goal setting is the first step on the road to success

It is very difficult to achieve any success without setting goals.

Athletes learn early on in their development that Goal Setting is an important part of their overall training regimen.
Successful business men and women have always maintained that setting goals was a major step in their success, and continue to be as they seek out new ways to challenge themselves.

Despite the fact that most people will tell you that goal setting is a pre-requisite to achieving success, many people do not set goals for the following reasons :

1 There is too much pressure to achieve the goals. If this is the case it is better to set a more achievable goal.
2 Fear of failure. This is the main reason people do not set goals as most people fear failure. If you listen to most successful people, they will tell you that failure is part of the reason for their success, and we should all try to accept failure in this way.
3 They don’t have confidence. One way to gain confidence is to set a simple goal and achieve it. Then set more goals until confidence returns.

4 They are not sure of what they want to accomplish. This may take some time to work out, but the best way to do this is to sit quietly with no distractions and just think of one goal. Personally, I find this very rewarding as creative thoughts start to appear.
5 They don’t know how to set goals. This is valid but I have written articles on this that may help.

None of the above reasons are valid for not setting goals.

Only unrealistic goals apply pressure on an individual.

Fear of failure usually arises from a feeling that we lack control over our future. However, setting long and short-term goals really allow us to control our own futures.

Goals raise confidence levels in that they show you in a concrete way that success is possible.

Achievement of short term goals makes confidence grow and give momentum for greater achievement.

The goal setting process allows people to work out exactly what they want and what is important to them.
Setting goals is not complicated. It can be challenging, but the process of goal setting can be of value to you in building excitement and commitment, which are important factors in achieving success.

General Guidelines For Goal Setting
Goals should be challenging, yet realistic and attainable. Hard but realistic goals produce better results.
Write goals down and post them where you can see them on a daily basis.

Stick them on your computer using post-it’s, or on the bathroom mirror, somewhere you spend a lot of time.
Write your goals as positive statements that focus on success.

Write out an action plan for accomplishing your goals. This is where short term goals come in, each short-term goal achieved, keeps you motivated and confident.
Set a time frame. Be specific but reasonable.
Celebrate! Once you have reached a short-term goal celebrate it, give yourself a reward.
Revise goals when necessary. Sometimes things happen that you cannot control, you must not let that deter you from accomplishing your goals, revise and rewrite.
Prioritize your goals. List your goals in order of importance to you.
Goal setting makes so much sense on so many levels. Whether you are a novice or a “guru” Do not waste another minute, get started today!

Here is a quote by Tony Robbins


Nothing is impossible

At times we will be tasked with doing something which doesn’t look possible.

Whenever I feel like this, I take inspiration from people who have achieved remarkable things and have overcome all the odds.

Thomas Edison  Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison was an American inventor, and many people believe he is America’s greatest inventor.

He is best known for inventing the electric light bulb but he was such a prolific inventor that he held over 1,000 patents in the USA in his name.

He also had patents in the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

In addition to his inventions he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and he is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.

He spent a lot of time concentrating on his goal of inventing the light bulb and, at one stage, he was asked how he felt about failing 10,000 times.

He famously replied:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

This has to be one of the greatest examples of persistence that we have ever witnessed.

Roger Bannister

Sir Roger is a former middle-distant runner who ran in the 1952 Olympics but was disappointed to finish 4th in the 1500 metre final. For a while after this he contemplated his future, but eventually he set himself a new goal:

To become the first athlete to run the mile in under 4 minutes.

This was hugely controversial at the time as many doctors suggested it was impossible, and some went as far to suggest that anybody attempting this would possibly die.

He had set out his goal, was undeterred by those who suggested it was not possible and intensified his training.

Eventually the day arrived and on 6th May 1954, Roger Bannister ran the first sub 4-minute mile in a time of 3 minutes 59.4 seconds.

Interestingly, in the year after that record-breaking day, 24 athletes went onto record the mile in under 4 minutes. Nowadays, that goal that was considered impossible has been shattered as the world record for the mile is 3 minutes 43.13 seconds.

Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens was a remarkable athlete who completed in the 1936 Olympics in Germany.

Along with his teammates they sailed on the SS Manhattan.

In addition, Adolf Hitler and other government officials had high hopes that German athletes would dominate the games with victories.

After such a long journey and faced with such adversity, it is remarkable that he won 4 Olympic gold medals in the 100 metres,200 metres, long jump and 4 x 100 metres relay.

Carl Lewis

Carl Lewis was an outstanding athlete.

Not only did he plan winning 4 Olympic gold medals at the 1984 Los Angeles games, but in total he won 9 Olympic gold medals and 1 silver medal.

No other athlete has retained the Olympic long jump title, but Lewis went on to win 4 consecutive Olympic long jump medals from 1984 until 1996, which is a remarkable achievement.

His accomplishments have led to numerous accolades, including being voted

“World Athlete of the Century” by the IAAF

“Sportsman of the Century” by the International Olympic Committee,

“Olympian of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Athlete of the Year” by Track & Field News in 1982, 1983, and 1984.

A remarkable athlete who spent time planning his success.

