The 6 Steps Goal Setting: How to Turn Vague Dreams Into Action Steps for Financial Success!
- Step 1 – Determine exactly how much money you desire – don’t be vague.
- Step 2 – Determine exactly what you intend to do in order to earn the money you desire.
- Step 3 – Establish an exact date for when you plan to possess the amount of money you desire.
- Step 4 – Establish a definite plan for achieving your desire, and start right this moment, whether or not you feel you’re ready.
- Step 5 – Write out a clear statement.
- Step 5 – Twice daily, read your written statement out loud to yourself, once in the morning and once before going to bed.
Inspiration is a beautiful, yet, highly volatile source of motivation. We get up with a beating heart one morning and we are ready to pursue our biggest wishes, then a few weeks later we realize we never acted upon them. If you wonder what you did wrong, don’t beat up yourself thinking this is the end of it! It is not the lack of your motivation that holds you back from change but the right frame of thinking. Luckily, there is a time-tested method that helps you set crystal clear goals and gives you consistency to pursue them.
Napoleon Hill, the grandfather of personal growth, as they call him, has spent 25 years studying the behavior of highly successful people in order to come up with a manual for a life full of achievements. His discoveries were published in his book, Think and Grow Rich in 1937 and it is one of those few editions that is still as relevant today as 80 years ago. It is the bible of the top-performers of the world today and has the power to transform one’s thinking from living from paycheck to paycheck to building financial success.
It is time to demystify the 6 Steps Goal Setting method of this brilliant mind so that you can apply it to your life right away. Once you finish this exercise, you will gain confidence in your endeavors and might even bring back dreams that you have given up long ago. Let’s start with number one.
Step 1 – Determine exactly how much money you desire – don’t be vague.
Money is not the goal, it is a tool to get you to your goal. It is not a piece of paper or a card with your name on it: It is a value agreed upon by society and it is your personal decision what it’s worth spending it for. As an example, when you book a hotel room you buy much more than a bed to sleep in. You buy the caring of the staff who serves you, the prestige of staying in a famous hotel, the privacy to be alone, and a long list of other benefits. Some might choose to drink the best coffee in the city every morning and stay in a budget hotel when roaming out while others don’t value their morning coffee ritual as much but insist to stay in a 5-star hotel every time they travel. And they earn the same income.
Think about it for a minute: how much does it take for someone to be rich? Five thousand dollars a month? Ten thousand? A million? Being rich is an intangible concept of the mind and it usually points at other people who buy things we desire. There is no specific amount of money that makes someone rich. Being wealthy is about being conscious about how much you earn, keep, and spend. It is being able to afford the lifestyle you desire and keep enough money for your long-term dreams. It is neither something far on the horizon nor something that happens overnight. Getting wealthier takes only two things: awareness and consistency, and the right goal setting will get you both.
Define the amount that would give you safety week to week, month to month, and year to year. Don’t set millions as a goal right away or an amount you don’t truly believe you can achieve: write down a number that would give you enough money to afford your current lifestyle (or a little better) and enable you to save up for bigger spendings in the future. If you are not sure, start listing down all the things you don’t want to compromise on in your everyday life and your long term goals that require you to start saving up for now. Add the numbers together and write down the sum: make it as bold as you can as this is your goal to achieve.
Step 2 – Determine exactly what you intend to do in order to earn the money you desire.
In other words, put your talents to work. There has to be something that you are good at or something you are an expert in. Think about how you could help people in what they need and find a way to deliver it to them. The more value you give to people the more you will earn.
Doing what you love and earning money from it is the ultimate dream but if doing what you love doesn’t benefit others then no one will buy your product or service. First, you need to look at what other people need so badly that they would pay for it. Let’s say you love reading. Most people wouldn’t pay for you to read, however, there are plenty of people who want to read but they don’t have time for themselves. If you are good at writing book summaries, you can save time for them, which is the number one most valued resource today. Anything that saves a significant amount of time and convenience for people will earn you money. Don’t just screen job listings but find the very thing that you can do better than anyone else in the world and figure out how it could help people.
