Note from Coach: this is an excellent quote re the Practice of discipline in our lives as leaders! It is a must if we are going to get better! Enjoy! Continue reading
The following is adapted from Brian Tracy’s blog. I receive an email everytime he has a new post. I suggest that if you haven’t already, SUBSCRIBE to a great leader, or leaders’ blog(s) and learn all you can!
Now for Brian’s post on “Planning Your Year”:
| Planning Your Year by Brian Tracy
Posted: 30 Dec 2009 12:01 PM PST
There has never been a better time in all of human history to be alive than today.
There are more opportunities for you to accomplish more things, in more different fields, engaging in more different activities, than have ever existed before.
Resolve today to make 2010 the very best year of your life.
Resolve today to draw a line under your past and to focus very clearly on your future.
Resolve today that you are going to set goals, make plans, take actions and achieve more in the coming year than perhaps you have ever accomplished in any one single year before.
One of the great rules for success is this: “It doesn’t matter where you’re coming from; all that really matters is where you’re going!”
No matter what you have done or accomplished in the past, “that was then and this is now.”
The very best days, weeks, months and years of your life lie ahead. The most exciting accomplishments and the greatest achievements are still to come. As Shakespeare said, “The past is merely a prelude.”
As it happens, everyone has goals. But some people seem to accomplish their goals far more systematically and with greater assurance than others. Why is this? The answer is simple. People who accomplish goals at a higher rate than the average are people who use a systematic, proven method of goal setting and goal attainment.
Focus and Concentration
Perhaps the two most important qualities of success are focus and concentration. Focus means knowing exactly what it is you want and concentration means having the discipline to concentrate single-mindedly on one thing, the most important thing, until it is complete.
If you have these qualities, and both of these qualities are learned through practice, you can accomplish virtually anything. There are no limits on your future if you can focus and concentrate every hour of every single day.
Back From the Future Thinking
The starting point of setting goals for the coming year is for you to project forward and think back. Practice what we call “Back from the Future” thinking. Project forward to the end of the next twelve months and ask yourself, “If everything happens perfectly, what will it look like?”
The one quality of men and women who become leaders in their own lives and societies, throughout all of history is the quality of vision. They have the ability to visualize. They can see the future well in advance of it becoming a reality. They can then see the steps that they will need to take to get from where they are to where they want to go.
So if your next twelve months were ideal, in every respect, what would happen or, what would have happened, at the end of that twelve month period?
You need to set goals that are multi-dimensional. You need to set goals for every part of your life so that you function like a well-oiled machine, like a balanced wheel that goes around smoothly in every respect. You need goals for your health, for your career, for your finances, for your relationships, for your personal and professional development, for your community and for your spiritual growth.
Nothing happens by accident. Everything happens for a reason. And you are the “primary creative force” in your own life. You are the reason. Things are happening in your life because you make them happen, not because you sit around and wait for them to happen.
7-Step Goal Setting Model
Here is the basic seven-step model of goal setting. You can use this like breathing in and breathing out on a regular basis to accelerate your attainment of any goal you can imagine for yourself.
Step number one is for you to decide exactly what you want. This immediately moves you into a separate category of people because most people have no idea of what they really want.
Clarity is the most important single quality of goal-setting and perhaps the most important single quality of success. Decide exactly what you want in each area of your life. Instead of fuzzy goals like more money, better health and happiness, be specific about exactly how much more money you want to earn in a specific period of time and combine that with exactly what level of health and fitness you desire.
Most people are unconsciously preoccupied with the fear of failure. It is the greatest single obstacle to success in adult life. And the fear of failure can work on you unconsciously by blocking you from setting clear specific goals.
Why? Well, if you don’t set clear, specific goals, then you can’t fail to achieve them. So your subconscious mind is actually protecting you by helping you to avoid failure.
You must resist and overcome this tendency by having the courage to be bold and specific about exactly what you want.
Only three percent of living Americans, or adults anywhere for that matter, have written goals. Everyone else that thinks about a written goal and plans to write them down, someday. But they never get around to it. Most people spend more time making a list of groceries before they go shopping or planning a vacation than they do in planning their lives. But again, this is not for you. Success begins with a pad of paper, a pen and a few minutes of your time. One of the most important keys to success is to “think on paper.”
