Reveals the Personal Goal Setting System That Helped Todd Retire Early And Wealthy… So That You Can Do The Same.
- You may think you already know all about goal setting, but results probably prove otherwise.
- Discover the 5 ways that written goals give you a wealth building advantage.
- Reveals the exact 7 step goal setting system I personally used to build wealth.
Success is a choice.
You alone decide what you want and how you'll achieve it.
If you don't set goals, then you're implicitly handing your life over to divine fate and betting on luck to provide for your needs.
When you set goals, you're pro-actively choosing a life path with self-responsibility and playing an active role in your destiny – and that can make the difference between success and failure.
Additionally, if you aren't writing your goals down and reviewing them regularly, then you aren't setting yourself up to win. You are shortchanging yourself and your financial future.
Without goals, your life is like a sailboat without a rudder: it'll just spin in circles. Without goals, your daily life is as purposeless as driving a car without a destination in mind.
Goals are the focal point that gives your life direction and drives successful forward momentum.
In order for you to realize your potential as a human being, then goal setting is as necessary as breathing.
I like to think of the time spent writing and reviewing my goals as an investment in my future. It doesn't cost me time: it saves me time by eliminating waste.
The process creates amazing results, and nobody will charge you a dime for it. Where else can you risk nothing and get a huge potential reward? It's a no-brainer: everyone should do it.
Yet, surprisingly few people take advantage of this free and proven formula to success. In fact, look at the results from a study conducted by psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews:
- 267 participants were included in this study – 149 completed it
- Five groups were asked to participate
- Group 1 had to think about business-related goals they wanted to accomplish and then rate them on a few sets of different criteria
- Groups 2 through 5 had to write their goals down and rate them
- Group 3 also had to write action commitments for every goal
- Group 4 was asked to do all of that, plus tell a friend about their commitments
- Group 5 went above and beyond by sharing a weekly progress report with a friend
- 43% of Group 1 either accomplished their goals or were at least halfway there
- This was true of 62% of Group 4
- This was true of 76% of Group 5
The more you think about your goals and commit to them, the more likely it is that you'll accomplish them.
Well, other studies have shown people with written goals also tend to have better health and happier marriages. Do any of those results motivate you to write out your goals?
The bottom line is proper goal setting is essential to your success, yet few people do it.
Shocking, but true.
If you want to retire early and wealthy and be part of the 5% who create financial security in their lives, then you'll make maximum use of this free and incredibly valuable tool.
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Five Ways Goal Setting Helps You Build Wealth
Your life is an endless series of daily choices, and how you manage those choices will determine the outcome of your life.
Yet, most of our decisions are made subconsciously.
By setting goals, you set a context from which you are consciously making your daily decisions. You're applying the resources of your mind to accomplish a specific outcome. As a result, your life moves toward the goal.
“In absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.”– Unknown
The reason goal setting works so well is because specific changes occur in your mind as a result of writing out your goals. Your awareness is affected in five different ways, each giving you a competitive advantage over others who do not set goals:
- The first advantage develops from your mind asking questions about how you'll achieve the goal. Asking the right questions is more than half the battle to achieving the goal in the first place because it focuses your attention. Forming a goal and asking questions about how you'll achieve it actively engages your mind in resolving the discrepancy between where you are now in life, and where you want to go.
- The second competitive advantage results from focusing your attention on where you want to go. Without goals, your mind is in a vacuum and has nothing to focus on. Negative focus creates negative results, while no focus creates random results, and goal oriented focus creates the results you desire most. Goal setting lifts your objective up from underneath the bottomless pile of possibilities that exists in the world, and puts it in the forefront of your mind.
- The third competitive advantage results from forming a compelling vision in your mind representing all the reasons why you want the goal. This helps motivate you to put forth the effort to achieve the goal, much like putting a carrot in front of a horse will draw him forward to take step after step to reach his goal. Desire is a powerful motivator.
“More men fail through lack of purpose than lack of talent.” – Billy Sunday
- The fourth advantage occurs when your personal competitiveness begins to work in your favor as you strive to achieve your goals. You don't want to let yourself down, so you compete against your own standard of acceptable performance. This can sometimes escalate into an internal race to achieve, because the competition can motivate you to excel and work harder just to prove that you're capable.
