In business and life, it’s mandatory to set goals. Earl Nightingale defined success as the progressive realization of a predetermined goal. Without goals, you are on the journey of life without direction. Would you begin a long trip with no idea which road to take to reach your destination? Then why would you continue on the most important journey of all, your life, without a clear idea how to proceed? Perhaps the problem is a lack of vision. I find many people are unable to set goals, to lay out a predetermined path for their lives because they have no idea where they want to end up once they arrive. In that case, it becomes necessary to establish your ultimate destination before you begin. This enables you to set goals that take you farther and farther along your path, toward your goal.
As a blogger, writer, podcast & more, I must constantly set goals for my life & business. I must have a clear idea where I am and where I want to go to lead my life along that path. When I first began this process, I found it to be overwhelming. How do I determine where I need to go? How do I decide where I should end up at a predetermined time in my life? What steps do I take along the way to ensure I arrive at my destination? I was working to set goals for the coming year and found myself unable to proceed. I was in trouble.
As I reflected on goals, I realized it was not enough to think only of the coming year. To have a productive year, I needed to be working on goals that helped me accomplish my long term goals. That meant I needed to set long term goals for my business and life.
When I first sat down to do this, I came up with a long list of items that I wanted to accomplish in the coming year alone. As I studied the list, I realized I was setting myself up for frustration. All I was creating was a list of items that would be carried over, uncompleted, from year to year. I didn’t want this. I believe goals should be achievable but have stretch. I wasn’t certain what to do.
Then it hit me. I remembered something I had read in one of my Mary Kay Ash books. Mary Kay advised her sales consultants to follow her example of only setting 5 goals a day. By listing only 5 items on their to-do list, Mary Kay from her own experience knew that anyone could easily accomplish the things they needed to get done for the day. The list was to be created at night before going to bed. I had been using this technique for a while and found it worked very well. If I needed to make phone calls, I would make the calls 1 item on the list but no more than 5 calls. If I needed to make more than 5 calls, then I would create another item on the list.
So, I began to think, why not use the same technique for setting long term goals? The Power of 5 was born. It’s very simple. I went 5 years into the future. I personally find it is easier to go forward and work my way back than the other way around. I thought about my business. What did it look like? What had I accomplished? What was I on the verge of accomplishing? Then I made a list of 5 things that I had accomplish 5 years in the future. I always write each goal in present tense, as if it were a reality, which it is. You see, once I create the goal and commit it to paper, once I accept the possibility of it being accomplished, my mind begins to subconsciously create ways to accomplish the goal. My mind accepts each item as reality and acts on it accordingly.
Next, I considered a year from now. To be a year closer to accomplishing my 5 year goals, what 5 things do I need to accomplish in the coming year? Then, I thought a month ahead. What 5 things did I need to do to bring me a month closer to the annual goals? Each week, I study the monthly goals and set 5 goals for the week that bring me closer to accomplishing the monthly goals and each evening, I study the weekly list so I can set goals that insure each day helps me to complete the weekly goals.
I am finding it much easier to accomplish the items on my list because they are not overwhelming. If I finish all 5 things on my daily list, then I refer to my weekly list and decide what else I might do to whittle away at the week tasks. Just like eating an elephant, I bring myself one bite closer to those 5 year goals everyday.
You can create your Power of 5 list anytime. Right now is the perfect time. Sit down and look 5 years into the future. Who are you? What are you doing? What are you about to accomplish? Create a list of 5 things that you see happening right then. Your goals should reflect the different aspects of your professional life. For example, if you are an author and speaker, you want a goal for each of these areas. You want each item to be as specific as you are able to make it. If the items are vague, you are not going to accomplish them. Your mind cannot act upon a vague idea. You need to give your mind a specific goal upon which it may act and accomplish.
Next, come back to one year in the future. What 5 things do you need to accomplish in one year’s time to be on schedule for your 5 year goals? Then go to a month out. What do you need to accomplish by then to complete your annual goals? Then set goals for the coming week to nibble away at your monthly goals. Finally, each evening before you go to bed, make your list of 5 for the following day. Study the list from that day. If you did not accomplish something, determine why. You might have set a goal that was too big to be finished in one day. Learn from that mistake and create more realistic goals to avoid frustration. Perhaps something came up to prevent you from finishing the list. That happens sometimes. Resist the urge to beat yourself up and add the item to tomorrow’s list. Perhaps the task doesn’t even need to be done. Then cross it off the list and forget about it Tomorrow is an opportunity for a fresh start. Take advantage of it
The Power of 5 is a great tool to help you accomplish the incredible goals you see ahead of you. Using the Power of 5 enables you to answer God’s call & fulfill His plan for your life with greater ease & focus!