Monday Mornings with Madison


One of the most overlooked aspects of goal setting is that you cannot make goals only in your business life. You have more to your life than business. If you do not set goals and manage the other areas of your life, they will interfere with your ability to accomplish what you want in business.

For example every person has relationships. We have to work constantly on them so they keep on improving. If we ignore them, they will make us miserable. So let’s say that your goal is to make $1,000,000 this year and you focus all your efforts on it. If your relationships start to get into trouble, you may say to yourself, “Getting the million dollars will make me lose my relationships, so forget about the money I better work on the relationships before it’s too late.”

And the same is true with your health and the spiritual part of your life.

Here is a very simple (but in no way easy) formula for setting goals:

  • Sit in quiet place where you will not get interrupted for a while. (The hardest part of this exercise is that you actually have to shut your cell phone off while doing it.)
  • Take a yellow pad and a pen, and start writing goals that you would like to accomplish in the next 25 years — anything and everything from things that you want to own, places you want to visit, things that you want to become, learn, teach, give, enjoy, see, etc.
  • Write as fast as you can, and do not think. At this point, just write what you want. It doesn’t have to make sense or be practical, and you don’t have to deserve it. Just keep writing.

You want to get at least 50 big dreams on that list. If you find yourself stuck and you cannot think of real big dreams, it’s because you’re trying to be realistic based on your current belief system. But ask yourself, “Is the life I have now really what I want? Do I really believe that this is all I can get? Does my current lifestyle really make me excited to get up in the morning?” If the answer is no, then stop being realistic and give yourself permission to write what you really want if anything and everything were possible.

Then take your list and put a number next to each item based on when you would like to accomplish it —1 year, 3 years, 10 years, 20 years or 25 years. Then divide them into the following categories:

  • Personal life (health – hobbies)
  • Business life (money – businesses)
  • Social life (relationships)
  • Spiritual life.

Make sure that you have at least three one-year goals in each category. If you don’t, go back and ask yourself why you gave up on this important area of your life? And if you would have some goals and dreams in this area, what would they be?

Once you have three one-year goals in each of the four categories of your life, take each item and write it down on a new piece of paper. Then ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why is this important to me?
  • What will happen if I don’t get it?
  • What kind of person do I have to become in order to achieve this?

Write as many answers as you can for each question for each item.

You must realize that for everything in life that you don’t have and want to get, you will have to change who you are in order to get it. You can do that by visualizing what it will be like when you have accomplished your goal, then think about how you feel. How do you think? What do you believe? A person who earns a million dollars a year thinks differently than a person earning fifty thousand dollars a year.

When you get a clear vision and understanding of how the person that you want to be behaves and thinks, you can start behaving (not spending) and thinking like the new you. This is the fastest way to become what you want to be. You want to do this with each of the 12 one-year goals that you have.

Word of caution: if you find that you cannot find strong enough reasons why you want one of your goals, or it doesn’t seem so bad if you don’t get it, and you start thinking, do I really want this? That means that you don’t have a strong enough drive to get it. So kindly cross it off your list, and find another goal to work with.

Now, take the list of one-year goals, and break it into a list of quarterly goals. For each of your one-year goals figure out how much of this goal you would like to accomplish in the next 90 days? This is very important because a goal to accomplish in 12 months from now will not drive you today. Take your goals for the next 90 days, and start creating action lists for each 90-day goal. What specific actions can you do daily or weekly to accomplish what you want in the next 90 days?

Then commit yourself to take those action steps daily or weekly to get to your goals, and the new lifestyle that those goals will give you. From each category find one small action step that you can do today to get you started on the road the success.


“I like people who look for the right circumstances. And if they can’t find them, they make them.
George Bernard Shaw


“What excuse are you giving yourself for not doing the exercises in this email?”

© 2008 – 2012, Written by Keren Peters-Atkinson, CMO, Madison Commercial Real Estate Services. All rights reserved.

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