The secret to reaching your goals this year (and I’m definitely not talking about Resolutions!)

One of the reasons I look forward to the holidays and typically check out for 3-4 weeks around this time is to do some reflecting, planning, and also some refining and resetting of my goals.

It’s an ideal time to do it, so I hope you’ve had a chance to do something similar.  If you haven’t though, I really encourage you to set aside some time and do it right now. Honestly, it’s never really a bad time for setting goals and laying out the plans for achieving them!

Amazingly, less than 5% of people have written goals … which is stunning to me!  A lot of people I ask about goals will often say … “I have them in my head”.

Uhhh … that doesn’t quite work too well.

To me, that also means they’re easily forgettable … there’s no real accountability … and it’s not a very strong declaration/intention of what you really want.  So there’s not much energy around it.

A goal has to be crystallized and made a clear target … and infused with some fire.  In others words, a true burning desire.

How do you do that?  Here are some ideas ...

First, I think you should be setting goals in at least 4 main categories:

  1. Financial (Ex. Earn $250k annual income; Grow net worth by $1.2M in 2015; Build passive income to $12k/month in 3 years or less; Start a Financial Freedom Account and invest 10% of my income every month; etc.)
  2. Personal Growth (Ex. Become fluent in French within 6 months; Get in the best shape of my life with a body fat percentage of 11% or less; etc.)
  3. Fun (Ex. Take a 3 week family trip to Hawaii in 2015; Drive your dream car; Buy that Lake Tahoe vacation cottage in you’ve been thinking about; etc.)
  4. Contribution (Ex. Give 10% of your income to your favorite charity; Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen once a month; Mentor a teen through Big Brothers, Big Sisters for one year; etc.)

Just brainstorm and come up with as many short- and long-term goals as you can for each category.  There’s no right or wrong answers, and really no limits, so just go crazy here.

What’s your true hearts desire??

Then, put a timeline next to each goal (1, 3, 5, 10, 20 years, etc).  From each category, pull out your top 2-4 goals, with one or two of those goals being your top short-term goal (12 months or less).

Put a lot of emphasis on that to start, because that will give you the most momentum and drive.  And make sure your goals are as specific as possible.

Ex. Rather than “lose weight”, it should be something more like “Lose 20 pounds by April 30, 2015”.

Then, the next step is the most important one:  Writing down your REASONS for achieving them.  In other words, your WHY.

Stack those reasons up.  Make them compelling.  And motivating as hell.

What will you miss out on or lose if you don’t achieve it?  What will you gain once you do achieve it?

For example, if your goal is something like “Start a part-time real estate business and make an extra income of at least “$80,000 in 2015”, the pain it can cause in your life might include things like …

Not being able to help out family and friends who really need and deserve it … not being able to take care of your family like you really want to … having to live in a bad neighborhood … being stressed out every day about ‘paying the bills’ … being forced into a separation or divorce … feeling like you’re wasting your life and not living up to your true potential, etc.

Can you feel the anxiety and angst?

This is not meant to be negative.  Pain, if used properly, can be one of life’s greatest motivators!

You should also lay it on thick with a bunch of positive reasons.  The things you will GAIN if you do achieve the goal.

Like being able to take your family on that dream vacation you’ve been promising them … or being an inspiration to your family and friends … or having the resources to take care of your aging parents so they can live their golden years with total dignity … or taking a trip around the world, etc.

I know this might sound ‘fundamental’, but believe me … this is one of the most valuable and impactful gifts you can give yourself.

And to make sure you get the most from this process, I suggest you look at your goals on a regular basis.  Daily at first, then weekly, then monthly after 3-6 months or so.

The next step?  Come up with some ideas/plans for achieving your goals.

But in my experience, believe it or not, this is not as important as coming up with your your reasons.  Yes, you should brainstorm some ideas and start moving in that direction, but more importantly, remain open-minded and don’t be tied to achieving an outcome in only one specific way.

Life doesn’t work that way.  There are a million ways to achieve an outcome.

So just pay attention, stay awake, don’t be surprised when your intuition tells you something and you all of a sudden get a ‘bright idea’ (when you least expect it … like when you’re taking a shower maybe!).

And when you do get that “flash of inspiration” … when something really feels right … and like you’ve just solved a major puzzle, your job is to act.  And to put that inspired idea into action.  FAST!

That’s a gift.  And something we’ve all experienced … as long as we’re paying attention.

Anyway, don’t mean to get all woo-woo on you, but I gotta tell you … it’s happened like that for me way too many times for it to be pure coincidence!

So all I’m saying is be aware and have an open mind.  What’s pretty darn amazing is just by setting an intention, things ‘magically’ start happening around you and for you, to make it a reality.

Reminds me of that quote by the great Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”

That is oh so true.

God Bless … Happy New Year …

and may all your dreams come true in 2015!!