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Part-6 Goals


GOALS
Part-6

How to Get Everything You Want –

Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible

By Brian Tracy


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

_________________________________________________


Dedication


Preface


Introduction


Chapter-12

Associate With The Right People


Chapter-13

Make A Plan Of Action


Chapter-14

Manage Your Time Well


Conclusion: Take Action Today

DEDICATION

To Rick Metcalf, a good friend, a great American, an extraordinary entrepreneur,

one of the best salesmen who ever lived, and an inspiration to everyone who knew him.

I only wish you could be here to read this book. You left us all too soon.

PREFACE

This book is for ambitious people who want to get ahead faster. If this is the way you think and feel, you are the person for whom this book is written. The ideas contained in the pages ahead will save you years of hard work in achieving the goals that are most important to you.

I have spoken more than 2000 times before audiences of as many as 23,000 people, in 24 countries. My seminars and talks have varied in length from five minutes to five days. In every case, I have focused on sharing the best ideas I could find on the particular subject with that audience at that moment. After countless talks on various themes, if I was only given five minutes to speak to you, and I could only convey one thought that would help you to be more successful, I would tell you to “write down your goals, make plans to achieve them, and work on your plans every single day.”

This advice, if you followed it, would be of more help to you than anything else you could ever learn. Many university graduates have told me that this simple concept has been more valuable to them than four years of study. This idea has changed my life, and the lives of millions of other people. It will change yours as well.


The Turning Point

A group of successful men got together in Chicago some time ago, talking about the experiences of their lives. All of them were millionaires and multi-millionaires. Like most successful people, they were both humble and grateful for what they had achieved, and for the blessings that life had bestowed upon them. As they discussed the reasons why they had managed to achieve so much in life, the wisest man among them spoke up and said that, in his estimate, “success is goals, and all else is commentary.”

Your time and your life are precious. The biggest waste of time and life is for you to spend years accomplishing something that you could have achieved in only a few months. By following the practical, proven process of goal setting and goal achieving laid out in this book, you will be able to accomplish vastly more in a shorter period of time than you have ever imagined before. The speed at which you move onward and upward will amaze both yourself and all the people around you. By following these simple and easy-to-apply methods and techniques, you can move quickly from rags to riches in the months and years ahead. You can transform your experience from poverty and frustration to affluence and satisfaction. You can go far beyond your friends and family and achieve more in life than most other people you know.

In my talks, seminars and consulting, I have worked with more than two million people all around the world. I have found, over and over, that an average person with clear goals will run circles around a genius who is not sure what he or she really wants.

My personal mission statement has not changed in years. It is: “To help people achieve their goals faster than they ever would in the absence of my help.”

This book contains the distilled essence of all that I have learned in the areas of success, achievement and goal attainment. By following the steps explained in the pages ahead, you will move to the front of the line in life. For my children, this book is meant to be a road map and a guide to help you get from wherever you are to wherever you want to go. For my friends and readers of this book, my reason for writing it is to give you a proven system that you can use to move onto the fast track in your own life.

Welcome! A great new adventure is about to begin.

INTRODUCTION

This is a wonderful time to be alive. There have never been more opportunities for creative and determined people to achieve more of their goals than they can today. Regardless of short-term ups and downs in the economy and in your life, we are entering into an age of peace and prosperity superior to any previous era in human history.

In the year 1900, there were five thousand millionaires in America. By the year 2000, there were more than five million, most of them selfmade, in one generation. Experts predict that there will be another ten to twenty million millionaires created in the next two decades. Your goal should be to become one of them. This book will show you how.

A Slow Start

When I was 18, I left high school without graduating. My first job was as a dishwasher in the back of a small hotel. From there, I moved on to washing cars, and then washing floors with a janitorial service. For the next few years, I drifted and worked at various laboring jobs, earning my living by the sweat of my brow. I worked in sawmills and factories. I worked on farms and ranches. I worked in the tall timber with a chain saw and dug wells when the logging season ended.

I worked as a construction laborer on tall buildings, and as a seaman on a Norwegian Freighter in the North Atlantic. Often I slept in my car, or in cheap rooming houses. When I was 23, I was working as an itinerant farm laborer during the harvest, sleeping on the hay in the barn and eating with the farmer’s family. I was uneducated, unskilled, and at the end of the harvest, unemployed once more.

When I could no longer find a laboring job, I got a job in straight commission sales, cold calling from office-to-office and from door-todoor. I would often work all day long to make a single sale so that I could pay for my rooming house and have a place to sleep that night. This was not a great start at life.

The Day My Life Changed

Then one day, I took out a piece of paper and wrote down an outrageous goal for myself. It was to earn $1,000 per month in doorto-door and office-to-office selling. I folded up the piece of paper, put it away and never found it again.

But 30 days later, my entire life had changed. During that time, I discovered a technique for closing sales that tripled my income from the very first day. Meanwhile, the owner of my company sold out to an entrepreneur who had just moved into town. Exactly thirty days after I had written down my goal, he took me aside and offered me $1,000 per month to head up the sales force and teach the other people what it was that I was doing that enabled me to be selling so much more than anyone else. I accepted his offer and from that day forward, my life was never the same.

Within eighteen months, I had moved from that job to another, and then to another. I went from personal selling to becoming a sales manager with people selling for me. I recruited and built a 95 person sales force. I went literally from worrying about my next meal to walking around with a pocket full of $20 dollar bills.

I began teaching my salespeople how to write out their goals, and how to sell more effectively. In almost no time at all, they doubled and tripled and increased their incomes as much as ten times. Many of them are today millionaires and multi-millionaires.

It’s important to note that, since those days in my mid-20s, my life has not been a smooth series of upward steps. It has included many ups and downs, marked by occasional successes and temporary failures. I have traveled, lived and worked in more than 80 countries, learning French, German and Spanish along the way, and working in 22 different fields.

As the result of inexperience, and sometimes sheer stupidity, I have spent or lost everything I made and had to start over again - several times. In every case when this happened, I would begin by sitting down with a piece of paper and laying out a new set of goals for myself, using the methods that I’ll explain in the pages ahead.

After several years of hit and miss goal setting and goal achieving, I finally decided to collect everything I had learned into a single system. By assembling these ideas and strategies in one place, I

developed a goal setting methodology and process, with a beginning, middle and end, and began to follow it every day.

Within one year, following this blueprint for goal achieving, my life had changed once more. In January of that year, I was living in a rented apartment with rented furniture. I was $35,000 in debt and driving a used car that wasn’t paid for. By December, I was living in my own $100,000 condominium. I had a new Mercedes, had paid off all my debts and I had $50,000 in the bank.

Then I really got serious about success. I realized that this “goal setting” stuff was incredibly powerful. I invested hundreds and then thousands of hours reading and researching on goal setting and goal achieving, synthesizing the best ideas I could find into a complete goal setting and achieving process that worked with incredible effectiveness.

