An extract from Housework Blues – A Survival Guide.
“People with goals succeed
because they know where they’re going.”
~ Earl Nightingale
Write it down.
Once you’ve got a clear idea of your goal, write it down. Advocates of list-making will tell you there is magic in the written word – even if you never look at it again. This is because the process of writing forces you to crystallise your ideas. However, there is definitely merit in revisiting your written goals. They’re a great tool in charting your progress and a useful visual reminder that reinforces your aims.
If you’re in any doubt of the power of written goals, I suggest you read Mark McCormack’s book, What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School. In it, he quotes some compelling statistics from a decade-long study of Harvard MBA graduates. For example, in 1979, 3% of the participating graduates had written down their goals and made plans to achieve them, 13% had unwritten goals, and the rest had no specifc goals. When the graduates were interviewed 10 years later, those who had unwritten goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the graduates with no clear goals. However, the 3% who wrote down their goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as all the other graduates put together!
So write down your goals!
Wherever this secret power comes from – make use of it. In fact authors Tom & Penelope Pauley (of richdreams.com) believe that writing it down is all you have to do! In their book, I’m Rich Beyond My Wildest dreams, I am, I am, I am, their suggested route to riches is simply making detailed lists of what you want. It’s a fascinating and fun technique and one that I’ve already had some success with.
Now, you may need an open mind for this and a little faith, at first. But it’s not necessary to explain or understand the forces at work to make use of this trick. Once you try it and see the evidence that it works, you’ll be convinced. In fact, you’ll probably be so excited and amazed that you’ll want to share it with everyone!
So, get yourself a nice pen, and maybe a smart new notebook in honour of your new regime, then grab a cuppa and a seat – and write down the blueprint for your perfect home-life. Then prepare to be amazed. (Note: If you’re like most people, you will now be nodding and thinking, Yeah, yeah, I get the idea, I don’t really need to actually do it… If that’s the case – reread the statistics above! This stuff works – why not make use of it to help you? It’s a small effort that will reap dividends – but only if you do it!)
It’s worth noting here that it’s not necessary to know the exact route to your desired outcome. To paraphrase Martin Luther King, you don’t have to see the whole staircase to take the first step. There is a school of thought that believes the answers will find you. Personally, I’ve had much experience of this method and ?nd that in the act of setting a goal, a few ideas ‘magically’ crop up. I’ve learned to trust these nudgings and take inspired action. There may be times where I can’t see how these actions could possibly result in my goal, but invariably, by some route I could never have imagined, they do. So my personal belief is that the route will occur to you once you make the decision to go for it. If you have faith in the process, you only have to know what you want to achieve and the answers will appear as you go along. For me, this path is not only successful, but hugely enjoyable and full of magic and awe.
It’s possible, though, that a more structured technique will appeal to you. If you find it helpful to map out a series of steps that could get you to your goal, that might be the best process for you. Many success experts recommend this. In The Success Principles, the hugely successful Jack Canfield has dedicated a chapter to this idea of ‘chunking down’. To do this, take your end-goal and reduce it down to all the steps you believe you’ll need to take to get there. Make these smaller and smaller chunks until you find one you can start with.
Which brings me nicely onto Step 3 of the process…
(If you’d like to read the complete article, visit houseworkblues.com for details of the book.)