Friday, January 23, 2009

Goal Setting For 2009

This Goal Setting lesson references a book that I have mentioned, Think & Grow Rich. The author, Napoleon Hill provides 6 specific steps that any person can follow to begin to achieve their goals.

Hill begins by addressing the topic of what most people set their goals towards - money. He says:

"Every indivdual who reaches the age of understanding the purpose of money, wishes for it. Wishing will not bring riches. But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence, which does not recognize failure, will bring riches."

Hill then offers the following 6-step process by which the desire for riches can be transmuted into its financial equivalent:

Step 1.

Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient merely to say, 'I want plenty of money.' Be definite as to the amount. (There is a psychological reason for definiteness which will be described in a subsequent chapter).

Hint: When you start to set your goals, do you think of the end results or do you dwell on the perceived difficulties in achieving your goals? This is very important. As Think & Grow Rich illustrates, we predominantly achieve in business [and life] that which we (consciously or subconsciously) set our minds to find. If you begin trying to reach your goals with the perceived challenges that you believe exist then you will have a tendency to be focused on those obstacles, not on the results. Focus on the specific result that you want to achieve and set the vision of having that goal - today - in your mind.

Step 2.

Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire (There is no such reality as 'something for nothing').

This is where your planning begins to take form. If you are doing this properly, you have chosen a goal beyond your current results - actually, to really do this you want to set your mind on something beyond what you ever have imagined capable of achieving [hint: this will get you thinking differently about your approach]. Since you cannot possibly know how these results will arrive in your life today - if you knew then it would not be a goal - you will need to use your imagination. You need to spend time forming the vision of what you will provide in exchange for what you want. This also requires an understanding of the true value of what you deliver to your clients. From there, your goals serve as a guide - a plan that is constantly altered - as you begin to move towards your objectives with your plans.

Step 3.

Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.

The significance of putting a date on reaching your goal is that it assists in establishing your belief that it will occur. For example, I asked one student the question about the amount of money she wanted - the answer was "$10 million." I said, 'OK, that should not be a problem so long as you can define the time period that you believe is necessary to achieve that figure' - the answer was '10 years' It turns out that this advisor only needs to increase her business by 27% per year for the next 10 years to reach this figure. And, in our work together, it is my job to increase this student's belief that it can happen much sooner. When you put a time period on your objective, you move into the 'action' phase of your visualization. You are saying to yourself that your figure [goal] is achievable according to what you currently believe your potential to be.

Step 4.

Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.

The key to this step is to recognize that your goal is achievable but not without taking action. We are defined not by what we think and/or say alone. Rather, we move towards our goals by taking action. It is in taking action that we move through our trial and error phase and adjust our plans. TAKE ACTION TODAY. In the absence of taking affirmative action towards your goals, you subconsciously allow your belief that they will not happen to overshadow your desire to reach those goals. Don't let this happen-Get started today.

Step 5.

Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire, name the time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.

This step aggregates all of the other steps so that you have written goals for what you want to achieve. There is a very high correlation between goals that are written down and those that are achieved. Take your first step forward by getting these goals in writing.

Step 6.

Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night and once after arising in the morning. AS YOU READ, SEE AND FEEL AND BELIEVE YOURSELF ALREADY IN POSSESSION OF THE MONEY.

Fortunately or unfortunately, we all have a tendency to learn through repetition. In the process of achieving what appears to be an unrealistic goal, we need to retrain our minds to develop the belief that we can achieve this goal. The process of repeating our objectives reinforces that new belief that our goal can be achieved and rivets our attention to the outcome (not the obstacles) that we are looking for. You create the vision and move confidently towards it. By repeating your goals over and over, you maintain focus on what you want and witness as it manifests in your life.

Specializing in Business Exit Strategies, John M. Leonetti, Esq., M.S. Finance, CM&AA founded Pinnacle Equity Solutions to provide exit strategy planning services to business owners as well as education and training programs for professional advisors. To learn more about John's Exit Strategy Services and his recently published book, "Exiting Your Business, Protecting Your Wealth", visit

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