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As we head into the last quarter of the year, businesses, organizations and governments are starting to think about their plans for 2002. Although it may seem a bit early to start thinking about next year, highly successful individuals have also started this planning process. In the coming weeks, I request that you begin to think about what 2002 might look like in order to be your best year ever. Upcoming articles between now and the end of the year will provide guidelines to support you in this process.

One of the common characteristics of highly successful people is that they are intensely goal-oriented. Successful people know where it is that they want to go in life, and they have a clear plan to get there.  Their “roadmap to success” is the list of goals that they have written down.

Goal setting is certainly not a new concept. We have all heard about the importance of having goals. For example, we know that Olympic and professional athletes have goals, and constantly strive to achieve them. Amazingly though, less than 3% of the population has a written set of goals. Furthermore, less than 1% reviews their goals on a regular basis.

Here are several reasons to have written goals for your life:

1. Written goals increase your odds of success. An architect would not think of proposing a building project without a blueprint. A commercial pilot always has a flight plan. Few movie producers would begin filming without a script. Why? Because the blueprint, the flight plan and the script are all “roadmaps” that help people to achieve the results that they want to create. Without these plans, the process would be far less efficient, and probably unsuccessful. The 
same holds true for written goals, as they relate to your success.

2. Written goals increase your motivation to achieve them. By knowing your specific outcome, you will be able to measure progress toward the achievement of your goals. As you notice your
forward progress, you will be inspired to continue the actions that have caused this progress. The process will continue to motivate you as you take more action, then notice the positive results from doing so.

3. Written goals build self-confidence. As you take action that causes you to move toward your outcome, you will become more confident in your ability to do so. Your confidence will continue to build as this occurs.

4. Written goals provide clarity of purpose. With written goals, and an action plan to support those goals, you will know precisely what you need to do to achieve your desired results. This crystal-clear picture will help you to be more efficient, thereby avoiding the waste of time, money, and effort.

5. Written goals move you steadily toward your goal. Creating written goals often seems like holding a magnet underneath a sheet of paper filled with iron filings. Like the magnet, your written plan will pull you toward the accomplishment of your goals. This often seems effortless, as if the only action necessary was to write down the goal.

Goal setting is a very powerful technique that can help you to create significant results in every area of your life. Begin today to write down goals for your life!

In the next newsletter, this Goal Series will continue with “Why People Don’t Set Goals.”

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