Accomplish More by Not Setting Goals

The concept of setting goals is, surprisingly enough, only about 100-years old.  This fact really surprises some people.  The term “goal-setting” became part of the American vernacular with the advent of sports into the American culture as the 20th century got under way.  If you read the writings of self-help authors of the 1890’s and earlier, you won’t find any mention of the “goal-setting” at all.

Rather than debate the semantics surrounding this topic, let’s take a closer look at what it would take to accomplish something meaningful in your life. More precisely, what it takes to accomplish something meaningful in your own life over the next twelve months.

Although many analogies can be drawn from sporting events to illustrate the tests, trials and challenges of life, upon closer examination… you’ll find that life itself is really nothing like a sporting event at all.

In the real world there aren’t any off seasons, next seasons or starting over with game one.  It’s one continuing story.  Life doesn’t afford us timeouts or halftimes.  If you collapse in a heap along the sidelines, life just keeps on moving forward with the “ball” continuously in play, regardless.  Friends and loved ones have to pick you up off the floor because no one’s going to blow a whistle and stop the action, right?

In spite of all the uncertainties that go with life, people have risen up throughout the ages and have accomplished great things.  The majority are people who never attended a seminar or read a self-help book in their entire lives.  Some were educated, some weren’t.  People, educated and uneducated alike, have accomplished great things without using the goal setting processes that are so popular today.

People like Edison and Ford accomplished what they did without reading, “The Secret” or the book the secret was based upon “The Science of Getting Rich.” They did so without self-help books, life coaches, gurus and any of the other popular ideas people have today about achieving success in their business and in their lives.

How’d they do it?  What was their formula?

  1. The decided what they wanted to accomplish.
  2. They rearranged their priorities so they could focus their time and energy to accomplishing what they’d set out to do.
  3. They had enough faith to take a step in that direction.

When you’re committed to the road that lies before you, your priorities change and your unconscious actions work with you instead of against you as you proceed along your path.

The problem is, most people never make a decision to take a specific course of action.  As a result, their priorities never really change.  And finally, as a result of the first two, they never commit 100% to a single course of action.  Many believe they’re keeping “their options open” by taking this approach, but more often than not – they’re simply sabotaging their own success without realizing it.

This was one of the hardest lessons I’ve ever learned in my lifetime.  It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you’re willing to change your priorities so they begin the mirror the things you’re saying you’d like to accomplish.  There was a time in my life that – when the going got tough, I’d just roll over and take a nap while trying to think positive thoughts.  Funny, but true!  And guess what?  Not much ever seemed to change.  Finally, it hit me.  I was investing my energy into so many different directions; I was going nowhere – fast!

Whether you’re trying to do a 180-degree turnaround in your life, or just trying to change one aspect of it, the principles work exactly the same.

  1. Decide what you want to accomplish.
  2. Make a commitment to sacrifice as many unimportant things as you need to in order to make progress – every single day for as long as necessary.
  3. Take a step in faith in that direction.

Accomplishing anything worthwhile takes work.  And sometimes, the work is hard! There’s a price to pay to build a business.  There’s a price to pay to get into shape or lose weight.  There’s a price to pay to learn a new trade or skill.  Conversely, there’s a price to pay to sit back and do nothing, too.  And sometimes, you don’t realize you’ve been paying it until years later.

A New Year has begun.  What is it that you would like to accomplish in your business or personal life? Doing something because someone else thinks you should isn’t good enough.  You have to want this for yourself.  Then, decide what you’re going to sacrifice in order to daily progress.  That’s it in the nutshell.

Those are the basic principles I’ve used to grow a variety of online businesses and services since 1998.

If you decide to use these simple principles for yourself, send me an email and let me know.  I’d love to hear from you.

That’s all for now.  Here’s to new beginnings wherever you need them, and may 2010 be the year you’ll remember as the time your life truly changed for the better!

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