I was just over at a self development forum, and was very intrigued by one of the member’s ideas for giving himself a “50 skill challenge,” which sounds like a great way to help set and achieve goals and objectives
This forum member, who goes by the user name of “Mounds” stated, “I can make you a guarantee with this challenge. If you walk into it and learn 50 skills in a year, you will walk out a better, more developed person. How can you not?”
What a brilliant concept! I always temper big goals or objectives with one of my favorite sayings by Carl Schurz (paraphrased):
“Ideals are like the stars. We may not reach them, but like the mariners on the sea, we chart our course by them.”
In Mounds’ case, he talks about some skills being more simple (and therefore easy to chalk off the list) – such as “learn to change a tire.” Certainly not a difficult skill to learn – and also one that would always be helpful to know.
He then mentions adding skills that present a bit more of a challenge, such as “Learn origami.” Or “Learn how to salsa dance,” or “Learn…website related skills.”
This is where I thought about categorizing and prioritizing the skills I might target for myself. Thinking about some of the examples Mounds offered, I could quickly determine that as cool as it might be to learn origami or salsa dancing, I honestly don’t see myself using the skill very often. First, John just simply does not like to dance. 🙂 And, origami might be useful for an art teacher – but, not really for me.
So, I thought about how this type of challenge would work best for someone like me. As I mentioned to Mounds in his thread, I’d probably give thought to what my OVERALL goals are for the year (or whatever time frame I’d consider for this).
What am I trying to accomplish this year?
There are a few things that come to mind right away.
For example, I would dearly love to sell our house – but we don’t know of any realtors who are using the type of marketing that we feel could really help. Putting the house on the MLS is fine – but what ELSE could bring attention to our home?
So, thinking in terms of the goal to sell our home this year, I instantly think of “video marketing” and “social network marketing.” To the best of my knowledge, the agency with whom we had the house listed last year didn’t do any of this. If they did, we weren’t told of it.
So, what skills would be required for me to bring myself closer to my goal? Here are some of the things I came up with that one might need to learn:
- Learn how to sign up for YouTube
- Learn how to record a video on the free “Movie Maker” tool that came with my computer
- Learn how to make a Fan Page on Facebook to market the house
- Learn how to stage a house for photos and showings
Then, once these skills are learned, I could build my objectives (targeted action steps) toward the goal, based on using these skills. For example:
- Prepare each room for photos
- Take photos of each room
- Arrange photos in Movie Maker and add captions
- Complete the movie and publish on YouTube
- Create the Facebook Fan Page and add the video
So, as a result of this exercise where I learned some new skills, I also naturally find myself moving towards my goals.
It’s certainly an interesting concept – and one that I think would be a lot of fun to work on. It’s just a little twist on achieving goals and objectives.
And, at the end of the year, I’d walk away having learned at least a FEW new skills – which is an accomplishment in itself!
In the meantime, I’ll let you know if I really do anything like this to help sell our home!
(2014 Update – the forum I talk about is no longer available; therefore, I removed any links to it)
Because, let’s face it – if we were all 100% successful achieving our goals and objectives 100% of the time, WHY are there so many books, audios, seminars, workshops, programs, products, potions, and lotions on the market today?
Because, it makes sense to say that we SOMETIMES FAIL at reaching our goals.
Now… that does NOT mean we are “failures.” I think it’s safe to say that there is a BIG DIFFERENCE between EXPERIENCING a failure and BEING a failure.
It’s kind of like taking a test in school. If you don’t do well in ONE test, that doesn’t mean you fail the entire course. Naturally, we could go on about this, and agree that if you continue to fail every test… well, you probably WILL fail the course. 🙂
But that does NOT mean YOU are a failure.
There are a lot of reasons why people fail to achieve specific goals or objectives. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that there was an entire library of books on the subject. Right off the top of my head, I can think of a few reasons why I, myself, have failed at reaching a few goals in my life:
- I THOUGHT I really wanted the goal, but it turned out I didn’t…
- I lost momentum after a “failure…”
- I felt I lacked the skill…
- I felt I didn’t have the support I needed…
And it could go on. If you are honest with yourself, you should be able to ASK YOURSELF: “Why am I not making the type of progress I want to make?” And after you ask yourself – quiet your mind and LISTEN to what your heart says. It could be any number of reasons. Oftentimes, our “reasons” are more “excuses” than actual reasons.
