On Friday I went to the Mighty offices to participate in a Goal Setting session with Jim Rohn. I’ve done the exercises before, but not in a couple of years. Every year I write goals for myself and then I review them at the end of the year, evaluate my progress and make new ones. I’ll be doing that again soon, within the next couple of weeks. And when I set my new goals I will most likely rely on what I learned from the Jim Rohn exercise in Friday’s session.

On the DVD he says a lot of great things that can inspire a-ha moments in your life. Things we already know that we need being reminded of, and things worded in ways we never thought about before. Here are a few things I jotted down:

A list of goals will change your bank balance. When he first met one of his major mentors, the man asked him what his goals were and he couldn’t tell him because he hadn’t thought about it, hadn’t written them down. His mentor tisked and then said if that was the case then he could predict the balance on his bank account to within a hundred dollars. And then he did. Jim wrote his goals down. Within six years he was a millionaire.

The promise of the future is an awesome force. The future gives us inspiration. If you have enough reasons to do something, you can accomplish anything. Look into the future, develop reasons to accomplish your goals. It’s very important to have the greatest pull on your life being the future. Don’t live in the past. It’s done. Let it go. Move forward. Dreams and goals can become magnets. The stronger the goal, the stronger the magnet. They not only pull you forward but perhaps even more importantly they pull you through. When you have strong dreams and goals for the future you can get through the rough times because you have a view of the other side.

Faith is the ability to see things when they don’t exist. And that’s how they come to exist. All the inventions in the world, all the great buildings, at one point they only existed in someone’s mind. Everything needs to exist in someone’s mind before it can exist in the world. You wouldn’t just start nailing boards together randomly in an effort to build a house. You wouldn’t just start laying bricks one on top of another with no purpose. When should we start? As soon as it’s finished! It’s possible to finish something before you even start. See the end, then begin. Decide what you want and then act like it’s already yours.

Humans are the only life form on earth with the capacity to change their future. The goose always flies south. It might be better for him to go west or quicker to go east but he will never go those ways, it’s built into his genetic code to fly south. The goose has no capacity for change. Humans can live six years one way and then live the next six years in a totally different way. If you were a tree you’d be stuck. In a devastating drought you couldn’t pick up and move to where the water was, you’d just die. But as a human being you can greatly alter the course of your life.

In five years you will either arrive at an undesigned or a well-designed destination. There are no other options. You will arrive somewhere and either it’ll be the place you’ve planned for and worked toward or you’ll take your chances with your current undesigned path such as it is. Take control of your life. Design a better destination for yourself. If you start early, the fortune belongs to you. Five years from now you will arrive somewhere, the question is: where? We go the direction we face. We face the direction we design. Direction determines destination. Destination is not determined by hopes or dreams. You cannot change destination overnight, but you can change direction overnight. It’s only a small journey to a new direction. If you want to be healthier, it’s only a matter of eating an apple a day. Eat an apple today, then another tomorrow. It’s that simple. The key is just to start.  One simple act will lead to another and another and another and you will gain momentum along the way. JUST START!

First Part of the Exercise

List five things you’ve already accomplished that you are proud of accomplishing.

Second Part

If there were no obstacles to hold you back, what would you want? List at least 50 things. (really let yourself go, if you could do anything, be anyone, accomplish anything, go anywhere, own anything … the sky is the limit!)

Third Part

Now go back over your list and beside each item put a 1, 3, 5 or 10 for the number of years you think it would take you to accomplish this if you made it a goal. If you think something might take longer than 10 years, just put 10. Then total how many items you have for each number of years. Do you have any 10 years? If you don’t have very many, that means you’re not thinking about the future. And it’s very important to think about where you’re going so you can design your destination.

Fourth Part

Looking only at your one year goals from your previous list, choose the top four most important goals for you to accomplish in the next year. Do you have four? If you don’t have four, you’re living too much in the future, too much in dreamland. You’re not in control of destination, but just leaving it all up to hope and chance.

Fifth Part

Looking at your top four most important one-year goals, write a little paragraph about why each one is important to you. Why is this important? This part can be difficult to do, but critical to the process. When the why gets stronger, the how gets easier. If it was worth it, you could do anything. So that’s why understanding the why or the worth of your goals is so important. Purpose is a much stronger force than object. Yes, a new house or a new car is a strong pull for most people, but what for? It’s okay to have objects as goals, but very important to have reasons for those objects, to have purpose.

Final Thoughts

Some of your goals should be personal development because it’s not what you get that makes you valuable but it’s what you become. Answer this question: What kind of person must I become to achieve all I want?

The key is to put everything on your list. But it’s also very important that if something is not that important to you, take it off the list.

The positive word is “behold” while “beware” is negative. Behold the possibilities, the day has arrived. Beware of what you become in pursuit of what you want.

Judas got the money. This is not a success story. The greatest source of unhappiness is self-unhappiness. Be meticulous, hard working and deliberate. If you start setting goals daily, you’ll be a major contributor.

There’s a saying, “If the parents are okay, the kids are okay.” It’s the truest sentiment. Take care of your own self first in order to be of any value to anyone else. Invest in yourself. There’s another saying, “I’ll take care of me for you, if you’ll take care of you for me.”

My goals for 2009 will come out of this exercise. I hope you’ll give it a try too.

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