Top experts reveal their secrets to setting and reaching your biggest goals for 2014!
My tip is what I call “constant imaging”. It’s related to the Law of Attraction concept. I constantly imagine reaching the goal and everything that comes with that. For example, I have a goal to finish a book in the next month. I imagine (in color) my book cover, it selling a gazillion copies on Amazon and in bookstores, me doing standing room-only book signings, and people hanging on to my every word at those signings. I play this over and over in my mind, like a recording. I especially try to do it in the mornings and at night before going to bed. Our subconscious mind does not always know the difference between thoughts and reality. We have to envision – constantly – what we want to turn into reality. Of course planning and hard work is also needed, but I think constant imaging is a great foundation for reaching our goals.
2. Jon Lal
Saving more and spending less is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions. Whether setting a goal to save more and spend less, or achieve something else, to succeed one should identify the goal you wish to reach and put your goal in writing then display it. Look at the display daily as a reminder.
3. Eli Mechlovitz
“Never step too far away from any part of the business. Always have one eye on everything, but never have 2 eyes on anything. Focus on growth. Nothing will be perfect but always strive for perfection. If you keep growing at a 90% rate that is 90% correct, you will get a lot farther than someone who makes sure everything is 100% perfect. Resolve to accept the 95% rule: it will never be perfect, so move on and then circle back at a later time. In short: don’t get stuck! Keep on moving. Also, aim high, write down your goals and to-do tasks, move fast on the goals, make a solid game plan for each goal, have the end results very clearly defined, and implement. NEVER be a BTLD: big talker little doer, because actions and full implementation are key.
4. Bud Bilanich
Personal responsibility is the key to achieving your goals. I am the one who has to do the work to achieve my goals. You are the one who has to do the work to achieve yours. It’s as simple as that.Stuff will happen as you work on your goals: good stuff, bad stuff, frustrating stuff, unexpected stuff. Successful people respond to the stuff that happens in a positive way. Humans are the only animals with free will. That means we – you and me – get to decide how we react to every situation that comes up. That’s why taking personal responsibility for yourself and choosing to respond positively to the negative stuff that happens to you is so important. Personal responsibility means recognizing that you are responsible for your life, your goals and the choices you make.
5. Rosanne Dausilio PhD
Don’t Stop Before the Miracle! If you were all walking a tightrope or on a zip line, of course you wouldn’t stop ¾ of the way across or down.Don’t stop before the miracle simply means keep going for what you want and don’t let anything stop you. Be tenacious. Stay focused, stay on point.
6. Aly Benitez, Esq.
(1) SET INTERMEDIATE GOALS – Sounds simple. But how can you attain your goal of “being a millionaire” if you don’t set specific goals along the way to achieve this? Setting goals, even the smallest of goals (save double next week what I save this week), will help motivate you and keep you on the path towards your end goal.
(2) STAY ON THE PATH – Setting little goals is great, but if you quit striving to achieve those goals after a month, then it really serves little purpose. Stay focused and before you know it your goal is right in front of you.
(3) REWARD YOURSELF – Reward yourself along the way. After the second week, if you achieve your goal of saving twice as much as the week before, reward yourself. Whether taking a day off at the gym, eating that brownie or simply sharing your success with family and friends – put a little pot of gold at the end and grab it. You deserve it.
(4) DO NOT LET FAILURE STOP YOU – It is likely that along the way you will miss one of your intermediate goals. That’s OK. It’s how you respond that matters. If you want to achieve that end goal, you must be able to weather the proverbial storm and keep moving forward.
7. Karl Schilling
One of the most over rated themes in success is goal setting. This is not because goals are bad, they are very important. The major failure is a lack of accountability to the goal that has been identified and set. Goals are measuring benchmarks. By far the greatest lesson I ever learned about goal setting is that the pain of not making goal should far exceed the pleasure of making goal. This keeps you focused on being fully accountable to your goal.
8. Tony Wilkins
My best tip for reaching my goals is to focus. I tend to get distracted at times (since I work from home) by everything from e-mails to the phone. When I’m really up against it I tend to unplug. No distractions. No FACEBOOK,PHONE,E-MAILS ETC. IT WORKS.
9. Inez Bracy
I spend time deciding exactly what I desire for my outcome. Using that as my guide, I write it down with a schedule and timelines. The goal is then broken down into small chunks that can be done daily. Some of the chunks require fifteen minutes or less, others longer. Working this way has helped me to stay on track and accomplish the goals that I have set.
