As we start 2015, everyone is talking about New Year’s Resolutions and setting goals.  The fact of the matter is that most people don’t have a good system for setting goals that materialize into results.  When people ask me what my formula for success is, I explain to them that throughout my life I have followed these 11 vital steps that are wildly successful in accomplishing and realizing the life that you want.

  1. Set Goals: Most people have no idea what they want or where they are going in life.  I am sure you have heard the saying “if you don’t know where you’re going, you usually end up someone else.”  It seems like such a simple and obvious step, but apparently not to everyone.  Some people wander through life without much direction or desire, and then wonder why life just happens to them.  This is the first step toward taking control of your destiny.  Be clear in what you want
  2. Be Specific:  The more specific and detailed you can describe what you want, the better your chances will be for achieving it.  Here are a few examples.  The first one is if you want to buy a new house, be clear on every detail.  Do not just say, “I want to buy a house.”  Decide and visualize the following:  What square footage do you want?  How many bedrooms do you want?  How many bathrooms do you want?  Do you want the outside to be brick, siding, or something else?  What color do you want the outside of the house to be?  What City and State do you want your house to be located in? Consider another example.  If you want to buy a car, what make and model do you want?  Brand new?  Used?  Classic car?  What color is the exterior?  What color is the interior?  What options do you want the car to come with:  sunroof, convertible, leather, etc?  The most common example is the goal of losing weight.   Be specific on how much weight you want to lose rather than making the blanket statement “I want to lose weight.”
  3. Determine Timeframe:  That takes us to the next step of making sure you put a timeframe to each goal you want to achieve so you can track your progress and push yourself to stay on task.  Hold yourself accountable to meeting your goal with a sense of urgency.
  4. Measure Progress:  By being specific and setting a timeframe, you can then measure your progress.  You must know the benchmark of where you are today and the goal of where you want to be tomorrow, to know if you are succeeding.  Take the example we last spoke about:  losing weight.  If you are specific and say, “I want to lose 15 lbs. within the next 6 months,” then you can measure and track your progress toward your desired outcome much easier and usually within a faster timeframe.
  5. Make it Achievable:  It is vital that you are realistic with the goals you set.  It is human nature that when we see positive results, no matter how small they are, we get motivated to do more.  An example would be as simple as making a “To-Do List” or what some people call their “Daily Task List.”  As we mark off each item we accomplish we feel good, motivated to do more, and successful.  That trickle effect builds momentum and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.  However, it is very important that you do not set your goals so out of reach that you are setting yourself up for failure.  I like to tell people, “Shoot for the stars and you will fall somewhere in between.”  Set your goals high enough that it stretches you, but not so high that it is impossible to reach.  To achieve great things in life, we must strive to overachieve and not just meet the minimums.
  6. Know the WHY:  Define and know WHY you want to achieve a goal.  This is one area that I find most people do not define, which leads to a failure to meet their goals.  The BIGGER your reasons and convictions are for accomplishing a goal, the better chance you have to achieve it.  Studies show that it is human nature to gravitate towards what brings us pleasure and resist anything that gives us pain.  Just take a look at the show “The Biggest Loser.”  The winners on that show are at their last straw.  They win, or some people say succeed, because the pleasure of the outcome outweighs the pain of the process.  Many people however, set a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight.  They join a gym in January and start working out, but that soon fizzles because they associate more with the pain of the process than the pleasure of the outcome.  If you track the goals you’ve achieved, you will find that your priorities tend to fall where you feel the most conviction, and your WHY (reason) for accomplishing the goal is bigger.
  7. Put Goals in Writing:  I come across many people in life who tell me that they have goals that are clearly laid out in their head, but they do not believe in writing them down.  However, I will tell you based on my personal experience and the experiences of many others, successful results of people who write their goals down far outweigh those who do not.  When we write goals down and look at them frequently, our subconscious starts working with us in many ways.  You will be amazed how people will come into your life, and/or unexpected situations happen that help you achieve your desired results.
  8. Have a Plan: Unfortunately life happens so fast today that most of us try to “wing it,” because who has the time to plan?  Well, make some time.  Even if you can only find 15 minutes here and there, take the time.  People who plan can anticipate obstacles that might get in their way, and are more proactive than reactive in finding ways to still accomplish their goal(s).
  9. Positive Attitude matters: Take a look at some of the most successful people around you.  I guarantee you that those people most likely have a charismatic, positive attitude.  Every day we wake up, we get to choose what attitude we are going to attack life with.  People are attracted to those who have a positive attitude, and people want to work with people who are likeable and positive.  Do not underestimate the power of “Attitude.”
  10. Take Action!: A good idea without action is just a “wish.”  Don’t let fear prevent you from taking action.  I’m not saying that things will always go your way.  However, remember it’s the times when we feel the pain of situations that we grow the most in life.  Along those same lines, ideas with a well-thought-out plan usually leads to success.  I find that getting started is half the battle, and the people that will not implement step one usually will not implement step two. Anything is possible, you just have to take some action and put it in motion.
  11. Visualize the Outcome:  It is psychologically vital to visually see yourself already achieving your goal. Some of the most amazing athletes (especially Olympic athletes) in the world have said they achieved record-breaking results by visualizing their success before it happened.

So as you begin this new year, what are you going to accomplish?  Do you have clarity and a system in place that will ensure results?  Take action now, and realize extraordinary results in 2015.  This is your year!