Anyone Can Do It

In 1981, I began teaching my system in workshops and seminars that have now reached more than two million people in 35 countries. I began audiotaping and video taping my courses so that others could use them. We have now trained hundreds of thousands of people in these principles, in multiple languages, all over the world.

What I found was that these ideas work everywhere, for everyone, in virtually every country, no matter what your education, experience or background may be when you begin.

Most of all, these ideas have made it possible for me, and many thousands of others, to take complete control over our lives. The regular and systematic practice of goal setting has taken us from poverty to prosperity, from frustration to fulfillment, from underachievement to success and satisfaction. This system will do the same for you.

What I learned early on is that any plan is better than no plan at all. And it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel. All the answers have already been found. There are hundreds of thousands, and even millions of men and women who have started with nothing and achieved great success following these principles. And what others have done, you can do as well, if you just learn how.

In the pages ahead, you will learn twenty-one of the most important ideas and strategies ever discovered for achieving everything that you could ever want in life. You will find that there are no limits to what you can accomplish except for the limits you place on your own imagination. And since there are no limits to what you can imagine, there are no limits to what you can achieve. This is one of the greatest discoveries of all. Let us begin.

“A journey of a thousand leagues begins with a single step. Confucius


CHAPTER 12

Associate With The Right People

“Your outlook upon life, your estimate of yourself,

your estimate of your value are largely colored by your environment.

Your whole career will be modified, shaped molded by your surroundings,

by the character of the people with whom you come in contact every day.”

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Orison Swett Marden


Everything in life and business is relationships. Everything you accomplish or fail to accomplish will be bound up with other people in some way. Your ability to form the right relationships, with the right people, at every stage of your life and career, will be the critical determinant of your success and achievement, and will have an inordinate impact on how quickly you achieve your goals.

The more people you know, and who know you in a positive way, the more successful you will be at anything you attempt. One person, at the right time, in the right place, can open a door for you that can change your life and save you years of hard work.

No One Does It Alone

A key part of goal setting is for you to identify the people, groups and organizations whose help you will require to achieve your goals. To accomplish goals of any kind, you will need the help of lots of people. Who are they?

There are three general categories of people whose help and cooperation you will require in the years ahead. These are the people in and around your business, your family and friends, and people in groups and organizations outside your business or social circle. You need to develop a strategy to work effectively with each group.

Your Key Business Relationships

Start with your business. Who are the most important people in your business life? What is your plan to develop higher quality relationships with them? Make a list of everyone who works inside and outside of your business - your boss, colleagues, co-workers, subordinates and especially, your customers, supplies and vendors. Which of these people have the greater ability to help you or hurt you in the achievement of your business or career goals?

Sometimes I ask my audiences how many of the people present are in customer service? Only a few hands go up. I then point out that everyone is in the business of customer service, no matter what they call it, or what they do.

Identify Your Customers

A customer can be defined as anyone who you depend upon for success and advancement in your job or business. A customer can also be defined as anyone who depends on you, in any way. By this pair of definitions, almost everyone around you is a customer in some way.

For example, your boss is your primary customer at work. Your ability to satisfy your boss will have more of an impact on your future, your income and your career, than any other single action you take. If you displease everyone else, but your boss is delighted with you, you will be safe and secure in your job. If you please everyone inside and outside your company, but your boss is unhappy with you, that problem alone can short-circuit your future.

Your Customer Service Strategy

One of the best strategies you can use is to make a list of everything that you believe that you have been hired to do. Answer the question, “Why am I on the payroll?” and write down everything you can think of. Then, take this list to your boss and ask your boss to organize this list in order of his or her priority. What is most important to your boss? What is second most important? What is third most important? And so on.

From that moment onward, discipline yourself to work on your boss’s top task all day long. Make sure that, whenever your boss sees you or talks to you, you are working on what he or she has told you is his or her top priority for you. This will do more to help you in your career than any other single decision you make.

Two Key Qualities For Promotability

In a survey of 104 Chief Executive Officers reported in Success Magazine a few years ago, they were presented with 20 qualities of an ideal employee, and asked to select the most important. 86% of the senior executives selected two qualities as being more important for career success and advancement than any others. They were first, the ability to set priorities, to separate the relevant from the irrelevant. Second, it was the ability to get the job done fast, to execute quickly.

There is nothing that will help you more in your career than to get the reputation for being the kind of person who gets the most important job done quickly and well.

Hard Work On The Wrong Task?

But here’s the catch. Many people are working very hard at their jobs, but they are not working on what their boss considers to be the most important job that they could possibly be doing. The sad thing is that if you do an unimportant job very well, this could hurt your career and even threaten your job. But if you work on your boss’s top priority, and you get it done quickly and well, this can help you more than any other single task you could perform.

As conditions change, keep the lines of communication open with your boss. Be sure that what you are doing today is still your boss’s top priority. And then make a game of doing it fast. There is nothing that makes a boss happier than to have someone who gets the job done quickly. Be sure that you are that person.

Your Other Key Customers

Your co-workers, who also depend on your work, are your customers as well. Go to each one of them and ask them if there is anything that you can do to help them. Ask them if there is anything that you could do more of, less of, start or stop that would help them do their jobs better.

The fact is that people think about themselves and their own jobs all day long. Anytime you offer to help someone to do his or her job better or faster, he or she will be wide open to helping you later.

The Law of Sowing and Reaping is not the Law of Reaping and Sowing. There is a particular order to this law. First you put in, and then you get out. First you sow, and then you reap.

You should look for every opportunity in your work to help people and to do nice things for others. Every honest effort you make to help other people will come back to you, in some way, at some time, and often when you least expect it.

The most popular people in every organization are those who are always willing to lend a helping hand.

The more the people next to you, above you and below like you and support you, the more you will get paid and the faster you will be promoted. Develop a reputation as a go-giver, as well as being a gogetter.

Look for ways to be a valuable resource to the people around you and they will automatically look for ways to help you and support you when you most need it.

Be A Team Player

Perhaps the most important quality you can develop for long-term success in your business is that of being a good team player. In a multi-year study at Stanford University, researchers found that the ability to function well as part of a team was the most outwardly identifiable quality of a person who was marked for rapid advancement.

Team dynamics are very interesting. First of all, 20% of the team members do 80% of the work. The other 80% contribute very little to the meetings and very seldom raise their hands or volunteer for anything. Your job is to be a member of the top 20%.

To be a good team player, always come prepared to every meeting. Sit opposite and in direct eye contact with the person who is running the meeting. Speak early and ask questions. Volunteer for assignments. And when you offer to do something, do it quickly and well so that it is clear who the go-to person is in the company.

The Most Important Ability Is Depend-Ability

You can create a positive, attractive force field of energy around you by developing a reputation for being the person that everyone can depend upon to get the job done. As a result, you will be given more and bigger jobs, and both the authority and the rewards that go with those jobs.