I’m intrigued by this topic, and am going to be writing more about it in the future. I feel it is a fairly complicated topic, and certainly don’t mean to gloss over it with a platitude such as “Oh, You can do it! I know you can!” There HAS to be more to achieving goals than that.
For starters, I just wrote a bit more on what I feel is one of the BIG reasons why we sometimes fail to achieve goals and objectives at my article here => Do You Ever Fail to Achieve Goals and Objectives? Please read it, and let me know what YOU think!
In the meantime, I’ll be exploring this more in future posts, because I really think it’s an important subject for anyone honestly working towards personal development.
I was just visiting Facebook, and saw a really neat positive story from someone that I wanted to share.
Turns out, this guy had once had an issue with drinking, and had been on the streets. He stayed in a homeless hostel. To make a long story short, he sobered up and got his life back together.
Nowadays, he works as a support worker for the homeless. Wow! I thought that was so incredibly powerful. And an example of how we can take what may have been a difficult situation and turn it into something positive for others.
In his own words, he said, “We can all give a little. But it can add up to a lot.”
Something to think about! 🙂
Ok everyone! You know that I want to put my money where my mouth is… I gave you a real life example of following my own advice when it comes to setting goals and objectives in my blog post about “Setting Goals and Objectives using the Mantis Rototiller as an Example” last week.
****Well, I wanted to give you an update.****
You saw that I did not hit my target on my 5th objective, which was:” Build a Squidoo Lens about small garden tillers and add Amazon links to it. Target Completion Date: Thursday, February 24, 2011.”
Well, I’m here to tell you that I have completed that objective
No, not on February 24th – I completed it on Saturday, February 27, 2011.
Yes, I realize that I did not hit the target date – but you know what? That objective was staring me in the face, and I need to account not only to you, my readers, but to MYSELF.
Having that objective WRITTEN and IN FRONT of me pushed me forward.
And I have to tell you, I had an absolute BLAST writing that Squidoo lens. Actually, if you want to read it, you’ll see that I had a little TOO much fun with it since now we have weiner dogs (aka dachshunds) and videos of “The Garden Song” in the mix.
So, I invite you to see the results of my ACTION that I took on that objective. I hope it puts a smile on your face as well. Enjoy it here => Mantis Rototillers, Weiner Dogs, AND The Garden Song.
I hope you can see that setting goals and objectives – and taking action on them – doesn’t need to be a brutal or painful process. After all, if we’re making progress, we should be feeling good about it, right? Something to think about. 🙂
Again, please pop on over to the Squidoo lens and I hope it makes you smile => Mantis Rototillers, Weiner Dogs, and The Garden Song
See you all soon! Thanks for reading.
My long-time readers know how much I emphasize the importance of setting goals and objectives. Or, if you prefer, you can call it setting targets – some people just don’t like the word “goal.” 🙂
Well, this particular post is a bit off the beaten path in that the goals and objectives I’m going to share with you are not related to self development. BUT… What this post will clearly illustrate is how:
1) I practice what I preach in my Personal Goal Setting Strategies Guide, and
2) anyone can write clear and concise goals and objectives for nearly any endeavor.
Also, if you are a long-time reader, you know that I feel that most people get stuck right at the get-go – primarily, I believe, because they don’t know the difference between a goal and an objective. I’ve written extensively about this in my Goal Planning Strategies Guide, as well as in numerous articles online.
(If you would like your own copy of my Goal Planning Strategies Guide, you can buy it at =>Personal Goal Planning Strategies at Self Development Strategies )
Rather than go into the whole long explanation of the difference between goals and objectives here, let’s just do a quick recap since you can read about that in depth in the Personal Goal Planning Strategies Guide. In a nutshell:
=> Goals = the broad view or “big picture.”
=> Objectives = the measurable steps you take to achieve your goals.
Because of some positive results I have seen from this activity, I decided to share my own latest activity and results of setting goals and objectives from the last week.
