Brian Tracy: Hello, this is Brian Tracy I wanted to thank Evan for making this video about my advice on goal setting and sharing these important messages with his audience.
Evan: Hello, Believe Nation, my name is Evan Carmichael. My one word is believe, and I believe that entrepreneurs will solve all of the major problems in the world.
I started the MentorMe series with the goal to try to hang around people who’ve done a lot more than us, and hopefully by spending more time with them, some of their mindset, their thoughts, their beliefs, their attitudes, their way of looking at the world seeps into us to help us become the best version of ourselves.
So today we’re going to learn from Brian Tracy and some of his goal-setting advice. Mentor me, Brian. Rule number five is my personal favorite, and I’d love to know which one you guys like the best.
And as always, guys, as you’re watching, if somebody says something that really resonates with you, please leave it down in the comments below and put quotes around it so other people can be inspired. And when you write it down, it’s much more likely to stick for yourself as well. Enjoy.
Brian Tracy Goal Setting Advice
#1: Focus On One Big Goal
In order to be successful, you must have one big goal. I give goal-setting exercise all over the world that is life-changing. I go back a year a later, or two years later, or three years later, and I have thousands of people come up to me, almost like a guru or a sage, and they say, you changed my life, you made me rich. And I said it was the goals, wasn’t it? And they said, yes, it was the goals, how did you know? And what I teach is this, is take a piece of paper, make a list of 10 goals that you would like to achieve in the next 12 months.
These are one-year goals. Now sometimes, I’ll have a one-day, a one-week, a one-month, three months, six months, but they’re all goals that you want to accomplish within 12 months. Then you look over this list, and you say, if I could wave a magic wand and achieve any one goal on this list, within 24 hours, which one goal would have the greatest positive impact on my life. And then you look at your list of 10, and the answer will jump out at you. And that becomes your major definite purpose.
This because your major goal. Then you transfer this to a clean sheet of paper, and you write a deadline, when you want to achieve this goal. You make a list of everything that you could think of that you could do to achieve this goal. You then organize this list like a checklist, in order of sequence, what do you do first, what do you do second, what do you do third? And then you take action on your goal, and then you do something on that goal every day, seven days a week.
It’s a very simple system, decide the most important goal, write it down, make a plan, work on it every day. And then all of your other goals will start to move forward. You’ll start to make progress on the big goal, but all of the other goals will start to move forward almost without you even paying attention to them. So that’s really the key to success, is single focus. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates were at a dinner party with Bill Gates’ father and a large number of other people, at Bill Gates’ home in Seattle last year.
And they were chatting with each other, they’re very good friends, and somebody came up to them and said, excuse, gentlemen, I don’t mean to interrupt you, but you’re three of the most important, most successful people in the world, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are number one, number two wealthiest men in the world. What would you say is the most important ingredient for success?
And they all stopped and broke off their conversation, and all turned simultaneously and looked at the man and said, focus. Focus is the most important quality for success. If you can focus, you can do anything. If you can’t focus, you must always work for someone else who will make you focus. Now wonderfully enough, focusing is like learning how to ride a bicycle or type with a keyboard. It’s a learnable skill.
You can learn to focus by practicing focus until it becomes automatic. One of my favorite quotes is from Goethe, the German philosopher, and he said, “Everything is hard before it’s easy.” So the formation of any new habit is hard before it’s easy. You have to keep working at it. It’s just like a bicycle. You keep falling down, you have to keep getting back up again, until finally it becomes easier and easier, and soon it becomes automatic. And when you automatically get up each day, plan your day and work on your most important goal, your whole life will transform.
#2: Write Your Goal Effectively
So here’s some guidelines for writing your goals. First, make sure you write them in the present tense as if your goal had already been achieved. For example, instead of saying I will earn X amount of dollars each year, write I earn X dollars each year. The reason that we do this is because your subconscious mind can only register commands that are phrased in the present tense. Next, write your goals in the positive sense.
