Posts filed under: ‘1- Make a Plan‘

Simple Ways to Super-Charge Your Goals . . .

and Make Them Work! by Chris Widener

Most people have a love-hate relationship with goals. They love them because they are such a great idea and a wonderful way to motivate us to achieve, as well as evaluate our progress, but hate them because for many, they more often than not go unattained and simply frustrate them. This isn’t what goals should do!

So here are some simple ways to set goals so that we achieve them! After all, what good is a goal if it isn’t something you achieve? Here are some simple steps you can take to make sure that you see change in your life this year.

Narrow your focus. That’s right, start small. Pick two or three areas tops, that you want to work on. Too many people say to themselves, “I want to do this, and this, and this, and this…” and they end up doing nothing! Most of what you do throughout your day can be done without a lot of mental or emotional exertion, but change isn’t one of them. So focus down to a couple. This way you can get some victory in these areas. Here are some areas to think about: Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Spiritual, Financial, and Relational. What areas need some work? Now, what one thing should be the first item on the change list? The others will come later, but for now, you should focus on two or three total.

Keep the long-term in mind, but set your sights on achieving your goals in the short-term. Do you want to lose 75 pounds? Good. Long-term you will. But for now, think short-term. Don’t think about losing 75 pound by summer 2002. Think about losing 5 pounds by November 1st. This does two things. First, It makes it urgent. Instead of blowing it and saying, “Oh well, I still have 17 months to lose the 75 pounds” (because eventually that becomes 2 months to lose 75 pounds) your goal is only a few weeks out. This is better in terms of reaching your goal. Secondly, as you reach these shorter goals, it gives you regular victories instead of regular progress. Progress feels good, but achieving a goal is awesome!

Reward yourself when you achieve the goal. When you lose the 5 pounds by November 1st, go get yourself a grande whole-milk mocha. But just one! Then get back to your goal for December 1st. This puts a little fun back into the process of self-control and self-discipline. You will look forward to the reward and when the going gets tough, you will say, “two more weeks, two more pounds, then…”

That’s it. I truly believe that it can be that simple for you.

This adds some ideas to the above article.

1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Instead of saying, “I am going to quit my three pack a day habit cold turkey,” say “I am going to drop to a pack and a half a day.” You can always make new resolutions when you have achieved the first ones. Give yourself small victories a little at a time. Instead of saying “I am going to lose 75 pounds,” say “I am going to lose 20 pounds.”

2. Be specific in your timeline. Don’t just say, “I am going to lose 20 pounds.” Say, “I am going to lose 20 pounds by April 1st.” This way, when you start to be tempted in the ice cream aisle in the middle of November, you can say, “Nope, only 10 more pounds to go in a month and a half and I am not going to blow it.”

3. Post your resolutions where you will see them every day. This will keep the resolution in the front of your mind at all times. Instead of forgetting that you are trying to lose weight and ordering a big, thick porterhouse, you will have been reminded earlier that day that you need to go with something a little more on the lighter side. It will help your will beat your desire.

4. Find an encouraging person, who you respect, to keep you accountable. This person should ask you, at an interval established by the both of you, how it is going. They must be the encouraging type, though. If you are blowing it, they can say, “Well, that’s okay, get back to it tomorrow.” If you are doing well, they can say, “Awesome job. I’ll talk to you next week.” You will look forward to their weekly encouragement.

5. Find a partner. That’s right, someone who is trying to accomplish the same thing (or something different if need be). Just make sure that they really want to change, or they will end up just bellyaching about how hard it is and you will both fall into the abyss.

6. Write down a list of all of the benefits that will come if you accomplish this. If it is losing weight it might be something like this: Feel better, better self-esteem, longer life, clothes are more comfortable, no more time spent sewing on popped buttons, wife says you look 22 again, etc. If it is quitting smoking, it may look like this: Better breath, no more brown fingers, no more wrinkles on my face, no more red eyes, no more smelly clothes, longer life, wife don’t make me spend two hours a day on the back porch, etc. This will help you see what you will get from accomplishing your resolution.

