By Mark Andrew Beach
Many of the success gurus speak of goal setting. In fact, goal setting is so important in keeping the laws of success, that if any one purporting to be a success guru minimizes goals setting, they are not the “real deal”.
Even so, while studying so many success laws and principles, I would get confused by the goal setting process. I would hear that I needed a clear concise, measurable goal and then I would hear that I needed to describe how I wanted my life to turn out. I would learn of vision boards and life visions. Bob Proctor teaches to begin writing a clear goal by starting out with “I am so happy and grateful now that I…” fill in the blank. In fact, fill in two or three pages of whatever.
All of this was very confusing for me because I saw it all as one mechanism – a goal. I did not realize I could break the process down into several smaller parts. I did not realize that when chunking down goals, I need to start with the general or big idea and then break it down into smaller pieces. When I had that “aha”, the confusion dissipated and clarity prevailed. So permit me to clarify for you how I did it.
I started with the big picture and work down into the relevant details. That means I began by writing my life vision. What’s a life vision? In a nutshell it is an overview of how you want your life to be. Some people write it as though it was the last day of their life on earth and now they are describing what their life was like in hind sight. Others use Bob Proctor’s script, “I am so happy and grateful, now that I…”.
One thing to keep in mind is to use the present tense in all your verb usage. You know, ‘I am’, ‘I do’, ‘I have’. Avoid future tense, such as ‘I will’ or ‘I want’ and past tense such as ‘I was’, ‘I did’ or ‘I had’
It is a good idea to organize your life into categories and write about your life in the context of those categories. Some categories might include: your inner, or spiritual life; your relationships, or family life; your physical life and health; your emotional life and health; your business, your career, and your financial life, dreams and aspirations. Woven throughout these categories you will write your life’s purpose, your mission, your message to the world.
Your life vision most likely will include life-long goals, but not something you expect to accomplish next month or this year. However, another confusion I had about life visions was that they are carved in granite. They are not. I had one mentor tell me she rewrote her life vision about 6-10 times per year.
How long should your life vision be? You will be reading, or listening to it at least twice a day for the rest of your life. So if you were to read it out loud, it should take you about 10-15 minutes to read. Some people take as much as 20 minutes to read their life vision.
Once you have written a life vision, you can now chunk your more specific goals down to annual or monthly goals, or even more specific. These are the goals you will write down separately and read about 70 times per week. Again, these goals are specific, measurable and written in the present tense as well.
The third category of goals is the vision board. This is goal setting at its most fun. You literally create a “tic-tac-toe” (nine boxes) on your wall with painters tape, or you can get as elaborate as you want. Me, I took an old framed picture, purchased from a thrift store, and put my nine boxes on it in duct tape. Pretty sophisticated huh? Then you place pictures or three by five cards in the boxes. Make sure you review your vision board for three minutes in the morning when you first get up and for three minutes at night before you go to bed.
So here are the three main ways to set your goals; a life vision, specific goals that are chunked down to a detailed level and your vision board. I recommend doing all three. There will be some overlapping of your goals between the three methods, but hey, I would want all the reinforcement I can get, wouldn’t you?