So instead of saying, I will quit smoking, you would write, I am a nonsmoker. Finally, write your goals in the personal tense. In other words, all of your goals should start with the word I. This is the only way that your subconscious recognizes that this is a command coming from the head office, is when you say I, plus an action verb in the positive sense. I earn X number of dollars this year.
#3: Structure Your Goals As Questions
There’s a process which has made more people rich than any other single process of goal achieving, and it’s to take your major goal and structure it as a question. If your goal is to earn $100,000 a year, then you write, how can I earn $100,000 in the next 12 months? Now that’s an open-ended question, not how can I earn it at my job or doing a specific thing. Just an open-ended question, how can I earn the amount of money?
And then you discipline to write 20 answers to the question. And the 20 answers are all the different things that you can think of to earn $100,000. Work longer, work harder, upgrade my skills, get a new job, take a part-time opportunity, whatever it happens to be. Write down everything you could think of, but force yourself to write at least 20 questions, or 20 answers to the question.
The 20-question method, called mind storming, forces you to dig deep deep into your mind, where you will find all your answers. And it may be call a person, read a book. Let me give you an example. We had a young fellow, entrepreneur, 35 years old. He had built a successful business, he worked about 10 years to do it. And he for two years wanted to sell his business so he could take a year off and travel, enjoy his money.
And so for two years he just sort of floundered around, like a fish on the dock, wanting to sell his business. Nobody offered to buy it. He suggested it to people, people were not interested and so on, and in this exercise that they put him through, his 20th answer, and often it’s the 20th answer that is the breakthrough, was buy a book on how to sell your own business. And it just went off like a flashbulb in his mind.
At the break, he got up. It was a downtown hotel, got up, went down the street to a major bookstore, went and found, he was amazed at the number of books that had been written on how to buy and sell a business. So he bought two or three books. Two months later, he had restructured, packaged his business, sold it completely, satisfactorily and took a year off. He said, but it was just a single idea. It was a breakthrough idea, but it was so simple. Just get a book on the subject. And you think, boy, that’s pretty obvious. Yes, but it’s the most obvious answers that we overlook.
#4: Identify Your Limiting Step
One of the most valuable exercises you can engage in when setting goals is to ask yourself, what is my limiting step? What is the one factor that determines the speed at which I achieve my goal? Or whether I achieve it at all throughout my personal development? Your ability to identify your limiting step is one of the best demonstrations of your intelligence and a step toward building self-confidence.
Your capacity to eliminate this limiting step is one of the best demonstrations of your overall competence in achieving anything you want. In studying everything that has been written or said about personal development and success, the conclusion I came to was that your level of self-confidence is probably the critical factor in everything you’ll accomplish. When you have enough self-confidence, you will try almost anything.
Because success is largely a matter of averages or probabilities, the more things you try, the more likely it is that you will achieve greatly. The same is true for you. By setting goals, trying more things, engaging in more activities, and exploring more opportunities, your probabilities of success increase dramatically. The only real limiting step that you might have is your level of self-confidence.
When you reach the point at which you believe in yourself absolutely, the barriers that exist in your external world will not stop you. The major obstacles to success always lie within the mind of the individual. They are not contained in external circumstances or situations or people. By building self-confidence, you win the inner battle. The outer battle seems to take care of itself. I’ve learned three important ideas for building self-confidence.
First, accept complete responsibility for yourself and for everything that you are and ever will be. Second, accept that you can change your situation only by going to work on yourself and learning the things you need to know in order to be better. Third, setting goals with timelines for the things that you want, and then working on them every day to bring those goals into reality builds your self-confidence.
#5: Take Action Quickly
Many years ago, at a talk, I was speaking to Rich DeVos when he was on his way up. Rich DeVos, the president of Amway, worth $5.3 billion today. Started off knocking on doors, selling soap. And he was working his way up, and I asked him, I said, what have you found, what’s the most important quality of successful people? And he said, Brian, he said we found there’s a direct relationship, I still remember him telling me this, between how quickly a person takes action on a new idea and how likely it is they will ever take action on any idea at all.
