How to Set Your Goals--and Reach Them

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July 30, 2003 | 18,919 views

After you identify and set your goals, writing effective goal statements can help you to actually achieve them. The way that your word your goal statement is extremely important, and small changes can drastically affect the goal's outcome.

For instance, simply writing down your goal will make it 80 percent more likely to come true. Other factors are also important in writing effective goals, such as phrasing your goal in the present tense, making a positive, realistic statement, and making it concise and precise. Wording your goal correctly can impact whether or not you actually achieve it.

Setting goals is one of the keys to success. It has beenmy experience that most people are relatively clueless asto the specific requirements that are necessary for a goalto be effective and achievable. The most common mistake Isee people make is to put the goal into a future tense. Thegoal needs to be personalized, present tense and imaginedwith as much precise detail as possible in order to be effective.

Effective goal setting can change your life when it comesto health and the ability to maximally enjoy life. Peopleoften ask me how I’m able to write this newsletter twicea week, run a full-time medical practice with a staff of 50,write and promote a New York Timesbest-selling book, and direct one of the top-tenhealth sites on the entire Web.

There are a number of "right" answers to thisinquiry, but one of the most significant things allowing meto accomplish so much is compiling and working off of a verygood "To Do" list. I thought I had a good handleon this until recently when I came across a book that is trulyone of the most useful books I’ve ever read in my life.It’s called "GettingThings Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity"by David Allen.

David Allen's approach to managing yourself and your worldmay be amongst the best advice you ever receive, too. It isprofoundly practical, realistic, hands-on, and superbly focusedwith hundreds of tips, tools, and techniques for improvingyour personal productivity. Interestingly, I found that the$11.20 book-version of "GettingThings Done" had far more worthwhile details thaneven the $79.95 audiotapes.

Allen’s insights are not just motivation but realmethods to achieve higher levels of goal fulfillment, mentalreassurance and honest-to-goodness organization. I would easilypay $10,000 for this information. That may sound extreme,but you’ll see what I mean when you read "GettingThings Done" and start applying its principles in yourlife.

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