10. Bob Urichuck
A goal is an end, a result, not just a task to be performed. It describes the condition you want to achieve. Goals are an extension of your values. Goal setting is the process you exercise in order to select, define, and put into motion your personal expectations.
1. Goal setting focuses your efforts and improves your direction in life.
2. Goal setting encourages you to set priorities and become more organized.
3. Goal setting turns your wishful thinking into reality.
4. Goal setting points out your successes as you achieve them, motivating you toward further success.
5. Goal setting improves your self-esteem.
6. Goal setting makes you responsible for your own life. It defines your own value system.
7. Goal setting makes you aware of your strengths and allows you to overcome obstacles and solve problems.
8. Goal setting points out your weaknesses. You can begin setting new goals to improve in those areas and to turn them into strengths.
Goals must be S.M.A.R.T.—Specific, Measurable, Attainable,
Create a goal logbook and address each of the following areas:
• State the goal, date for completion and outcomes expressed in sensory-based terms: the sights, sounds and feelings you want to experience.
• Identify obstacles you might meet, develop the contingency plans to overcome those possible obstacles,
• Identify the skills and behaviors you’ll need, and the people, groups or resources you can call on for help.
• Develop a detailed step-by-step success-oriented action plan with start and finish dates, and with a method of monitoring and measuring your progress.
• Create a system to recognize and reward yourself for doing what you indicated you would do along the way.
• Finally, make a commitment to yourself to follow through and do what you have to do – be disciplined!
12. David Kassir
Harness healthy fear to create a habit. Fill your storehouse first. From earliest civilizations, even preceding the use of money as a means of trade, the storehouse served for the putting-aside of prescribed amounts of goods and grains for use later. The fear of not putting up enough to sustain one’s family through winter, for example, was a real enough fear that no one wanted to be without stores in reserve. A good bit of fear creates a margin of safety; it is healthy. Somewhere long after the advent of coin and monumental hardships like those endured during the Great Depression, Americans seem to have misplaced their fear of not providing for their families by putting up reserves in their storehouses, favoring instead to live paycheck to paycheck, augmented by credit.
13. Antoinette Capri
Don’t compromise your vision. Goal setting is always focused around one, can’t give up thing… your vision. Your vision is the big picture…the main reason for all your hard work. As you sweat, cry, doubt, get mad, get surprised, make mistakes, fail, get back up, dust yourself off and eventually succeed; always remember to keep your goals centered to your one, most important thing…Your Vision.
The real trick that I have found valuable enough and scalable enough to use on every one of my Lists is to put too much on them. I know that may sound like some braggadocious, over-achieving, masochistic approach to self-harming behavior, but by golly, it seems to work. It’s reminiscent of that old chestnut “if you want to get something done, give it to a busy person.” There is something magical about having a lot to do that seems to paradoxically aid in getting things done.
Of course, don’t be stupid. If this is a new idea for you, then be careful how much more you pile on. And don’t just do it to add stuff you don’t care about actually doing. I have found that when I have a short to-do list I kind of languish and fiddle around unproductively because it feels like I really don’t have all that much to do. What one needs to get done can act to fill in the time available rather than the time needed. While in both situations the task may be accomplished, I prefer getting it done with time to spare for some R&R, and this elegant little hack does just that.
So for me, the psychology of having “a lot” on my to-do list creates a pressure that is less like a joy-sucking headwind and more like a supportive tailwind that pushes me in a way that is helpful to getting where I want to go.
An additional benefit of this hack is that it helps mitigate procrastination. You may have some “big” things you need to get done and they may not be per se urgent or time sensitive, but you just don’t want to tackle them first. So, being a bit obsessive and boredom-hating, you find yourself actually doing other things that needed to be done as well, rather than doing nothing.
Also, prioritize! Just because you have a fair amount of legit things to get done, it’s generally pretty certain that some things need doing first. A variation of this is a deadline, or in my logic, a false deadline. Of course whatever it is you have to do likely has to be completed at some point. But what I do is “pressure” myself to get it done a few days (or even weeks) in advance. I let it steep and then I come back to it one more time, and generally with a new idea or two that it lacked from its former “final” version. As a result, it’s actually done sooner and comes out better. Of course, this can also be a nice insurance policy in the event you get blindsided by something with a real and immediate deadline.
