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What have you achieved this week?

The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score. — Bill Copeland.

SME’s Chat with Phillip Chichoni

In his book entitled Goals, international best-selling author and motivational speaker Brian Tracy states that only 3% of people set goals.

The other 97% work for them. In which category do you fit?
For a lot of people, goal setting is difficult. It’s not that they don’t have the power, or desire, to set goals. It’s that they don’t know what they want from life.

They may know that they want to be successful, but they don’t know how they want to get there. When I was growing up I had no idea what I wanted to achieve in my life. I thought of certain ambitions, but they kept shifting all the time. I guess that is true for most people.

There are some people who seem really fortunate. They knew at a young age exactly what they wanted to do and spent their lives working to achieve it.

Bill Gates was interested in computers from a young age. He dropped from college in order to pursue his interest. After years of working on his dream, the firm he created, Microsoft, became one of the biggest and influential firms in the world.

Similarly, Tiger Woods became interested in golf and started learning to play it while still very young. At age eight he appeared on a television programme showing off his golfing skills. At 21, he became the youngest player ever to win the US Masters in 1997.

Not surprising, he is one of the most successful golfers and one of the most highly paid athletes in the world.

For the rest of us who were not so fortunate, we can still set and achieve great goals, if we commit ourselves. We can learn a lot about goal setting from Napoleon Hill, the author of Think and Grow Rich. Note that the title does not say work hard and grow rich, but it says think.

Napoleon Hill spent a quarter of a decade interviewing the 500 richest men of his generation in America, condensing all of that wisdom into this inspirational work. While I highly recommend that you read the book, the process of goal setting as expounded by Hill is distilled into the following points:

Determine exactly how much money you desire – don’t be vague.
Determine exactly what you intend to do in order to earn the money you desire. What value are you going to offer? Remember, there is no free lunch.

Establish an exact date for when you plan to possess the amount of money you desire.

Establish a definite plan for achieving your desire, and start right this moment, whether or not you feel you’re ready.

Write out a clear statement of how much money you are going to acquire (the amount from step 1), what you intend to do in exchange for the money (the value from step 2), the date you’ll acquire it by (the date from step 3), and your specific, actionable plan for reaching the desired monetary goal (the plan from step 4).

Twice daily, read your written statement outloud to yourself. Do it once in the morning, and once at night. While you read the statement, visualise yourself executing on your plan and visualise the money in your possession.

If you follow these steps, you will be able to set and achieve a big and powerful goal. The bigger the goal, the more likely it is that you will achieve it.

If your goal does not scare you, it is not big enough. Don’t be afraid of setting very big goals. See your goal as a big mountain and you are standing at the bottom of it. It’s easy to feel discouraged when you’re staring at a massive, seemingly insurmountable mountain.

You will not climb the mountain in one day; neither will you run in doing so. Instead you will take small steps at a time.

Proper goal setting will help you break huge, daunting aspirations into smaller, more achievable stepping stones. Make a plan towards these smaller goals.

This will make it easier to formulate action plans that you can start working on right away. If your overall goal stretches over several years, break it into yearly plans. Then the yearly plans can be broken into quarterly and monthly plans.

The monthly plans are then broken into weekly plans. At the end of each week, review your achievements against the plan for that week. Hitting smaller weekly milestones provides real motivation and joy to keep you going forward.

So, what are you going to achieve next week?

Phillip Chichoni is a business development consultant who works with SMEs and entrepreneurs. You may contact him by email, chichonip@smebusinesslink.com. You can also visit http://smebusinesslink.com.

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