7. Plan a reward if you accomplish your resolution. It can be anything from small to large. If you drop the twenty pounds, go out for dinner and dessert. Then get back to lose the next 20. If it is quitting smoking, go on a mini-vacation. Whatever you do, reward yourself. Or let a spouse or a friend pick the reward. Then splurge and enjoy!


Add a comment January 4, 2008

Goal Setting

by Jim Rohn 

I’ve often said the major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be the far greater value than what you get. That is why goals are so powerful – they are part of the fabric that makes up our lives. And goal-setting is where we create our goals.

Goal-setting is powerful, partly because it provides focus. It shapes our dreams. It gives us the ability to hone in on the exact actions we need to perform to achieve everything we desire in life. Goals are GREAT because they cause us to stretch and grow in ways that we never have before. In order to reach our goals we must become better. We must change and grow.

Also, goals provide long-term vision in our lives. We all need lots of powerful, long-range goals to help us get past short-term obstacles. Life is designed in such a way that we look long-term and live short-term. We dream for the future and live in the present. Unfortunately, the present can produce many difficult obstacles. But fortunately, the more powerful our goals (because they are inspiring and believable) the more we will be able to act on them in the short-term and guarantee that they will actually come to pass!

So, let’s take a closer look at the topic of goal-setting and see how we can make it forceful as well as practical. What are the key aspects to learn and remember when studying and writing our goals?

1. Evaluation and Reflection. The only way we can reasonably decide what we want in the future and how we will get there is to first know where we are right now and what our level of satisfaction is for where we are in life. So first take some time and think through and write down your current situation, then ask this question on each key point – is that okay?

The purpose of evaluation is two-fold. First, it gives you an objective way to look at your accomplishments and your pursuit of the vision you have for your life. Secondly, it is to show you where you are so you can determine where you need to go. In other words, it gives you a baseline from which to work.

I would strongly encourage you to take a couple of hours this week to evaluate and reflect. At the beginning of this month we encourage you to see where you are and write it down so that as the months progress and you continue a regular time of evaluation and reflection, you will see just how much ground you will be gaining – and that will be exciting!

2. What are Your Dreams and Goals? These are the dreams and goals that are born out of your own heart and mind. These are the goals that are unique to you and come from who you were created to be and gifted to become. So second, make a list of all the things you desire for the future.

One of the amazing things we have been given as humans is the unquenchable desire to have dreams of a better life, and the ability to establish goals to live out those dreams. Think of it: We can look deep within our hearts and dream of a better situation for ourselves and our families; dream of better financial lives and better emotional or physical lives; certainly dream of better spiritual lives. But what makes this even more powerful is that we have also been given the ability to not only dream but to pursue those dreams and not just pursue them, but the cognitive ability to actually lay out a plan and strategies (setting goals) to achieve those dreams. Powerful!

What are your dreams and goals? This isn’t what you already have or what you have done, but what you want. Have you ever really sat down and thought through your life values and decided what you really want? Have you ever taken the time to truly reflect, to listen quietly to your heart, to see what dreams live within you? Your dreams are there. Everyone has them. They may live right on the surface, or they may be buried deep from years of others telling you they were foolish, but they are there.

So how do we know what our dreams are? This is an interesting process and it relates primarily to the art of listening. This is not listening to others; it is listening to yourself. If we listen to others, we hear their plans and dreams (and many will try to put their plans and dreams on us). If we listen to others, we can never be fulfilled. We will only chase elusive dreams that are not rooted deep within us. No, we must listen to our own hearts.

Here are some practical steps/thoughts on hearing from our hearts on what our dreams are:

Take time to be quiet. This is something that we don’t do enough in this busy world of ours. We rush, rush, rush, and we are constantly listening to noise all around us. The human heart was meant for times of quiet, to peer deep within. It is when we do this that our hearts are set free to soar and take flight on the wings of our own dreams! Schedule some quiet “dream time” this week. No other people. No cell phone. No computer. Just you, a pad, a pen, and your thoughts.

Think about what really thrills you. When you are quiet, think about those things that really get your blood moving. What would you LOVE to do, either for fun or for a living? What would you love to accomplish? What would you try if you were guaranteed to succeed? What big thoughts move your heart into a state of excitement and joy? When you answer these questions you will feel GREAT and you will be in the “dream zone.” It is only when we get to this point that we experience what OUR dreams are!