This productivity hack does come with a risk of side-effects. I have found that there is perhaps a 3:1 of to-do versus possible-to-do. Much over that and you may feel overwhelmed—resulting in exactly the opposite of productivity, with an extra dose of anxiety.
I personally have found that having a whopper to-do list can really tick off one’s partner, spouse, or family. For example, I really like to get a lot done over the New Year’s holiday—close out the prior year, clean out files and whatnot, prepare for the New Year, etcetera. But in all the fun and pleasure of doing this, my to-do actually becomes longer and longer as I get new ideas or perhaps take on a finer grain into the complexities of some of my nascent projects—all this is at the sacrifice of time with my loved ones. Not good. So, consider either dialing back on such to-dos, or be wary of granular rabbit holes and avoid them, or add loved ones to your to-do list with activities, talks, games, etc. (and do keep them a priority as well).
Tips for Managers to Help their Teams achieve their Goals:
Set Daily Goals for your Team
In addition to overall goals, each team member should begin the day with a single goal that you’d like them to accomplish before they leave work. Team members; don’t start another project until you’ve completed that task. Make a list of your goals so that you can refer to them regularly to keep you on track, and make sure every daily goal corresponds to overall goals.
Write and Visualize Goals
Encourage your team to write their goals down and keep them in prominent a place that can be viewed frequently. In addition, try doing a quick visualization exercise where team members close their eyes and imagine how achieving their goals will feel, this can help them to remember why they started when their motivation wanes.
Contests are a simple way employers can keep their teams engaged and help them achieve their goals. Contests are fun and don’t have to be formal. In fact, most overachievers enjoy and thrive on friendly competition. The prizes don’t have to be big but the greater the need for results, the bigger the prizes! One of the greatest motivators that I have found is not individual, but the promise of a team outing. For example, if the collective team meets a certain goal for the month, then the team would get to go bowling for the afternoon. This helps to cultivate team and company pride, plus helps to build a strong relationship between the employees and their immediate supervisor.
Stay consistent with your brand and mission statement. This is important so people understand who you are, what you do, and what to expect. If you look at brands that have been around for decades, they have been innovative in business but consistent with their identity and that has helped them to be successful.
Meditate, Contemplate, Go Forth! Most often people will set new goals for the new year but quickly get distracted or worse yet, give up. You may be concerned about what others think but that will not allow you to move forward. The better approach is to meditate on your long held secret desire, the one you frequently contemplate. Begin writing down the best possible outcome and all of the benefits that will be derived from the idea.
Notice the joy in considering the seemingly unattainable goal. The joy is what will motivate you to keep moving toward achievement. Know that statistics are made to be broken and that anything is possible with a solid plan in place.
Most often there is a balance required between time allotment, expense and learning curve. The best way to keep moving forward is to begin with the easiest goals first. This is because once one is completed, you are highly motivated to work on the next and the joy continues experiencing your achievements in action. Joy and motivation work hand in hand, feeding into one another.
Tactically, your plan should begin with the ultimate vision on paper. Next, work backwards to put milestones in place such as six month goals, monthly goals, weekly and then daily goals. Each working day should be focused on your goals. We all know that life sometimes gets in the way so a backup plan needs to be in place, too.
At the end of each working week, while business is still fresh in your mind, plan out what must be accomplished the following week. And at the end of each working day, plan what needs to be accomplished the following day. Should interruptions come about, set aside extra hours one evening or on the weekend to make up for the time lost.
An important accelerator for getting to your long-term vision more quickly is to hold a meeting with yourself and employees (if you have them) every six months to review what worked best and what needs to be discarded. Be honest and diligent. Business is all about change and adapting to newer times. The acceleration for goal achievement comes at the end of the meeting when you reset your long-term vision. Make this meeting a practice every six months and you will astonish your peers and yourself by all you do!
While you are constantly monitoring your activities and tracking what works best, others will begin to notice you. This is particularly true when you communicate well online and make it a practice to continually grow your followings as well as follow others.
Sales are based upon people knowing, liking and trusting you. Sharing your core expertise freely will build your personal brand better than any other strategy. As they get to know you and see that your advice works, more will begin connecting with you, offer opportunities and refer you to those they know.
Repeat business, referrals and testimonials define the Smooth Sale!
