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In order to create successful goals, we need to understand what a picture of the future looks like in three stages of time. The far future, three years or longer, exists and we need to create a visual of what we want that to be. Think about where you expect to be in five years. What does that look like? What are you making? What are you doing? How are you spending your days? 

In order for us to achieve the stretch goal of the future, we need to create a series of long-term goals and short-term goals. The short-term goals will be the required activities that we need to do consistently in order to allow for the future we imagine to be a possibility. This is essentially the plan of attack for us to execute on what we want.

Goal setting is composed of four basic steps.

  1.  Dreams - Conceptualization: Imagine What You Want
  2. Goals - Visualization: Build an Image that Captures the Dream
  3. Plans - Quantification: Define the Specific Plan of Attack to make the Dream Real
  4. Actions - Actualization: Execute the Plan and Track your Daily Actions.

It's not enough to set goals willy-nilly, though, we need to compartmentalize our life and think in terms of best practices for a well-rounded and motivating force that will drive us to execute the plan that we aim for. In order to do this, we need to think about the seven areas of life that we can create goals around and which drive and motivate us to commit to consistent behavior and action. 

Please open a word document or take out seven sheets of paper and go over these seven areas. In each area take inventory of where you are right now. Write a brief summary of your present status. Go through the steps of goal setting to imagine what a future would like if it was filled with positive change in these areas. List everything you would like to accomplish now and in the future. Do this for each goal. Don't pre-judge your thoughts; write them all down and allow your mind to breathe in each area. Include the tangible changes or accomplishments you'd like to see, as well as, the intangible things that most influence these areas of your life that you'd like to work on.

  1. Family
  2. Spiritual
  3. Work
  4. Social
  5. Health
  6. Education
  7. Financial

This is a list. And any list can be given priority. For us to set goals we need to prioritize what is the most important and what is the least important. Prioritize your goals from most important to least important. Give a range of time you'd like to see them executed in. Then, comb through your information and create a master list of the top 3 goals from each of the 7 areas that you'd like to see changed.

Now prioritize that master list. Check for balance and conflict. Make sure the goals aren't too heavily weighted in one or two areas. Don't let work goals overshadow family and health goals. Now write a detailed description of each goal and how you will achieve it and what needs to be in place before you can achieve it.

Remember that your goals must be SMART goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. 

The goals should make you stretch. It's okay to fantasize a little. If some parts of your goals aren't a bit crazy, then they're probably too realistic. Be sure to challenge yourself and your ability to be ambitious about the future that you want to see present. Include what you can do right now as well as what you want to be able to do later.

The hard part comes after. It's time for you to commit to a timetable for each goal. Once your goal is SMART its necessary to break that goal down into short-term activities with deadlines that will allow you to achieve the overall aim. Be sure to include monthly, weekly, and daily activities as well as a tracking system that can hold you accountable and ultimately, ensure that you will be successful in this venture.

You must be comfortable letting others hold you accountable as well. Share your goals, especially those who are impacted by your goals, and invite them to give you help and advice as you go about executing the plan tenaciously. 

Review your goals regularly and track your progress. Create milestones and make it enjoyable. Reward yourself for your commitment, but don't allow the goal to become a club you punish yourself with. Instead, be realistic. Change is hard. Being human is hard! We must do it with dedication, but also with compassion. The person we struggle to be most compassionate and empathetic with is typically ourselves. By challenging that norm we are more likely to be successful at setting our goals.

Be persistent! Don't quit! Don't let a bad day take away from the progress you make. Remember, your priorities change over time, you might need to redefine or realign your goals, but that doesn't mean you've failed in any way. It means you're more attuned and aware of your intentions. To live intentionally is most relevant and achievable goal that is the hardest to grasp. Be willing to abandon a goal, but only if it becomes irrelevant, do not abandon your goals because they are too hard. This allows us to carry the wrong mindset into the future and can sabotage future successes by justifying failures in the present. 

Change the way you think! Use affirmations and power talk to keep yourself on track and accountable. You are fantastic! You are in control of your life and you truly make a difference in others! Believe in yourself and execute faithfully. Here are some other powerful affirmations you can use when you pursue goal setting:

  • Feel the fear and do it anyway
  • I am in control
  • I’ll handle it
  • I am powerful and I am loving
  • I am strong and worthy
  • Everything I want is on the other side of fear and fear can’t hold me back. I will have my way.
  • I overcome fear with ease because I am strong and powerful. I am not ruled by the world of imagination.
  • There are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic timelines.
  • Pain is a good thing, and I am Great at Finding it and knowing what to do with it! 
  • I do the behavior and I am a product of the product.
  • The only thing holding me back is me.
  • I choose to get out of the way and be the solution!
  • Failure is not an option.
  • Can’t is a 4 letter word that is not allowed.
  • Every day of my life, extraordinary things will happen to me!
  • I am human, hear me roar! This is my primal yawp!

If you're interested in setting yourself up for success in 2018 and want to take a risk you can bet on with the Sandler System then join us for our upcoming bootcamp.

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