The Power of Writing Down Your Goals

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Everyone wants to be great and reach achievement milestones, but not everyone is willing to commit to the grueling process that being great requires. Many people give up after one try, one failure. They settle for being average instead of striving and working to be great.

With the New Year right around the corner, and most people starting to think about their resolutions and the goals they want to accomplish in 2017 — and that includes me — I want to share a process I go through at the end of each year, in late December. Some people don’t know how to set goals, and they certainly don’t know how to go about achieving them.

But, for me, nothing has changed my life more than learning how to set goals and then working hard to attain them.

What’s important here is the difference between goal-setting and goal achievement. Both are important, but setting goals alone isn’t enough. If you write them down on a piece of paper, then put that paper away and never do anything more, you’ve wasted your time. Instead, you have to take massive action to achieve your goals.

Everywhere I go to speak in the world, I share the following exact same goal-setting process that has shaped my life year after year. This process has helped me achieve almost every major goal that I ever set.

The process

Start by setting a stopwatch or the timer on your phone, for three minutes. This will force you to write your goals down quickly and not dawdle. The point is to eliminate the tendency to start worrying. When we consider the goals we want to achieve, we immediately start thinking about reasons we can’t reach those goals.

There will be roadblocks to consider, a lack of money and a million-and-one other obstacles. But don’t worry about those things; if you set a stopwatch for three minutes, that short time span will force you to focus and write down what’s really in your heart instead of to waste time on the challenges down the road.

The next part of the process is to write down eight to ten goals you want to achieve this time next year. It’s good to include some balance on that list with health, fitness, family, leisure and financial and business goals, to name some important considerations. Then circle the one goal that has the potential to completely change the course of your life and serve as a domino effect for every other goal on the list.

The “game-changer” goal

Next, identify what I call the game-changer goal. When I first adopted this same process into my life, I was 16 years old and a recovering drug addict. My major goal at the time was to get a Division I college scholarship for football. I knew that achieving that major goal would help me reach every other goal on my list and drastically change my entire life.

After you circle your own game-changer goal, you’ll find that the next part of the process is what separates the best of the best from everyone else. Write down 20 to 50 things you need to do to achieve that major goal of yours.

Most people never even think about what they need to do in order to achieve their goals. So, if you are thinking about this, you’ll be putting yourself in the small percentage of high achievers and be significantly increasing your odds of success.

After you have completed your action plan of all the things that must happen in order to achieve your game-changer, you should start transferring one to two tasks a day onto your daily task list. Once you have your game plan ready to go, your overall task is all about taking massive action and being relentless each and every day until you get to where you want to go.

Goal-setting has completely changed my life, and it can do the same for you. Want more detail on this process? See my book, Winning Plays.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

There Is a Big Difference Between Setting Goals and Achieving Goals

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Learning the incredible power of goals has forever changed my life. At 16 years old, I was a full-blown drug addict that was completely throwing his entire life away by living a life with no meaning and surrounding myself with others who degraded my potential and ability to become the best version of myself. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom that I came to realization that I was either going to end up dead or in prison by my 18th birthday, or I’d have to go to commit to rehab and get very serious about setting goals for my life.

My parents and all of my athletic coaches throughout the years continuously harped on me about the extreme importance of goal setting, however, I never completely bought in. We all hear about goal setting and how vitally important it is that we create a vision for our lives, but why is it that very few people actually follow through with setting goals for their lives? I think there are a lot of varying answers to this, but I think the biggest reason is because most people don’t know how to properly set attainable goals for themselves to begin with.

There is a big difference between goal setting and goal achieving. Saying you want to earn a certain amount of money, lose some weight or start your own business without setting a clear and actionable plan as to how that’s going to happen is simply just a hope and a wish. And even then, once you are extremely clear about what it is you want, you must come up with an action plan as to how you are going to enter into the highly coveted space of goal achievement — and then commit to taking massive and relentless daily action.

Shifting from goal setting to goal achievement requires you to do three things exceptionally well. Here are three things that you can start to incorporate into your every day life that has helped me achieve every massive goal that I have ever set for myself, including landing a Division One college football scholarship, playing in the NFL, getting a major book publishing deal and running a successful business.

1. Get extremely clear about what it is you want.

The first part of the process is to get extremely clear about what exactly it is that you want. Saying you want to lose weight or make more money next year isn’t being extremely clear. It’s a start and certainly better than not wanting anything at all, but it’s still just a wish.

How much weight do you want to lose? How will it make you feel when you achieve your goal? Why do you want to lose the weight? What is your deadline to achieve this goal? These are just some examples to help get you started on the process of getting extremely clear about your goal.

Take your most important goal right now — whether it’s to lose weight, make more money, or land the promotion at work — and spend some time focusing all of your attention towards getting very clear about the answers to the questions I just proposed. To give you an example, when I was 16 years old and felt all hope was lost, it wasn’t until I got extremely clear about getting a college scholarship for football that my daily actions and behaviors started to change.

I had to answer the who, what, where, when, why, and how’s for myself. When you set a meaningful goal and then get extremely clear about those questions, an incredible transition can begin to take place.

 

2. Create your game plan for success.

This part of the process can drastically increase your chances of achieving your most audacious goals. After you get extremely clear about your goal, create a list of everything that you have to do in order to achieve that goal.

Looking back at my list when I set a goal to get a Division One college scholarship, I had over 40 things that I needed to do in order to put myself in a position for success. Everything from reaching out to a certain number of coaches every single day, running a specific  40-yard dash time, eating certain healthy foods that would help increase my performance and attending the right summer camps at universities that would put me in front of the right people.

My list was extensive, but failing to list all of the things that you have to do in order to achieve a goal greatly minimizes your chances of actually entering into goal achievement. Take the time right now to make a list of everything that you have to do in order to achieve that major goal of yours. Even if there are 100 things that you write down, write them down.

3. Take consistent and persistent massive action.

All three things are greatly important, but this step is the ultimate differentiator and transition between goal setting and goal achievement. Unfortunately, too many people spend their precious time looking for the secret formula out there that will help them achieve their deepest desires and biggest dreams that will take minimal effort on their behalf.

But there isn’t such a thing, and anyone that tells you otherwise is selling you a false hope and a wish. I have never in my life met an incredibly successful man or woman, whether in athletics or in business, that didn’t consistently and persistently take massive action on a daily basis.

After you have your action list created, move two to three things from your list over to your daily to-do list. Most people spend their days creating to do lists that consist of tedious tasks that hold very little value in helping them advance their lot in life.

Every single day — day in and day out — take massive action doing something that will help you in the achievement of your biggest goal. You will get knocked down, experience all kinds of hardships, but when you consistently and persistently move forward, you will be amazed at what begins to transpire in your life.

Following what I shared with you above isn’t going to guarantee that you will achieve your biggest goal. However, it will guarantee that over time you become a new person that wakes up every day with a new passion and desire to face the day ahead.

Goals changed my life in more ways than one, and I know that it can do the same for you when you begin to adopt these three ideas. Just remember, there is a big difference between goal setting and goal achieving.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com