All successful people “think on paper.” And here are two important points. If you cannot write it down clearly and specifically on a piece of paper, then it means that you are not really clear about it yourself. Perhaps you don’t even want it. What is worse, it may be that you are afraid that you may not attain it. Nonetheless, a goal that is written down is merely a fantasy or a wish. A goal that is clearly written and described on a piece of paper takes on a power of its own, it is now something concrete that you can touch and feel and work with.
The second principle of writing goals down is that something miraculous happens between the head and the hand. When you actually write a goal down, it is as if you are programming it into your subconscious mind and activating a whole series of mental powers that will enable you to accomplish more than you ever dreamed of. By writing it down you intensify your desire for the goal and you increase your belief that the goal is possible.
You begin to expect to achieve the goal and you start to attract people and circumstances into your life that are consistent with the attainment of the goal. Writing your goal down is one of the most amazing of all goal-setting skills and it is a key to your success.
The third step is for you to set a deadline. If it is a large goal, set a series of sub-deadlines. A deadline acts as a “forcing system” on your subconscious mind and begins to move you toward your goal rapidly while it moves your goal toward you.
Sometimes people ask me, “What if I set a goal and I don’t achieve it by the deadline?” The answer is simple. Set another deadline.
Remember, a deadline is a guess-timate of when you will achieve it. Sometimes you will achieve your goal well in advance of your deadline. Sometimes goals will take much longer than you expect. But you must have a target time before you set off.
It is like making a reservation at a restaurant. You may be five minutes early or five minutes late, but you always have a specific time for which your dinner is reserved.
The fourth step is for you to make a list of everything you could possibly think of that you will have to do to achieve your goal. The more comprehensive your list, the more motivated you will become, the more intense will be your desire and the more you will believe it possible.
One of the things that hold people back is even if they get to the point of a written goal; they do not take the time to lay out a list of all the little things they will have to do to get there. And with additional experience, you will add new items to your list until it finally becomes complete.
The fifth step of goal setting is for you to take your list and organize it into a plan. A plan is really quite simple. It is a list organized by priority and importance. You decide what you will do first and what you will do later. You decide what is more important and what is less important. And most of all, you decide upon the one thing that is more important than anything else that you can do immediately to begin moving more rapidly towards your goal.
Step number six is for you to “take action!” This is the big killer for most people. They are procrastinators. They have great ideas combined with great hopes and dreams. They may even get to the point of writing down their goals. But when it comes to taking action, they always have a reason or excuse to procrastinate to put it off until a later time. However, as the Bible says, “Faith without deeds is dead.”
It is when you launch toward your goal that you begin to feel the desire and power that goes along with goal setting. And once you have launched toward your goal, it is much easier for you to continue moving in that direction.
Step number seven is for you to do something every day to move you toward your major goal. Never let a day go by without you engaging in some action that helps you move another step in the direction of what you really, really want in life.
The simple seven step act of deciding exactly what you want, writing it down, setting a deadline, making a list, organizing the list into a plan, taking action on the most important item on your list and then doing something every day towards your goal will change your life and your future in ways that you cannot even dream of today.
For more on Brian Tracy: visit http://briantracy.com
In his blog on December, 2008, Brian Tracy said, “When I began searching for the secrets of success many years ago, I discovered an interesting principle: success leaves tracks. A wise man who had studied success for more than 50 years concluded that the greatest success principle of all was, “learn from the experts.”
I recently reviewed a book I read years ago, “Diamonds In The Rough”, by Barry J. Farber. I suggest that you do that, by the way–review a book that you’ve read before because you will be in a different place in your leadership development (or you SHOULD be) and you will “see” new things that you missed before!
Anyway, one of my favorite chapters in Farber’s book is chapter 4: “Seeking Out Positive Role Models.” It motivated me to reach out to certain leaders I admired and their response has greatly enhanced my pursuit to know the “Mindset Of A Leader”! Here is a summary of the chapter:
SEEKING OUT POSITIVE ROLE MODELS:
- Make careful choices about who you wish to follow and who you are associated with.
- A role model is not always someone that you meet. You can have what I call “distance role models” that you study by reading books and articles about them, or speaking to people who work for them. (this one added by Coach O 🙂 )
- Surround yourself with positive models of success. Positive thinking leads you in the direction of your goals.
