10 Guidelines for Goal-Setting

In case you haven’t finished setting goals for the new year, here’s a set of guidelines to make your time most effective.  Use any or all of them when you set and periodically refresh your goals:

1. Keep a picture book – Your subliminal mind is your greatest ally.  It recognizes and takes action on pictures.  Show it what you want.

2. Express your goals in the present – “I am…” or “I have…” rather than “I want…”, “I will…” etc.

3. Make it “SMART”

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Requiring that you reach beyond your present limits
  • Time Bound

4. Make it exciting – when you hear or see it, even if it’s scary (see below), make sure it’s exciting

5. Release it – Use “The Method” as follows: Imagine your goal (see, hear or feel it), observe what feelings well up, embrace them then release them.  (Very powerful!)

6. Make it something you can imagine – Even if you have no idea how you’ll get there, make it something you can experience in your imagination.  Then take 5 minutes a day to allow yourself to experience it in your imagination.

7. No more than 3 per day – When you set 10 or 15 for a given day, then at the end of the day feel like you weren’t successful.  Better to just set three and get them done, then take the rest of the day off.

8. Forget Discipline, Focus on Habits – You can form a new habit by daily repetition over 21 days.  That means you can set 17 new habits in the next 12 months.  Imagine what that could do for progress toward your goals!

9. An Action Set for every Goal – List your goals in one place, then keep a set of separate action set for each goal.  Action set contains projects, actions and next actions.  Only put your next actions in your to-do list.

10. Do a “Core Dump” at least once a year – “Distributive Cognition” means you get stuff out of your head so your brain is free for creativity.  The less energy you spend on “psychic ram”, the more you have for problem solving.


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“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.”
~ Chinese proverb