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How To Set Goals That Get Done

When it comes to succeeding online, be that as an affiliate marketer, coach or product owner, the gold really is in your goals.

But today so many have strayed from the ideas and concepts that have worked for decades.

Why throw away all that wisdom?

Today I’d like to share my Six Step System for achieving any goal you want in life. It’s not new. It’s not “revolutionary”. It is decidedly low tech.

  • It’s not new.
  • It’s not “revolutionary”.
  • It is decidedly low-tech.

AND IT WORKS!

This is the system I use every day. The same system that took me from being a member of the Directory of Ezines to owning the company in less than 18 months.

The same system that has allowed me to create over 30 products online, each one successful and profitable.

Before I begin, I want to fully acknowledge that I learned this system from Zig Ziglar.

His goal setting program is simply the best, used by people such as Seth Godin, Lou Holtz and many more, including leaders in business and government.

And now, the Six Step System I use every day.

Step 1 – Goal Details And Date

This is simplicity itself. Simply write down the details of the goal you want to achieve.

You want to be very specific in this step. If you have a financial goal, write down the specific amount and date you want the money.

If you have a weight loss goal, write down the specific amount of weight you want to lose and the date by which you want to lose it.

In this step, as all others, you need to dream big but be realistic.

Here is an example of what I mean by “dream big but be realistic”.

A consulting client told me once that his goal was to earn $100,000 in the next 60 days. Now I know from experience that this is an achievable goal for some people.

In fact, some people do that number in a week. Others, and this is a very exclusive club, do that in a day.

But here was the problem with his goal.

He had never earned a dollar online. Zero dollars. Oh, he had spent plenty, and been promised the moon many times. But he had never tasted success at all.

In addition, he had never driven any traffic to any site to the best of his knowledge. I say “to the best of his knowledge” because he had never used an ad tracker before.

To be clear, he knew he should be using an ad tracker. But it was “too much trouble” to use one, so he never did.

Lastly, this client could not post to a blog or put a page online. This creates a major challenge for most people, as it did for him.

Rather than hire someone to do it for him, which he could afford, he beat his head against the wall trying one service after another, never really satisfied with the result.

So, let’s recap.

  • Never made a dollar online.
  • Never drove traffic to any site.
  • Could not publish a blog post or put up a page.
  • Wanted to earn $100,000 in the next 60 days.

My advise, which was NOT well received, was to modify his goal. His response to my suggestion was … unkind.

I hope this little story clearly illustrates what I mean by balancing your dream with reality.

Had he been willing to take my suggestion, I believe he would have a successful online business today. One that brings in six figures a year (not a month, at least not at first) and would be building strong today.

Step 2 – The Benefits Of Reaching This Goal

This is a critical step, not to be skipped.

One major key to reaching your goals is to have a burning desire for the outcome of reaching that goal.

Take weight loss for example. Here are some possible motivations for losing weight.

  • Get ready for swimsuit season.
  • Fit into their summer clothes once the season changes.
  • Look better for that upcoming family reunion.
  • Fit into your dream wedding dress.
  • Get a better job.
  • Your doctor tells you to lose weight or face open heart surgery.

Which would you say will create a burning desire?

If you guessed heart surgery, you are right.

While getting a better job (or rocking the beach and turning heads) is fine nothing quite motivates like your doctor telling you that your life is on the line.

So answer this simple question … what’s in it for you in reaching this goal?

The answer to that question will help you separate true goals from mere wishes.

Once again, be very specific here.

No one but you will ever see this piece of paper, so be brutally honest about what you want, and why.

Step 3 – Obstacles To Reaching Your Goal

If you know me you know that I am never negative on purpose. I learned long ago that mindset matters and that we are all responsible for our outlook.

That’s not to say I don’t get down (I do) but that I fight back when it happens and “set my mind and keep it set” every day.

But in this step, realistic obstacles need to be considered.

You don’t need to dwell here but you do need to be thorough. To consider what could go wrong or slow your progress.

One word of encouragement in this step – once you identify your obstacles, you can begin attacking them and get them out of your way.

In goal setting, and goal reaching, you will find that removing obstacles is often a key step in your journey toward the success you want.

Here again, be specific.

And be honest too. If you are the obstacle, it needs to be acknowledged.

Don’t beat yourself up about it, but do acknowledge if you have a weak spot that might stand in your way.

HINT: Identifying your own weak spots can be very helpful when it comes to choosing what to outsource.

Step 4 – Skills Or Knowledge Required To Reach Your Goal

This is a critical step, and one that need your thorough attention.

It is vital to be realistic here on two levels.

  1. What skills do you NOT possess that are needed to reach this goal.
  2. What is your plan to obtain or hirethose skills?

Once again, this step is wonderful for outsourcing ideas.

Going back to my consulting client story for a moment – my client failed in part because he did not use an ad tracker.

He knew the value of an ad tracker but was unwilling to take the time to use one. I offered alternatives, and he shot each one down.

One of those alternatives included hiring someone (for about $20) to create all the tracking links he needed. Again, he said no.

Not because of the $20 but because he was so convinced by some “instant riches” online guru that he didn’t need any of that.

He just needed “massive traffic”, all going (you guessed it) to the offer the online guru was making.

Had my client slowed down enough to see the value in tracking (which is huge) he could have solved the problem for $20.

In Step 4, make a realistic assessment of what you can do, what you can’t do, and how you will fill in the gaps.

Step 5 – Who Will Help You Reach This Goal?