- Keep your eyes, ears, and heart open. Many people around us are willing to teach — if we are willing to learn. Listen to all advice and carefully evaluate it!
- Expose yourself to a variety of situations. Network constantly. You never know who you will meet that will help you reach your goals.
- Look within YOURSELF. Make things happen. Find your own inner strength!! Ultimately, YOU have to motivate YOURSELF—roles models can only inspire you. (Know the difference)
SIX MONTH PLAN FOR SEEKING OUT ROLE MODELS:
These are the benefits you will gain from completing this action plan:
- You will learn from the credible people in the world—they’ve already done what you are trying to accomplish.
- You’ll flatter them by asking for their help and their advice is free.
- You’ll make valuable inroads and connections.
Select ten people you admire and emulate, whom you would like to connect with in the next six months.
Design a letter, customized to each individual, asking for a time to speak. Be creative and add your own personal flair.
Here are some sample questions that you might want to ask during a mentor interview. Add your own, or course. Ask open ended questions (ones that require more than yes or no answers). Before the interview, ask yourself what you would most like to know.
- What motivates you every day?
- When did you discover that this is what you wanted to do for a living?
- How did you get started?
- How can I learn what I need to know about this profession?
- Do you have any practical advice about getting started in this field?
- Do you set goals? If so, how?
- What are the three key attributes to being successful in this field?
- If you were going to start all over again and you were in my shoes, what specific steps would you take?
- What is your definition of success?
- Do you know anyone in this profession, or any other, that you’d recommend that I should speak to?
Final tip: Listen, serve, or move on. Listen to those people around you that are positive and successful. Serve people that are less successful than you by helping them move up. Move on when those around you are negative and pulling you down!!
Well, what are you waiting for? Got out there and take your success to the next level!!!
Persistence is the iron quality of success;
if you persist long enough you must eventually succeed.
— Brian Tracy
The following is from Coach Bob Starkey’s blog: http://hoopthoughts.blogspot.com. He shared Brian Tracy’s thoughts on discipline and persistence and I share them with YOU! I have already mentioned how great Coach Starkey’s blog is (more info on ALL his blogs below)…so read and apply to your life:
Many thanks to Coach Starkey!
The most important single quality of success is self-discipline. Self-discipline is having the ability within yourself, based on your strength of character and willpower, to do what you should do when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not. Character is the ability to follow through on a resolution after the enthusiasm with which the resolution was made has passed.
Persistence is Self-Discipline in Action
Perhaps the greatest display of self-discipline is persisting when the going gets tough. Persistence is self-discipline in action. Persistence is the great measure of individual human character. Your persistence is, in fact, the true measure of your belief in yourself and your ability to succeed. Each time that you persist in the face of adversity and disappointment, you build the habit of persistence. You build pride, power, and self-esteem in your character and your personality. You become stronger and more resolute. By persisting, you become more self-disciplined. You develop within yourself the iron quality of success, the one quality that will carry you forward and over any obstacle that life can throw in your path.
Get Going and Keep Going
Orison Swett Marden wrote in his book, “There are two essential requirements for success. The first is ‘go-at-it-iveness’ and the second is ‘stick-to-it-iveness'” Referring to the quality of persistence he wrote, “There is no failure for the man who realizes his power, who never knows when he is beaten; there is no failure for the determined endeavor, the conquerable will. There is no failure for the man who gets up every time he falls, who rebounds like a rubber ball, who persists when everyone else gives up, who pushes on when everyone else turns back.”
Persistence is Your Greatest Asset
Perhaps your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay at a task longer than anyone else. B.C. Forbes, who founded Forbes magazine and built it into a major publication during the darkest days of the Depression, wrote, “History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeat.”
Adversity is What Tests Us
Throughout history, great thinkers have reflected on this paradox and have concluded that adversity is the test that you must pass on the path to accomplishing anything worthwhile. Herodotus, the Greek philosopher, said, “Adversity has the effect of drawing out strength and qualities of a man that would have lain dormant in its absence.” The very best qualities of strength, courage, character, and persistence are brought out in you when you face your greatest challenges and when you respond to them positively and constructively.
For more from Brian Tracy visit: