Goals, Harvard, and You!

In 1957, a research team interviewed the senior class at Harvard. They asked how many of them had goals. Many did. Then they asked how many had written down their goals. Only 3% had committed their goals to paper.

Twenty years later, the research team interviewed the 1957 graduating class again. To their amazement, the interviewers found that the 3% that had written down their goals were worth more than the other 97% combined.

This research reveals the power of having and especially writing down your goals. Surprisingly enough, we as children are not taught the value of goal setting. In my opinion, goal setting should be mandatory in the classroom!

I have spent the last 20 years studying metaphysics, hypnotherapy, hypnosis, and other mind-expanding techniques. Now, I am honored to give you a plan and the necessary ingredients for writing effective goals to enhance your life.

Benefits of Writing Goals

As research has shown, people setting big, long-range goals effectively are more likely to:

  • Have better concentration
  • Be more satisfied and happier
  • Have better performance
  • Have more self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Have far less anxiety and stress
  • Have greater personal motivation

Brainstorming for Goals

Let’s delve deeper into related items that merit discussion while formulating your goals. Start by brainstorming. As quickly as you can, write all the things you want to achieve or do in your life.

Ridiculous as some goals may seem, write down everything that comes to mind while doing this exercise. Keep everything. Make a long list. There is no right or wrong here. This is not a test.

You can always return to the list and revise it. After you have had fun with it, pare the list down to the goals you believe most important. Be sure to include all arenas of your life: personal, financial, relationships, professional, spiritual, family, and all other areas important to you. Make a copy and put it away for later reference. This is your list and should not be shown to anyone else!

Short-Range Goals

Some goals evolve as you move through life and others will be discarded an hour later. This is natural and normal. I recommend breaking up your goals into short and long-range.

Short-term goals are decision-making tools to help you reach the longer-term goals. These short-range goals will give you small chunks of success while traveling toward the completion your long-term goals.

For example, start with daily, weekly, monthly, 6 months, yearly, and 5-year goals. Use your own time frame as appropriate for each goal. Using a system like this is a definite advantage. If one of your goals is to write a 600-page novel and be published by January 1, 2011, and you have no writing experience, this task will be extremely difficult.

I will never tell you it can’t be done, but the likelihood of attaining this particular goal will be difficult (in this time frame) due to the lack of experience and know-how. Taking the time to summarize your strengths and weaknesses leads to a better formulation of each goal.

Long-Range Goals

Determining where you want to go is the function of the long-term goals. Your long-range goals need a sense of purpose and security by having a focused and clear direction in which to travel. Take the time to prioritize your goals by thinking about them thoroughly.

Big, long-range goals help you through the rough spots of short-term setbacks. Having long-term goals in place will allow you to change direction without changing your decision to reach your goal.

Measurable, Meaningful, and Attainable Goals

Goals must be meaningful, measurable (quantifiable), and attainable. You can certainly reach for the moon. Never be discouraged, but at the same time, make your goals attainable. Be honest with yourself about what you can achieve.

Your goals should have some significant meaning to you. Having meaning will spur you to invest the time and effort needed to reach the goal.

Be sure you can measure or quantify your progress so you always know where you stand. Without some measurability, you will never know the distance you have traveled or how far you need to go to succeed.

The short-term goals will give you the successes you need to complete your long-term goals. Review the output of your short-term goals often. This measurability will guide you to your final destination.

Plan of Action

Figure out what you will need to get where you want to go. Write a plan of action. Do something every day that will push you toward your goal. If writing a novel or any other endeavor is important to you, I suggest you start by gaining the basic skills and knowledge you need to accomplish this feat.

Start by writing daily, just as you were asked to do in each of the copywriting programs. Take a class in literature or join a literary group that meets once a month to network and learn from others.

Taking small steps to begin with gives you the confidence to keep going. All journeys start with the first step. Take appropriate action every day to reach your goals. Every action takes some effort. Set-up a routine and stay with it. You’ll be surprised at the number of avenues that open up. Enjoy the process. This isn’t rocket science. Let it flow. Be happy!

Deadlines for Dreams

I believe Zig Ziglar (one of the greatest sales trainers) is credited with making the statement: Goals are dreams with deadlines. Always give yourself a reasonable deadline for all your goals. Without deadlines, there are no goals, just dreams!

The Three Most Important Criteria for Formulating Goals

  1. Always write them down in the first person, present tense as though they have come true. You have to write down each goal as if it is already true. This is because your subconscious mind doesn’t know fiction from fact (more on the subconscious mind in a future article).

