Find a quiet and undisturbed environment.  With a large pad of paper and plenty of pens, pencils and coloured markers, get comfortable and start writing.

List all the goals you would like to achieve in your life, no matter how outrageous they may appear right now.  You should consider every area such as:

Career goals – positions you would like to achieve; how you would like to develop within your company; where you would like to see yourself in two, three and five years…

Personal Goals – write down everything you have ever wanted to achieve – the places that you would like to visit and everything you have always wanted out of life.  This can include financial goals for savings, holidays, etc.

Domestic and family goals – what you would like to achieve for your family; what the family would like to do together (improved relationships, going on holidays as a unit, etc.); plans for putting children through college….

Educational goals – your further development; courses you would like to attend; qualifications you would like to attain…

Material Goals – things you want to obtain – cars, sporting equipment, things for the home or the office, new stereo, TV, laser disc player, etc.

Physical Goals – improving your fitness, attaining a particular weight or measurements, developing a skill (e.g. to be able to run 10 kilometres, lift 100kgs)…

Business Goals – all the things you want to achieve from the business.  The financial – turnover and profit per month/year and what you want to do to bring in that amount; what type of work, how much of it to hit your financial targets.

Use one sheet for each category.  Don’t worry about importance or order just get everything down – quantity is the key at this stage.  You might want to do this in two sessions – to allow other goals to surface.

Next steps

Take each sheet and using a coloured marker or an ABC system categorise every item as:

            A         Top priority, very important

            B          Quite important, but not critical

            C         Would be nice, but not that important

You may have several ‘A’ items on some sheets and none on others.

Take all the A items and put them onto a single list – now reprioritise it – 1 for the most important of all, 2 for the next most important, and so on.  Create a ‘to do’ list for each objective – individual actions with dates for completion.

You can’t ‘do’ a goal – you do things that get you closer to it.  The next step is to create a to do list and attach dates for completion of these tasks.

Transfer the tasks into your diary and place the complete list on your desk or somewhere you will see it regularly.

After three months review all the goals you originally identified and re-make your list.  You should have achieved many of the goals or be well on the way to achievement.  Some of your B list may now move up to the A list and you may have found some new goals.

Repeat the original exercise.

HOT TIP:  Ask yourself every day ‘What have I done today towards achieving my goals?’  It will keep you focused.

Remember – a goal is only a dream you are prepared to take action on!