Many of my clients and even my friends and associates shy away from setting long-term goals. Perhaps it seems too daunting. Long-term sounds like it could take a long time and nobody has a long time. (Relax. You can do it in no time.) But, I think most people are afraid to set long-term goals because they just do not want to choose. They have a fairy-tale-like belief that if they set a goal they narrow down their options. Not true! In fact, just the opposite happens. Almost always, once you set your goals, options run to you! It works for others and it will work for you. Try it.
There are many benefits to setting long-term goals. First and foremost, it makes almost every decision you make far easier. If you have to make a choice, just think about which option brings you closer to your goals. Second, having goals helps you stay motivated. When you wonder why you are doing what you are doing, remember the goal and the day-to-day seems more worth the price you pay. Third, having goals for the future make it much easier to set your short-term goals. And finally, fourth, a long-term goal is a dream and well, everyone needs a dream or two.
Setting long-term goals for your business starts with daydreaming. What could be easier? Or more fun?
Just take a few minutes alone and imagine your life in 10 years. Pretend you have achieved all your goals and dreams and are living a life that you absolutely love. In fact, you can hardly believe how great your life is. Now, zone in on the status of your business.
What happens during a typical work day in this life?
What are you doing?
Who do you work with?
How much money do you make doing it?
How much work are you doing?
What does your work environment look like?
What sounds do you hear?
What is for breakfast?
What are you wearing?
How do you spend your time?
What makes you smile?
What kind of house do you live in?
Where do you do your work?
What do you drive?
Who are your clients and business associates?
What makes you break out in a happy dance?
Pretend you are being interviewed for a newspaper. Tell the reporter what your business does and how you have grown it.
Describe the items on your to-do list for this day or this week.
Imagine greeting old friends and describing your happiness and success to them.
How cool is that? There are your goals. Now, just write them down. Itís truly that simple. And, it does not matter if your goal is to quit your job and raise children in ten years or to build an empire of wealth while saving the whales. What you want is what you want and if it truly brings you joy, claim that joy.
Write your long-term goal like this: ďIn ten years, I am _______________,Ē and fill in the blank with your story as you dreamed it. Be as specific as possible, using numbers for revenues generated, items sold, people working for you, number of clients, or whatever benchmarks are appropriate in your field.
Revisit your goal statement in about a week to see if it is still valid. Run the numbers to see if you feel comfortable yet challenged by trying to achieve them. When you are a little bit scared and a whole lot excited, thatís the goal that you want to set.
Want to learn more about setting and achieving goals? Brian Tracy shares some amazing facts and down-to-earth how-toís in this easy and motivating book:
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