As a professional speaker, I ask my audiences what they do when when they chart out their goals, and I consistently receive answers such as: ‘I must be realistic’ or ‘I must be honest’.
I thank them for sharing – but, no. That is actually the opposite of what they should do!
When you are ready to start making your goals (no matter if they are personal, professional, financial, spiritual or physical), do not write down what you believe you can ‘realistically’ accomplish or what you can ‘honestly’ get done. By doing so, you set boundaries based on your own past experiences, and your definition of ‘realistic’ may be what is limiting your dream future. So my advice to you is to follow the:
4 MUST-DO’S WHEN SETTING GOALS
[AND THEY MAY NOT BE WHAT YOU THINK!]
- Be OUTRAGEOUS! Yes, outrageous. Allow yourself to go wild, imagine the unimaginable, and throw the old box out the window. One way to do that is an old assignment from one of my mentors early on my speaking career, Mark Victor Hansen, who co-authored with Jack Canfield the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul – 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit. He suggested we all take 20-minutes and write 101 goals. Yes, 101. I’m not a numerologist so I don’t know why 101 is a magic number, but they have sold over 120 million copies of various versions of Chicken Soup books, so I don’t question the math. But I do know what it does for goal-setting – it forces you to be creative without restrictions! In fact, when you get down to 55-60 on your list, you are being stupid outrageous and that’s my point. I want your child-like enthusiasm to come out when you write out your outrageous goals.
- Be Specific. Now it’s time to take your outrageous goals – and get specific. Identify which ones you want to aspire-to first, and flush them out. When do you specifically want to have it accomplished by? What will it look like when you are complete? Your goal has to be so specific that you will know whether or not you reached it by the time your deadline arrives. As an example, I’m using a Fitbit® tracker for my steps. My goal is to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. I have challenges with my friends to see who walked the most steps each week. But, I also joined a Fitbit® community called “10,000 steps or you die”. I love the specificity of it! If you haven’t walked 10,000 steps on average per day over a 30-day period, you are kicked out of the group. Now that’s being specific!
- Think ‘em and Ink ‘em! This one I learned from the late great Zig Ziglar who was my hero in the speaking business. He always said that something magical happens when you take something from the brain to the pen. Write them down, see your goals from a different perspective. It’s no longer a dream in your mind; it’s a goal that you are setting for yourself in black and white. However, if you are a visual person like me, put your goals into a visual format of a goal or vision board. It’s really simple. Find photos of your goals already attained, cut them out and put them on a poster board with affirmations underneath them. A visual representation of your goals can be very inspiring – especially when you find an old vision board and realize that some of your outrageous goals actually came to fruition!
- Make them believable to yourself. Yes, I hate to say it, but there are negative people in the world who aren’t as enthusiastic or optimistic about their future as you might be. My advice is to NEVER listen to people who limit or criticize your dreams, aspirations and/or goals. Things they might say are: “Oh yeah, right – that’ll never happen” or “Good luck with that.” in a sarcastic tone. Even better advice? Don’t walk away from these people – YOU RUN! No one has the right to pop your bubble of enthusiasm or burst your goals and dreams.
About Marilyn Sherman
Marilyn Sherman has spent years motivating and inspiring audiences to get out of their comfort zone and get a front-row seat in life. After starting her career in corporate America, she is now seen as the go-to motivational keynote speaker for corporate and association markets that want their people to improve their morale, teamwork, and communication skills and ultimately achieve more results. With her background as a training officer for a major finance company, Marilyn honed her skills to motivate audiences who are often hard to motivate. With her engaging, and fun personality, Marilyn connects with her audiences immediately and delivers content that they can immediately use when they get back to their office.
Marilyn is a graduate of Washington State University and after working for Chrysler First Financial Services, she was a contract speaker for one of the top seminar companies in the United States and Canada. She officially received road warrior status after delivering six-hour professional development seminars up to 5 cities a week up to three weeks a month for five years! In 1998, she went out on her own starting UpFront Presentations, a speaking and training company. She has served on the boards for the National Speakers Association Las Vegas and San Diego chapters. She also held national positions as the chair of the Motivational Speaker Professional Expert Group and headed up four labs that were conducted across the country.
In addition to being a popular motivational keynote speaker, Marilyn is also the author of three motivational books including “Whose Comfort Zone Are You In?” “Why Settle for the Balcony, How to Get a Front-Row Seat in Life” and “Front-Row Service”. When not delivering upbeat motivating programs for audiences across the country, Marilyn accompanies her French husband Yves de Boisredon who takes people on fantasy wine experience trips to France.