do it. If nothing else, you can just leave the book but at its particular resting spot.
- One important bit to note — make sure you have your MINIMUM ACTION FOR THE DAY stated explicitly there. This should be the action that you WILL do no matter what. It should be fairly effortless (like if you wanted to run 1kms, you instead did your minimum — which was walk only 10 steps)
- Finally, if during the course of the one month, you feel the need to update, add, subtract or rethink your goal — go ahead and do so.
Now at end of the month, on the due date — refer the book once again.
Find out if you have achieved or haven’t achieved your goal — look at what you have written down. Go through all the struggles, the ups, the downs and the finally result.
This book will give you a reality of what you need to know. You will come to know:
- Are you the kind who should keep goals or not.
- Do you have what it takes to change your life?
- Are you the “all-talk” about improvement — the kind who likes to ‘believe’ he wants to improve but in reality doesn’t?
- Do you have the character, the competence & the commitment to yourself to succeed?
- Do you know yourself? what you want? what drives you? what motivates you? what defines you?
I can tell you one thing.
Just one month of doing this exercise will speak volumes about you as a person. And the results of this one exercise — if done properly — will define the rest of your whole life.
Try it and see for yourself.
This is not just a goal setting strategy. But one that will show you — who you are and what you are really made up off.
Trust me — you will thank me later.