Far too many of us go it alone. I am so guilty of this, which has made me both strong and weak.

Strong because I can do a lot of things. I’ve had to learn the hard way.

Weak because I have a very hard time letting go of any task. And I can see, in retrospect, that my business would be much stronger had I let go of more.

Joyce Meyer is right when she says “we live life forward but understand life looking back.”

Make a list of the people you need to help you in this goal.

Here is a short list from my own goal sheets to help guide you.

  • My wife for emotional support.
  • The tech support at a company to learn their software better.
  • My web guy to build pages for me.
  • My support staff to help our customers use what we sell.

Take a few minutes and list who you need, if anyone, for this specific goal. Then be prepared to call on them well in advance of when you actually need them.

Step 6 – Specific Actions Needed To Achieve Your Goal

Now for the “nitty gritty” part. This, to me, is the most fun part of all.

Make a list of each action step needed to achieve your goal.

There are two basic ways to do this. I’ll give you both and then my recommendation.

Method 1 – Big Picture

Write down all the major events that need to happen for your goal to become a reality.

Let’s stick with weight loss for now.

To lose weight it will take diet, exercise and discipline.

But what type of dietary changes will work for you. And what type of exercise?

If you are using the “major events” approach you would write down things like “choose diet program” or “choose exercise program” as single items.

This produces a shorter list, one made up of bigger steps that may have several moving parts of their own.

Method 2 – GTD

This is what I call the “Getting Things Done” approach, and the one I use.

In the book Getting Things Done David Allen talks about writing down any task that will take MORE than 2 minutes to accomplish.

If you use this approach you will have a much longer list of things to do, but they will all be accomplishable faster and give you better control of the process.

Another advantage to this method is that you sell all the tasks necessary to accomplish your goal before you even begin.

Back to the weight loss analogy – if you use the GTD approach, and list every task that will take over 2 minutes, you will list things like “search Google for best weight loss plans” or “learn about Crossfit”.

I use this approach personally (I have tried both) and much prefer it. One benefit of this approach is that it is easy to identify tasks that can be delegated.

Expect to have a longer list if you use Method 2. My own list for creating a new site will often be 150 tasks long, or even longer.

But they are easily accomplishable, can be easily delegated and are much easier to track.

Conclusion

There you have it – the Six Step System I use for all my goals, personal, family, business, spiritual and more.

The great thing about this process is all you need is a pen and paper to get going.

No software or expense needed, which is a good thing.

Another good thing is this – once you learn this process you will have learned a process by which you can accomplish any goal you want, no matter how large or small.

I hope you find this helpful. And I hope you do set written goals, or have already done so.

It has long been said that people with written goals accomplish more, have more peace of mind, and feel like they can do anything they put their mind to.

And those are beautiful feelings indeed!

Charlie Page
 

Happily married for 43 years, Charlie is the dad to two wonderful daughters. He is the author of 12 books on Internet marketing and creator of over 15 membership sites. You can see all Charlie offers using this link Click Here

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Mark M - February 12, 2017

Hi Charlie, thanks for the great blog post. As I read this article I was doing it in “Evernote” and you know all about my struggle.
You also know how I’m going and who is helping me.
I like reading Gordon’s post but I never can use that many words.

Thank you again!

Mark M

Reply
Gordon Appleby - January 4, 2017

Hi Charlie,

I love your emphasis on being realistic.

Being realistic is not being negative…it’s being realistic, right? Being negative is expecting to fail. Being realistic is expecting to succeed, and identifying the obstacles, requirements and shortcomings that you will face along the way. The only reason you list the shortcomings, etc. is to prepare for them, not to wallow in them. The runner in a hurdles race doesn’t complain about the obstacles. They’re part of the race. He locates them and prepares for them. He knows it’s not enough to run fast. He also has to know how to clear the hurdles.

Just imagine how much harder it would be for him if he had to run the race blindfolded, not knowing if, where, how many or how high the hurdles were. But that’s exactly what we do when we skip steps 3 and 4 above. (I guess skipping step 5 would be like trying to run a relay race by yourself rather than passing the baton to your teammate, right? .)

Another common “death knell” mistake I think your client made was only having results goals, without process and project goals to get him there. Your steps 3-6 give him the data he needs to do that, but unfortunately, he didn’t see the need.

Results goals by themselves almost never work (especially if they are “pluck from air” numbers with no real meaning behind them). We cannot totally control results, especially during the startup phase. But we have total control over process and project goals. We either do them or we don’t. (A process is ongoing things that we need to do to get the end result – say 2 posts or 3 emails per week to generate leads or list build. A project is not ongoing. It has an end date – ex. a create lead magnet this week or procure and implement software I need, in week #2). The idea is to lay out the processes and projects that, if accomplished, will virtually guarantee you will achieve your desired result, and then hold yourself accountable for those, complete with deadlines.

Resolutions and goals have gotten a bad rap, but they are incredibly powerful when done right. Thanks so much for a great lesson in how to do them right.

Gordon
The Entrepreneur

Reply
    Charlie Page - January 5, 2017

    Gordon,

    Thank you for your insights. I agree with you but not about projects not being ongoing. I suppose we could discuss the definition of “project” but, to me, some goals and project ARE ongoing.

    One of my goals is to be the best dad I can be. That is a neverending process. Same with being the best husband I can be.

    Although these are character-based, making them goals ensures action and brings balance to the wheel of life for me.

    Great comments as always.

    Charlie

    Reply

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