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Goal Setting 101
Posted: February 15, 2013

Here are some tips for Goal setting.


1. Set a positive goal.

What's that, you ask? According to W. Clement Stone, author and CEO, a positive goal is "something that won't violate the laws of God or your fellow man."

Indeed your goals had better be positive or you're likely to be in trouble. As psychologist James Allen warned in his book, "As A Man Thinketh," you need to set positive goals because "You become what you think about all day long." And philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson echoed the warning when he wrote, "Beware of what you want, for you surely will get it."

I see the truth in this all the time. A person becomes consumed with the fear that he might get sick, and sure enough, he gets sick more often than others. I see the person who is so frightened about losing her job that she gets paralyzed by the fear ... when, in reality, she should be doing everything she can to become indispensable in her present job ... and, if necessary, educated and ready for her next job.

You must set positive goals. That doesn't mean that if you're positive, everything that happens to you will be great. Some things in life are just plain bad, wrong, evil, or unfortunate. But a positive thinker has the tools to get through those tough times and get on with the positive goals he has set.

Note:  Think positive!  The only thing you may be able to change is your attitude. 

When you set a positive goal, you're more likely to get what you want, whether or not it's exactly what you want. All of psychology tells us that a person who talks about and focuses on losing usually loses. As Vince Lombardi, the coach of the Green Bay Packers used to say, "Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser."

By contrast, set a positive goal and let yourself be amazed at what you'll accomplish. Maybe you remember the kid from Medina, Ohio who was paralyzed on his right side in an accident when he was two years of age. Yet he got to be on the school track team. As the coach puts it, "If a kid with average ability had his fortitude, he'd be outstanding. He couldn't help it. This boy never lets up, has never dropped out of a race, has never finished last, and has made every practice."

Now here's a kid who had to learn how to walk by leaning on his left side and swinging his right. He's a track star in his school because he wants to be. That's his positive goal. What worked for him can work for you. You can have almost everything you want in life if you approach it with a positive attitude.

2. Set a definite goal.

If you're going to reach your goal, it must be something definite, something specific, something you can write down in a sentence or two. And then once you've written it down, write down what benefits you will derive from obtaining your goal. This action alone will keep you motivated as well as remembering why you want to achieve it in the first place.

Let's say you want to improve your job situation. Too many people go through life saying, "Well, I sure hope I get that promotion ... or ... Hopefully someday I'll have a job I really enjoy ... or ... I'd like a job that pays a great deal better." But they never set it as a goal let alone write it down. But that lackadaisical approach seldom works.

Instead, write down something like, "I want a job that uses these particular talents (list them) ... that has these kinds of responsibilities (list them) ... that pays this kind of money (be specific) ... and (list whatever else you want that ideal job to entail)." As strange as it sounds, the act of writing tells your subconscious mind, "Out of all the millions of jobs out there in the world, this is the exact kind of job I want and need." Once you tell yourself that, you'll be surprised at how many ideas and opportunities come your way that you never saw before.

Suddenly the new job becomes a need rather than a wish. It is a specific, definite goal that you can plan for. You will start to know almost instantly what you have to think and do to get that job at the time you want it.

Just think of all the great goals people have accomplished because they set definite goals. It's overwhelming. Monty Stratton played baseball with one leg. Tom Dempsey kicked a 65-yard field goal with half a foot. John Milton wrote classical poetry while he was blind. Beethoven wrote his greatest musical compositions despite his deafness. Roosevelt became one of our greatest Presidents despite his polio. Helen Keller toured and lectured around the world even though she lacked sight and hearing. John Bunyan wrote "Pilgrim's Progress" while incarcerated, and Charles Goodyear did many of his early experiments for vulcanizing rubber while he was in prison.

Most of you are not in prison. Most of you have sight, hearing, arms and legs. We live in a country that gives us opportunity. It's even fairly easy to become a millionaire, as Napoleon Hill shares in his book, "Think and Grow Rich." He says anybody can do it in 10 years, if you really want it, set a definite goal, and learn what you need to do to obtain it.


©2013 Reprinted with permission from Dr. Alan Zimmerman, a full-time professional speaker who specializes in attitude, motivation, and leadership programs that pay off. For more information on his programs ... or to receive your own free subscription to the 'Tuesday Tip' ... go to http://www.drzimmerman.com/ or call 800-621-7881.

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