Take time to get to know your subordinates and the people who are below you on the corporate ladder. Talk to them and ask them questions. Offer to help them, if you can. Be especially kind and courteous with them. Go out of your way to compliment them and recognize them for their work. You will be amazed at the difference this makes in your career.

Invest In Relationship Building

In every organization, the person who knows the most people is usually the person who, like cream, rises to the top. Initially, it may seem that relationship building takes a lot of time. But it will pay for itself over and over again in the months and years ahead.

Outside of your business, you should get involved with your industry and with your industry associations. The most successful executives and sales professionals network regularly with other business people and in other business groups. They keep expanding their professional contacts and friendships.

Look at the business organizations in your community. Select one or two organizations that contain people that it would be helpful for you to know in the years ahead. Attend their meetings and introduce yourself to them. Once you have decided that it would be useful for you to be a member of one of these organizations, join up and begin attending every meeting.

Network Professionally

Here is the best strategy of all for networking. Select an important committee within the organization and volunteer to work on that committee. Choose a committee that has other members on it that you would like to get to know over time. Choose a committee that is engaged in activities that will bring you into contact with other key people, both inside and outside the organization.

Once you join the committee, volunteer for assignments. Even though this work is unpaid, these activities give you an opportunity to work with and perform before other key people who can help you in your career sometime down the road.

Fully 85% of new positions are filled in America through word of mouth and personal contacts. The more people that you know and work with in your industry, the more doors of opportunity there are that will open for you when the time is right.

Think and Plan Long Term

Take a long-term perspective on your career. As you read your local newspapers, make a list of the top people in your community. Assemble the names, titles and businesses of 100 of the “players” in your city.

As you gather these names, write each of them a letter and send them something that is non-business related. Send a copy of a small book, a poem, a newspaper clipping or anything that might be of interest to them, based on what you have read about them in the papers.

Each time you see a reason to communicate with that person, drop them a note. Sometimes, I will make a phone call or write a letter to an executive who has just done something noteworthy that was reported in the business press. Often, I don’t get through or make direct contact. But I continue to sow seeds, and sooner or later, “what goes around, comes around.” Eventually I will end up meeting a key person socially or in business and they remember that I dropped them a letter a week, a month or even a year ago.

One of my most important clients remembered that I had written him a letter more than three years ago when I met him for the first time at a business convention. He said, “Aren’t you the one that wrote me the letter about such and such?” That led to a conversation, a meeting and many years of work with his organization.

Give Of Yourself

There is a rule that says, “The more you give of yourself with no expectation of return, the more that will come back to you from the most unexpected sources.”

No effort that you make to expand your contacts will ever be completely lost. Like seeds, various contacts have different periods of germination. Some will yield results immediately. Some will not yield results for many months or even years. You must be prepared to be patient.

Dr. David McClelland of Harvard University did many years of research into the qualities and characteristics of high achievers in our society. What he found was that your choice of a “reference group,” the people with whom you habitually associate, was more important in determining your success or failure than any other single factor. As Zig Ziglar says, “If you want to fly with the eagles, you can’t continue to scratch with the turkeys.”

Get Around The Right People

Get around the right people. Make it a point to associate with the kind of people that you like, admire, respect and want to be like sometime in the future. Associate with the kind of people that you look up to and would be proud to introduce to your friends and associates. The choice of a positive, goal-oriented reference group can do more to supercharge your career than any other factor.

Fly With The Eagles

There are countless examples where an average person working at an average job, getting average results and earning average pay has changed positions and gone to work with a highly progressive company. In a few weeks, that person’s attitude has completely changed. By continued association with optimistic, results-oriented, go-ahead people, the previously average individual begins to perform at extraordinary levels. This is why almost every major change in your life will be associated with a change in the people you live or work with.

The Turning Points

At every turning point in your life, there is usually someone standing there guiding you in one direction or another, opening or closing a door for you or helping you in some way. Baron de Rothschild once wrote, “Make no useless acquaintances.” If you are really serious about being the best and moving to the top of your field, you cannot afford to spend your time with people who are going nowhere in their lives, no matter how nice they are. In this sense, you must be perfectly selfish with regard to yourself and your future ambitions. You must set high standards on your friends and associates and refuse to compromise.

Many people get into bad relationships and form useless friendships early in their careers. This is normal and natural. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes, especially if you are young and inexperienced. But it is unforgivable to continue to stay in a situation that is holding you back from realizing your full potential. And your choice of the people you associate with will have more of an impact on what you become than any other single factor.

Your Most Important Relationships

The third category of people whose help and cooperation you will require are your family and friends. As Benjamin Disraeli said, “No success n public life can compensate for failure in the home.”

It is vital that you invest all the time and emotion necessary to build and maintain a high quality home life. When your family life is solid and secure, characterized by warm, loving relationships, you will do better in everything else in the outer world.

But if something goes wrong with your home life because of inattention or neglect, it will soon affect your results at work in a negative way. Problems at home distract your attention and drain your energy. They can often sabotage your career.

Deliberate Extremes

If you have to work very hard to get started in your field, be sure that you discuss and explain this clearly to the people in your family. Throughout your career you will be required to go to “deliberate extremes.” You will have to work long hours and often many days without breaks or vacations in order to take advantage of an opportunity or to complete a project.

Be sure that you discuss these deliberate extremes in advance with the members of your family so that they understand what is happening, and why you are doing it. Arrange to compensate afterwards by taking time off, or going away on family vacations. Keep your life in balance.

Become A Relationship Expert

Once you have decided upon the people, groups and organizations whose help and cooperation you will need to achieve your goals, resolve to become a relationship expert. Always treat people with kindness, courtesy and compassion. Practice the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Above all, the simplest strategy is to treat everyone you meet, at home or at work, like a “Million Dollar Customer.” Treat the other person as though he or she is the most important person in the world. Treat them as though they were capable of buying a million dollars worth of your product or service.

As Emmet Fox once said, “If you must be rude, be rude to strangers, but save your company manners for your family.”

Every day, in every way, look for ways to lighten the load and help other people to do their jobs better and live their lives more easily. This will build up a great reservoir of positive feeling toward you that will come back to benefit you year after year.

Associate With The Right People:

  • Make a list of the most important people in your work and business life. Develop a plan to help each person in some way.
  • Make a list of the most important people in your personal life. Determine the kind of relationships you want to have with them, and what you will have to do to achieve them.
  • Identify the groups and organizations in your community and your field that it would be helpful to you to join. Phone today and arrange to attend the next meeting.
  • Make a list of the top people in your community, or in your field, and make a plan to get to know them personally.
  • Look for every opportunity to expand your social and business circle. Send people letters, cards, faxes and emails. Build bridges at every opportunity.

  • CHAPTER 13

    Make A Plan of Action

    “Thoroughness characterizes all successful men.

    Genius is the art of taking infinite pains...