Billy Joel

For many people this may seem a strange addition as Billy Joel is a very successful singer. However, that was not always the case.

He dropped out of high school because he had a dream of becoming a famous musician. However, it did not go to plan and at the age of 22 he was flat broke and he no longer had a home.

His girlfriend left him, which tipped him over the edge, and he decided to take his own life. Before taking that drastic action, he decided to check into a mental institution. It was here that he realised what real problems were.

Since releasing his first hit song, “Piano Man” in 1973, he has become the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States.

This shows that with the right determination, success can follow.


If I feel, at any time, that things are difficult I take inspiration from such individuals.



The importance of writing down your goals

Once you have decided on your goals it’s very important to write them  down.

There have been various debates about writing down and reviewing your goals.

Fortunately,there is some research that backs up the importance of writing down your goals.

This research is now quite famous.
In 1979 interviewers ask graduates at Harvard Business School the following question :
“Have you set clear written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them.”

Bearing in mind that it is difficult to find a place at Harvard you would expect the graduates to be very goal-driven.
However the results were quite surprising :
84% had no specific goals at all,which in itself is quite astonishing.

13% had goals but they were not committed to paper.
Only 3% had clear written goals and plans to achieve them.

In 1989 ,10 years later, the graduates when interviewed again and the results were as follows :

The 13% who had clear written goals were earning on average twice as much as the 84% who had no goals.
The truly startling result was that the 3% who had clear written goals were earning on average
That really is quite incredible.

Whatever your goal,if you need any evidence that writing down your goals and reviewing them regularly is important then surely this research shows exactly that.

Why goals should be SMART

When setting your goals they should be SMART

S is for specific 

If your goal is financially orientated the goal should not be “I want to earn a lot of money” .That is not specific enough. There should be a specific amount, e.g. $500 per month.

M is for measurable
You must be able to measure your progress towards your goal.
For example,you may be looking to lose weight.
If your goals is “I want to lose a lot of weight.” that is not measurable.

The phrase “a lot of weight” can mean different things to different people.
However,if you state “I want to lose 7 pounds” that is not open to interpretation. You have either lost 7 pounds or you haven’t.

A is for achievable.  
If you just starting your own business,you may want to be a millionaire.
That may be admirable but if you state “I want to be a millionaire within 6 months” you may be lucky,but it is not likely.
Your goal may still apply later,but it would be more realistic to state “I will earn an extra $500 per month in 6 months time.

R is for relevant
The goal must be relevant to your business
For example,if you have decided to start a business providing services to SMEs, it would not be relevant to have a goal to develop a product for consumers.
If you are working for a corporation,the goal must be in line with the objectives of the corporation.

T is for time-bound time
For example, you might say that you want to lose weight by next year .
Again that’s not specific enough.What you need to do is to pick a date and say that you’ll lose a certain amount of weight by a particular date.

So ,in summary , examples of SMART goals could be :

“From my online marketing activities,I will earn an additional $500 per month by July 31st this year.”

“By November 30th this year I will lose 7 pounds in weight.”

The next step is to take these SMART goals and develop plans to achieve the goals.

Setting goals-how visualization can help

When we are setting goals one of the hardest things it is to actually know exactly what we want to achieve .Sometimes we feel that we may just go for earning a lot of money but basically we need to be much more specific than that and determine exactly what we want .

One of the key factors is what’s called visualization , which takes a number of different forms but one of them is in sport .If you watch any athletics, for example, you may watch high jumping.Before a high jumpers starts ,what he or she would do is start to look towards the bar and pace out where they’re going to run and then visualize themselves going over the bar .That basically goes into the subconscious mind and becomes very positive which assumes that they will achieve their goal of clearing the bar.

If you watch a 100 metres race, many of the contestants will be looking down the lane and imagining they will cross the line before their competitors. A good example of this is in the Barcelona Olympics. In the final of the 100 metres, Linford Christie just looked down his lane and imagined he would cross the line before any of his competitors. It worked for him as he won the gold medal.

When we set our own goals sometimes visualisation also helps. If, for example we want to earn some extra money to buy a new car, a new camera, a new house or perhaps go on holiday ,one of the best things that we can do is to find a photograph of one of these desires and keep it somewhere that will remind us several times a day of what we want.

For example,if we want a new camera,cut out a photo of the camera in a camera magazine and pin it to the wall. Similarly for anything else that we want.

One of the keys to making this work is looking at the photograph several times a day. What happens is that the neurons in our brains interpret imagery as equivalent to real-life action. Thus, we assume that we own the object in the image and act accordingly. For example, if we are looking at the camera, our mind assumes that we already own it.

Perhaps,we have decided that we want to buy a specific car.Car

Another key is to make the desire realistic. For example, if we are just starting out and decide that we want to own our own aeroplane in the next 12 months, for most of us that is not achievable. The likelihood is that we will become disillusioned as we realise that it is no more than a dream. Whereas, if we make the goal realistic and manage to achieve it, we will be encouraged to continue to use visualization to help us to achieve our goals.

Initially, I wasn’t sure about visualization, but now I practise it all the time.