Seven Steps to Reaching Your Goals in 2008

Part of the Kenno's Blog series.
By Ken Brown
Editor, You Can Learn Series
January 1, 2008
Here it is just a few hours before we welcome in the New Year, 2008. For some it is a time of excitement. For others, they just want to crawl into bed and never come out.

What is the difference between the two? The excited person has goals. They have taken the time to decide what they want in life. They have a plan for achievement. They want something bad enough to get off their butt and make it happen.

Which one are you? Are you excited about the new year? Is this the year you reach out and grab the golden ring? Have you made your plans and calculated each step so precisely, that all you have to do is walk out the front door and success will come to you? Do you want it so bad it hurts?

Well here are 7 steps for making your dreams come true. You can choose one or two of these tips and have a little bit of success or you can devour all seven and be a raging success. The difference is like the difference between a creek and a river. A creek is small and has just a trickle of water. But, a river is so large and big and full of momentum that everything is taken along with it. That is the kind of success you want. A river of success and riches.

These seven steps are for the people that want more. Some people can't sleep at night because they want success so bad. They are capable people. They are intelligent. They are educated and uneducated. It doesn't matter which one you are. You can succeed if you apply these goal setting principles. Yes, they are principles. Not suggestions. Not recommendations. These are the principles of goal setting. Once you apply these principles regularly then you become a winner.

Step One - What Do You Want?

The first principle you need to apply is to determine what you want. If you could have anything in the world, what would it be? Do you want a new home? Do you wish for a fast boat or a luxury automobile? Do you want to spend more time with your family? Do you want to be able to be your own boss? To work from home? To retire before age 50?

If you could have anything you want what would it be? This first step don't limit your dream. Take out a piece of paper. Number it from 1 to 50. Begin to write the 50 things you really want in life. I can assure you, by number 12 you are going to be struggling to write down even twenty. Now, that is exciting. Because you can now see that you don't want everything. There are specific things that you want.

If you make it to 50 then you can stop. I am guessing most of you will not make it to fifty. And that's okay. It is the act of goal-setting that gets us motivated to move in the direction of success. And once you set a goal, then success begins to move toward you.

Step Two - What Can You Accomplish This Year?

Now go through your list and determine what seems reasonable to you this year. Let's say you currently make $20,000 per year and you want to make a million dollars. I won't say you can't reach a million dollars. But, how excited are you going to be after March 30th when you are at $2,000 instead of $246,510? You are going to be so unmotivated that your chances of success will be plummeted against the rocks of despair.

But, let's say your goal is to double your income to $40,000 per year. That is a very big goal to double your income. That will require you to stretch big time. But, it only requires you to bring in a revenue of $109 a day. All of a sudden that seems to be a reasonable goal. If you are selling something for $25 then you only have to make 4 sales a day. You CAN make four sales a day. You CAN bring in $109 a day.

Once you reach $40,000, then the next year when you shoot for $80,000 it is going to seem so easy. Because you have already accomplished it once. Then it is a simple matter of just doubling your income 5 years in a row and you are so over the top of that measly little million dollar mark. Rather than being frustrated because you deamed an unrealistic goal, you know that the simple act of doubling your income this year makes you 20% closer to that million dollar mark.

So go through your list and determine what is reasonable. If you have never blogged before and you expect to beat every established blog in the marketplace. That may be unrealistic. But, you can begin to drive traffic to your website. You can launch your blog and have a successful year of blogging daily or 3 to 5 times a week. That will be a success you can build upon.

As you step through the list mark a number from 1 to 5 of what would be a reasonable goal in terms of years to accomplish that task. If you have a goal of making $40,000 a year and you bust through that to $140,000 a year. That is okay. Your list should contain some ones, twos, threes, fours and fives.

Step Three - Do a Reality Check

Take the ones and write them on another sheet of paper. Then do a reality check. If you have 40 things on your ones list; is that realistic you can do all of them in one year?

Let's say you have a physical goal of running a marathon, increasing your bench press lifting capability by 125% and playing basketball 4 times a week. Guess what. I won't say you can't do it. But, I would say it may not be a reasonable goal. I have run a couple of marathons and they require a lot of time and take a lot out of your body as you train for them.

Go through your list and whittle it down to reasonable expectations. I don't want you to put only things that you know you will succeed at. If you already have tickets to go to Hawaii, then don't put that down as a goal. You have already accomplished that goal. If all your one year goals are namby pamby goals that isn't going to work either.

If our marathoner in the example above was to set a goal to reduce her marathon time by 5 minutes, that might be a namby pamby goal. Come on. Make it a challenge. Try to push yourself and exceed your expectations. Reduce your time by 20 minutes. Now you have a reason to push yourself. Now you have a reason to get up 30 minutes early every day. Now you have a reason to run up that killer hill 3 more times after you are already tired. Now you can challenge yourself to do that extra workout.