Another way to look at it is to ask yourself the question: What was your most painful problem 5 or ten years ago? How did you overcome it? Anything you can teach to people who are in the shoes of your 5-years-younger self can give them guidance and they will thank you for that. Your personal story is your most powerful asset so don’t be scared of sharing it with the world and help people become a better version of themselves. The next step of your goal setting is to list down all the areas that come to your mind and find common elements to discover your unique contribution to humanity.
Step 3 – Establish an exact date for when you plan to possess the amount of money you desire.
Building a business or writing a book are great investments for the future but they won’t buy you breakfast next month. Creating your product or service takes time and it would be naive to think that the first version will be an immediate success on the market. You need to learn about the industry, build connections, create something that solves people’s problems, let them know about it (aka advertise it), and deliver it to them. It can be a beautiful journey but it can take several months or years to make it profitable and there is a chance that the idea simply fails.
Therefore, you need to be conscious about the deadline you give to yourself to earn the money you desire. If you need cash tomorrow, you should probably keep your day job or look for other ways of income that you are already familiar with and so which can give you a quick gain. On the other side, you can and should allocate time every day or at least every week in your calendar when you are working on your dream. This will be your high-risk, high-gain investment.
Remember, creating an amazing product, writing an inspiring book, or creating a mind blowing course won’t earn you money: delivering it to your audience will. Make sure you include a buffer time in your goal setting for each possible delay in order to avoid time pressure later on.
Step 4 – Establish a definite plan for achieving your desire, and start right this moment, whether or not you feel you’re ready.
The right goal setting creates action steps that could be done tomorrow or even right now in this moment. Procrastination is our innate nature and the most successful people knew it even a century ago. After you have clarity about the amount of money you want to earn and the way you will make it happen, you need to declare what the first step is that you will take towards your goal. Showing up is 80% of success and you will need to show up for yourself every single day in order to get where you want to be.
There is no overnight success and the passion that fuels you in the very beginning might not feed your inspiration on the long run. If you want to succeed, you need to commit to taking one step every single day that will get you an inch closer to your financial goal. This might be a quick phone call or a few hours of research: what matters is not the amount of time but the energy you invest in it and the commitment to take action every day. Consistency will get you way further than a sleepless night.
Step 5 – Write out a clear statement.
Now it’s time for you to grab pen and paper (or a laptop) and put down everything to the smallest details. If you were pitching an idea for an investor you surely wouldn’t mind the time spent on perfecting the details and committing to an exact plan of how you are going to turn a nice-sounding dream into reality. Why wouldn’t you give yourself the same respect? Based on the previous points, you will need to include:
- How much money are you going to acquire?
- What are you going to do in exchange for the money?
- By when will you have the cash in your hand (or the amount on your bank account)?
- What is your specific, actionable plan for reaching the desired financial goal?
Once you have the long version of your plan, sum it up in a single sentence, for example:
“I will earn $4000 by 25th October coaching clients and so I will make 5 phone calls and publish an article every day in order to get new business.”
Once you are done, print it out and sign your name on it with today’s date. This is your agreement with yourself ensuring that you won’t let another chance slip away and you will stay true to your promise. If you have done all the previous steps, you should be extremely excited by now for creating the life you want to live. If you are not, then you might need a better motivation for your plan to work out or more accuracy in your goal setting. Enjoy the journey and keep in mind why you are doing it.
Step 5 – Twice daily, read your written statement out loud to yourself, once in the morning and once before going to bed.
Repeating your written statement will make sure that you will keep this dream a priority. The next time you will have a choice to act upon it or to delay it for another day you will know what to do. The next time you will be tempted to take up another, better-sounding opportunity or to simply give up because it seems too hard to try again, you will know what to do. Repeating your plan like a mantra each day twice will engrave it in your subconscious mind and soon all your thoughts will revolve around your brilliant goal setting making it impossible for you to give up on it.
This is the reason why positive affirmations often fail when they are not used the right way. If you repeat I am rich or I am a millionaire, your mind will reject the thought or ask How are you going to do it? By repeating the statement you just created, your mind will have perfect clarity about the How and will only think about the next small action step on the way instead of getting overwhelmed by a grand vision or fearing failure.
As you repeat it daily, visualize yourself at your defined time of achievement possessing the money and feel the emotions that come with it. This will reinforce your belief in your success. Who is the person you will need to grow into in order to achieve your goal? A person who takes daily actions. It’s time to live up to your dreams, get started right now.