A) LIST YOUR DREAMS:
1. Make a list of everything you want to accomplish before
you die, on the first page. If you need help coming up
with ideas, go back and give some more thought to your
2. Sort the list into stages of your life. Before I reach
the age of _____ I want to accomplish the following
. . . You are currently in Stage A. Assign a letter
of the alphabet to each future stage.
For each stage, number every goal, in order of
importance. Use a new sheet of paper for each goal in
Stage A. Title them Stage A, Goal 1, etc.
4. For the remaining stages, list only the top 3 most
5. At this point, you should go over the list and make
sure there aren't any conflicts. For example, do you want
to go sailing around the world by yourself, and develop a
closer relationship with your children at the same time?
You may want to make some adjustments - don't cross any
off your list, just slot them into a more appropriate
B) DEFINE YOUR GOALS:
Now, for each goal do the following:
1. Write down exactly why you want this. What benefits you
will get from working toward it, even before you reach it.
Be very specific. How will it make you feel to accomplish
2. Determine how you will know if it has been achieved.
Some things are obvious for example, a certain weight, or
a new car in the driveway. How will you know when
you have accomplished "spending more time with
friends"? Or, "Have a loving relationship"?
This type of goal could be given a rating system.
3. Write down how you will measure progress (number of
nice things you say to that person each day). A weight
chart, a journal of your feelings, your savings account
passbook are ways to track headway.
4. Assign a date for the accomplishment of each goal.
long term goals assign benchmark dates along the way.
CONGRATULATIONS! The work you've done this far is going to
give you a huge advantage in getting to where you want to
go. Are you tired from focusing and concentrating so hard?
Let's take a break now and continue later with Part II.
We've chosen goals and defined them. Now it is time to
break them down into more manageable steps. This is why
you need a page for each goal!
First, set a timer for ½ an hour. Either by yourself, or
with a helpful, supportive person, write down at least 20
ways to reach your top priority goal. Force yourself to
think past the obvious and you will eventually break
through with some very creative concepts! When the time is
up, stop. Choose the three best ways.
Now, make a list of all the things that are holding you
back. Lack of time, money, education, support, etc.
the major roadblock to your success. What can you do to
remove it? Use the 20 idea here again if
necessary. If you work on removing this one obstacle a
little bit each day, your goal will come into focus, and
you will reach it faster than you ever thought possible.
1. Is your target date more than a year away? Write down
general thoughts about what has to be accomplished each
year. Use your 3 best ways and major roadblock here.
Incorporate them into the plan.
2. Break the first year's work down into months.
down what should be done each month. What can you do to
get to your goal?
3. Make a list of steps that can be done in 15 minute
segments. Keep this list close at hand for times where you
can squeeze them in.
4. Do this at least once a year. Compare how much you
accomplished with your plan and make adjustments for the
next year. Realize that your goals will likely change over
the years. That's okay--new goals will come out
of the work you have done toward the old ones. Don't give
1. Start with this month. Look at the list of jobs you
made for this month on your annual plan. Sort the list
2. Now you have a list of mini-steps to be done each week
3. Transfer the mini steps to your calendar or planner.
Make sure it is in a place where you will see them every
4. Make a commitment to yourself to treat these steps as
the important events they are. Skipping them will only
delay the attainment of your goal!
All that work was the planning stage for one goal--your
most important one. It seems like a lot now, but you'll be
very happy that you made the investment when you see how
things fall into place because of it. Now if you want to
achieve more than one goal, it would be a good idea to
repeat the procedure for the others as well.
Scan over the goals you have set for future stages of your
life and make note of things you could do now to make it
easier then, such as setting up a savings plan for a
D) STAYING ON TRACK
1. Try to keep your life balanced and don't overload
yourself with goals! Leave at least 20% of your time
unscheduled. Don't forget your family, friends and health.
Hopefully, they are included in your plan.
2. At least once a year, go over your plan. Write out the
monthly details. Keep a measuring device for each
goal. If you are behind in any area, try to determine why,
and make adjustments.
3. Each month while you are copying the weekly lists to
your planner, spend a little time going over your
progress. Check your list of 20 ways and your main
roadblock. Is your goal becoming clearer?
4. Get a Goal Buddy to report to either by email or
telephone. Sharing your plans and progress will make you
work harder and accomplish more!
5. Keep the dream alive. Put up pictures of what you want.
Make a collage. Feed your subconscious with images of what
you want every day. Believe it will be yours. Think
Envision the final accomplishment in as much detail as
possible, think about it every day, do it every day.
yourself motivated. Remember this
+ PERSEVERANCE = ACHIEVEMENT
Laura Bissonette is the owner of A1
Priorities, "Helping Busy People Get Organized".
The company offers residential, small business and
personal organizing, including a wide variety of