The following Brian Tracy goal setting exercise originally appeared in a book he wrote in 2001. Tracy is one of the most famous speakers and authors on the topic of goal setting and personal success. He has authored over 21 books on various aspects of personal effectiveness and sales performance. In 2001, he wrote a book titled “Eat That Frog”, which is a book on how to handle procrastination. In that book, he wrote a very simple goal setting process that I have been using with great success for several years. I’ve modified the Brian Tracy Goal Setting Exercise for my own use by adding extra clarifications that make his exercise much more powerful.
This exercise can be used in any area of your life: business success, personal success, family success, network marketing success, sports success.
The Brian Tracy Goal Setting Exercise
1. Grab a clean sheet of paper. On that paper, write out a list of 10 goals you want to achieve one year from today. Write them down as if 12 months have passed and they are your current reality. Be very specific in your list of ten. Instead of writing “I have more money in my bank account”, write something specific such as “I have a $10,000 positive balance in my checking account after all my bills have been paid.” Instead of writing “I am spending more time with my family”, write something specific such as “I am spending one hour a day of quality interaction time with each of my two children, and taking a romantic night out with my spouse every Friday night.”
2. Second, go over that list of ten goals and select the single top goal that, if you achieved it, would have the greatest positive impact in your life. By choosing one, it doesn’t mean you can’t achieve the others. It just means that your single chosen goal will be the highest priority because it would have the greatest positive impact on your life. Note: I have always found this to be the most challenging part of the exercise.
3. Take out another clean sheet of paper. Write your chosen goal at the top of this piece of paper. Then, write out a couple of paragraphs of why you chose that particular goal. What would it mean to you when you achieve that goal in 12 months? How will your life be positively influenced? By achieving that goal, what will it allow you to do in your life? (This is one step I added to the Brian Tracy Goal Setting Exercise based on readings I had done on Zig Ziglar’s goal setting methods.)
4. Sketch out a rough plan for achieving your chosen goal. Perhaps you don’t know all the steps necessary to achieve what you seek. Despite that lack of knowledge, you can still sketch out a rough plan. First, set your challenge date (or goal deadline) for 12 months in the future. Then, work backwards in two month increments. Figure out where you would need to be at 10 months, at 8 months, at 6 months, at 4 months and 2 months. If your goal is to have $10,000 in the bank after bills, an easy plan would be to divide $10,000 by 12 ($833) and make monthly projections based on that number. However, maybe your plan is that you would have only $500 in two months and then, due to exponential factors in your investments or the growth of your business, you would see $8,000 by the tenth month. Remember, this rough plan is simply a projection with which to start.
5. Finally, commit to doing one activity every day that takes you closer to your two-month milestones. Even if the action is “read 30 pages in a book on finances”, “call 10 prospects every day”, “write and promote one piece of content everyday” or “plan a date night for my spouse for next weekend.” Just make sure you’re consistent and do something every day.
Does the Brian Tracy Goal Setting Exercise Work?
The most obvious question after all those steps is “does it work?” The answer is, “it depends.” It depends on how committed you are to making it work. On the surface, this seems like a really easy process, but in reality, when you’re sitting there staring a blank sheet of paper, it’s much harder.
Probably the biggest area where I see people fail in this exercise is in committing to do one activity every day that takes you closer to your goal. My specialty is working with network marketers and internet marketers, and too many people believe they can work in heavily in spurts for a few days and then take a week or two off and expect amazingly successful results. In truth, the people who work consistently doing one activity or a series of easy activities every day are the people who experience the greatest success.
So in five easy steps, this Brian Tracy goal setting exercise can completely change the next 12 months of your life … if you’re willing to commit to it. I’ve used this process every year for the past several years, and can testify that it works if you do the work.
So, grab a clean sheet of paper and get started on this Brian Tracy goal setting exercise today!
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