Monday, December 30, 2013

Make Your Goals Count in the New Year
Written by Jim Rohn

I've often said the major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be the far greater value than what you get. That is why goals are so powerful - they are part of the fabric that makes up our lives. And goal-setting is where we create our goals.

Goal-setting is powerful, partly because it provides focus. It shapes our dreams. It gives us the ability to hone in on the exact actions we need to perform to achieve everything we desire in life. Goals are GREAT because they cause us to stretch and grow in ways that we never have before. In order to reach our goals we must become better. We must change and grow.

Also, goals provide long-term vision in our lives. We all need lots of powerful, long-range goals to help us get past short-term obstacles. Life is designed in such a way that we look long-term and live short-term. We dream for the future and live in the present. Unfortunately, the present can produce many difficult obstacles. But fortunately, the more powerful our goals (because they are inspiring and believable) the more we will be able to act on them in the short-term and guarantee that they will actually come to pass.

So, let's take a closer look at the topic of goal-setting and see how we can make it forceful as well as practical. What are the key aspects to learn and remember when studying and writing our goals?

1. Evaluation and Reflection. The only way we can reasonably decide what we want in the future and how we will get there is to first know where we are right now and what our level of satisfaction is for where we are in life. So first take some time and think through and write down your current situation, then ask this question on each key point—is that okay?

The purpose of evaluation is two-fold. First, it gives you an objective way to look at your accomplishments and your pursuit of the vision you have for your life. Secondly, it is to show you where you are so you can determine where you need to go. In other words, it gives you a baseline from which to work.

2. What are Your Dreams and Goals? These are the dreams and goals that are born out of your own heart and mind. These are the goals that are unique to you and come from who you were created to be and gifted to become. So second, make a list of all the things you desire for the future.

One of the amazing things we have been given as humans is the unquenchable desire to have dreams of a better life, and the ability to establish goals to live out those dreams. Think of it: We can look deep within our hearts and dream of a better situation for ourselves and our families; dream of better financial lives and better emotional or physical lives; certainly dream of better spiritual lives. But what makes this even more powerful is that we have also been given the ability to not only dream but to pursue those dreams and not just pursue them, but the cognitive ability to actually lay out a plan and strategies (setting goals) to achieve those dreams. Powerful!

What are your dreams and goals? This isn't what you already have or what you have done, but what you want. Have you ever really sat down and thought through your life values and decided what you really want? Have you ever taken the time to truly reflect, to listen quietly to your heart, to see what dreams live within you? Your dreams are there. Everyone has them. They may live right on the surface, or they may be buried deep from years of others telling you they were foolish, but they are there.

3. S.M.A.R.T. Goals. S.M.A.R.T. means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-sensitive.

I really like this acronym, S.M.A.R.T., because we want to be smart when we set our goals. We want to intelligently decide what our goals will be so that we can actually accomplish them. We want to set the goals that our heart conceives, our minds believe and that our bodies will carry out. Let's take a closer look at each of the components of S.M.A.R.T. goals:

Specific: Goals are no place to waffle. They are no place to be vague. Ambiguous goals produce ambiguous results. Incomplete goals produce incomplete futures.

Measurable: Always set goals that are measurable. I would say "specifically measurable" to take into account our principle of being specific as well.

Attainable: One of the detrimental things that many people do - and they do it with good intentions— is to set goals that are so high they are unattainable.

Realistic: The root word of realistic is "real." A goal has to be something that we can reasonably make "real" or a "reality" in our lives.

Time: Every goal should have a time frame attached to it. I think that life itself is much more productive if there is a time frame connected to it. Could you imagine how much procrastination there would be on earth if people never died? We would never get "around to it." We could always put it off. One of the powerful aspects of a great goal is that it has an end, a time in which you are shooting to accomplish it.

4. Accountability (a contract with yourself or someone else). When someone knows what your goals are, they hold you accountable by asking you to "give an account" of where you are in the process of achieving that goal. Accountability puts some teeth into the process. If a goal is set and only one person knows it, does it really have any power? Many times, no. At the very least, it isn't as powerful as if you have one or more other people who can hold you accountable to your goal.

When you put these 4 key pieces together, you are putting yourself in a position of power that will catapult you toward achieving your goals.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2013. As a world-renowned author and success expert, Jim Rohn touched millions of lives during his 46-year career as a motivational speaker and messenger of positive life change. For more information on Jim and his popular personal achievement resources or to subscribe to the weekly Jim Rohn Newsletter, visit www.JimRohn.com.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Get Clear on What You Want
Written by Jack Canfield

Are you ready to make 2014 your best year yet?

It’s easy to start the new year full of enthusiasm and optimism. But to maintain your momentum through the year, you need to set powerful, crystal-clear goals.

The first step to getting what you want out of life is to decide exactly what you want.

What do you want to accomplish?
What do you want to experience?
What do you want to acquire?
Who do you want to be?


