Monday, December 9, 2013

5,000 Goals for 2014 and Beyond





Designing Your Future

My business coach, Christine Kane, recommended the book: A Happy Pocketful of Money: Infinite Wealth and Abundance in the Here and Now. The book suggests developing a list of 5,000 goals.

In private law practice, I annually set goals and then reviewed them at year end.  For each goal that I put at the top of my priority list, I identified what I needed to do by the end of the next -- six months, three months, and one month -- to meet it by year end.  I then set smaller steps to that goal each day and week. With very few exceptions, I met my prioritized goals and also many that were lower on the list.

Just by listing the goals, you bring them into awareness.  Then: "Energy flows where attention goes."

For over two years, I have been using a tool Christine Kane calls the "Sunday Summit."  It functions as a weekly reflection and planning tool.  On the first page, I answer the following reflective questions -- every Sunday:

  • What have I accomplished this week?
  • Is there anything I wanted to accomplish, but did not?
  • What a-ha's or awakening have I had this week?
  • What challenges am I experiencing?  
  • If I were coaching myself, what would I tell me about these challenges?

Then, I answer three questions about the coming week:

  • What are my top priorities for this coming week?
  • If I could get nothing done this week but ONE THING, what one thing would I choose to do?  What one thing would make me happy and proud?
  • How do I want to feel this week?  Who do I want to BE?
I love this tool.  It reminds me of just how productive I am every week and gives me space to goof off when I need it. Second, it helps me plan my week efficiently.  Third, it makes me accountable if I don't get that ONE THING done that I had prioritized.  Fourth, it helps me identify why I may not have gotten that ONE THING done.  I can make adjustments in the coming week.

I have noticed, however, that I have not regularly engaged in yearly planning since joining the academy.  But that changes this month!  I am setting goals in the following areas of my life -- 5,000 all together.
  • Career/Business
  • Financial
  • Education
  • Family
  • Artistic
  • Attitude
  • Physical
  • Pleasure
  • Public Service
  • Spiritual
  • Home
  • Transportation
I am considering, as the book advises, anything, big or small, I can dream up:
  • Places to visit
  • Things to have
  • Residences
  • Experiences
  • Partners
  • Skills to acquire
  • Things to do
  • People to meet
  • Projects
  • Charities
  • Health
  • Habits
And, in imagining these goals, I need to be specific.  It's best if I convert them to visual images I can review regularly, even daily. Some people use vision boards to help them visualize their important goals.  

And then, I need to take regular steps in the direction of each goal.   
Why 5,000 goals?  Because you are more likely to reach more goals if you have a long list of them.  Have one goal.  You will achieve it.  Have 100 goals.  You will achieve them.  5,000 goals . . . . You see the point.

I know this process works.  I remember the year I simply wrote as a goal:  "Get published."  I began looking for publication opportunities immediately.  Soon, I had a column in the monthly newsletter of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis.  Now, I have authored over 50 book chapters, law review articles, and op-ed pieces.  I also have 156 blog entries.  

This goal setting process works for the simple reason that everything begins with an idea.

Jan. 8, 2014 Update:  And here is an explanation of how goal setting and their achievement affects the release of dopamine in your brain.  Dopamine, in turn, affects motivation.  Setting micro-goals will enhance motivation.

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