    Use the phrase, I am … I am wealthy (state amount), I am a successful copywriter, etc. Never use the future tense I will … Using I will projects the thought into the never-ending future.

    You live in the present. If you want a million dollars, do you want to wait until you are on your death bed to receive it? I think not. First Person, Present Tense!

  2. Be specific, I mean really specific! If you want a new car, ask for the exact color, style, model, make, year, accessories, interior, even maybe a mate to go with it.

    If you ask for a Cadillac, you may get one — a rusty, totaled 1959 Eldorado Biarritz with a torn rag-top, blown engine, four flat tires, and a family of raccoons living in the back seat. Be specific. Go for it!

    If you’re going to ask, ask big and be specific. The universe only knows abundance and prosperity. The only function of the universe is to deliver what you ask for. Most of your asking comes in the form of your thoughts throughout the day.

    The universe doesn’t understand lack. Take a moment and think about it, there is no lack in the universe. There is an abundance of space, pavement, trees, air, pain, goodness, money, you name it and it exists in abundance — just, maybe, not in your life.

    The only lack is what we have created for ourselves by what we think about all day long. To prove this statement to yourself, ask anyone what they want in their life.

    99% of them will begin by telling you what they don’t want in their life. As the world’s number one coach of champions Jim Fannin says: Think about what you think about! Generally, people have between 2,000-3,000 thoughts a day. Champions have only 1,200-1,300 thoughts a day.

  3. Visualize the final outcome. Use visualization to see your goal as though it is complete. See it in your mind’s eye clearly as if it already exists. See every facet in minute detail. Do this several times a day.

    Your subconscious mind doesn’t know fantasy from reality. Once you create and hold this thought (positive or negative) in your mind, your subconscious has to make it real.

Rewarding Yourself

Reward yourself as you achieve each and every goal. This is very important! Rewarding yourself shows that you care for yourself and deserve the reward for your success!

Two billionaires were interviewed independently by Jim Fannin. He asked each of them why they were successful. Both of them credited the fact that they rewarded themselves after each success or goal reached regardless of the size.

Reward yourself appropriately for the size of the success (goal reached). It maybe a candy bar for making the three business phone calls each day or it may be a new car at the end of the year for attaining a $100,000 income. It’s your choice. Be kind to yourself.

Gratitude or Dictator?

Don’t be a dictator. Ask for what you want and get out of the way. Let the universe deliver your deserved abundance and prosperity as it will. Don’t try to tell the universe how to give you your just rewards.

The universe has a septillion (that’s a one with 24 zeros) resources available to fulfill your goals. Let it flow from any direction and source! Don’t limit your options! Be a 7-11, open and ready to receive 24 hours a day.

Let the universe work its magic. Have an attitude of gratitude! Accept all abundance and prosperity as it shows-up. You’ll be surprised at who and what shows up to help you. Most goals are granted in strange ways — but who cares — they were GRANTED!

Pick up every penny. If you won’t pick-up a penny, why would the universe give you a million dollars? It’s all in your attitude. The universe gave you a penny and you shunned it!

You aren’t being a penny-pincher by picking it up. It was given to you. You are thanking the universe for bringing the penny to you.

Have appreciation for everyone and everything. Have an attitude of gratitude and be thankful for everything every day.

To Read or Not to Read

There are two schools of thought on this one and both are appropriate. Some people write their goals down on a piece of paper, fold it, and put it away in a desk drawer or book and forget about them. After an individual has written down their goals and put them away, they are amazed at how many goals became true when they find the list stuffed in an old book five years later.

Others read their goals every morning or night or both.

Both methods work. In a book I’d highly recommend, Write it Down, Make it Happen, author Henrietta Klauser advocates both methods depending on the individual and gives real examples.

No Limitations

Goals can be changed! They are not written in stone! Nothing is impossible! Remember, there are No Limitations!

Enjoy the Process

Don’t make this process a chore. Have fun with it. Enjoy making your list and let it go. Life is too short to be serious! Laugh and be happy. Remember: Always smile — you can’t have a negative thought while you’re smiling.

Some of these ideas may be new to you. They are fact and do work when used properly. Your thoughts dictate what is in your life. The universe only gives you what you ask for.

So, I ask you, is your life full of what you want or what you’ve asked for?

I wish you great success in all your endeavors.

Write it down, make it happen!

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: November 17, 2010

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