    All great achievement has been characterized by extreme care,

    infinite painstaking, even to the minutest detail. “

    __________________________________________________
    Elbert Hubbard


    Your ability to set goals and make plans for their accomplishment is the “master skill” of success. There is no other skill that will help you more in fulfilling your potential in achieving everything that you are able to accomplish.

    All major accomplishments today are “multi-task jobs.” They consist of a series of steps that must be taken in a particular way in order to accomplish a result of any significance. Even something as simple as preparing a dish in the kitchen with a recipe is a multi-task job. Your ability to master the skill of planning and completing multi-task jobs will enable you to accomplish vastly more than the average person and is critical to your success.

    The purpose of planning is to enable you to turn your major definite purpose into a planned, multi-task project with specific steps- a beginning, middle and end – with clear deadlines and sub-deadlines. Fortunately, this is a skill that you can learn and master with practice. This skill will make you one of the most effective and influential people in your business or organization, and the more you practice it, the better you will get at it.

    Putting Your Plan Together

    Fortunately, in the previous chapters you have identified and assembled all the ingredients necessary to create a plan for the achievement of one or more of your goals.

  • You now have a clear vision of your ideal end result, or goal, based on your values. You know what you want and why you want it.
  • You have written out your goals, organized them by priority and selected your major definite purpose.
  • You have created measures and standards to track your progress, you have set both deadlines and sub-deadlines as targets to aim at.
  • You have now identified the key obstacles, difficulties and constraints that stand between you and your goal, and organized them by priority.
  • You have identified the essential knowledge and skills that you will require to achieve your goal.
  • You have organized these competencies by priority and developed a plan to learn what you need to learn to accomplish what you have decided to accomplish.
  • You have identified the people, groups and organizations whose help and cooperation you will require, both inside and outside your business. You have decided on the specific steps you are going to take to earn the support and assistance of these people in achieving your goals.
  • Throughout this process, you have written and taken notes so that you now possess the raw materials and tools for the creation of a plan of accomplishment.

    Now, you are ready to put it all together into a plan of action.

    The Planning Process Is Essential

    Some time ago, Inc. Magazine reported on a study they had conducted of 50 start-up companies. Half of these companies had spent several months and even more to develop complete business plans before they began operations. The other half of this group had started without detailed business plans and were simply reacting to events as they occurred in the day-to-day operations of the business.

    Two to three years later, the researchers went back to determine the levels of success and profitability of these companies. What they found was quite interesting. The companies that had started operations with clear, written business plans, carefully thought through and detailed in every respect, were vastly more successful and profitable than those companies that had started spontaneously and had made things up as they went along.

    The companies that had started on “the back of an envelope,” where the founders were “too busy” to sit down and do the detailed work of strategic planning were almost all floundering. Many of them were already bankrupt and had gone out of business.

    The Planning Process Was The Key

    Here was the most interesting discovery: When they interviewed the business founders, they asked them, “How often do you refer to your strategic plan in the day to day operations of your business?”

    In almost every case, the entrepreneurs and executives running the businesses had not looked at the strategic plan since it had been completed some months ago. Once it was done, they put it in a drawer and seldom revisited it until the following year, when they went through the strategic planning process again.

    The most important finding was this: The plan itself was seldom referred to, but the process of thinking through the key elements of the business was vital to their success.

    Planning Pays Off

    General Dwight D. Eisenhower, after the successful invasion of Normandy in World War II, was asked about the detailed planning process that went into the invasion. He said, “The plans were not important, but the planning process was critical.”

    It is the exercise of working through and discussing every key element of the business plan that is more important than any other step at the beginning. This is why Alex Mackenzie, the time management expert said, “Action without planning is the cause of every failure.”

    An old military axiom says, “No plan ever survives first contact with the enemy.” From the first day that you begin actual business operations, the situation will change so rapidly that your plan will become obsolete in many respects within a few days, or even a few hours. But it is the process of planning that is most important. Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems says, “In a start-up business, you have to throw out all assumptions every three weeks.”

    The Basis Of All Great Achievements

    All successful people work from written plans. The great achievements of mankind, from the building of the Pyramids forward to the great industrial operations of the modern age, were proceeded by and accompanied by detailed plans, carefully designed and thought through from beginning to end – before they began.

    In fact, every minute spent in planning saves 10 minutes in execution. Every minute that you spend planning and thinking before you begin will save you time, money and energy in getting the results you desire. This is why it is said that, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

    Planning Saves Time and Expense

    The number one reason for failure is action without planning. People who say that they are too busy to plan in advance must be prepared for unnecessary mistakes, and great losses of time, money and energy.

    It is said that every new business start-up is a “race against time.” From the first day, the company founders are scrambling to find a way to make more money than it costs to stay in business. If they figure out the “profit model” and begin generating revenues in excess of costs before the money runs out, the business can turn the corner and succeed. But if the money runs out before they figure out how to make more profits than losses, the company, like a plane in a dive, will crash and burn.

    The Formula For Success

    There is a six “P” formula for personal and business success: “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.”

    There are seven advantages to “Proper Prior Planning:”

    First, the planning process forces you to organize your thinking and identify all the key issues that must be dealt with if you are ultimately going to be successful.

    Second, thinking through what you must do to accomplish your goals enables you to plan your actions carefully before you begin, thereby saving you enormous costs of time, people and money.

    Third, a good plan, thoroughly discussed and evaluated, enables you to identify flaws and errors that could prove fatal to your business later on. It enables you to ask “what if?” questions. For example, “What are the worst possible things that could happen if you were to take a particular course of action?”

    You Can’t Get There From Here

    In many cases, as the result of careful planning and analysis, the decision makers will realize that it is not possible to achieve a particular goal with the time or resources available, or under the existing circumstances. Sometimes, the very best business deals in your career are the ones that you don’t get into in the first place.

    I worked for a wealthy man some years ago who gave me a piece of advance I never forgot. He said, “It is always easier to get into something than it is to get out of it.”

    He taught me that the time to do the careful thinking is before you commit resources and people, not afterwards.

    Identify The Weaknesses In Advance

    The fourth benefit of proper prior planning is that it enables you to identify weaknesses in your plan and make provisions to compensate for those weaknesses. Often, you can identify a “fatal flaw,” that if you were not aware of, would lead to the failure of the enterprise. This is only possible by going through the planning process.

    Determine Your Opportunities

    Fifth, planning enables you to identify strengths and potential opportunities that you can take advantage of to increase the likelihood of success. Often, you will be unaware of your particular strengths, or the opportunities that exist in the situation, before you go through the planning process.

    Focus Your Energies

    The sixth benefit of planning is that it enables you to focus your time and money, and concentrate all of your resources on the one or two objectives that you must achieve to make the enterprise successful. In the absence of clear focus and concentration, you will tend to spread your energies over a wide area and end up accomplishing very little.

    The seventh benefit of proper planning is that it will inevitably save you hours, weeks and months of confusion, mistakes and losses of both money and energy.

