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5 Goal Setting Secrets to Jumpstart Your Life

"Plan for the future, because that is where you are going to spend the rest of your life." 'Mark Twain

Another year is upon us and you have your list of resolutions or goals you want to accomplish in the upcoming year. It's time to plan your goals so that it's not just another conversation this year, but a focused plan for success. I will share with you five goal setting techniques guaranteed to help you achieve more out of life. Use the goal setting techniques listed below to help you achieve your targets:

1. Be SMARTER with your Goals.

Make your goals: Specific, Motivational, Action-oriented, Relevant to your situation, Time-bound, Encouraging, Rewarding

For example, 'I will increase my sales by 15% compared to last year.' Be as specific about your goal as possible. 'I will start my own catering business' is a lot stronger than 'I want to go into business for myself.' Challenging goals are motivating. Set goals that will push beyond what you usually think you can accomplish. Remember to set a deadline. A goal without a deadline is simply a dream. Attach a realistic yet challenging deadline for accomplishment and post this where you can review it regularly.

2. Visualize your goals. Take 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes just before you go to bed; find a quiet place; close your eyes and relax, and visualize yourself actually achieving your goals. Remember the more senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, etc.) you can involve, the more real your visualization becomes. I ask during my seminars, 'Have you ever had a dream that seemed so real that you woke up in the middle of it?' Well the reason for that is the subconscious mind is at work involving all of those senses to trick you into believing the dream is real. Well, you don't have to wait; work at visualizing your goals today.

3. Phrase your goal in the present tense and assume success. Don't say, 'I want to.' Say, 'I will.' This subtle technique tells your subconscious that you have already achieved your goal, which means it will work at helping the goal become a reality. It will attract the people, places, and situations you need to achieve that goal.

4. Put your goals in writing. This simple act helps you clarify your goals and will allow you to visualize them more effectively. I recommend that you record each goal on a separate index card and review them twice a day 'once in the morning (when you first wake up) and again before you go to bed. Post index cards where you spend the most time; on the bathroom mirror, on the frig., on your nightstand, etc. This process reinforces your goals, acts as a reminder, and drives your goals deep into your subconscious. In fact, this is one of the most powerful strategies you can use to achieve your targets.

5. List the benefits you intend to receive by achieving each goal. This will keep you focused and strong, particularly when you face the inevitable roadblocks and barriers. In June, when I chose to lose 20 pounds, I listed 12 benefits, and when I had the urge to put butter on my veggies or help myself to a second serving of food, I would review this list to help me get past that craving. I lost the 22 pounds and two inches around my waistline to date. I think I will go for another 10 pounds. This was not a diet, just a lifestyle change. The more benefits you can list for your goals, the more motivating those goals will become.

So my challenge to you to is to take the time to plan your goals. Start with one goal and visualize it, write it down, and act on it. As I always say, 'If you don't invest the time to set goals then someone else will do it for you. And I guarantee you won't like their goals.' Invest the time, start today!


Ed Sykes is a professional speaker, author, and success coach in the areas of leadership, motivation, stress management, customer service, and team building. You can e-mail him at, or call him at (757) 427-7032. Go to his web site,, and signup for the newsletter, OnPoint, and receive the free book, "Empowerment and Stress Secrets for the Busy Professional."

Copyright Ed Sykes -

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