Your bags are packed and you’re ready to go, your first overseas trip. From the Midwest town of Chicago to the rolling hills of Rome Italy, you’re going to see it all. You throw your bags into a cab and your off to the airport.

A little while into the trip you you encounter some huge public works program that had blocked all of the traditional routes to the airport. You ask the driver to check the map because you’ve reached an intersection you’re not familiar with. You panic for a moment because you realize he does not have a map.

But you say the heck with it because you know where you’re going. You take a right, change the radio station and keep on going. Unfortunately, you never reach the airport prior to your plane leaving!

Too many of us treat goal setting the same way. We dream about where we want to go, but we don’t have a map to get there. Or fail to plan for obstacles that we may encounter along the way.

What is a map? In essence, the written word.

What is the difference between a dream and a goal? Once again, the written word.

Goal setting however is more than simply scribbling down some ideas on a piece of paper. Our goals need to be complete and focused, much like a road map, and that is the purpose behind the rest of this article.

If you follow the 7 goal setting steps I’ve outlined in this article you will be well on your way to becoming an expert in building the road maps to your goals.

1. Make sure the goal you are working for is something you really want, not just something that sounds good.

When setting goals it is very important to remember that your goals must be consistent with your values. My 15 year old son has a goal to be a Ninga. He is unsure how that will help him in life, but he LOVES the sound of it.

2. A goal can not contradict any of your other goals.

Non-integrated thinking can also hamper your everyday thoughts as well. We should continually strive to eliminate contradictory ideas from our thinking.

3. Develop goals for balance in life:

Setting goals in all areas of life will ensure a more balanced life as you begin to examine and change the fundamentals of everyday living. Setting goals in each area of life also helps in eliminating the non-integrated thinking.

4. Write your goal in the positive instead of the negative.

Work for what you want, not for what you want to leave behind. Part of the reason why we write down and examine our goals is to create a set of instructions for our subconscious mind to carry out. Your subconscious mind is a very efficient tool, it can not determine right from wrong and it does not judge. It’s only function is to carry out its instructions. The more positive instructions you give it, the more positive results you will get.

Thinking positively in everyday life will also help in your growth as a human being. Don’t limit it to goal setting.

5. Write your goal out in complete detail.

Instead of writing something generically like: “A new home,” try to be more specific, something that you can visualize, such as: “A 4,000 square foot contemporary with 4 bedrooms and 3 baths and a view of the ocean.

Once again we are giving the subconscious mind a detailed set of instructions to work on. The more information you give it, the more clear the final outcome becomes. The more precise the outcome, the more efficient the subconscious mind can become.

Can you close your eyes and visualize the home I described above? Walk around the house. Stand on the porch off the master bedroom and see the fog lifting off the ocean. Look down at the garden full of flowers and other flora. And off to the right is the other garden full of a mums, carnations and roses. Can you see it? So can your subconscious mind.

6. By all means, make sure your goal is high enough.

Shoot for the moon, if you miss you’ll still be in the stars. Shoot for the moon!

7. Most importantly, write down your goals.

Writing down your goals creates the road-map to your success. Although just the act of writing them down can set the process in motion, it is also extremely important to review your goals frequently. Remember, the more focused you are on your goals the more likely you are to accomplish them.

Sometimes we realize we have to revise a goal as circumstances and other goals change, such as falling in love and starting a family. If you need to change a goal do not consider it a failure, consider it a victory as you had the insight to realize something was different.

So your goals are written down. Now what?

First of all, unless someone is critical to helping you achieve your goal(s), do not freely share your goals with others. The negative attitude from friends, family and neighbors can drag you down quickly. It’s very important that your self-talk (the thoughts in your head) are positive.

Reviewing your goals daily is a crucial part of your success and must become part of your routine. Each morning when you wake up read your list of goals that are written in the positive. Visualize the completed goal, see the new home, smell the leather seats in your new car, feel the cold hard cash in your hands. Then each night, right before you go to bed, repeat the process. This process will start both your subconscious and conscious mind on working towards the goal. This will also begin to replace any of the negative self-talk you may have and replace it with positive self-talk.

Every time you make a decision during the day, ask yourself this question, “Does it take me closer to, or further from my goal.” If the answer is “closer to,” then you’ve made the right decision. If the answer is “further from,” well, you know what to do.

If you follow this process everyday you will be on your way to achieving unlimited success in every aspect of your life.

The difference between a goal
and a dream is the written word.
-Gene Donohue

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Bryant Nielson is heavily involved in the Corporate Training and Leadership and Talent space. He currently is the Managing Director for CapitalWave Inc and the training division, Financial Training Solutions. He brings a diverse corporate experience of organizational development, learning and talent development, and corporate training, that also includes personal coaching of top sales individuals and companies of all sizes.

For the prior 4 years, Bryant was the Managing Director and Leadership and Talent Manager for Lengthen Your Stride! LLC. In this position, Nielson was the developer of all of the courses for MortgageMae University (MMU), the Realtor Development Center (RDC), and of Lengthen Your Stride! (LYS). In that position, he developed material, refined over many years of use and active training, and condensed the coursework and training to be high impact, natural learning, and comprehensive.

Bryant has over 27 years of Senior Management experience encompasses running his own Training and mortgage firm, in New York City.

He strongly believes that the corporate training is not to be static but should ‘engage and inspire’ students to greater productivity and performance.

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