And so the action orientation is the critical thing. We watch people, everybody hears the same things, they hear the same ideas, but then we watch and we see how quickly they take action. And if a person takes action quickly on a new idea, the chances are they’re going to be successful go up by hundreds of percent. Now what most people do is they say, that’s a great idea, it’s a wonderful idea, I love it, I’m going to do that, ooh, I’m so excited.
But before I apply it, I need to take a vacation. To a wonderful place called Someday Isle. And so they go to Someday Isle and they live on Someday Isle. And who are they surrounded with on Someday Isle? Other people on Someday Isle.
And what is the chief topic of conversation on Someday Isle? Yes, it’s their excuses. What’s your excuse for not taking action? What’s your excuse for not getting in on it? What’s your excuse for not losing weight, getting out of debt, building your business, writing your book, getting your book finished, getting your damn book started? You know, in other words, what’s your excuse, and all share excuses.
Oh, that’s a good excuse, I haven’t used that one for a long time. That’ll take me another year. And so what they do is they sit around, and the bottom 80% of the population lives on Someday Isle most of their lives. They all have these great resolutions and these wonderful intentions, but what’s the road to hell paved with? It’s good intentions, and I’m going to do that someday, Someday Isle, so rule number for success is whatever you learn here, vote yourself off the island. No more Someday Isle, either do it or don’t do it.
#6: Prepare In Advance
Prepare in advance. You know, the old saying, proper prior preparation saves poor performance or prevents poor performance. The six P’s. And so prepare your work list for the following day the evening or the night before.
The last thing you do at the end of the day is you lay out the day that’s coming. The best exercise is for you to plan your entire next day as the last thing you do before coming home from work. When you plan your day the night before, your subconscious mind then goes to work on your plans and goals while you’re asleep. Very often, you’ll wake up in the morning with ideas and insights that apply to the work of the day. Now a major benefit of preparing your daily list the night before is that this exercise lets you sleep more soundly.
A major reason for insomnia is people lying awake trying not to forget to remember everything that they have to do the following day. But once you’ve written down everything that you have to do on the list, it clears your mind and enables you to sleep deeply. This will help you increase your productivity throughout the whole next day of work because you’ll be more relaxed and more refreshed.
#7: Reward Yourself
Give yourself a reward of some kind for practicing the new behavior. Each time you reward yourself, you reaffirm and reinforce that behavior. Soon, you begin to associate at an unconscious level the pleasure of the reward with the behavior. You set up your own force field of positive consequences, that you unconsciously look forward to as a result of engaging in that behavior or habit that you’ve decided upon.
#8: Start And Complete Task
Evan: So what do you think holds people back? They know what they want to do, but they just can’t keep the habit. They do it once, and then they fall of the train, and then next month they do it again and they fall off the train. How do you make that consistent?
Well, you just keep working at it and working at it. The best way of all is to plan it in advance. Instead of sitting down, never start work without a list, and never start work with prioritizing your list. People sit down, and they say, well, before I make a list I’ll check a little email, check a little spam, send something to my friends, see what’s going on YouTube, and so on and so forth, and then they look up and it’s 10 o’clock.
And they haven’t done anything of value. So what you do is you have to say, you know, well, you know, what do they say, if you start it right it’ll work out right? So start it on your most important task. And do that until it becomes a habit. And here’s an interesting thing about checking email, is when you check email it triggers the release of dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is a drug. By the way, there’s all kinds of books and articles and scientific studies on this.
And dopamine is the same drug in cocaine. And what it does, is it’s triggered every time you have a shiny object, or something new or different or interesting or sparkling. If a telephone rings next to you, you go, bing, your brain releases endorphins, and you can’t hardly wait to see what it is. You’re talking to somebody, and you could be talking to somebody about something very serious, and your telephone goes off, bing.
Your whole mind goes blank. The middle of the conversation stops. You grab for your phone, you pick it up, you look at it, you check it out and everything else, and then you come back. If you’re working on a task, it takes an average of 17 minutes to get back to the task. And then there’s another distraction, so another 17 minutes. Average adult is checking their email and their phone between 95 and 145 times a day.