    The Vital Discipline

    Planning is a discipline and a skill. It is both a habit and a competence. This means that you can learn and them to a high level through repetition and practice. Planning is a skill that you can master, and it is much easier than you might think.

    List Every Task and Activity

    In its simplest form, a plan is a list of every activity that you will have to engage in, from the beginning to the end, in accomplishing a specific goal or objective. To begin the process of planning, you take a sheet of paper and you make a list of everything that you can think of that you will have to do to achieve your goal.

    As you think of new items, add them to the list. Continually revisit your list and revise the items and steps as you get more information. This list becomes your blueprint for the construction of your “dream house,” your ideal goal or result.

    Determine Priority and Sequence

    The process of planning is for you to now organize your list by priority and sequence. You organize the items on your list by priority by determining which tasks or activities are more important than other tasks or activities. You organize the items from number one, the most important, all the way through to the least important.

    You organize your list by sequence, as well. In sequencing, you determine which activities need to be done before or after other activities. Often, one task cannot be accomplished until another task has been completed. Sometimes, the accomplishment of a single task can be the bottleneck or chokepoint in the entire process.

    Identify The Limiting Factor

    In planning, very often the success of the plan will be determined by the achievement of a particular goal or objective within the plan. It may be the completion of construction on a new office, store or factory. It may be the date of delivery of the first finished product or service. It may be the achievement of a particular level of sales by a specific date. It could be the hiring of a key person for an essential job. The planning process helps you to identify the vital elements of the plan and focus more of your time and attention on the most important tasks and activities that must be accomplished before success is possible.

    Expect Failure At First

    No plan is perfect the first time it is created. Most plans to accomplish something new will fail over and over again at the beginning. This is to be expected. Your ability to accept feedback and make corrections to your plans of activity is vital to your success. Keep asking, “What’s working?” and “What’s not working?” Be more concerned with what’s right rather than who’s right.

    Remember the old saying, “Back to the drawing board!” Whenever you plan doesn’t work, relax, take a deep breath, and revisit your plan.

    Focus On the Solution

    When you have a problem, resolve to be solution oriented. Expect difficulties as a part of the process and resolve to respond to them effectively. If you are not achieving your goals on schedule, ask, “What is the problem? What else is the problem? What are the solutions? What else is a solution? What can we do now? What is the next step?”

    It seems that when you begin work on the achievement of a new goal, you immediately experience setbacks, obstacles, difficulties and temporary failure. This is to be expected. It is normal and natural. It takes tremendous effort to launch something new and make it successful. But this is the price that you have to pay to achieve the goals that you have set for yourself.

    Think On Paper

    Always think on paper. Be continually making lists and sub-lists of every step in every process. Keep updating and revising your plan, making it better and better, until it is perfect.

    Remember, planning is a skill. Because it is a skill, it is completely learnable. Your ability to think, plan, organize and initiate action toward your goal will eventually put you in the top 10% of your field. But it takes time.

    One of the ways that you can “think on paper” is to create a project planning sheet for the accomplishment of a multi task goal. In this way, you create a visual image of your goal, and the steps you need to take to achieve it. This can be very helpful in opening your eyes to the strengths and weaknesses of the planning process.

    The Project Planning Model

    In project planning, you write the days, weeks and months that you think the project will require to complete across the top of the page. If it is a 12-month project, or goal, you write the names of the 12 months, from this month forward. This gives you a time line for the project.

    Down the left hand column, you make a list of all the tasks that must be accomplished, in proper sequence, for you to achieve the ultimate goal. What will you need to start or do first? Second? And so on.

    In the lower right hand corner, you write clearly what your final, ideal result will look like. The greater clarity you have about your desired goal, the easier it will be for you to reach it.

    You can now use horizontal bars to indicate the amount of time necessary, from beginning to end, to complete a particular task. Some of these tasks can done simultaneously and others will have to be done after something else is completed. Certain of these tasks are of high priority and others are of lower priority. But with a project planning sheet, which you can make yourself with a sheet of paper, you can now see your entire goal laid out in front of you with great clarity.

    Assemble Your Team

    Everyone who is responsible for carrying out a part of the plan should be involved in the planning process. It is quite common to make the mistake of assuming that a particular task can be completed quickly and easily. It is often a shock to find out that something that seems simple and easy is actually going to take several months from beginning to end. A time constraint on a critical part of your plan can force you to revise your plans completely.

    One of my managers decided to put out a newsletter to all out customers on a new development in our business. He called our commercial designer and told her he needed it by the end of the week.

    He was shocked to discover that a professionally written, designed and produced newsletter would take 6-8 weeks to print and mail, and cost more than $2000. The project was immediately scrapped.

    When you start the planning process, your biggest concern should be accuracy in identifying every step necessary, and the exact time required to accomplish every step in the plan. There is a time for optimism and there is a time for realism in making plans and achieving goals. You must be absolutely honest with yourself at every step of the planning process, and never trust to luck, or hope that the laws of nature will be suspended temporarily on your behalf.

    Identify The Potential Bottleneck

    In the process of planning, there is usually one major problem that must be solved before any other problems can be solved. There is usually one major goal that must be achieved before any of the other goals can be achieved. There is usually one critical element in the plan that must be dealt with before any other part of the plan can be successful.

    For example, many companies will start up with every single detail in place except for a professional sales process to bring in revenues. The company will engage in a strategic planning process, rent or lease offices, buy furniture, set up the necessary computers and equipment to produce the product or service, hire the administrative and business staff, set up the books of account and begin advertising. But a first class selling process has not been installed, and within a few months, or even weeks, without sales revenues, the company grinds to a halt. To a large extent, this is what happened to turn the dotcom explosion into a dot-bomb collapse.

    Determine the Critical Results

    What are the critical results that you must accomplish, at each step of the way, to achieve your final goal? How can you plan them, prioritize them and assure that they are completed on schedule? What is your plan if things go wrong? What will you do if it takes much longer and costs much more to achieve your critical objectives on your way to the goal? What is your fallback plan? You may have heard the line, “A great life, like a great ship, should never be held by a single hope, or a single rope.”

    Planning Is The Key To Success

    The good news is that the very act of planning improves and streamlines the entire process of goal achievement. The more often and more carefully you plan before you begin, the better you will get at the planning process overall. The better you get at planning, the more ideas and opportunities you will attract to you to plan and achieve even bigger and better things.

    Your ability to decide exactly what you want, write it down, make a plan and then execute that plan is the key to personal effectiveness and high achievement. These are learnable skills that you can master. In no time at all, you can transform your life or business, double your sales or profitability, achieve your goals and fulfill your true potential.

    Make A Plan Of Action:

  • Make a list of everything that you can think of that you will have to do to achieve your goal. Leave nothing out.
  • Organize your list by priority; what is the most important task or activity? The second most important? And so on.
  • Organize your list by sequence; what must be done before something else can be done?
  • Determine how much time and money it will take to achieve your goal or complete your task. Do you have the time and resources necessary for success?
  • Revisit and revise your plan regularly, especially when you get new information, or things are not going as you had expected. Be prepared to change if you need to.

