Some people are into goals, some people are not.  I, however, am into goals.  In high school, a friend recommended that every New Year, I write my goals on a piece of paper, fold it up,  place it in my wallet, and check it out in the next New Year.  I tried it for that one year, but it never continued after.

Then some time after my graduation from college, a change came over me.    Perhaps it was the fact that my parents retired and moved to Las Vegas.  Or maybe it was because after graduation, my friends moved and everyone began focusing on building their careers.  Regardless, I began writing my goals obsessively on a dry erase board.  As I read more books and articles, I began learning the power of this practice and enhancing my own personal goal-setting procedures.

I recommend adding the following tips:

  1. OG Mandino (writer of University of Success) mentioned that you should always write down your past successes to remind you that you have been successful in the past and that you can duplicate your success again.
  2. Tim Ferris (author of 4 Hour Work Week) suggests that in addition to writing goals, one should define timelines and action items.
  3. Aurora Ferrer (instructor at Kadan Martial Arts) presented on the topic of ‘Vision Books.’  Basically, you take a scrap book, gather photos that represent your desires in life and place them in your vision book.  After completing your vision book, open it from time to time and look at the photos, your vision of what you want your life to be in the future.  The universe will hear your soul and bring you closer to your goals.  Similarly, I’ve found the idea of vision boards online.

The key idea is to constantly remind you of your dreams and aspirations, remind yourself that it is possible, create a plan and make them come true.  I create short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals and update them periodically throughout the year.  When I achieve them, I strike them off my list and eventually add them to my list of successes to keep me motivated.  At the end of the year, I  look at all my achievements a sense of accomplishment as I continue the process in the new year.

I will attest to the successes that come of this practice.  For the most part, I’ve hit each and every one of my goals so far.

For example:

  • Started my own student organization at the age of 18, hosting a series of events that included many musicians I looked up to
  • Bought my first car by the age of 23 (at 22, I was driving the family’s 1986 Chevy Astro Van)
  • Established my first LLC at the age of 24, managing three monthly events in three different cities
  • Became a Director of a large institution at the age of 25 (became Executive Director 3 years later)
  • Own my first property by the age of 26
  • Traveled to Turkey, Germany and Spain at the age of 27 (that’s nine countries at that point in life.  I know it’s not the most impressive amount for a world traveler, but a good pace for me nonetheless.)
  • Received an MBA degree, with no cost to me, at the age of 28

These may not be the most impressive goals, but it just serves as an example of setting up measurable, attainable, time-sensitive goals.  This year, I will share some new goals for 2011 with the public:

  • Cultivating Relationships:I plan to host a few social gatherings to improve my relationship with current friends and to make new friends.
    • Action items:
      • Develop a core of friends willing to join on this adventure
      • Identify other friends that are key influencers from other networks and ask for their participation
      • Identify dates, times and location
      • Possibly speak with venue managers
      • Execute
  • Philanthropy & Helping Others:I would like to help at least three people this year to achieve significant goals in their lives at no cost to them.
    • Action items: Continuously ask people what their plans are this year, offer to help them achieve their goals
  • Health:This year, I plan to lose 15 pounds, compete in my first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament and attain a blue belt.  Remember, my long term goal is to attain a black belt.
    • Action items:
      • Lose weight and focus on stamina January – February.
      • Focus on technique and strategy February-March.
      • Compete by March-June.
      • Practice manual and take Blue Belt test in May.
  • Cultural Enrichment:Travel – destination to be determined.  Some places I have yet to visit on my list include Thailand and Latin American countries.  I would also like to travel to New York City and possibly Philippines.
    • Action items pending: Decide on destination, Save, and Travel.
  • Hobbies:Land my first DJ gig after a 7 year mini-retirement.
    • Action items:
      • Connect with local music industry,
      • Inform people that I am back in business.
      • Prepare my music collection and practice.
      • Possibly create mixtapes and distribute.
      • Possibly solicit venues and promoters.

So what’s the point of all this?  My uncle is a big story teller.  He has been around the world and done some phenomenal things, enough to share with people through the most exciting stories.  Upon my graduation from college, he once told me that it is time for me to begin writing my own book, beginning with that next chapter in my life.  So here I am, trying to make the most of the life I was given.

You only live once people, what stories will you share?

Good luck everyone!