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Set goals to increase chances of success

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to set goals for 2009. You’ve heard it many times before: The most successful people know that one of the secrets to having what you want and achieving your desires is having clearly defined, written-out goals. Here are my tips for goal setting.

1) Goals must be attainable, but should be a stretch — We all like to be able to say, “I did it!” Goals such as, “I’ll brush my teeth each morning,” are too easy. Your goals should be strong enough that you’ll want to do whatever it takes to reach them, but they must also be possible. A goal of flying like a bird is great, but it’s unlikely you’ll achieve it without sprouting wings. Let’s use a monetary example, since most of us can relate to wanting to have more money. Assume you earned $85,000 in 2008. Perhaps a good goal for you would be, “I will earn $115,000 by Dec. 31.” It’s a stretch, but doable. Warning: While financial goals are important and useful, most of us don’t really have a goal of having money. Money, in and of itself, isn’t very useful. What’s important is what the money can do for you, so be sure when setting financial goals that you not only come up with a specific number, but also be clear on what that amount of money will do for you. If your goals don’t excite you in a way that makes you jump out of bed in the morning ready to push towards their achievement, they’re probably not the right goals.

2) Goals must be written down — If it’s not written down, it isn’t real. I suggest you take an hour or so to consider what your goals are for 2009 and write them down. There’s a free goal-setting worksheet on the resources page of my Web site to help you (www.jgsalespro.com). Your list of goals should be posted someplace where you’ll see them first thing in the morning (so you can focus your attention on them to get the day started) and last thing at night (so you can focus on them subconsciously while sleeping). I recommend posting them next to the mirror where you brush your teeth. Focus on and think about your goals consistently during your day.

3) Goals must be crystal clear, specific and colorful — When you are writing out your goals, the clearer and more colorful you can be in describing them, the greater the likelihood of you achieving them. “I want to have a new car in 2009” is a nice goal, but a better example of a goal is “I’ll own a 2009 black Lamborghini with saddle leather interior, premium sound system and Targa top by June 15.” The second example is much more likely to be realized. The more specific your goal, the easier it is for you to focus on it. Visualize yourself, on a daily basis, as having already achieved your goals. Rather than visualizing a snapshot, visualize your goals as a movie. For the Lamborghini example, see yourself driving down the highway at about 140 mph with the sun shining and a big smile on your face. The more clearly you visualize yourself as having your goals, the greater the likelihood of you achieving them, and achieving them more quickly.

4) You actually have to do it —

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