  • CHAPTER 14

    Manage Your Time Well

    “Time slips through our hands like grains of sand, never to return again.

    Those who use time wisely are rewarded with rich,

    productive and satisfying lives.”

    __________________________________________________________
    Robin Sharma


    To achieve all your goals, and become everything you are capable of becoming, you must get your time under control. Psychologists generally agree that a “sense of control” is the key to feelings of happiness, confidence, power and personal well-being. And a sense of control is only possible when you practice excellent time management skills.

    The good news is that time management is a skill, and like any other skill, it is learnable. No matter how disorganized you have been in the past, or how much you have tended to procrastinate or to get caught up in low-value activities, you can change. You can become one of the most efficient, effective and productive people in your field by learning how others have gone from confusion to clarity and from frustration to focus. Through repetition and practice, you can become one of the most result-oriented people in your field.

    Choices and Decisions

    If the front side of the coin of success is the ability to set clear goals for yourself, then the flip side of the same coin is the ability to get yourself organized and working on your most valuable tasks, every minute of every day. Your choices and decisions have combined to create your entire life, to this moment. To change or improve your life in any way, you have to make new choices and new decisions that are more in alignment with who you really are, and what you really want.

    The starting point of time management is for you to determine your goals, and then to organize your goals by priority and value. You need to be absolutely clear, at any given moment, exactly what is most important to you at that time.

    At one moment, your goal could be a business, financial or career goal. Later it could be a family or relationship goal. On still another occasion it could be a health or fitness goal. In each case, you must be like a sniper, rifling in on your highest priority at the moment, rather than a machine gunner, shooting off randomly by attempting to do too many things at the same time.

    The Right Thing To Do

    The metaphysician and philosopher Peter Ouspensky was once asked by a student, “How do I know what is the right thing for me to do?” Ouspensky replied, “If you tell me your aim, I can tell you what is the right thing for you to do.”

    This is an important parable. The only way that you can determine what is right or wrong, more or less important, having higher or lower priority, is by first determining your aim, or goal at that particular moment. From that point forward, you can divide all of your activities into “A” activities or “B” activities.

    An “A” activity is something that moves you toward your goal, the faster and more directly the better. A “B” activity is an activity that does not move you toward a goal that is important to you.

    The Role of Intelligence

    In Gallup interviews of thousands of men and women to determine the root causes of success in life and work, the importance of “intelligence” was mentioned again and again. But when the researchers pressed for the definition of “intelligence,” they received an interesting answer. Intelligence was not defined as IQ or grades in school. Rather, intelligence was most commonly defined as a “way of acting.”

    In other words, if you act intelligently, you are intelligent. If you act unintelligently, you are unintelligent, irrespective of the grades you may have received or the degrees you have earned.

    And what then, by definition, is an intelligent way of acting? An intelligent way of acting is anything that you do that is consistent with achieving the goals that you set for yourself. Each time that you do something that moves you closer toward something that you really want, you are acting intelligently. On the other hand, an unintelligent way of acting is doing things that are not moving you toward your goals, or even worse, moving you away from your goals.

    To put it bluntly, anything that you do that does not help you achieve something that you have decided that you want for yourself that is acting in a stupid manner. The world is full of people who are acting stupidly every day, and they are not even aware of what a negative effect this is having on their lives.

    Determine Your Long Term Goals

    Time management begins with clarity. You take the time to sit down with a piece of paper and think through exactly what it is you want to accomplish in each area of your life. You decide upon your ultimate, long-term goals of financial success, family success or personal health and fitness. Once you are clear about the targets you are aiming at, you then come back to the present and plan every minute and hour of every day so that you accomplish the very most that you possibly can with the time allocated to you.

    Begin With A List

    The basic tool of time management is a list, organized by priority, and used as a constant tool for personal management. The fact is that you can’t manage time; you can only manage yourself. That is why time management requires self-discipline, self-control and selfmastery. Time management requires that you make the best choices and decisions necessary to enhance the quality of your life and work, and then you follow through on your decisions.

    You should plan your life with lists of long-term, medium-term and short-term goals and projects. You should plan every month, in advance, with a list of the things you want to accomplish during that month. You should make a list of every step in each multi-task job that you want to complete, and then organize that list by priority and sequence.

    Use Advance Planning

    Begin today to plan every week in advance, preferably the Sunday before. Plan every day in advance, preferably the night before.

    When you make a list of everything you have to do for the following day, your subconscious mind works on that list, all night long. When you wake up in the morning, you will often have ideas and insights to help you accomplish the items on your list. By writing out your plans, you will activate the Law of Attraction. You will begin attracting into your life, people, opportunities and resources that you need to achieve your goals and complete your tasks the very best way possible.

    Separate the Urgent From The Important

    In the process of managing your time, you must separate the “urgent” from the “important.” Urgent tasks are tasks those that are “in your face.” They are determined by external pressures and requirements. They are things that you must do immediately. Most people spend most of their days responding and reacting to urgent tasks, in the form of telephone calls, interruptions, emergencies, and the demands of your boss and your customers.

    Important tasks on the other hand are those tasks that can contribute the very most to your long-term future. Some of these tasks may be planning, organizing, studying, researching your customers and setting priorities before you begin.

    Then there are tasks that are urgent but not important, such as a ringing telephone, or a coworker who wants to chat. Because these activities take place during the workday, it is easy to confuse them with real work. The difference however is that they produce no results. No matter how many urgent but unimportant activities you engage in, you contribute nothing to your work or your company.

    The fourth category of tasks includes those that are neither urgent nor important, like reading the paper at work, or going for a long lunch. These activities are positively harmful to your career because they consume time that you could be using to get the results for which you are paid and upon which your future depends.

    Consider The Consequences

    The most important word in determining the value of a particular task or activity is the word “consequences.” A task that is valuable and important is a task that has serious consequences for completion or non-completion. The greater the possible consequences of a task or activity, the more important it is.

    A task for which there are few if any consequences is by definition not particularly important. Your aim in personal management therefore is to spend more time doing more of those things that can have the greatest possible consequences on your life and work.

    Apply the 80/20 Rule

    Once you have prepared a list of tasks for the coming day, review your list and apply the 80/20 Rule before you begin.

    The 80/20 Rule says that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of the value of all of your activities. If you have a list of ten items to complete, two of those items will be more valuable than other eight items all together. Two of the ten tasks will have greater potential consequences for completion than the other 80%.

    Sometimes it will even be the “90/10 Rule” that applies. Often one task on a list of ten items you have to do during the day will contain more value than everything else put together. This task unfortunately is usually the task that you will procrastinate on most readily.

    Practice Creative Procrastination

    Once you have identified your top 20% of tasks, you can then practice “creative procrastination” on the others. Since you cannot do everything, you will have to procrastinate on something. The only question is, “Which of your tasks are you going to procrastinate on?”