Write down all of your dreams as you have them. Don’t think of any as too outlandish or foolish – remember, you’re dreaming! Let the thoughts fly and take careful record.

Now, prioritize those dreams. Which are most important? Which are most feasible? Which would you love to do the most? Put them in the order in which you will actually try to attain them. Remember, we are always moving toward action, not just dreaming.

3. S.M.A.R.T. Goals. S.M.A.R.T. means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-sensitive.

I really like this acronym S.M.A.R.T., because we want to be smart when we set our goals. We want to intelligently decide what our goals will be so that we can actually accomplish them. We want to set the goals that our heart conceives, our minds believe and that our bodies will carry out. Let’s take a closer look at each of the components of S.M.A.R.T. goals:

Specific: Goals are no place to waffle. They are no place to be vague. Ambiguous goals produce ambiguous results. Incomplete goals produce incomplete futures.

Measurable: Always set goals that are measurable. I would say “specifically measurable” to take into account our principle of being specific as well.

Attainable: One of the detrimental things that many people do – and they do it with good intentions – is to set goals that are so high they are unattainable.

Realistic: The root word of realistic is “real.” A goal has to be something that we can reasonably make “real” or a “reality” in our lives. There are some goals that simply are not realistic. You have to be able to say, even if it is a tremendously stretching goal, that yes, indeed, it is entirely realistic — that you could make it. You may even have to say that it will take x, y, and z to do it, but if those happen, then it can be done. This is in no way to say it shouldn’t be a big goal, but it must be realistic.

Time: Every goal should have a time frame attached to it. I think that life itself is much more productive if there is a time frame connected to it. Could you imagine how much procrastination there would be on earth if people never died? We would never get “around to it.” We could always put it off. One of the powerful aspects of a great goal is that it has an end, a time in which you are shooting to accomplish it. You start working on it because you know there is an end. As time goes by you work on it because you don’t want to get behind. As it approaches, you work diligently because you want to meet the deadline. You may even have to break down a big goal into different parts of measurement and time frames. That is okay. Set smaller goals and work them out in their own time. A S.M.A.R.T. goal has a timeline.

4. Accountability (A contract with yourself or someone else). When someone knows what your goals are, they hold you accountable by asking you to “give an account” of where you are in the process of achieving that goal. Accountability puts some teeth into the process. If a goal is set and only one person knows it, does it really have any power? Many times, no. At the very least, it isn’t as powerful as if you have one or more other people who can hold you accountable to your goal.

So: Evaluate/Reflect; Decide What You Want; Be S.M.A.R.T.; Have Accountability. When you put these 4 key pieces together, you are putting yourself in a position of power that will catapult you toward achieving your goals.

Add a comment January 1, 2008

Action Step 2: Charting Your Course


  . . . to Success

This is the first step in the Build Your Business BIG challenge. This assignment should be completed prior to January 1, 2008, or as soon as possible if you are joining us after the new year. Here is the assignment:

1. Read the Article.
2. Take time to set your timeline, action steps, evaluation and celebration.
3. Record it, along with any thoughts or insights you had, in your Build Your Business BIG Journal.
4. Feel free to share here in the blog


Your Dream Can Be Your Future

by Chris Widener

Here is a basic truth you must accept and believe if you are to achieve your dream…

Your dream can be a reality! That’s right; your future can actually see you living your dream. It doesn’t just have to be a big wish!

When we are young we are dreamers. Nothing seems too big for us to accomplish. Nothing seems too outrageous. The world is ours on a string as the old song goes. Until…

“Reality” hits. Reality is what others want to box you in with:
“You can’t do that.”
“Nobody has ever done that before.”
“It will never work.”
“You’ve gone off the deep end now!”

All dreamers (who eventually become accomplishers) have heard these things.

Yet they overcome them. They refuse to accept someone else’s “reality” for their own life. They let the average people live their average lives, bound by fear, while they pursue their chosen future – their dream! So don’t believe the people who tell you that you can’t or won’t. Believe your dream. Believe that it can be your future!