One of primary reasons most people don’t get what they want is that they aren’t clear about what they want. Others will recognize what they’d like to have, but when they can’t see how it’s possible to get what they want, and they dismiss their desires as foolish and unattainable.

Don’t sabotage yourself this way!

After decades of research into how the human brain works, scientists now know that for our brains to figure out how to get what we want, we must first decide what we want. Once we lock-in our desires, our mind and the universe can step in to help make our dreams a reality.

Dream Big
We start the process by getting clear about what we want. So, what do you want? To create a balanced and successful life, write down a minimum of 3 goals in each of the following 7 areas:

Financial Goals
Career/Business Goals
Free Time/Family Time
Health/Appearance Goals
Relationship Goals
Personal Growth
Making a Difference

If you have more goals than this, don’t limit yourself – write them down! On the other hand, if writing down 21 goals seems like a lot, remember that we can have a mix of long- and short-term goals. For example, in the financial area, you may have a short-term goal of paying off a $5,000 credit card balance, as well as a long-term goal of amassing a net worth of $5 million dollars. You want to keep both goals present in your mind, even though you’ll be working more actively on the short-term goal first.

Stretch Yourself
When setting our goals, it’s important to include a few that will make us stretch and grow to achieve them. These might be learning a new skill or trying something that is uncomfortable and maybe a little frightening, such as public speaking. It also helps to set a breakthrough goal that would represent a quantum leap. Examples of breakthrough goals include publishing a book, starting a business, getting on Oprah, winning a gold medal at the Olympics, or getting elected president of your industry association.

Material goals are important, but the ultimate goal is to become a master at life. In the long run, the greatest benefit we receive from pursuing our dreams is not the outer trappings of fulfilling the dream, but who we become in the process.

The outer symbols of success can all be easily lost. Houses burn down, companies go bankrupt, relationships end, cars get old, bodies age and fame wanes, but who you are, what you have learned, and the new skills you have developed never go away. These are the true prizes of success. Motivational philosopher Jim Rohn advises that “You should set a goal big enough that in the process of achieving it, you become someone worth becoming.”

Turn Your Dreams Into Goals and Objectives
Once you are clear about what you want, write them down and turn each item into a measurable objective. Measurable means measurable in space and time – how much and by when.

For instance, if you were to tell me that you wanted more money, I might pull out a dollar and give it to you. You would probably protest, saying “No, I meant a lot more money, like $20,000!” But there is no way I’d know how you’d define “more money” unless you tell me, right?

Similarly, your boss, your friends, your spouse, your brain, God, and the Universe can’t figure out what you want unless you tell them specifically what it is. What exactly do you want and when do you want it by?

Your Goals Impact Others
As soon as you commit to a big dream and really go after it, your subconscious creative mind will come up with big ideas to make it happen. You’ll start attracting the people, resources, and opportunities you need into your life to make your dream come true. Big dreams not only inspire you, they compel others to want to play big, too.

You’ll also discover that when your dreams include service to others – that is, accomplishing something that contributes to others – it accelerates the accomplishment of that goal. People want to be part of something that contributes and makes a difference.

Work on Your Goals Daily
To keep your subconscious mind focused on what you want, read your list of goals everyday. For an even more powerful approach, close your eyes and focus on each goal and ask yourself, "What is one thing I could do today to move toward the achievement of this goal?" Write down your answers and take those actions.

As the old joke goes, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Steady progress in bite-sized chunks puts even the most audacious goals into reach.

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul©Inspirational Books)© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

What stops you from taking action?
Written by Jack Canfield

When leading seminars, I’ll demonstrate the power of taking action by holding up a $100 bill and asking “Who wants this?”

Most people raise their hands. Some even shout out, “I’ll take it!” But I just stand there waiting until someone finally gets it … jumping up, rushing to the stage, and grabbing the bill from my hand.

The person who took action leaves the room with an extra $100. But everyone else also ends up richer, because they get the opportunity to ask themselves, “What did I tell myself that stopped me from getting up and taking the money?”

When we don’t take actions that will move us closer to our goals, it’s usually because we've said something to stop ourselves. The things you say to stop yourself from taking action in one situation are usually the same things you say to stop yourself in other areas of your life.

I encourage you to stop waiting for things to happen, and instead start taking action. Success takes more than belief. It requires action... by YOU!

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul©Inspirational Books)© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Life's Batting Average
Written by Denis Waitley

Since failure is a given in life, success takes more than leadership beliefs and solid behavioral patterns.

It also takes an appropriate response to the inevitable, including an effective combination of risk-taking and perseverance. I meet many individuals who are seeking security at all costs, and avoiding risk whenever and wherever possible. Knowing that certain changes would make success much more likely for them, they nevertheless take the path of least resistance: no change. For the temporary, often illusory comfort of staying as they are, they pay the terrible price of a life not truly lived.

Parable of the Cautious Man

There was a very cautious man,
who never laughed or cried.
He never risked, he never lost,
he never won nor tried.
And when he one day passed away,
his insurance was denied,
For since he never really lived,
they claimed he never died.


