Fulfilling Your Dreams - Five Easy Steps As we say farewell to 2008 and welcome 2009, it's time to shine. What an idea juncture for reflecting, planning and determining what our dreams really are and how we will achieve them. How many of you have already established your resolutions (goals) for 2009? If you take this process to heart, it can transform every aspect of your life.
I've been a dedicated goal writer since high school, and herein I will share some notes and ideas about the process from my personal journal. Insufficient Education Studies suggest less than 4 percent of people in the United States set written goals. The same studies show that many of that 4 percent are among the wealthiest people in the nations. When I ask people why they don't set goals, they often say they don't know how or they've just never done it before. Indeed, most people spend more time making grocery lists than planning for their most cherished dreams. Isn't that unbelievable? We go to school for a dozen or so years before graduating from high school. Afterwards, many of us go to trade schools, colleges or universities. We learn many important disciplines in school, including math, history, economics, literature, science and so forth, but we miss one critically important skill: goal setting. We obtain degrees, get pats on our backs, and go out into the world. We may be full of knowledge and hope, but are generally ill-prepared to design and pursue the lives we really want. Many of us didn't get this training at home because our parents have not been disciplined to write goals themselves. As a result, we fall into the 96% of the population that goes through life having never understood or practiced the art of setting and obtaining goals and dreams. How can you achieve that which you cannot see? How can you strive toward a mark that's not even defined? Whether you're already a goal setter, you used to set goals and quit, or you've never set goals, the following steps will help you build a better life. Let's welcome 2009 with clarity of purpose and a plan to achieve our goals. Step 1: What Dream BIG. Get a blank ledger pad and let your imagination run wild while you fill up your sheet of paper with everything you want to accomplish, become, experience or have. Many adults have lost their ability to dream, and that's unfortunate. By dreaming you instill hope for your future, and with hope, there's possibility. So your assignment is to take this advice seriously and make a list. During the coming week, devote at least one hour to dreaming. I want you to create a "dream list" filled with ideas. Your list should include at least 25 dreams pertaining to what you want to accomplish, become, experience or have. The page should have lines. Each goal should be to the left side of the line, with the remaining portion of that line left blank. Skip a line between your goals, leaving plenty of room to write beside each goal. You can separate your dreams into categories: family, education, work or business, travel, spirituality, personal objectives and so on. Think about what you would like to accomplish in your lifetime. What are your plans related to educating yourself and (for parents) your children. Where would you like your family to live? What type of house do you want? What kind of car? List several events you've always wanted to attend - perhaps concerts or sporting events like the Super Bowl or World Series. When you think you're done, consider exotic vacations you've always dreamed of experiencing with your family but have never been able to pull together. Most goals should be specific. Envisioning a nice home is not as effective as depicting a 3,000-square-foot, Tudor-style home with four bedrooms, three full baths and two living spaces, a new car is not as good as a black, BMW 5 Series with tan leather interior or a silver Lexus RX 350 with charcoal interior. Define how large you want your business to be. How many customers will it have? How many employees will work for you? How much revenue will you generate? How much profit will you earn? Step 2: Why After you complete your list, wait 24 to 48 hours. Then for each item listed, write down WHY it is there. If you can't verbalize in one sentence why you want to be, do or have this dream, then it's not really a dream and it won't become a goal. Cross it off your list. The why behind your dream is your real purpose. If there's no legitimate why, there's no valid purpose in achieving or pursuing that goal. Step 3: How & When Implementation is the hardest part. Beside each goal, you need to write down how you can achieve it. What will it take? One of the most critical components of goal setting is to begin pondering a realistic plan of action. For example, if you have a goal to drop 25 pounds, you should write down some specific ideas on how you can do that. If you goal is to create a million dollar business, consider how you will put it together. If you want to move into a new house or have a certain amount of money in a retirement fund, how are you going to do it? The implementation process that I use and an inspirational poem that I read daily to keep me motivated and on track is below. 6 Step Goal Achievement Process (from Think and Grow Rich) 1. Fix in your mind the exact goal you desire. It is not sufficient merely to say, "I want to be something like this." Be definite as to the amount 1. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the goal you desire (There is no such reality as "something for nothing") 1. Establish a definite date when you intend to achieve the goal you desire 1. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action 1. Write out a clear, concise statement of the goal you intend to achieve. Name the time limit for achieving this goal. State what you intend to give in return for achieving this goal and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it. 1. Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after rising in the morning. AS YOU READ, SEE AND FEEL AND BELIEVE YOURSELF ALREADY IN POSSESSION OF THE GOAL. If you think you are beaten, you are, If you think you dare not, you don't If you like to win, but you think you can't, It is almost certain you won't. If you think you'll lose, you're lost For out of the world we find, Success begins with a person's will - It's all in the state of mind If you think you are outclassed, you are, You've got to think high to rise. You've got to be sure of yourself before You can ever win a prize. Life's battles don't always go To the stronger or faster man But sooner or later the one who wins Is the one WHO THINKS HE CAN! Step 4: Share This step is hard for some. However, I strongly suggest an accountability partner. You may have several: a spouse for family goals, a sales manager for sales related goals or a minister for spiritual goals. In any event, you should have loving, caring people in your life who will encourage you and keep you on track toward attaining the goals on your list. Step 6: Achieve After you identify your specific goals and write them down, begin the daily and weekly action steps that will take you closer to attaining them. And once you have identified your goals and plotted the activities you intend to do to fulfill them, pat yourself on the back. When you achieve a goal, reward yourself, celebrate as you cross them off your list. You have just spent more time planning your future than most of your friends, relatives or associates will ever invest. As you embrace 2009, I wish you health, wealth and happiness. If I can be of assistance or answer any questions for you, please reach out to me directly. If you read this note and take this lesson seriously by putting together a list, drop me a line so I can celebrate with you. You will be taking a very important step toward reaching new heights in the future, and I would love to give you an e-mail "high five." In closing, one of the greatest philosophers of our day said, "You should set a goal to become a millionaire, not for the millions of dollars, but rather what you will become during the process of the achievement." ________________________________ This message is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or the employee or agent responsible for delivery of the message to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. 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