It’s reported that only 3 percent of adults in the United States have clear, written goals, and those who do earn 5-10 times as much as the average worker. Obviously, there is power in goal-setting which most people are not using to their advantage.
I learned the power of goals several years ago. After attending a conference in which Zig Ziglar spoke I purchased his goal-setting program and began to use it. It took awhile to write down my goals in the format he taught, but once they were written down my life became much more focused, and I was able to accomplish much more that really mattered. Goal-setting has been an important part of my life ever since.
I begin by writing down each goal as a SMART goal. If you’re not sure what a SMART goal is you can learn more here. I then write down why I want to accomplish this goal, some potential obstacles to achieving the goal, who I need to help me, new things I might need to learn before achieving the goal, and the action steps that I will take in order to accomplish it. The more you think through every aspect of your goal the more likely you are to achieve it.
You should have goals for various aspects of your life. You will want to have goals associated with your career or business, your family, your finances, and your personal and spiritual development. Some of your goals should be short-term goals while others will be mid- and long-term goals.
Once you have your goals listed the next critical step is to work on at least one of them every day. This is what helps you become more focused. Early in my goal-setting I used a book I purchased each year from Ziglar’s organization. At the top of every page was a place to write down 3-4 goals to work on that week. Every day I could check off if I had worked on any of those goals or not. It was never a good feeling to end the day without having done something that would help me accomplish at least one of those goals. I was amazed at how motivating it was to be able to sign-off that I had worked on at least one of my goals that day.
If you’re serious about becoming more focused and goal-oriented in your life I would recommend having a coach to help hold you accountable. I have benefited from having a coach, and I have coached a number of leaders over the years. There is something about knowing that in two weeks the coach is going to hold you accountable for working on your goals that helps keep you focused.
If the above figures are correct, about 97 percent of people are drifting through life hoping something good will happen. You want to be in that 3 percent that are proactively making sure that good things will happen by living a life of purpose and focus.