Now that you've identified your Top Ten Goals you've got the easy part done. Now, you have to be prepared to come up with plan for success and do the work to see it through. That's the big difference between dreams and goals. Studies show that that those who write out their goals not only end up achieving them, but have higher incomes and overall success and life satisfaction as well.
Make sure they're SMART goals to ensure success:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Attainable
R - Realistic
T - Timely
A goal without a plan is just a wish.
The Harvard Business School conducted a study which drew a high correlation between writing down goals and overall success. In 1979, MBA students were asked, "Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?" Only 3 percent of respondents had clearly stated goals and actionable steps to achieve them. Ten years later in 1989, that same 3 percent were earning over 10 times as much as the other 97 percent combined.
Source: What They Don't Teach You At Harvard Business School
There is a big difference between simply having general goals and writing them down. There is an even bigger difference between writing them down and creating actionable steps to achieve them. Those steps are your blueprint to achieve your dreams.
Make them specific
The more specifically you state your goals, the more clarity they have. Instead of saying you'd like to develop a better relationship with your sister, you need to identify what that really means to you. Does it mean seeing her more frequently? Does it mean going beyond the small talk to allow for conversations with deeper meaning? What exactly does it mean?
Make action steps clear and measurable
What are the steps you'll need to take to realize your dreams? Write them down. In doing so, you're turning your dream into an actual GOAL. Make them as clear as possible and easy to measure. Vague and fuzzy doesn't work. If you dream of building a house, you'll need to: save for a down payment, buy land, decide on a blueprint, and so on. The more specific and detailed you can be with these steps, the better.
Dream: Build a house in the country
Goal: Build a 2,500 square ft. mission-style home on 2+ acres of land within 5 miles of our town.
- Estimate cost of project
- Save $___________ for down payment
- Locate building lot
- Locate contractor
- Have design/floor plan ideas compiled in a binder
The more you can break your goals down into smaller, measurable segments the more successful you will be at achieving them. What milestones will tell you you're on track? Write them down.
Assignment: Take your top ten goals and break them down into specific, measurable steps. Create milestones so you know you're hitting the targets necessary to stay on track. Write down your plan and post it in a place that's visible. Revisit it frequently and update as necessary.