There is a fine line between namby pamby and a good goal. The good goal is a challenge. You don't know if you will achieve it or not. If you do achieve it you will be totally thrilled. It has to motivate you to take action instead of sitting and watching the TV.

Step Four - Choose Four that Excite You

If you started with 20 one year goals then now is the time to whittle that list down to 4 goals. Four things that excite you enough to get out of bed each morning.

Take your list of five actionable items and put each one on their own page. Now is the step where you break the goal into itsy bitsy action items. You take your one year goal and break it down into quarters, months, weeks and days. What do you need to do each quarter to reach your goal? Break that quarter into 3 months. What is the goal for each of those months?

Now break that one month goal into a weekly goal and then break it into a daily goal. When you are done with this task then you know what you need to do to each day, and even each hour of each day. How are you doing on your goal? You know because you know what you need to do this hour, next hour and the next 24 hours.

Imagine you have a goal to get 1 million page views to your blog for the year. So, first we break it down to 4 quarters. So, the first quarter of the year you need to have 250,000 page views. Are you scared yet? Okay, each quarter has 3 months. 250,000 divided by 3 equals: 83,333. So each month you are targeting 83,333 page views.

That might be scary for you. But, if we break it down a little more I think you might find it achievable. Each month has approximately 4 weeks. After a little math you calculate you need 20,833 page views per week. Next break it to days and hours. Now you are down to 2,976 per day and only 124 per hour. Now that might not seem so bad.

Step Five -- Create Actionable Steps

Now that you know you only need about 3,000 page views per day, you can put real action steps to reach that goal. Let's say that you currently have 1,500 page views per day. Those 1,500 page views come from three sources.
  1. Direct Traffic - 150 Page Views
  2. Referring Sites - 225 page views
  3. Search Engines - 1125 Page Views
For our example we are going to say you will attempt to double each traffic category. The question you have to ask yourself is, "What do I have to do to double my direct traffic?" You are going to want to increase subscribers to your rssfeeds and to your newsletters. Maybe you want to increase the number of newsletters you send each month. Should you make your RSSFeed indicator larger? Should you write more articles so feed readers visit more often?

Next you want to increase traffic from referring sites. How are you going to do that? Are you going to get more StumbleUpon traffic, Digg traffic or Entrecard Traffic? Will you need to comment more each day on other blogs? Will you send out link exchange requests? What are you going to do? What do you have time to do?

Finally, what page optimization strategies will you employ to increase your search engine traffic? Maybe now all your traffic comes from Google. What can you do to increase exposure on MSN Live or Yahoo? Will it be all on page optimization or will you be working on getting more link love from other sites so your page rank goes up?

Ask yourself these questions and more. Write it all down on a piece of paper. But, before you commit do a reality check. Do you really have time to do all of these steps? Is it worth the effort? Will you be excited 3 weeks from now if you are making the progress you want on this goal? Can you do these steps everyday?

Step Six - Take Action

Okay here is the most important of the steps. TAKE ACTION! Yes, you need to take action. You have made your list of action steps. You know what to do. You know how to do it. You know when to do it. Now do it!

Tomorrow when you wake up look at your list and take action on the most important item on that list. If you can only take one step today what will move you closer to your goal? Then work on that task. And only that task. Don't get distracted by the hundreds of things needing to be accomplished. Take the action that will be most profitable to you today.

For the next twenty one days you need to take action everyday. Go down your action list and cross off each step as you accomplish it for that day. At the end of the day look at this list and be proud of your productivity. Why do it for twenty one days? Because it has been proven that if you do a task for 21 days then it becomes a habit.

Step Seven - Celebrate Success

If you accomplish your goal for that first day and received your 3000 page views then CELEBRATE. You need to reward yourself for achieving the impossible that first day. Because even though you thought you could do it, only by breaking through that barrier do you gain confidence in your ability.

Now, don't celebrate too much. You have to do it all over again the next day. But, that second day it will become easier. You have already done it once. You can do it again. After the first month you might want to re-evaluate your goal because it was so easy. It is okay to look at your goal and change it, but make sure you commit to its accomplishment.

Congratulations You Are A Success

Follow these 7 steps to goal setting and you will be the master of your environment. You will reach your money goals, your personal goals, spiritual goals, physical goals and family goals. You will know the path to personal success and riches. Don't wait another day. Take action to create your goals and then to achieve your strongest desires. I wish you the best of success in 2008.

Success is Achieved by doing the fundamentals - Are you happy with the results. Did we get the number of visitors we wished for? Did our visitors click on revenue producing links and ads? Were our page views up for the year or down? Did users visit more than one page? Did they make it to the order form and then abandon or did they continue and purchase our products?

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