Once you have determined that you can actually live your dream, I want you to memorize this acronym. I’ve shared it before, but I found that it is tremendously helpful for reminding and motivating us toward our dreams.

D is for Dare (dare to dream while others don’t)
R is for Relentless (relentlessly pursue your dream no matter what)
E is for Excellence (strive for excellence in all you do)
A is for Abandon (abandon any other alternative plans)
M is for Measure (constantly measure where you are in your dream journey)

Okay, that’s great and motivating, but what about the practical stuff? Well, there is certainly practical stuff. No matter how lofty your dream, no matter how spectacular, you will live most of your life in the mundane. Richard Nixon said of the presidency that you “campaign with poetry, but govern with prose.” The vision is beautiful, the actual is mundane (not bad but “everyday” so to speak).

If you are to achieve your dream, you need to plan and work and work and plan. Here are my thoughts on how to go about reaching your dream and securing it as your future: Decide that you will do it. This may seem elementary but many people never decide and commit fully to their dream. They simply keep “thinking” about it. Tell others that you are going to do it. This puts you on the record as to what you are dreaming about. It makes you accountable. It will help you do it if for no other reason than to avoid embarrassment!

Develop a step-by-step plan. This is absolutely essential. You must sit down and write out a few things:

1. A timeline. How long will it take to the end?

2. Action steps. Point-by-point, what you will do and when you will do them.

3. Resources you will need to draw from. What will it take? Who will need to be involved for help or advice?

4. An evaluation tool. You need to evaluate from time to time whether you are progressing or not.

5. A celebration. Yep, when you are done you should already have planned what you will do to celebrate. Make it big!

I have found that there is no better time than now to start making your dream a reality. So, set aside some time today to get started on your dream. Follow the action plan and set your sights for the top of the mountain! You will be glad you did!

— Chris Widener

Add a comment December 25, 2007

Quote by Chris Widener

“Articulate your dream to others and the power of it will draw them to help you accomplish it.”

~ Chris Widener

Chris’ Commentary:
There are only a few speeches in our country that we listen to regularly and are almost universally aware of. One of them is Martin Luther King’s speech, “I have a dream.” Did other people have that dream? Many. But what is so powerful is that we remember that Martin Luther King so eloquently articulated that dream. Because of this, many followed and the course of a nation was altered forever. This is a lesson that we could learn and apply in our daily lives. If you have a dream and only you know about it, it is really just a wish. When you begin to tell others about your dream you will be putting it into action and drawing them to help you achieve it. The fact is that most people don’t have a dream and when someone does, they get on board (Yes, some will be naysayers, but many will want you to succeed!).

Get in touch with your life dream if you don’t have one, then begin to tell others your dream. One good way to do this is to ask others what their dream is. Worst case scenario is they tell you they don’t have one but ask what yours is. Best case, you both share your dream and encourage one another to accomplish your dreams! Have at least one conversation today about your dream!

NOTE:  Take a minute to share your dream with us by leaving a comment on this post.

Add a comment December 25, 2007

What Are You doing?

What in the World Are You Doing?

What is the legacy you are leaving?  What impact are you having on the world?  Many people go through life and never really understand the impact they have on others, or become aware of what it is they want to accomplish in life. That is unfortunate. Others, however, driven by purpose and passion, are continually and intentionally living their lives in such a way that everything they do makes the world a better place for them having been here.  It is those people, who know where they are going and what they are doing BECAUSE they are doing it intentionally, that are making an impact wherever they go. That’s what I believe we all want to do with our lives and our businesses.

In order to do this we need to make a plan and then implement it!  Again ask yourself, “What in the world am I doing?”

What are you doing besides the typical, ordinary day-to-day routine that sets you apart from the crowd?  That gives meaning to your life and your work?  What kind of impact are you having on your family, your friends, your community and your world?

What  sets the successful apart from everyone else is that they don’t just live the average life andt pass time. They have an impact on everyone and everything around them. They have something compelling in their life that drives them – something that keeps them going even when the going gets rough-  something that gives them an answer when they ask themselves: What in the world am I doing?