    And the answer is simple. Procrastinate on the 80% of tasks that contribute very little to your desired goals and results. Focus your time and attention on completing those one or two jobs that can make the most difference. Focus your attention on those tasks that can have the greatest possible consequences for successful completion.

    Practice the ABCDE Method

    Another method of setting priorities is the ABCDE Method. This method requires that you review your list of tasks, before you begin, and put an A, B, C, D or E next to each one. The very act of performing this exercise and thinking through your tasks before you start work will dramatically increase your efficiency and effectiveness once you begin working.

    An “A” task is something that is very important. It has serious consequences for completion or non-completion. If you do it or don’t do it, it can have a major impact on your results and your success. You should always do your “A” tasks before anything else.

    If you have more than one “A” task, you organize them by priority, as “A-1, A-2, A-3,” and so on. Once you have completed this exercise, you then identify your A-1 task and focus all of your energies on starting and completing this job before you do anything else.

    A “B” task is something that you should do. It has mild consequences for completion or non-completion. For example, calling a friend, going for lunch with your coworkers or checking your email would be a “B” task. If you do it or don’t do it, it may cause some inconvenience, but the consequences for your life are minor.

    A “C” task is a task that would be nice to do but it will have no consequences at all. Having another cup of coffee, chatting with a coworker, reading the paper or going shopping during the day are all “C” tasks. Whether you do them or not, they will have no consequences in your life or work at all.

    The rule is this: Never do a “B” task when there is an “A” task left undone. Never do a “C” task when you have a “B” task left undone. Keep focused on your “A” tasks, throughout the day.

    A “D” task is something that you can delegate to someone else who works at a lower hourly rate than you do, or than you want to earn. The rule is that you should delegate everything you possible can so that you have more time to devote to your “A” tasks, the ones that determine most of your success and happiness in life and work.

    An “E” task is something that you eliminate altogether. These can be old activities that are no longer important in the achievement of your most important goals today. Much of what you do during the day or week can be eliminated with no consequences at all.

    The Law of the Excluded Alternative

    You are always free to choose. It is in this hour-by-hour and minuteby-minute choosing of what you will do, and simultaneously, what you will not do, that your entire life is made. The Law of the Excluded Alternative says that, “Doing one thing means not doing something else.”

    Whenever you begin on a task of any kind, you are consciously or unconsciously deciding not to do any other task that you could do at that moment. Your ability to choose wisely in terms of what you do first, what you do second and what you do not at all determines your entire life.

    Choose the Most Valuable Task

    Successful, highly paid people are usually no more intelligent or skilled than unsuccessful, lowly paid people. The major difference between them is that successful people are always working on tasks of high value. Unsuccessful people are always killing time on tasks of low value. And you are always free to choose. You are always free to choose what you do more of and what you do less of. Your choices ultimately determine everything that happens to you.

    Practice Single-Handling On Each Task

    Single handling is one of the most powerful time and personal management techniques of all. What this means is that, once you have selected your A-1 task, you start on that task and work on it with single-minded concentration until it is 100% complete. You discipline yourself to concentrate without diversion or distraction.

    If you find yourself getting distracted, or you feel tempted to take a break or procrastinate, you motivate yourself by continually repeating, “Back to work! Back to work! Back to work!” You then renew your efforts to push the task through to completion.

    Thomas Edison once wrote, “My success is due more to my ability to work continuously on one thing without stopping than to any other single quality.” You should practice this principle as well.

    Create Chunks of Time

    Plan your day in advance and create 30, 60 and 90-minute chunks of uninterrupted work time. These are time blocks when you can work without interruption or pause on your most important tasks. These chunks are essential for the accomplishment of any large, important task.

    One way to create long periods of work time is to rise early and work non-stop, without interruption, on a major task, project or proposal. Sometimes you can create chunks of time in the evenings or on the weekends. But the fact is, all important jobs, those with serious potential consequences, require large chunks of single-minded, concentrated time and energy.

    Earl Nightingale once said, “Every great accomplishment of mankind has been preceded by an extended period, often over many years, of concentrated effort.”

    Keep Yourself On Track

    Each day, before you begin, and as you go through the day, there are five questions that you need to ask and answer, over and over again.

    The first of these questions is, “Why am I on the payroll?” What exactly have you been hired to accomplish? If you were being questioned by your boss, and your boss were to ask you, “Why do we pay you money around here?” what would be your answer?

    The fact is that you have been hired to achieve specific results that have economic value to your organization. And of all your results, 20% of what you do contributes 80% of your value. You must be crystal clear about exactly why you are on the payroll and then focus your time and attention, all day long, on doing exactly those tasks that make the greatest difference to your business or organization.

    Focus On High Value Activities

    The second question that you should ask yourself all day long is, “What are my highest value activities?” These are the activities that represent the highest and best use of your talents, skills, experience and abilities as they relate to your company, career and organization. What are they?

    If you are not absolutely sure of the answers, go and ask your boss what he or she thinks your highest value activities might be. Whatever the answer, dedicate yourself to working on these specific tasks all day long.

    Work On Your Key Result Areas

    The third question you should ask all day long is “What are my key result areas?” As we mentioned earlier, your key result areas are those tasks that you absolutely, positively must complete in an excellent fashion if you are to achieve the most important results required of your job. They largely determine your success or failure at work.

    You should clearly identify each of these tasks and then focus on not only performing at your best in each of them, but also at becoming better in each key result area every day. Remember, your weakest key skill sets the height at which you can use all your other skills. Don’t allow yourself to be held back because of a weakness in one area, especially when you can learn anything you need to know to excel in that particular area.

    Make A Difference!

    The fourth question you should ask yourself throughout the day is this, “What can I and only I do, that if done well, will make a real difference to my company?”

    This is one of the best questions of all for keeping yourself focused and on track. What is it that you and only you can do that can make the greatest difference in your career? Again, if you are not sure of the answer, go and ask your boss. Sometimes, he or she will not have thought this through before you bring him or her the question. Sometimes, he or she will not have thought about it at all.

    But once both of you are in agreement on the one or two things you can do that will make more of a difference than anything else, you should focus all of your energies on performing those particular tasks quickly and well. This will do more to help you in your career than any other single decision you make.

    The Most Important Question Of All

    The fifth question, and perhaps the best question in all of time management is this: “What is the most valuable use of my time, right now?” All techniques and methods of goal setting, personal planning and time management are aimed at helping you to accurately answer this question, every minute of every day. What is the most valuable use of your time, right now?

    When you discipline yourself to ask and answer this question repeatedly, and you are sure that whatever you are doing is the answer to this question, you will start to accomplish two and three times as much as the people around you. You will become more and more productive. You will plow through more work of higher value, and accomplish greater results than anyone around you. Discipline yourself to keep working on the most valuable use of your time, whatever it may be at the moment, and your success is guaranteed.