In other words, missed opportunities are the curse of potential. In our eagerness to avoid risk, we forgot its positive aspects. Many of us continue to overlook the fact that progress comes only when chances are taken. And the security we sought and continue to seek often produces boredom, mediocrity, apathy and reduced opportunity.

And herein lies a paradoxical proverb: You must risk in order to gain security, but you must never seek security.

When security becomes a major goal in life–when fulfillment and joy are reduced to merely holding on, sustaining the status quo–the risk remains heavy. It is then a risk of losing the prospects of real advancement, of not being able to ride the wave of change today and tomorrow.

Reproduced with permission from the Denis Waitley Newsletter. To Subscribe to Denis Waitley's Newsletter Use this link © 2013 Denis Waitley International. All rights reserved worldwide.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Problem with Gratitude...
Written by Jack Canfield

A shocking number of people have fallen into a dangerous trap on the road to success…

…settling for less than they deserve in the name of gratitude.

Could you be one of these people?

Rather than taking action and asking for a raise... they say, "Well, I should be grateful I have a job."

Rather than taking action and asking for what they want in a relationship... they say, "Well, I should be grateful that my partner is faithful."

Rather than taking action and looking for a bigger house... they say, "Well, I should be grateful that I have a house when so many people don't."

Chances are that you, too, settling for less in all areas of your life. This conflicts with your soul’s natural desire to continually expand to greater levels of success, happiness and love.

Here's the thing…

Wanting more doesn't mean that you're ungrateful or greedy. It means that you acknowledge that you are the master of your destiny.

Most people are too scared to pursue their dreams because of what other people might think or say.

Only you have the power to create the life you want. And it will be as big - or as small - as you make it. You make the choices that produce the results (or lack of results) you see in your life.

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul©Inspirational Books)© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Accepting Responsibility—a story of Bill Russell
Written by Jim Rohn

Most people dread accepting responsibility. That’s just a fact of life, and we can see it in operation every day. Yes, we can see avoidance of responsibility all the time in both our personal and professional lives. And here’s something else we can see just as often: we can see that most people aren’t as successful as they wish they were. Do you see there is a connection between these two very common phenomena?

It’s in your best interest to take responsibility for everything you do. But that’s only the beginning. Many times it’s even best to take responsibility for the mistakes of others, especially when you’re in a managerial or leadership role.

Back during the years when professional basketball was just beginning to become really popular, Bill Russell, who played center for the Boston Celtics, was one of the greatest players in the league. He was especially known for his rebounding and his defensive skills.

But like a lot of very tall centers, Russell was never much of a free throw shooter. His free throw percentage was quite a bit below average in fact. But this low percentage didn’t really give a clear picture of Russell’s ability as an athlete. And in one game he gave a very convincing demonstration of this.

It was the final game of a championship series between Boston and the Los Angeles Lakers. With about 12 seconds left to play, the Lakers were behind by one point and Boston had the ball. It was obvious that the Lakers would have to foul one of Boston’s players in order to get the ball back, and they chose to foul Bill Russell.

This was a perfectly logical choice since statistically Russell was the worst free throw shooter on the court at that moment. If he missed the shot, the Lakers would probably get the ball back and they’d still have enough time to try to win the game. But if Russell made his first free throw, the Lakers’ chances would be seriously diminished. And if he made both shots, the game would essentially be over.

Bill Russell had a very peculiar style of shooting free throws. Today, no self-respecting basketball player anywhere in America would attempt it. Aside from the question of whether it’s an effective way to shoot a basket, it just looked too ridiculous. Whenever he had to shoot a free throw, the 6-foot-11 Russell would start off holding the ball in both hands about waist high, then he’d squat down and as he straightened up he’d let go of the ball. It looked like he was trying to throw a bucket of dirt over a wall.

But regardless of how he looked, as soon as Bill Russell was fouled, he knew the Celtics were going to win the game. He was absolutely certain of it because, in a situation like this, statistics and percentages mean nothing. There was a much more important factor at work, something that no one has found a way to express in numbers and decimal points.

Simply put, Bill Russell was a player who wanted to take responsibility for the success or failure of his team. He wanted the weight on his shoulders in a situation like this. No possibility for excuses. No possibility of blaming anyone else if the game was lost. No second guessing. Bill Russell wanted the ball in his own hands and nobody else’s. And, like magic, even if he’d missed every free throw he’d ever shot in his life before this, he knew he was going to make this one. And that is exactly what happened.

That is what virtually always happens when a man or woman accepts responsibility eagerly and with confidence. I’ve always felt that accepting responsibility is one of the highest forms of human maturity. A willingness to be accountable, to put yourself on the line, is really the defining characteristic of adulthood.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2013. As a world-renowned author and success expert, Jim Rohn touched millions of lives during his 46-year career as a motivational speaker and messenger of positive life change. For more information on Jim and his popular personal achievement resources or to subscribe to the weekly Jim Rohn Newsletter, visit www.JimRohn.com.