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Why Goal Setting Doesn’t Work

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Article by Robert Shemin

In a nutshell, the only way to become truly wealthy is by owning assets. Of course you are the most important asset, closely followed by stocks and bonds, real estate or a business such as a successful network marketing company. While the above mentioned ways to riches are not in any necessary order, the problem is that most people don’t take any path at all. I personally like to do all three!

If you have a car, do you want it running on one cylinder, six or eight?

With the New Year coming up we are all doing some massive goal setting. Gyms are over-flowing with inspired faces, huffing and puffing along only to throw the towel in a few weeks later. Here is what happens in the real world: You join a great company with great opportunities You’re excited they’re excited and you set a lot of high monetary goals. "I want to be a director, I want to be at the platinum level by a certain date, and I want to be a $100,000 or $250,000 money earner in six months." Yes it is ok to set lots of goals, but let’s talk about reality because successful people like yourselves and this rich idiot are really only concerned with one thing in business and network marketing and that’s RESULTS! The rich idiot sets only one goal and in a minute I will tell you what that goal is.

There’s nothing wrong with setting high goals but, as you know, the reality is many people don’t make them and then do what we all do subconsciously every day: It’s called self-punishment.

If you don’t make the goal your subconscious says: " I’m a failure because I didn’t’ make my goal." Now here’s a psychological secret that will help you and your team become more successful, make more money and have more fun. I’ve had the good fortune of traveling all over the world and meeting the spiritual leaders from almost every religion and spiritual movement. I asked each one the same question and got the same answer: The question was: "If you could tell people just one thing, one important message what would it be?" Each leader told me the one message they would give people would be this: "Do not be so hard on yourself! " This might sound simple, but it has everything to do with your goal setting.

Most people set high goals and do not make them. We all have done it. So say you set high and vigorous goals for dieting, exercising, personal career and money. When you miss a goal you feel bad. Let’s say you slip up and eat that donut, you know your not supposed to have. How long do you think about missing the goal or not doing the right activity? Consciously you beat yourself up a lot and subconsciously you beat yourself up all the time. Besides, many of your good friends and family will remind you constantly of your failures. Mine do! Usually in fifteen minute increments.

Here’s the secret: You are always 100%! So if you set a goal of achieving an $100 000 income level and you are only making 80,000 then you are 80% successful and only 20% says you didn’t make it. The great spiritual leaders tell me that 80 plus 20 equals 100. (So does my old math professor!) The point is that no one is perfect and that we are always 100 percent. Of course life, business and success are about always striving to improve those percentages.

Now here is how you, your team and the rich idiots set goals:
This will help you and your organization profit immensely in business, sales, network marketing and life. There’s only one thing that will make you successful, and that’s ACTIVITY. It’s ok to have money, business and life goals, but the most important focus is the activity I am going to do today to reach that goal. How many times have you been frustrated by someone in your group over-promising and then under-delivering: " I’m going to go full time into network marketing and make $20K per month", and six months later they are making nothing because they’ve done nothing. So right now, refocus your goals and your group goals on activities.

Activity. Did I say it already? ACTIVITY!

What activity do we need to do and how much of it to get to where we really want to go?
How many calls do I have to make? How many people do I have to talk to? How many presentations do I need to make. When you are thinking about the activity ask yourself this question: "What brought me the most money last year?" and do more of that. Take Inventory. Look at what worked in the past and build on that. Focus on the most productive activity that gets results.

Let me give you an example: For New Years most people want to get into shape. They talk about it, they sign up for gyms, they hire trainers, and they think about it. There are only two things that will get you in shape. Diet and exercise! You have to DO something. If you go to the gym once a week you already are ahead of the game, but if you go five times a week you’ll get into better shaper faster. The more activity you do, even if you’re not the best at it, the better you’ll probably get.

In my goal setting sessions we do a little training, we set some goals, and then we stop right there and do the ACTIVITY. So if someone says: " I want to make 4 presentations a day in 2 days a week part time," I actually stop the training and say: "Let’s make those calls right now!" We may do it individually and have the group observe or make the appointment right then and there.