    Become Intensely Result-Oriented

    In the final analysis, the key to high productivity and performance is this: Dedicate yourself to getting better and better at the few things that you do that account for most of your results. Simultaneously, learn to delegate, outsource and eliminate all those tasks and activities that contribute very little to your results and rewards.

    As Goethe said, “The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.” Perhaps the best single word in time management is the word “No!” Just say “No!” to any demand on your time that is not the most valuable use of your time at the moment.

    Develop the Habits of Time Management

    The good news is that time management is a skill and a discipline that you can learn with practice. One rule for success is, “Develop good habits and make them your masters.”

    You can become excellent at time management with daily practice. Make a list of your tasks every day, before you begin.

    Organize your list by priority, separating the urgent from the important, and using the 80/20 Rule or the ABCDE method. Choose your most important task and then begin working immediately on that task. Discipline yourself to concentrate singlemindedly on that one task or activity until it is 100% complete.

    Each time you complete an important task, you will experience a burst of elation, enthusiasm and heightened self-esteem. You will feel energized and stronger. You will feel happier and more in control of your life. You will feel on top of your work. You will be even more motivated to start in on, and complete, your next major task.

    Whenever you find yourself slowing down, or experiencing the urge to procrastinate or delay, repeat to yourself, “Do it now! Do it now! Do it now!” Develop a sense of urgency. Create a bias for action. Get started, get going, and work fast. Discipline yourself to select your most important task and then launch into it immediately and then stay with it until it is done. These time management practices are the keys to peak performance in every part of your life.

    Manage Your Time Well:

  • Make a list of everything you would like to be, do or have in the months and years ahead. Analyze your list and select those items that can have the greatest possible consequences on your life.
  • Make a list of everything you have to do the next day the evening before. Let your subconscious mind work on your list while you sleep.
  • Organize your list by priority using the 80/20 Rule and the ABCDE Method. Separate the urgent from the non-urgent and the important from the non-important, before you begin.
  • Select the most important task, the one with the greatest possible consequences for completion or non-completion, and circle it, making it your A-1 job.
  • Begin immediately on your most important task and then discipline yourself to concentrate single-mindedly on this one task until it is 100% complete.

  • Conclusion

    Take Action Today

    You have now learned perhaps the most comprehensive strategy for setting and achieving goals that has ever been put together in one book. By practicing these rules and principles, you can accomplish more in the coming months and years than most people accomplish in a lifetime.

    The most important quality you can develop for lifelong success is the habit of taking action on your plans, goals, ideas and insights. The more often you try, the sooner you will triumph. There is a direct relationship between the number of things you attempt and your accomplishments in life. Here are the 21 steps for setting and achieving goals, and for living a wonderful life.

  • Unlock Your Potential – Always remember that your true potential is unlimited. Whatever you have accomplished in life up to now has only been a preparation for the amazing things you can accomplish in the future.
  • Take Charge of Your Life – You are completely responsible for everything you are today, for everything you think, say and do, and for everything you become from this moment forward. Refuse to make excuses or to blame others. Instead, make progress toward your goals every day.
  • Create Your Own Future – Imagine that you have no limitations on what you can do, be or have in the months and years ahead. Think about and plan your future as if you had all the resources you needed to create any life that you desire.
  • Clarify Your Values – Your innermost values and convictions define you as a person. Take the time to think through what you really believe in and care about in each area of your life. Refuse to deviate from what you feel is right for you.
  • Determine Your True Goals – Decide for yourself what you really want to accomplish in every area of your life. Clarity is essential for happiness and high performance living.
  • Decide Upon Your Major Definite Purpose – You need a central purpose to build your life around. There must be a single goal that will help you to achieve your other goals more than any other. Decide what it is for you and work on it all the time.
  • Analyze Your Beliefs – Your beliefs about your own abilities, and about the world around you, will have more of an impact on your feelings and actions than any other factor. Make sure that your beliefs are positive and consistent with achieving everything that is possible for you.
  • Start At The Beginning – Do a careful analysis of your starting point before you set off toward the achievement of your goal. Determine your exact situation today and be both honest and realistic about what you want to accomplish in the future.
  • Measure Your Progress – Set clear benchmarks, measures, metrics and scorecards for yourself on the road to your goals. These measures help you to assess how well you are doing and enable you to make necessary adjustments and corrections as you go along.
  • Remove The Roadblocks – Success boils down to the ability to solve problems and remove obstacles on the path to your goal. Fortunately, problem solving is a skill you can master with practice, and thereby achieve your goals faster than you ever thought possible.
  • Become An Expert In Your Field – You have within you, right now, the ability to be one of the very best at what you do, to join the top 10% in your field. Set this as a goal, work on it every day, and never stop working at it until you get there.
  • Associate With The Right People – Your choices of people with whom to live, work and socialize will have more of an effect on your success than any other factor. Resolve today to associate only with people you like, respect and admire. Fly with the eagles if you want to be an eagle yourself.
  • Make a Plan Of Action – An ordinary person with a well thought-out plan will run circles around a genius without one. Your ability to plan and organize in advance will enable you to accomplish even the biggest and most complex goals.
  • Manage Your Time Well – Learn how to double and triple your productivity, performance and output by practicing practical and proven time management principles. Always set priorities before you begin, and then concentrate on the most valuable use of your time.
  • Review Your Goals Daily – Take time every day, every week, every month to review and reevaluate your goals and objectives. Make sure that you are still on track and that you are still working toward things that are important to you. Be prepared to modify your goals and plans with new information.
  • Visualize Your Goals Continually – Direct the movies of your mind. Your imagination is your preview of your life’s coming attractions. Repeatedly “see” your goals as if they already existed. Your clear, exciting mental images activate all your mental powers and attract your goals into your life.
  • Activate Your Superconscious Mind – You have within you and around you an incredible power that will bring you everything and anything you want or need. Take the time regularly to tap into this amazing source of ideas and insights for goal attainment.
  • Remain Flexible At All Times – Be clear about your goal but be flexible about the process of achieving it. Be constantly open to new, better, faster, cheaper ways to achieve the same result, and if something is not working, be willing to try a different approach.
  • Unlock Your Inborn Creativity – You have more creative ability to solve problems and come up with new and better ways for goal attainment than you have ever used. You are a potential genius. You can tap into your intelligence to overcome any obstacle and achieve any goal you can set for yourself.
  • Do Something Every Day – Use the “Momentum Principle of Success” by getting started toward your goal and then doing something every day that moves you closer to what you want to accomplish. Action orientation is essential to your success.
  • Persist Until You Succeed – In the final analysis, your ability to persist longer than anyone else is the one quality that will guarantee great success in life. Persistence is self-discipline in action, and is the true measure of your belief in yourself. Resolve in advance that you will never, never give up!
  • There they are, the twenty-one most important principles of goal setting and goal achieving ever discovered. Your regular review and practice of these principles will enable you to live an extraordinary life. Nothing can stop you now.

    Good luck!

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