Goal Setting

by Tom Tousignant

in Blog, Financial Safety, Wealth Building

Setting Goals and tracking them over time is a key way to achieve success.   One of the best articles on goal setting actually comes from a weight loss/fitness book by Tom Venuto, The Body Fat Solution: Five Principles for Burning Fat, Building Lean Muscle, Ending Emotional Eating,and Maintaining Your Perfect Weight.  (Read the first chapter for free here).

I’ve written before about the importance of setting SMART goals, and Tom takes that a step further in his excellent book.  (Haven’t started the workouts yet – so I’ll let you know if it’s a good fitness book or not).

Here are  some key points on Goal Setting:

Goal Setting Works

  1. Make them Specific and Measurable.  When you set a goal, your unconscious mind goes to work to find solutions for what you asked for.  Specific goals are critical to allow your goal setting machine to get to work.  In one of the all time great books on Personal Development, “The New Psycho-Cybernetics”, Dr Maxwell Maltz said this:“…your brain and nervous system constitute a goal-striving mechanism which operates automatically to achieve your goal, very much as a self-aiming torpedo or missile seeks out its target and steers its way to it”.
  2. Make your Goals achievable, but not simple.  Make sure you won’t achieve your goal just by waking up in the morning, but make sure they are big enough that they scare you a little bit, as in “How am I going to get that done?”  This unknown forces your sub-conscious mind into action to find solutions for you.
  3. Put a deadline on your goals.  A deadline forces your subconscious into action.  If you were like me, you did your best term paper writing at midnight the night before it was due.  Deadlines lead to results.
  4. Discover your Why.  Simon Sinek did one of my favorite TED talks about the importance of clarifying why a goal is important to you.  Once you are clear on the “Why”, the How becomes easy.
  5. Write them Down.  Something about writing down goals makes them happen – maybe because the effort to write down goals convinces our self conscious that we are serious.  When you write down your goals, you are moving from hopes and dreams to reality.
  6. Repeat.  Review your goals on a regular basis – preferable 1-2 times a day.  Most Goal Achieving Guru’s will say upon first waking up and before going to bed.  I tend to agree with that, but even if you don’t review your goals twice a day in fixed intervals, figure out some way to remind yourself on a regular basis what you set out to accomplish.  This is similar to writing your goals down.  When you repeat your goals, you once again tell your “Goal Striving Mechanism” that you are serious and this goal is to be accomplished.

You can set goals for any area of your life.  In the context of “Start with the House”, goal setting is critical to allow you to accomplish what you want to get done in your home and with your finances.  As Tom Venuto points out in his book, goal setting is critical to reach fitness and fat loss goals.

At the start of a new year, it’s a great time to grab a few minutes by yourself and write down what you want to accomplish this year.  Review the list regularly, and by the end of the year, you will be surprised at how much you accomplished – try it out!


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