Of all the strategies I’ve developed, goal setting is one of the top three I owe my success to. There are countless books and articles about the importance of goal setting; however, a study from Harvard determined that only 3 percent of adults have written goals and outlined plans for those goals. Goal setting makes a huge difference for this 3 percent who earn more money than the other 97 percent of the population!
Sitting down to write our goals on a pad of paper is how we become purpose-driven individuals. When you don’t know where you want to go, any road will do, and we’re easily led astray by distractions. Those who set goals know exactly what they want to achieve and how they’ll get there. Three percent of the population is working for themselves, while the other 97 percent works for that 3 percent. You’re either working for achieve your own goals, or you’re working to achieve someone else’s goals.
Over the last 15 years, the formula I’ve developed, the following seven steps, has helped me achieve my own goals. Obviously, this formula can be used in any area of your life, but let’s look at how it can help in the field of private money.
Step 1: Decide exactly what you want. Be specific.
Don’t stop at “I want more private money.” Determine exactly how much more private money you want. “I want $500,000 more in private money.”
Step 2: Write it down.
Use a pen and a fresh pad of paper to put your goal in writing. A goal that’s not written down is like cigarette smoke; it disappears. With a written goal, you can see it, touch it, read it, and even change your goal if you want to. “I will attract $500,000 in private money.”
Step 3: Pick a deadline for your goal.
Deadlines help our brains focus on achieving the goal because it becomes a race against the clock. You need to give yourself a reasonable amount of time to meet your goal. “I will attract $500,000 in private money in 90 days.” If you don’t achieve your goal before the deadline, that’s okay. Reevaluate and set a new deadline.
Step 4: Make a list of everything you can do to achieve your goal.
Identify obstacles you’ll need to overcome, what could go wrong, additional knowledge or skills you need, and people whose support you may need. Private lender luncheons can help attract more money. Your list should include individuals you’ll want to have attending that luncheon.
Step 5: Organize your lists based on chronological sequence and priority.
In addition to your overall deadline, determine deadlines for steps within your goal and put those steps in chronological order. On a separate list, organize each step in order of priority. What can you do first that will have the most impact and get you closer to your goal? Sometimes, your chronological list with line up with your priority list, but if they don’t, use the priority list to determine what’s most important and adjust your timeline accordingly.
Step 6: Take action immediately.
What’s the difference between the winners and the losers? Winners take the first step. Don’t wait to work toward your goal.
Step 7: Do something every day that moves you in the direction of your goal.
It’s doesn’t matter if it’s big or small; just spend time every day doing something to move closer toward your goal. If my goal is to attract more private money, I would give a copy of my 16-minute CD, “Stress Free Investing” to someone new every day. In 365 days, I’ll have 365 seeds that can sprout.
In addition to following this formula, find an accountability partner, preferably someone who is not your significant other and has goals of their own. Agree on a time to call or text each other once a day, Monday through Friday, to discuss what you plan to do that day to achieve your goal. You’re more likely to stick to your own goals when someone holds you accountable for them.
As a bonus, I recommend a fun game called “mind storming.” On a clean sheet of paper, write down your goal in the form of the question. “How will I attract $500,000 in private money in 90 days?” Come up with 20 answers to the question. The first three to five answers will be easy, the next five will be more challenging, and the last 10 will be the hardest, but I promise you can do it. Once you’ve generated at least 20 answers, look over the list and pick the best answer to take action on immediately. I’ve tried mind storming many times, and it has put a lot of money in my pocket.
Goal setting doesn’t guarantee you’ll achieve your goals, but when you discipline yourself to set clear goals and work toward them, your chances of success can only increase.