I’m helping children.
I’m running a business that improves our quality of living.
I’m empowering single mothers.
I’m improving the education of our children.
I’m running a business that brings families together.
I’m creating a business that supports many families.
I am defending our liberties and making our country safer.
I am raising great children.
I’m teaching others to improve their lives.
I help people have fun.
I create memories for people.
I help others discover the power within themselves.

In other words, for successful people it always come down to this:
My life and work has a positive impact in my world and I help other people by _____________________.

What in the world are you doing?

If you want to be successful, you need to be able to answer that by describing how you help others. If you aren’t helping others – if you aren’t having an impact on the world around you – you aren’t living to your full potential. So– if you can answer the question, “What in the world are you doing?, then you are good to go – live it, love it, and make an impact!

If you don’t know, then now is the time to reflect on what you are doing, what your life and your work is all about, and how you can improve your own life by becoming clear on what it is you do to improve the lives of others!

The world needs change-makers, impact-makers, and people who are on fire with purpose and destiny – so determine what yours is and LIVE IT!

Add a comment December 25, 2007

Real Life Indiana Jones

The Modern Day (Real Life) Indiana Jones by Vic Johnson
(This article was excerpted from the 2004 Jim Rohn Weekend Event CD/DVD package)

One of my life’s most valuable possessions is my journal. Why?
Because my journal contains my dreams! And my dreams are my future!

I learned this principle from a story about a 15 year old boy by the name of John Goddard. John, one day, happened to hear his parents and another adult talking, and the other adult had been telling John’s parents about how miserable his life was and how much he had failed. He wished he was John’s age again and could live his life over and do some things differently.

Well, John heard the anguish in his voice, I suppose, and he made a vow that he was going to do something at 15 years old. So at 15 years old he took out a legal pad and began to write the things he wanted to do in his life, what he wanted to accomplish. Before he was finished he had 127 things on his list. He called it, “My Life List”.

Today John is in his mid 70’s. Of his original 127 goals, John over the last 55-60 years has accomplished 111 of them, plus 400 other ones that he set along the way. And just so you know these weren’t some small goals, here are some of the goals that John Goddard has accomplished that were on his list:

– He’s climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, he’s climbed Mount Ararat, in fact, he’s climbed every major peak in the world.

Now just that, how many people just doing that, would be one great life experience? But that’s just one of 500+ for John Goddard.

– He took Marco Polo’s route through all of Asia and China.

– He ran a mile in five minutes, he broad jumped 15 feet, high jumped five feet, and so on…

– He was the first person to explore the entire 4200 mile length of the Nile River (that was his number one goal!). When he was 15 years old, no person had ever done it, but that fifteen year old boy didn’t know that, it didn’t matter to him. He put it on his list and when he did it, USA Today named him the modern day Indiana Jones. He’s been down not just the Nile River. He’s been down the Amazon, down the Congo, etc.

– He’s been to 122 countries and lived with 260 different tribes.

– He’s explored the Reefs of Florida, the Great Barrier Reefs and so on…

– He’s flown 40 different types of aircraft. Still holds civilian air speed records. Just that alone would be a great life experience, that was just one of John Goddard’s goals.

– He’s read the Bible cover to cover.

– He’s taught himself French, Spanish, Arabic (who reading this could not learn a foreign language in the next couple of years?)

And that is just a portion of over 500 dreams that John Goddard has accomplished.

I hope we all learn from John Goddard! Here are two major points that were impressed upon me:

1) John Goddard’s goals (dreams) were written down. How many of you have heard that before, to write your goals and dreams down? Because for 20 years I heard it and I had never written mine down, until just three years ago. Brian Tracy says if you’ll write your goals down you have a 100 times greater chance of success, just by writing them down. Now I look at that mathematically and then by an inverse way, from an opposite way. What it says to me that if I don’t write my goals down, I only have a 1 in 100 chance of succeeding. Write your goals and dreams down.

2) His dreams were BIG! I’ve found that a small dream will not give you the bullet proofing you are going to need. A small dream won’t protect you when bad times come. A small dream does not have any power at all – it has to be BIG!

So get started today! Go get a journal (or wipe the dust off the one you have) and write down your BIG goals! And then get started on your life story!

Add a comment December 25, 2007






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