Monday, May 08, 2006

Are Your Goals Exciting? – By Jim Donovan

This may sound like a strange question, but are you really excited about
your goals? Of course, I'm making the assumption that you have already
invested the time to think about what you want your life to be like and
identified some of your goals in several areas. If not, please do this
immediately. If you don't know where you're going, how will you know when
you get there?

Having written goals will change your life; I guarantee it! Spend some
time thinking about what you'd like your life to be like. For the sake of
this exercise, let's set goals you'd like to have accomplished one year
from now. Of course, you can set shorter and longer term goals as well.

What would you like for your relationships? How about your health, career
and finances? How about your mind and emotions? What would you like to
experience? What would you like to do, be or have? Invest some time now to
identify these things and write them down. This will greatly increase the
likelihood of your accomplishing them. If you want to know more about
this, there are lots of books, including mine, to help you. That's not
really the topic of this story, however. I'm asking you now to revisit
your goals, particularly your short-term, six-month to one-year ones.

Do they make you want to jump out of bed each day eager to get going?
Recently, I was feeling "less than great." I was even bordering on
becoming depressed, something I rarely experience. I felt unmotivated, and
wound up being pretty sick for a week. Upon closer examination, and
because I agree with Plato that an unexamined life is not worth living, I
realized one of the things that I had done was to reset some of my
short-term goals to be "more realistic."

I think I believed what I was hearing about the current economic
situation. Of course, some of what "they" are saying is true. Some people
are experiencing an economic downturn. Interestingly enough, the Horchow
Catalog, a collection of some of the highest priced, one-of-a-kind items
you can find, is expecting another year of double-digit growth. This is as
compared to a 1 or 2% for the rest of the catalog industry. They were
quoted as saying that "there are always well-healed people willing to pay
for fine things." Obviously, not everyone believes in the economic

What I had noticed about myself was that in the interest of being
realistic, I had lowered my expectations. While this may seem like a
reasonable thing to do, in reality, it left me totally uninspired and
feeling pretty unmotivated about my goals. For example, if you have a goal
of making enough money to "pay the bills," how exciting is that? Is that
going to make you jump out of bed in the morning saying, "Oh wow, I can't
wait to get going, so I can make money and pay the bills!" I doubt it.

Year after year, the average salesperson will set a goal of earning the
same as the previous year plus 5% for inflation. I sense these are the
people Henry David Throeau was speaking about when he said, "The mass of
men lead lives of quiet desperation."

Interestingly enough, the top salespeople in any industry will set
outrageous goals like, "Doubling my income" and then go out and do it. I
believe a big part of their success is the excitement they've created in
themselves by setting the huge goal.

When I understood what I was doing, I immediately set new goals. I set
goals that were way beyond my reach. Goals that were huge enough to really
get my juices going. Now, when I think about my new, bigger goals, I get
excited just imaging what it would feel like reaching them and what my
life would be like having accomplished them. I get jazzed just thinking
about my new income goals, for example.

I get excited just thinking about how I will use this new level of income.
I spend time getting into the feeling of having this level of income. I
ask questions like, "Where will I go on vacation? What will I buy my wife?
Which charities will we contribute to?" and so on. I really step into the
new income level and see myself enjoying the fruits of my labor. I have
been using these techniques for many years and have experienced enormous
change in my life. And even if I don't reach the exact amount, I know I
will go way beyond what I might have accomplished and will feel better
along the way. After all, isn't feeling good what it's all about?

Now, go get your journal, and let's start setting some new goals for the
coming year. Following is a simple exercise to help you become clear about
your goals and begin creating the life you've always wanted.

1. Write what you don't want. Often, it's easier to become clear about
what you don't want. For example, "I don't want all these bills; I don't
want to work in a dead end job," etc. What you do want is generally the
opposite of this. "I want an abundance of income. I want my own successful
business," and so on. Afterwards, you may want to throw this list away.

2. Write what you do want. List everything you want to do, be and have for
the upcoming year and beyond. Really let your imagination run wild. Never
mind how you will do it. That will come later. For now, just write what
you want without editing.

3. Pick two or three goals from your list and write them in the form of an
affirmation. For example, "I am enjoying our fantastic summer house by the
ocean." "I am so happy growing my own business. This makes me feel in
control of my future." Do this for all the major areas of your life --
spirituality, health, relationships, social, business, things and money.

4. Next to each one, write why you want this and how you will feel when
you have accomplished it. "I want this business to have more free time
with my family and be in charge of my destiny. I feel powerful and

5. Write at least one action you can take right now to move toward your
goal. What simple step can you take immediately (today)? Maybe an
immediate action would be to investigate a new opportunity you learned
about in this newsletter.

Each day, devote some time to reading your list of goals, concentrating on
the feelings associated with having them. Feelings like free, valued,
loved, secure, safe, prosperous, etc. The more you can feel the feelings
your goal will produce, the faster you can draw it to you. After you
reread your goals and are feeling the good feelings associated with having
them, ask yourself, "What is the next action I can take to move toward
this?" Do this daily and watch your life change.

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