- The fifth competitive advantage of goal setting is your mind begins to notice opportunities to achieve the goal that might have otherwise been overlooked. This is because of the front-of-the-mind awareness resulting from setting the goal. For example, have you ever noticed when you want something that it suddenly appears everywhere when before, you never noticed it? It's as if a beacon got turned on in your mind that illuminates everything in the outer world that can help you achieve your inner goal.
I had that experience recently when I decided to buy a Lazy Daze brand motor home and started noticing them everywhere.
I never noticed the Lazy Daze brand before, but my eyes were guaranteed to pick that particular brand out from all other vehicles on the road. I didn't notice other brands of motor homes or other vehicles; I only noticed what my mind had set its sights on acquiring.
Your mind works the same way with wealth and investing. You'll see possibilities and solutions you never would have noticed had you not set the goal and committed to it.
Creating a heightened awareness around your financial objectives by setting goals prepares your mind to recognize opportunity when it appears.
“Penicillin was indeed the product of accidental discovery, but the discovery was made, and the knowledge developed, because certain scientists had definite goals in mind. ‘Chance,' Pasteur wrote, ‘favors only the prepared mind.'” – Saturday Review
You can think of setting goals as planting a seed in your mind.
When you develop a plan to achieve the goal and practice daily habits congruent with achieving the goal, it's like giving the seed water, sunlight and nutrition.
With this nurturing, the seed becomes a tree with a good strong trunk, full of branches. In the fullness of time, it will produce delectable fruit and a lifetime of happiness and meaning.
The same will happen with your wealth building goals if you set them in writing and nurture them every day.
Goal setting works: it's worth the effort.
But how do you do it?
My Seven Step Annual Goal Setting System to Build True Wealth
After years of trying and discarding many different goal-achievement techniques, I have settled on a relatively simple annual process that just plain works.
It integrates the best practices from many different sources and adds a few twists and turns of my own to form a repeatable habit you can follow for a lifetime.
The key point to notice as you learn my annual cycle for goal setting is that it's designed to be a habit.
This is extremely important because goal setting is another one of those things that's incredibly important to do, yet easy to procrastinate or forget about. Everyone knows they should set goals and review them regularly, but judging by results, few people actually do it.
“A year from now you will wish you had started today.” – Karen Lamb
As is so often the case, we may know what to do, but seldom do we actually do it.
So what about you? Are you regularly setting goals and reviewing them? Are you walking the talk? Remember, to know and not do is to not know at all.
The information in this article may sound “old-hat” to a lot of readers, but the very same people who are yawning probably aren't walking the talk.
Four of the most dangerous words in the English language are “I already know that”.
You may know it intellectually, but if you aren't already setting and achieving goals habitually, then it would pay for you to follow closely below so that you can begin using this valuable tool to its fullest potential.
Step One: Begin The Goal Setting Process In January
We begin our annual goal setting cycle in the weeks surrounding New Year's Day. Why? Because it's virtually impossible to forget or avoid this annual holiday event.
The New Year is a natural time to reflect on achievements from the prior year and start thinking about what we want to achieve in the coming year. In short, it's a perfect time to begin a goal setting cycle.
Your first task is to review your written goals from the prior year and compare them to your actual results.
“No one can cheat you out of ultimate success but yourself.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Inevitably, your results will exceed expectations in some areas, and disappoint in others. The critical point here is to not judge yourself because you're not your results.
Instead, I suggest positive reinforcement by rewarding yourself for all that you did achieve in the prior year. Take the time to celebrate your wins because you deserve it. Also note areas where you came up short, as that is honoring reality.
What are your results telling you? If you came up short on a goal, then what was the cause?
After all, if you said you wanted a goal, but didn't achieve it, then there is opportunity for learning.
- Did something change?
- Did other goals take a higher priority
- Did obstacles get in your way?
- Maybe you're just not committed to that goal, and should drop it or change it.