Even this rich idiot was brought up in a poverty mentality. That is the believe system that the universe is limited that there is competition and scarcity. Most of you know by now that the universe is an abundant place with no limits and you can achieve more than you even set out to. This presents another challenge: Many of you who are reading this are successful and have achieved your goals and beyond. I’ve been in the same situation and the question is: Now what? Whatever goal setting you do, you always have to adjust. The most important questions for everyone, whether they are just starting out or knocking out $759K per year is: Why I am doing this? What is my why? What is my desire? You have to determine what it really is you want.

If you have enough desire nothing will stop you; if you do not have enough desire everything will stop you.

When you do reach your goal, reward yourself! Take the trip, have the dinner go for that family vacation. Everyone loves rewards, especially me! Don’t forget about yourself. Be good to yourself. This is a part of goal setting people forget.

This rich idiot has found that the most challenging part of goal setting is when you reach your goals. Now you have to set new ones. Many leaders who are successful do not have any new goals. You always have to have a new challenge.

I for example, at the ripe old age of 31, retired and thought I was pretty happy. One day a well- known spiritual leader was a guest in my house and asked me a very profound question that changed my life. He asked me what my son said when asked in school about what it is his father does. I proceeded to mumble a list of my usual accomplishments as author, speaker and investor. He nodded with a smile and said: "What is that you would really want your son to say when someone asks what does you dad do? What would you like for your family and friends to say when someone asks them what you do? I responded by saying" I never thought about this question." He then asked me what do you really like to do? I said I like to help people. He said, how about the next time someone asks your son this question you son will say: "My dad and I save lives!" I was intrigued and promptly introduced to the idea of buying defibrillators to send to third world countries.
Today my son Alex and I have saved many lives. So ask yourself: What do I really love to do? Now set activity goals that incorporate what you truly love to do.

Another great activity and goal setting idea that you can use is work backwards. Where would you and your team really love to be?

One technique I found helpful in achieving this is creating in writing the "perfect day of play and the perfect day of work." Be specific. Where would you be? Where would you live? What activities would you be doing? How much would you be making? How much would you be contributing to charities? The more specific you can be, the better. This rich idiot for instance is from Nashville, Tennessee and always wanted to live on the beach like an upscale beach bum. I pictured myself lounging on that beach-chair smelling the ocean breeze!

The problem was that being from Tennessee all my business was in Tennessee and there is no beach there. You see I did the perfect day of play and work exercise and envisioned myself working a few hours a day with the ocean view, making tons of money, donating a lot of money and traveling the world. Unfortunately when I wrote those things, I was making very little and was reminded by all my helpful friends and family that I could never leave Nashville. At that time I thought I had to do everything myself. It’s called EGO.

Then I gave in. I set activity goals based not on what I thought but what my network marketing company’s system had proven to be successful. I stopped setting lofty money goals and focused myself and my team on ACTIVITIES that work. A quantum leap of success occurred and soon I found myself living in South Beach, donating more to charity in a month than I used to make in a year, traveling and speaking to hundreds of thousands of people a year. How did this happen? I don’t know, but I do know that if you cannot envision it, it probably will not occur.

When does your perfect day of work, play or achievement of your goal occur? Is it when you think of the goal or when you actually achieve it? When is a building built, when you think of it or when it’s finished?

Perhaps you would agree with me that it is both. When you think of something it begins, but you need the ACTITIVY to make it happen.

What’s your one goal today and what are you going to do to achieve it? Happy New year from Robert, the rich idiot.

Executive summary

  1. Only focus on one goal and most importantly the activity to achieve that goal.
  2. Many people set themselves up for frustration and disappointment by setting high goals, which consciously and subconsciously reinforces a failure mentality.
  3. Good goal setting works backwards. Write down in detail your perfect day of play and your perfect day of work with NO LIMITS.
  4. Again, focus on the productive activity that will get you and your team where you want to go and beyond.

Robert Shemin is a regular guest speaker at CT REIA. Go here for the current list of upcoming real estate investing seminars in Connecticut.

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