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Setting and achieving your new year's goals

The only way to take control of your life, raise your standard of living and move beyond merely surviving is to create your own unique product or service that you offer to increasing numbers of people in exchange for the things of value that you desire. This simple formula applies to countries as well as people. A self-sufficient economy has its own products or services of value to export to the world. Similarly, a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchange in the global marketplace. That thing of value is based on your natural talent, skill, or interest—in other words, your passion!

As the new year approaches, talk and interest often turn to making new year’s resolutions--in other words, setting goals.

Now is as good a time as any, therefore, to talk not just about goal-setting, but goal-achieving. Setting the goals is the easy part. Achieving them, on the other hand, requires a bit of finesse.

The reasons many people fail to achieve their goals are many:

- procrastination, due to lack of sufficient motivation,

- self-sabotage, caused by an over-active "failure mechanism"

- fear of success caused by low self worth

- confusion, caused by not having correct definitions and information

- overwhelm, by attempting too much too quickly

- not doing something significant early on to make their goal or idea real

But even if you do things right away, practice great work habits, sustain the right motivation, move at a manageable speed, and do things that are in your best interest, it’s still possible to miss the mark achieving goals you’ve set if you don’t have an effective template for achieving them.

Every goal you will ever achieve will be the result of getting specific activities and purposes aligned with that goal. From the smallest goal of, say, going to the store to purchase food, to a larger goal of starting your own business, to the still larger goal of turning around a nation’s economy, all require operating in a coordinated manner. This template will help you do exactly that.

First, let’s clarify some terms so there’ll be no confusion (Excerpt from Targets and Goals by R. Hubbard).

GOALS: A goal is a known objective toward which actions are directed with the purpose of achieving that end.

PURPOSES: A purpose is a lesser goal applying to specific activities or subjects. It often expresses future intentions.

POLICY: Policy consists of the operational rules or guides for the organization which are not subject to change.

PLANS: A plan is a short-range broad intention thought up for the handling of a broad area to remedy it or expand it, or to obstruct or impede an opposition to expansion.

PROGRAMS: A program is a series of steps in sequence to carry out a plan.

PROJECTS: A project is a sequence of steps written to carry out one step of a program.

ORDERS: An order is a verbal or written direction to carry out a program step or apply general policy.

IDEAL SCENES: An ideal scene expresses what a scene or area ought to be. If one has not envisioned an ideal scene with which to compare the existing scene, he will not be able to recognize departures from it.

STATISTIC: A statistic is a number or amount compared to an earlier number or amount of the same thing. Statistics refer to the quantity of work done or the value of it.

VALUABLE FINAL PRODUCTS: A valuable final product is a product that can be exchanged for the services or goods of the society. [end exceprt]

The achievement of any goal and the realization of one’s ideal scene are the culmination of Major Targets, Primary Targets, Vital Targets, Conditional Targets and Operational Targets all kept in alignment. Let’s see how you would use them in a real example.

Let’s say that your new year’s resolution is to finally write and publish your own book about your life in the CNMI and the wonderful experiences you had growing up on Saipan, Tinian and Rota. Your goal is to generate enough money through the sales of this book to live comfortably and support your family.

Note: Remember, this is just an example, edited for brevity. Your descriptions, strategies, task lists etc. should be more detailed and thorough. The more thorough and detailed you make these, the greater your chance of success.

GOAL: Establish a consistent income stream of $3,000/month in book sales.

Purpose: Establish a means to be financially free so I can help my family

Strategy: Self-publish the book; Market it on the internet

Major Target: (broad general ambition)
1. To achieve national and international fame as a millionaire CNMI author and celebrity success story

Primary Targets: (These are the organizational, personnel and communication steps necessary)

1. Aet up my business

2. Assign an assistant to make calls

3. Retain coaching services of Joe who has written several books

Vital Targets: (essential for operation, or the business won’t run)

1. Establish relationship with manufacturers to print my book

2. Maintain minimum bank balance of $500 to cover expenses

3. Do not let supply of books get low while marketing campaign is on

Conditional Targets: (gather data about if, where and how a project can be done, then take action)

1. Find out if I can use my sister’s beachfront house to write my book

2. Find out if my printer can ship to US Mainland, then establish account

3. Research if DSL line is possible for my apartment, then set it up

Operating Targets: (directions, actions, schedule or timetable; this is the actual implementation of your plan)

- Complete new book by March 15

- set price, design cover

- Submit transcript to copyright office in DC

- Print sample of my book

- Design & launch my website by May of next year

- Write and distribute a press release announcing my book

- Call 10 wholesalers each week

- Set up interview on local radio stations

- Advertise my website on

- And so on (This is list is constantly added to, modified and improved)

Production Targets: (set quantities for statistics)

1. Book sales of 50 copies in June

2. Book sales of 100 copies in July

3. Book sales of 150 copies in August

Valuable Final Product:

“My final product is a well produced, professional-looking book with my picture on it, that helps people appreciate life here in the CNMI from my perspective, and that people around the world enjoy reading.”

Ideal Scene:

“In my ideal scene, book sales exceed 200 copies per month. Selling 200 copies at 14.95 each generates a gross income of $2,990 each month for me. My picture is on the front page of the Saipan Tribune. I am interviewed by the local radio stations and invited to speak at schools, churches and events island-wide as well as around the Pacific region and the mainland US. Others are inspired by my success and write to me for advice.”

So there you have it, a highly effective Goal-Achieving template in action! Every time you start a new project or set a new goal, you can complete a brand new template so that you always have your targets and goals visible at all times, and are always making sure they are kept in alignment. Allowing just one of these targets to fall out of alignment (e.g., letting your supply of books drop to low) can adversely affect your success.

Whether consciously or not, every successful project manager or team leader has kept all of these targets and goals in alignment. Every failed project has been the result of allowing one or more of the target areas to go overlooked or unaddressed.

In order to make this template work for you, therefore, it will be necessary to review each section every day or every week, to make sure that every item is kept in alignment/up-to-date.

Here’s wishing you a happy holiday and much success achieving the coming year’s goals!

Until next week, remember, success is a journey, not a destination!

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