You don't get to be right or wrong during the review process, as that won't serve you well. There's no value in belittling yourself for missing a goal because that will just take away from honoring your successes.
The purpose is simply to get clear on what worked in the prior year and what didn't. Just notice the facts and make conscious what happened, but don't judge yourself.
“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.”– Napolean Hill
Where did you meet with success, and where did you come up short? Your objective is to learn from experience and improve your goal setting for next year based on what you discover.
You're creating an active feedback loop so you can correct and adjust your goals every year to get what you want out of life.
This correct and adjust process works much like rocket guidance systems. When a rocket is launched to a faraway destination, it's traveling off course more than 80% of the time. Yet, the same rocket will hit its target with pinpoint accuracy. The key is correcting and adjusting.
The rocket knows its goal and is constantly correcting its trajectory during flight until it arrives at the destination. You can do the same thing by reviewing your goals each year and learning from your successes, as well as your failures.
Step Two: Prepare Financial Statements
The next step during the annual review process is to compose a “quick and dirty” income statement and balance sheet.
This task is particularly easy around the turn of the year because annual tax statements must be prepared showing your assets, income and spending.
When you prepare these statements you are treating your personal finances with the professionalism of a business. You're respecting your money.
I also suggest plotting your net worth and residual income on a chart so you can track your progress toward your goal of financial freedom. This is very important if you're working toward the goal of financial independence or retirement security.
“The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.” – Cecil B. DeMille
Once you've updated your financial statements and reviewed your past goals, you're then complete with the feedback loop portion of the process.
You now have a solid foundation on which to build your new goals. You have a current snapshot of your financial picture, and you understand what worked from the prior year, what didn't, and why.
Step Three: Ask The Right Questions
The next step in your annual goal setting process is to decide what you want to create with your life moving forward by asking yourself some questions:
- What do I want this year?
- What will it take for this year to rate as a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10?
- If failure was not a possibility because I'm guaranteed success, then what would I do? How would I play the game of life differently?
- What values do I hold dear that I would like to honor in the New Year?
- What's frustrating or dissatisfying about my life, and how would I like to change it?
- If I graded the various parts of my life (relationships, business, money, health, recreation, etc.) on a 1 to 10 scale, what grade would each receive, and what do I want to do this year to create the grades I really want?
- What objectives would make the biggest, most profound difference in my life?
Step Four: Compile And Prioritize Your List Of Goals
After I've answered these questions, I get together with my wife to create a combined goal sheet for the family. She follows a similar process independent of me and creates her own agenda.
We then compare lists and create a combined family agenda for the year that's broken into two categories: the first list has business and financial goals, and the second list has our personal and family life goals.
It's important to note that we don't just add the lists up to create one summation list. Instead, we negotiate the goals knowing that we must focus to succeed.
Less is more, and this is critical to note. More goals doesn't equal more success, but more focus on just a few goals that make the biggest difference will equal more success.
We compare our goals to the “10 Keys To A Winning Goal” checklist found in Step Two of the Seven Steps to Seven Figures course that this article is excerpted from, and we put on the back burner those goals that don't make it to the top.
After years of practice, we have learned to enjoy greater balance and happiness by focusing on just a few critical goals and actually achieving them, rather than setting ourselves up for disappointment by getting spread too thin with too many goals.
What amazes me about this process is how powerful it is while being deceptively simple.
It never fails to redirect our thinking.
It creates clarity and cohesive focus for both of us to operate as a team, and helps us create a more satisfying and fulfilling life for our family.
It redirects our lives and keeps us from drifting aimlessly or living day to day.
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Step Five: Get Into Action To Achieve Your Goals
Once you've set your goals, you now have a whole year to achieve them. But how are you going to do that? What is your next step? My suggestion is to divide and conquer.
Keep things simple by picking from the list only those goals that are the most exciting and juiciest of all, so you can focus your limited time and energy resources on them.
What's your top priority for the year? What's the most time sensitive or immediately compelling goal on your list?
“The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you're willing to work.” – Oprah Winfrey
Once your goals are prioritized, then you can pick either of the two strategies from below to begin executing your plan of action.