Which means they’re like attention deficit disorder dogs, just running around back and forth the whole day. At the end of the day, they’re exhausted. By the way, USA Today and Harvard have proved that you lose one IQ point for every hour that you leave your email on. At the end of the day, you’ve lost 10 IQ points. You actually become stupider throughout the day, dumber. And I ask this of my audience as I say, Have you every finished a day where you don’t think you’ve accomplished anything?
You’ve been on email responding to bings and beeps and rings and so on all day, and at the end of the day you go home, and honey says, what do you want for dinner? And you say, I don’t know, I don’t care. Anything, I just want a drink. Because you’re so exhaust, you cannot even decide. You sit there, and basically like you’ve just been punched in the side of the head. Because your brain is dead, and you lose 10 IQ points.
You get stupider throughout the day. You’ve got to turn that darn thing off if you want to remain sharp. Develop the habit. You say, I’m going to develop the habit, and I’m going to give myself my reward, and my reward will be to check my email after I finish my first task. So all of success in life is task completion. Let me repeat that. I just had a long conversation with an entrepreneur and he almost fell of his chair.
I was coaching him. And he said he never heard that before. And then I spoke to this group I was telling you in Japan. I told them the same thing, and they were just flabbergasted. Is the key to success in life is task completion. If you don’t complete tasks, you have no future. And so if task completion is the key, then what you do is you complete more and more important tasks. And if you start every day by completing the most important task, your brain actually releases endorphins.
Now endorphins is another chemical, and it’s only released when you do something that is life-enhancing, and what that means is, when you do something that is good for you, that enhances your life, that furthers you, it makes you happy. It releases energy, it raises your self-esteem. I sort of say, if you want to be a winner, how do you be a winner, well you win. And winning means you cross a finish line.
So if you start and complete a task, you’re actually winning. And you get a feeling of being a winner, which gives you an infusion of energy, and inspiration, and it drives you and motivates you to want to get that feeling again. So how do you get that feeling again? You start and complete another task. So I’ve developed the habit, and people who are successful develop the habit of starting and completing tasks.
So my wife comes in and says dinner’s in five minutes, so I look at my list, and I say, okay, there’s a five-minute task. And I’m going to start and complete a five-minute task. And each time you complete a task, you get a burst of endorphin. The bigger the task, the more endorphin. The more endorphin, the more quickly you become addicted to starting and completing important tasks.
And every single successful person has a reputation for starting and completing important tasks. You want the job done, give it to him or her. You want the product served on time, you want the product completed, you want the product manufactured, shipped, delivered, give it to him, give it to her, give it to that company, because they always deliver. That’s the best reputation you can have if you want to get rich.
Brian Tracy: Hello, this is Brian Tracy. I wanted to thank Evan for making this video about my advice on goal setting and sharing these important messages with his audience. I also want to encourage each of you to use the advice here to take action on achieving your goals and pursuing your dreams instead of living on Someday Isle. Someday, I’ll do this, someday, I’ll do that. But you never do it. Take action, and take action now.
Evan: Thank you guys so much for watching. I’d love to know, what did you think of this video? What was your favorite clip and why? What lesson are you going to pull from this clip and immediately apply somehow to your life or to your business? Please leave it down in the comments below. I’m super curious to find out. I also want to give a quick shoutout of Nathan from the Productivity Game Channel. Nathan, thank you so much for picking up a copy of my book, Your One Word, and making that awesome YouTube video review on it. I really appreciate the support, man, and I’m glad you enjoyed the book.
Nathan: Carmichael states that there is one word that defines who you are, connects all the things in your life that make you come alive and will help you escape the chains of mediocrity.
So thank you guys again for watching. I believe in you. I hope you continue to believe in yourself. And whatever your one word is. Much love, I’ll see you soon.
You might also like
More from Brian Tracy
Today, we're going to talk about how you can create a massive action plan. Good morning, believe nation. My name …
Watch Brian Tracy’s Top 10 Rules For Success video. Famous Entrepreneur Quotes Brian Tracy's Quotes "Use proven success methods." "Time management is the …