John Goddard is known today as the modern day Indiana Jones. He climbed Kilimanjaro, Mount Ararat and just about every major mountain peak on the face of the earth. He was the first person to explore the entire 6700 km of the Nile River, the longest river on earth. He also did the Amazon and the Congo rivers. He has been to 122 countries and lived with 260 tribes. He has taught himself French, Spanish and Arabic. These are only a few of the great things that he has done in his lifetime. What has inspired John Goddard to live such an amazing life?

When John Goddard was 15 years old he overheard a conversation between his father and a friend of his. The friend told his father about his miserable life and how he had failed. He heard him say that he wished he was John’s age and that he could live his life over again. John decided then and there that he would make sure it doesn’t happen to him. That night he started writing a list of goals that he would like to accomplish in his lifetime. He didn’t go to bed before his list was finished. He wrote down a list of 127 goals that night. During his lifetime John Goddard accomplished 111 of those initial 127 goals and set 400 other goals along the way.

Writing down your goals doesn’t guarantee you that you will succeed in achieving those goals but the moment you write down your goals you have a 100 times greater chance of achieving the goal than if you don’t write it down. You have no guarantee that you are going to reach your goals but it is better to aim at something and miss it than to aim at nothing and hit it. As Les Brown always says: “Aim for the moon, if you fail you will still end up between the stars.”

Very few people in life have clearly written down goals for their life. Most people’s only goals are to “pay the bills” every month, or make it through the day or the week. One of the best habits you can develop in your life is the habit of writing down your goals. Many years ago Sartre said: “We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are.” That is the case with most of us today.

You should write down a list of things that you would like to achieve and/or improve and develop in every area of your life. Start with writing down goals for the following areas in your life: Your physical body (sport goals; weight loss goals; eating habits); Mental Development (Personal Development plan); Social Development (Community service; Communication skills; People skills); Emotional Development; Relationship Development (Family goals; Marital relationship);Spiritual Development (Prayer, meditation and devotion time); Financial goals; What would you like to learn?; What skills do you want to master? What character traits do you want to develop?; Who do you want your friends to be?

The reason why most people just go through every day and do as little as possible is a lack of worthwhile goals. I agree 100% with Anthony Robbins when he says: “People are not lazy, they just have impotent goals.”

Brian Tracy has developed the following goal setting process. I will just make comments on some of the points.

1) Decide exactly what you want in every key area of your life.
You must sit down like John Goddard and think thoroughly about exactly what is it you want to accomplish in every area of your life.

2) Write it down.
A goal that is not written down is nothing more than a wish. It doesn’t have much power. As I have already said your chances of accomplishing your goal is increased a hundred times when you write it down. Only 3% of all people purposely write down their goals, and the other 97% work for them.

3) Set a deadline.
A goal without a deadline is just a dream. If you put a deadline to it the deadline will force you subconsciously to take action to make it happen.

4) Identify the obstacles that you will have to overcome to achieve your goal.
It is impossible to anticipate all the obstacles you are going to have to face, but at least think about some of the obstacles you might experience along the way. Life can produce many difficult obstacles, but the more powerful and inspiring our goals are the more we will be able to work on them despite the obstacles. If you stay focused the obstacles will diminish. As Henry Ford said: “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal”

5) Identify the knowledge, information and skills you will need to achieve your goals.

6) Identify the people whose help and cooperation you will require to achieve your goal.

7) Make a list of everything you will have to do to achieve your goal.

8) Organize your list into a plan. Arrange the steps by sequence and priority.

9) Make a plan. Organize your list into a series of steps from beginning to finish.

10) Select your number one most important task for each day.
It is a good idea to use a spiral notebook and write down your top goal for every area of your life every day. At the end of the day you can tear the page and start with the next day.

11) Practice visualization of your goals.
I always like to share the story of Bruce Jenner the 1976 Olympic Decathlon Champion. He won Olympic gold with a world record. Jenner took a photo of himself on the winning podium in every single item of the decathlon. He enlarged it and framed it and visualized himself winning in advance many times before the actual event. Visualize yourself achieving every one of your goals. The best time to do that is just before you go to sleep every night.

12) Take action.
Make a choice to do something every day that will move you in the direction of your most important goal. In other words determine exactly what it is going to cost you to achieve your goal, and then start paying the price.
Even if you don’t achieve all your goals it is still one of the best habits you will ever acquire because as Jim Rohn puts it: “The major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it, and that will always be far greater than what you get.” Setting and reaching for your goals will cause you to stretch and grow in ways you have never grown before because in order to achieve the goals you will have to become better.

Setting goals is the foundation for all success in life; it is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.

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