1) Set realistic goals. First, ask the right questions, and stay the course until you’ve found the answers. Goals that are shared are ten times more likely to be acted on. Don’t wait until you have everything set up, to seek out accountability.
2) Make those goals concrete, and then document them. Set your savings goals as a specific annual percentage of your adjusted gross income (AGI). It’s a great idea to save at least 10% of your AGI in tax-free retirement accounts and another 5% toward retirement in taxable investments. If you are behind on your savings, you may want to save even more in order to catch up.
3) Craft the best strategy to implement your goals, including prioritizing the appropriate retirement vehicles. Start by investing just enough to get the entire match from a company’s 401(k) plan (if you have one), and then fund your Roth IRA accounts next. After these two, make certain you have enough non-retirement savings.
4) And this is a BIG deal — automate your plan. Automating putting money in an employer-defined contribution plan is easy. Automating a taxable savings plan is just as painless. Most banks or brokers offer an automatic money link between an investment account and a checking account. They should also offer a monthly automatic transfer between the two accounts.
“Always do the most important thing at any given moment”
Write your resolutions in a positive, present tense. Instead of focusing on what you will stop doing, create a list that states what you can do to move closer to your goal. Utilize index cards and write your objective, add a representative photo and include positive affirmations. Studies show people who review and visualize their written goals are more apt to manifest what they see.
Remember to be clear about what you really want. Consider one big resolution that would make the greatest impact on your career. This one goal will embody many steps or mini-goals but it is the one thing that you want to accomplish in the next year.
Visualize yourself completing your goals.
Use visual triggers to keep focus. Take your index cards and tape them to your bathroom mirror. This is what I call the ‘see and say’ method. When you see the goal, say the affirmation. The positive self-talk will motivate and inspire you to achieve more.
One of the most important parts of achieving your goals is actually meditating on them. The more you see it, the more you will work towards reaching it. There is tremendous power in knowing what you want. Live each day by your goals list and you’ll quickly accomplish twice as much as your peers and soar to great heights living your dream life.
Take your time.
Get guidance. Execution without proper direction will lead to frustration and possible failure. Seek out the help of experts who can help you reach your goals. A good mentor can not only give you the road map you need to succeed, but they will also keep you accountable and push you to achieve more when you’re ready to give up.
Celebrate small victories. All progress is good progress. Take time to commemorate your small victories on your road to success. Celebrations will keep you motivated and appreciative of how far you’ve come.
My accountability partner and I share our three to five committed actions for the day with each other every morning. If the tasks are larger, we may keep our list to three actions, instead of five. Having an accountability partner has made a big difference for both of us. And in the process, we have become treasured friends.
Goals are a dime a dozen….Set and pursue “Objectives” instead of “Goals”— goals are vague and can be misinterpreted, objectives are quantifiable goals
Strive to really understand, know, sleep and breath your objectives
Validate your dream by getting smart people to weigh in, “beat up,” help you validate and clarify those objectives.
Focus, Focus, Focus — don’t get distracted by other possible roads you may go down.
Follow Winston Churchill’s maxim on persistence: “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in…”
The common assumption is that whether you are freelancing or running a small business, if you aren’t delegating tasks to other people, then you’re making a huge mistake. There is a huge problem with delegating: how do you stay on top of everything? Even if you have the most diligent of staff, how do you keep them all on point all day, every day? Email simply doesn’t cut it. Managing a team via email, even a small one, is like herding cats: impossible.
What you need is a tool. One that has been designed for the task at hand: managing teams, which are increasingly geographically disparate.
You’ll never accomplish any of your goals if they are abstract. For instance, if your goal for 2014 is “to triple your business income”, that’s abstract. Where in the world would you start if you’re trying to achieve this goal? Break down each of your big abstract goals into a series of individual concrete tasks. Ask yourself “what steps do I need to take to accomplish this goal?” In the case of tripling your income, you might need to attend 20 networking events that year, write 3 guest posts per month, or make 1 cold call per day. These are all tasks that you (1) have control over, and (2) are simple and straightforward enough to easily execute. This way, you’re not shooting yourself in the foot before you even get started.
I find that I reach my goals if I see them visually in two ways: I keep a running goal list on Basecamp (an online project management platform) so they are in front of me everyday with my to do list as well as keep a vision board in my office. I put photos of the things I strive to work hard for weather its a vacation, a new watch, more time (pictures of a beach), my children–it keeps me motivated and focused!