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Goal Setting

The Mage

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You can post your Resolutions in the Resolutions 2017 thread, but this is some advice on how to set goals, and resolutions.

  • Make Goals Specific

Instead of a goal like, make more money, come up with a specific number. Maybe it is to increase your income by $500 or $1,000 a month. Maybe it's $20K more in your bank.

For this step, it helps to ask yourself, "How will I know I have achieved this goal?" For example you might want to lose weight, so you make up some number for the scale, but is that good enough? What if you meet that number, but you don't look, or feel how you want to? I would also find an image of somebody that looks how you want to look. Even if it is just a close up of their abs. (Waist) Maybe you add in body measurement goals. Maybe flexibility, and strength goals too.

  • Look at where you are now

Take a "snapshot" of where you are now, so you know what your starting point is. You not only need to know where you are going, but where you are starting from. 

  • Set a goal date

Usually with resolutions you consider the next year as the end date. Some goals are too big for a year, others should be achievable in a shorter time-frame. But regardless, you want a deadline to motivate you.

  • Break Goals Down Into Smaller Chunks (Chunking part I)

There are 2 problems with setting large, long term goals. 1, it can seem overwhelming with all that needs to be done, and 2, the end date can seem so far in the future that you are not motivated enough. So think of the goal in steps. A 1/12 of a goal is easier to achieve in a month than the whole years goal. Also knowing that the month will come up a lot sooner will help motivate you. I would suggest 2 weeks. 

  • Focus on habits (Chunking part II)

The easiest way to achieve a goal is to track your habits, instead of your results. (One of the most successful body transformation experts uses this technique.) If you are trying to lose weight, you ignore the scale, and focus on creating a long term habit that will result in not only the loss of fat, but a permanent change in how you live. Making good business practices a habit will result in long term success. Once a habit is formed, it really doesn't feel like any effort to maintain. 

  • Focus on small changes (Chunking part III)

The biggest reason people fail in their goals is because they attempt too many changes all at once, and they become overwhelmed, and burned out. But by making a small change, and turning it into a habit, one step at a time, it can not only be easier, it can seem too easy. If your goal is to self locate, and you find it scary, start off by saying hi to one stranger every day. 2 weeks later, you might ask a question, like if they know the time, or maybe mention the weather. Keep building on that, and eventually that will grow into effortlessly walking in to a business, and offering to place a machine.

For weight loss, you could change one item a day into something healthier. Add in a piece of fruit, or a vegetable, or healthy protein source. Replace an unhealthy item with a healthy one. You could add in walking up a flight of stairs 2 times each day, then 5, and build up to 10. You could start off doing just a 5 minute warm-up, and stopping before actually working out.

  • Create a punishment for not following a habit

You could punish yourself, but we all have that friend, or significant other, who would enjoy doling out that punishment. Suddenly the habit is so easy there is no reason not to do it, while the punishment is a big reason to do it. A good example is setting aside a donation to the political party you oppose. Don't follow through, and it's sent. 

  • Set Anti-Goals

We not only need to learn to do things, we need to quit doing other things. Watching too much TV, spending too much time on Facebook, saying yes to too many people. These are all time wasters that get in the way of us achieving our goals. We all have things we can, and should give up.

  • Write down, and post those goals where you will see it daily

Out of sight, out of mind is a real thing. Placing your goals where you will see them, preferably multiple times a day, will keep them firmly in your mind. One option is to make the goals a background image on every computer, and device you own. You can set alarms to go off, and the alarm is named after a goal. Hang it up in the bathroom, tape it to the coffee maker. Anywhere you will see it at least daily. If you can stop, and focus on that goal, even for a couple seconds, that will help. You don't want it to become something that is just there that you don't pay attention to.

  • Keep your family and friends in mind

It is harder to achieve goals if your family isn't on-board, or if it makes their lives harder. You don't want your goals to eliminate the time you spend with the people in your life. You should always think about how achieving your goals will affect those around you. If anything they could become part of that goal. It is easier to get into shape if the whole family participates. (Without being forced.)

  • Review and adjust regularly

It helps to set up a regular time to check in, and review your progress, and your goals. Things change, you might be behind, or ahead of your goals. You might need to adjust your goals, or the steps to achieve them, taking longer, or shorter time to get to them. Then again things might have changed, and the goals are no longer relevant. If you were to inherit $10M, how would that affect your vending business? Some people would quit, while others would expand. Others it wouldn't make a difference. You shouldn't follow a goal if it is no longer relevant to you.

  • There is no failure, only results

We all "fall off the wagon." As they say, get back on, and try again. 

But this idea of no failure, only results, is a good one. The idea here is that you try something, and if it isn't working, you adjust and try again, and again, and again. You don't ever say, "I failed." Instead you say "This isn't working, I need to make an adjustment, and try again." 

But it needs to be said, you need to give it time to work. This is one of the reasons to focus on habits instead of results. Nothing ever really happens in a straight line. Following fat loss, researchers have found that people's weight will often stay flat, then have an increase right before dropping, then the pattern repeats itself. Too many people see the "lack of change" or the bump right before the drop, and quit before the drop kicks in. Similarly you can't check a vending machine the day after you put it in, and expect it to be empty, and full of money. People might not even know it's there yet.  If you place a beverage machine on Monday, and it has barely had any sales when you check it on Saturday, do you pull it? What if it was placed in a Church? You just missed Sunday.

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