I offer two different strategies because each is appropriate for different situations, depending on conditions. Certain goals and personality types work best with one or the other approach. Which of the following approaches is best will depend on your personal style and the particular goal you are pursuing.
- Next Step Approach: This is a forward looking approach where you just pick the next step to achieve your goal, complete it before figuring out the next step, and so on until your goal is realized. You don't worry about the big picture with all the planning issues (which might bog you down because too much is unknown, or the whole process is too big to grasp). Instead, you just determine whatever the logical next step is, and trust it'll take you to the next step until the path becomes clear. You're like the rocket that's correcting and adjusting its flight path. This also helps you avoid the “get ready to get ready” syndrome so that you can get started right now and not get stuck in procrastination excuses.
- Reverse Engineering: This approach requires you to start with the whole plan in mind from the beginning by reverse engineering it into smaller tasks to complete. You then further subdivide the tasks into additional actionable steps, while continuing to break it down until you have daily actions that will take you to your goal when completed. The advantage to this process is it breaks big tasks down into digestible bite size chunks, making the whole process very easy to grasp. It's most effective for analytical personality types, or situations where the entire path to the goal can be understood and mapped out in advance.
Both of these approaches help you succeed by reducing the intimidation and confusion that is sometimes associated with larger goals that take us into unfamiliar territory. They reduce your fear factor by transforming goals that are too large to grasp into actionable items that you can easily execute.
Each strategy answers the question, “where do I start?” and “where do I go next?” so that you don't get stuck in procrastination.
Step Six: Persist Until You Achieve Your Goal
“Let me tell you the secret that has lead me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.” – Louis Pasteur
Once you have picked your goal and developed your plan to achieve the goal, then the rest of the game is simply a matter of getting started and not stopping until you reach it.
Every time you complete an action step, you're one small step closer to your big goal.
Just keep on correcting and adjusting until you get there with rocket-like accuracy.
Step Seven: Maintain Focus By Reviewing Goals Regularly
Finally, the last part of this annual cycle is you must create a habit of refreshing your goals throughout the year. This means you must review them regularly and rewrite them as necessary.
The purpose of this step is to maintain your focus throughout the year as life's clutter attempts to distract you from what's important.
By reviewing your goals regularly, you're counteracting all the forces outside of your control designed to sideline your plans.
Some people like to post them on their wall, keep a copy on their desk, or post them in their Day Timer or smart phone. Whatever is convenient and will remind you on a regular basis about your goals so that you maintain front of the mind awareness is what's important.
“It matters not what goal you seek
Its secret here reposes:
You’ve got to dig from week to week
To get Results or Roses.” – Edgar Guest
In summary, the seven step process you just learned is designed to do one thing: make goal setting a habit. You must habitually create and refresh your goals to gain all the value from this incredibly effective tool.
By following a habitual goal setting process, you'll become part of the 3% that outperforms the other 83% by a factor of 10 to 1. You'll also put yourself firmly on the road to retiring early and wealthy.
It truly works.
Goal Setting System Key Points
There are three major points you should take from this article:
- Practicing goal setting and reviewing your goals is necessary to live the greatest version of yourself in this lifetime. Not using goal setting technology to the best of your ability is simply wasteful. It's the equivalent of flushing opportunity down the toilet.
“You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures.” – Charles C. Noble
- Goal setting engages your mind in five different ways to achieve your goals. This gives you a distinct competitive advantage over others who don't regularly set and review their goals. This competitive advantage can make the difference between retiring early and wealthy, or living a lifetime of financial mediocrity.
- The most effective way to get all the value out of goal setting available is to make it a habit. Set your goals at least annually, and review them at least monthly. Build a regular cycle out of the process so that it becomes an integral part of your life. If you set goals in a random or irregular fashion, then you will get random and irregular results. If you set and review your goals regularly, you will move them to the forefront of your mental awareness, which will create more consistently profitable results.
The bottom line is if you want to retire early and wealthy, then regular goal setting must become an integral part of your life practice. Financial coaching is a great tool to add accountability, support, and additional insight to not only setting goals, but also following through long enough to actually achieve them.
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