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Now let’s choose some goals that are truly worthy of you. Then let’s get going with these two techniques I’ll teach in today’s blogpost.

Everyone who succeeds greatly works from clear, written, specific detailed goals and plans, reviewed regularly, sometimes every day.

– Brian Tracy

The Touchstone method

Step 1: Take any goal you want, the bigger the better. Write down that goal in your journal.

Step 2: Subject it to the “SWSWSW…Next!” process: keep asking why you want this goal and write down your answers; keep asking and writing until you reach the touchstone goal. This goal becomes your first target: a modest goal that brings you closer to your grand goal and at the same time is a nice win by itself.

Step 3: On a fresh page, write down the touchstone goal and underline it. Then list down every way you can think of that could possibly bring you that touchstone.

Step 4: Rank each way you come up with in terms of what’s most doable right now. You can even build a table and beside each action, you list down in bullet points:

  • what’s useful about this action?
  • any challenges to achieve this?
  • what this action tells me about myself?
  • am I willing to do this action now? and
  • any other notes and suggestions

Then you take things from there. Sooner or later, you will come up with a list of sub-goals that you can take action on right now; by consistently taking action on, and achieving these sub-goals, you start shaping that seemingly grand or impossible goal into an eminently possible one.

The Bite-sizing method

This is the method for you if at first your goal is so broad, you don’t know where to start. Recall the ‘LifeScripting’ techniques I wrote about here and here. Following these techniques, you get to describe and write down your perfect day.

Well, what if that’s your grand goal — to one day live that perfect day in every single detail or be in a position to always live perfect days like that every day? That’s all right. You break down your perfect day into small chunks. No doubt you’ve heard that the only way to eat an entire elephant is one bite at a time.

Step 1: Go through the description that you wrote of your ideal day.

Step 2: Among the elements of that ideal day, which ones are indispensable, the highest-priority items that are absent from your life at this moment? Write those elements down. These become your first targets.

Step 3: Among these elements you listed, which one can you get in the cheapest, easiest and fastest way possible? This becomes square one, your starting point. This is the first chunk of the elephant that you’ll eat.

The objective is to start you on your grand goal without delay. If you take this first step, if you take that first bite, you’ll be led toward the next element of your grand goal, that perfect day or ideal life vision, and the next and the next.

Soon, you’ll gain momentum and draw toward you the people, resources and things you need to help move you further along the path to your grand goal.

Try it yourself!

Successful people credit writing down their goals as the single most important thing they did to be able to achieve those goals. Brian Tracy in his book Goals! even goes so far as saying that a goal that is not written is not a goal at all. “Everyone who succeeds greatly works from clear, written, specific detailed goals and plans, reviewed regularly, sometimes every day,” Tracy explains.

As I wrote in an earlier blogpost, I strongly recommend that you write your goals every day, if possible for a hundred days or even longer until you achieve them. This act embeds your goals into your subconscious mind, and unknown to you, also impresses them upon the Superconscious Mind. Once this happens, your goals will take on a life of their own and become supercharged.

Step 1: Compose your own list of goals. You can do this anywhere, anytime. But preferably choose a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Use the 5 criteria listed here for each goal.

Step 2: Write fast. Do not linger over the page. If you find yourself dismissing a goal as too grand or impractical, write it down anyway and underline or put an asterisk next to it. That may be a goal worth committing to.

Step 3: Time-stamp each goal. Set a deadline for the achievement of each goal and write down that goal in the present tense as if it has already been achieved, and inject verbs or active descriptors of what you’re feeling, like this:

“It is the (state specific date or cycle). I feel (state verb or descriptor of what you’re feeling) as I now am/have (state the specific goal — the experience or thing — you’ve set).”

A deadline is a “guesstimate” of when you think that goal will be achieved. It’s like trying to shoot an arrow at the bull’s eye. Sometimes you might hit it and sometimes you might go wide. You might find that you achieve several of your goals before your deadline, and some, after it. That’s ok.

The deadline is not meant to chain you to anything; no date or, for that matter, no goal is written in stone or in blood. But if you’re going to achieve your goal, you must set a due date.

Step 4: After listing each goal, write down at least one definite and concrete action that you can take now toward that goal. Action carries great power that can propel you faster toward your goal. And as you follow the method I strongly recommended and write your goals every day, then every day too you’ll be doing something concrete and before you know it, it is your goal that seems to be moving closer and closer to you.

One final reminder: don’t overcomplicate this technique. Just write. Reach as deep into your core as possible. Do not be afraid of wanting too much. Write down even those ambitions which have no practical means of accomplishment. Keep on writing. 

Write from your heart and make the list as long as you like. Give yourself permission to dream, to be totally unrealistic. List whatever grandiose schemes you can come up with — if money were no object and time were not a factor. I’ll write it again: in truth, money is no object, and time is not a factor.

What you want can be achieved; there is a way — if you want it badly enough.