The First Rule Of Goal Setting

You need a BIG – Bold, Important, Gratifying – goal and you need a plan. The plan gets you started, but the plan you start with is likely not the plan that will get you to your goal. Be adamant about your goal, but be flexible in the plan to get you there.

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A Plethora Of Plans

I had a difficult experience trying to find a job when I first moved to South Carolina. My wife and I, newly married, moved here when she was offered a position as a high school media specialist. I was finishing my degree in data processing. Computer programmers were in high demand, and we assumed I would have no trouble landing a job. However, this was not the case.

I began by having 100 resumes printed with our new address and phone number. I mailed them out, unsolicited, to 100 companies I identified in our area. Then, I waited for two weeks with not a single call. Then we learned from our local phone company that the phone number they said was our new number was not the correct one. I had mailed out 100 resumes with a non-working phone number!

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Between Stimulus And Response

The ABCs of effective living? A = Adversity, B = Belief, and C = Consequent feelings. Our Beliefs (B) about an Adversity (A) – NOT the adversity itself – cause our Consequent (C) feelings. [Seligman] It isn’t what happens to us but how we think about what happens to us that determines how we feel. By stepping into the space between stimulus and response, we can choose a more empowering set of beliefs. But first, we have to see that space.

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Understanding The Gap

“Between stimulus and response, man has the freedom to choose.” ~ Dr. Stephen Covey, “The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People”

When I first read this statement many years ago, I struggled to understand what it meant. I understood the words, but I didn’t get the concept. It was completely foreign to me. I had become so inured to reacting to whatever I encountered, it never occurred to me that there was any other way to behave. I pondered this idea, discussed it with various friends, and read and re-read that section in Dr. Covey’s book.

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Aligning Actions With Desires

When you embrace the Excelerated Life™, focus comes before goal setting. Without focus, your goals may not reflect your true desires. With focus, you have clarity on what you want and, importantly, why you want it.

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Lost Focus

I have a BIG — Bold, Important, Gratifying — goal. I want to have a blog that rates in the top 10% of blogs in the category of self-development. That is a huge goal and one that will take many, many, many steps. It’s my 5 – 10 year goal.

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A Light In The Woods

“There is a candle in every soul / Some brightly burning, some dark and cold . . . Carry your candle, run to the darkness / Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn / Hold out your candle for all to see it / Take your candle, and go light your world.”

Chris Rice, “Go Light Your World”

In The Dark

I grew up in the country. Beyond our backyard was a pasture, then the woods. My brother, my cousins, and our friends liked to play in those woods. One evening after supper, we ran into the woods to play a game. We were having so much fun we lost track of time and didn’t realize that it was getting late. Before we knew it, night had fallen and we were in the dark. I began running, but of course I couldn’t see and ran smack into a tree! (I suppose you could say I couldn’t see the tree for the forest.) Fortunately for the rest of us, one of the guys had a flashlight. He turned it on and then we could see him. We all gathered around and he led us out of the woods, shining his flashlight . . . no more running into trees.

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The Difference Between Trying And Doing

“Trying” to do is different than doing and different than not doing. Trying lets us off the hook – we don’t have to succeed and we don’t have to fail. We don’t have to really do anything. That is languishing, NOT flourishing.

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Trying Or Doing?

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

Once upon a time, as I attended a workshop, the presenter asked me to come up to the front of the room. She laid a pencil down on the table and said to me, “Try to pick that pencil up.”

I picked up the pencil. “No,” she said, “I said ‘Try to pick it up.’ Instead, you picked it up. Now, again – try to pick the pencil up.”

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The Power Of Goal Setting

Success has been defined as “the progressive realization of a worthy goal”. Setting meaningful goals gives you focus and a target to aim for. Writing them down insures that you won’t lose sight of your destination.

Unable to See Her Goal

“When she looked ahead, Florence Chadwick saw nothing but a solid wall of fog. Her body was numb. She had been swimming for nearly sixteen hours.
Already she was the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions. She had managed to finish that swim in a record time, 16 hours and 22 minutes on August 8, 1950. Now, at age 34, her goal was to become the first woman to swim from Catalina Island to Palos Verde on the California coast.

“On that Fourth of July morning in 1952, the sea was like an ice bath and the fog was so dense she could hardly see her support boats. Sharks cruised toward her lone figure, only to be driven away by rifle shots. Against the frigid grip of the sea, she struggled on – hour after hour – while millions watched on national television.

“Alongside Florence in one of the boats, her mother and her trainer offered encouragement. They told her it wasn’t much farther. But all she could see was fog. They urged her not to quit. She never had . . . until then. With only a half mile to go, she asked to be pulled out.

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Passion And Perseverance: How Effort Leads To Achievement

Having a talent for a specific endeavor does not insure that you will do it. You must exert effort to transform the talent into a skill. Turning the talent into skill does not insure that you’ll achieve your objective. You must exert more effort to transform the skill into achievement.

A Failed Dream

I was 6 years old and excited to have the chance to take piano lessons. I loved music and dreamed about playing – hymns in church or songs for my family to sing together. Although they didn’t have a lot of money, my parents bought a nice new piano and had it placed in our living room. A friend of our family, Miss Pritchard, who played piano at church, agreed to give me lessons.

The first book was a breeze. Simple songs to start my understanding of the techniques of the piano. My teacher wrote numbers over the notes and then numbers on the corresponding keys of the piano. It was a simple matter to match the numbers on the page to the numbers on the keys.

Miss Pritchard also gave me scales to practice. But for this part, I wasn’t as diligent at practicing as I could have been — I found it boring to play the same 8 keys over and over. But I practiced my songs and when we had our first recital, I was a star! I performed the best and Miss Pritchard gave me a big hug when the recital was over.

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How To Increase Your Goal Motivation

Setting goals is a requirement for achieving your best life and living out your potential. Goals give you direction and focus. They are important for another reason as well — setting and achieving goals improves your well-being and positivity. But keep in mind that all goals are not created equal — some motivate you more than others. Choose goals that add to your positivity and keep you motivated to achieve them.

A Life Changing Gift

When I was in my early 30s, I was introduced to the man who changed my life. That man was Earl Nightingale. Of course, I didn’t literally meet Mr. Nightingale, but I received a program on audiotapes called Lead The Field as a birthday gift. In this series of audiotapes, Earl Nightingale provided numerous ideas on what it means to live a successful life. He expanded and expounded on the ideas he originally articulated in his program, “The Strangest Secret“.

I had more or less stumbled upon a career that I enjoyed but it was more by accident than by design. Through Lead The Field, I was exposed to a number of ideas that I had never been taught before. As I say, it was a life-changing experience for me. And it began my journey of learning and implementing ideas for self-growth and self-improvement. One of those ideas to which I was newly exposed was the concept of setting goals.

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I Changed My Mind

Sometimes the hardest thing to do, and the thing that can make a huge difference in your life, is to say “I changed my mind.”

“It is amazing how many uncomfortable situations people get into and stay in because they are unwilling or afraid to admit that they’ve changed their minds.” ~ Brian Tracy

Do you know one of the main reasons people lose money in the stock market? They don’t have an exit strategy. They don’t know when to cut their losses and get out of a bad investment. Or, they think that if they just hang in there, the stock will rebound and they’ll make their money back. It seems to go against our nature to face up to a loss or a situation that is going badly and to make a change. Sometimes, one of the best things you can say is “I changed my mind.”

We stay in circumstances that are uncomfortable, unprofitable, unfulfilling, sometimes even dangerous, rather than taking the steps to make a change and improve the situation. We find it too hard to say “I changed my mind.”

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