4 Super Powerful Steps to Create your Goals Strategies that Work…

by Mike Clayton  - January 4, 2016

New Year: Time to set your goals
New Year: Time to set your goals

We are at the start of a New Year.

Happy New Year !!

It is a great time to think forward and decide what goals you want to set yourself.

For many people it is a daunting process, so here are four steps to make it really easy, extracted from The Yes/No Book.


Step 1: Fermenting your Goals

If you haven’t thought very much about your goals before, then getting to an answer is not an instant process.  You need to let your thoughts ferment, until they start to form clear ideas about what you want.

There are different ways to do this.  You could combine various of these techniques:

  • Relax, take your time, daydream and ponder.
  • Take some long walks and clear your head, allowing thoughts to come.
  • Ask yourself “What do I want?” in the evening before you go to bed. Write this at the top of a sheet of paper and leave it on your table before you go to bed:

My Goals

Will I … ?
  • Set your alarm early, get up the next morning and spend half an hour at the table, writing everything that comes into your head.  Do this every day for a week.
  • Chat about your goals and what you want with a trusted friend or partner.
  • Think about all of the things that really excite and inspire you.
  • Start a notebook and keep it with you.  Write down ideas and goals whenever they come to you.  And write about them too.
  • Use the Eight-page method (You will have to buy The Yes/No book for that.)

Whichever of these techniques you use or combine; continue revisiting your goals from time-to-time, until you feel that you have some real understanding of what you want.  Now it is time to write them down.

Step 2: Upsizing your Goals

Take a look at each goal that you have written down.  For each one, if you can, put a measure against it.  What would be a good figure to aim for?  You might have a salary goal, expressed in pounds per year.  Or maybe you have a lifestyle goal and you want to be able to take five weeks of foreign holidays per year.  Perhaps your goal is a beautiful home – on a scale of 1 (a hovel) to 100 (a palace), where does it sit? Maybe at 60?

When you have done that, review each figure and put a second figure next to it.  What would be an outrageously impressive level to aim for?  Double the salary, 12 weeks’ holiday, a level 80 home.  These are possible, but only with the greatest level of effort and performance from you.

So put a third figure, somewhere between the other two.  Which would be a great goal to set yourself?  That’s the one to go for.

Write your goals out in full now, and write each one as an IOU.

Inspirational – Outrageous – Uncomfortable

Make sure that each goal really grabs you by the gut and makes you want it like crazy.

Set your goals to an outrageous level that will give you enormous satisfaction when you achieve them.

Choose goals that will take you out of your comfort zone when you tackle the things that you will have to do to achieve them.  If it is easy to achieve, how inspiring will it be?

Not enough hours in your day?

Don't waste large chunks of this year. Learn more about practical time management techniques that make a difference.

​"Thank you for giving me back time in my life." - Ian Walker

Step 3: Write yourself an IOU

The only thing you owe yourself in life is to live the best possible life that you can – to live the life you choose.  Now write yourself that IOU.  Summarise each IOU goal and write them all on one or more blank postcards.  Carry these with you wherever you go.  This IOU card will constantly inspire you by reminding you what to say YES to, and when to say NO.

You can find a template for your IOU cards at www.theyesnobook.com.

Step 4: Successorize your Goals

It’s now time to surround each goal with the accessories that it needs to make it realistic and achievable.

  1. For each goal, write down what it will mean to you to achieve it.  What is really inspiring about that goal?
  2. Now write down how you will know for sure that your goal has been met.  Give yourself an explicit completion criterion for each goal:
    “When I have achieved my goal I will know it, because …”
  3. Put together a plan
    • What are the steps along the way?
    • What skills and knowledge do you need to acquire
    • Who are the people who can help you?
    • What resources (things, equipment, money) do you need?
    • What milestones are there, along the way
  4. Finally, make your goals public.  Tell people about them.  Don’t just pick one person and tell them everything, tell different people different goals.  The more you share your goals with other people, the stronger you will find your commitment is, to those goals.  If you don’t feel it appropriate to share a goal, then write it down and put it in an envelope addressed to yourself, with the completion date on the envelope.  Post it.

When it arrives, put it safely in a drawer, ready for you to open on the date on the envelope.

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