So, there I was, thinking about gardening, and THAT thought got me thinking about our garden (which is currently under snow at this time). Then, my mind wandered to how soft the earth would be when we got home in May, and how that will be the perfect time to get it ready for the garden.
And THAT got me thinking about our small garden tiller – The Mantis Rototiller/Cultivator that we’ve had for at least 10 years. 🙂
And THAT got me thinking that this would be the time of year when people would be getting ready to BUY a Mantis Rototiller/Cultivator, and THAT got me thinking, “Hmmm… I wonder if I could sell a few of these on some of my websites.”
So, I went over to Amazon.com and sure enough, there were several Mantis Rototillers for sale. I decided to go for it. BUT, first I needed a strategy.
Here is what I came up with:
GOAL: To market the Mantis Rototiller/Cultivator
a. Make a dedicated blog so that I can place content and ads about Mantis Rototillers/Cultivators. Target Completion Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2011
b. Place Amazon links for Mantis Rototillers/Cultivators for sale on the blog. Target Completion Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2011
c. Write article about Mantis Rototillers/Cultivators for sale and publish at eZineArticles.com. Target Completion Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2011
d. Build a “small garden tiller” page on one of my websites (that I owned at the time), and add Mantis links to that page. Target Completion Date: Monday, February 21, 2011
e. Build a Squidoo Lens (which was a “page” in Squidoo-speak – but in 2014, Squidoo was sold to HubPages, and so that’s where the article is now) about small garden tillers and add Amazon links to it. Target Completion Date: Thursday, February 24, 2011
How do you think I did? 🙂
Actually, I did quite well – although I did not hit my target dates. Here’s how I measured up:
a. (Make dedicated blog) = I got the Mantis Rototillers for Sale blog up and running on Wednesday, February 16, 2011. (One day off, but at least I got it out there)
b. (Place Amazon links on blog) = Also completed Wednesday, February 16, 2011
c. (Write article for eZineArticles.com) = Completed Wednesday, February 16, 2011, but it didn’t go “live” until Friday, February 18, 2011.
d. (Build “small garden tiller” page on a website) = Completed new “small garden tillers” page on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 (a couple of days late)
e. (Build a Squidoo Lens) = Not yet complete – probably won’t get that done until Thursday 2/24 or Friday 2/25. (Remember, 2015: It’s now at HubPages.com)
As a result of this activity list, I was able to MEASURE my progress. Something else it did for me was make me realize that there were other aspects to the goal that I had NOT written a plan for – namely, researching the viability of whether or not I could actually COMPETE with others in selling Mantis Rototillers/Cultivators! 🙂
Fortunately, I did do research to make sure I wasn’t going to waste my time – but because I hadn’t PLANNED on that activity in my step-by-step plan, and determined it would be a good use of my time.
So, here you can see from my own “real life” example how I used the process of setting goals and objectives – and it really started with knowing the difference between goals and objectives to begin with. 🙂
Hopefully, seeing how I applied the knowledge to get a commercial campaign up and running fairly quickly will help you as well.
(PS: Because I market on line for a living, I did add a section here at Self Development And Growth that talks about Internet Marketing Education and Strategies that may be helpful as well. For example, you can read about my experiences with Chris Farrell, who has a #1 voted internet marketing education service. To read the article click on => Internet Marketing Education with Chris Farrell)
Do you every feel like you need help overcoming procrastination? If so, you are DEFINITELY not alone!
Please believe me when I tell you that this particular little demon has been one that I have extensive personal experience with. 🙂 My dad has also admitted to me that he procrastinates. Sometimes we joke around about it, “Never put off today what you can put off tomorrow,” or, “Seize the day, tomorrow.”
I love the tagline at www.Procrastinators.org – “Productivity is Overrated.”
But while overcoming procrastination may not be a serious issue for some – it is practically crippling for others.
Especially for those who need to produce results on deadlines, for anyone who has to reach sales or productivity quotas, for students who need to finish their homework, for the parent who promised to bake cookies for the school event, for those who are self employed … you get the idea. It can be an obstacle for just about anyone.
Sometimes, it doesn’t really seem like procrastination is all that harmful (especially when people joke about it so much…).
But consider, for a moment, being the parents who put off baking the cookies for their kids’ school event. What kind of message are the parents sending the kids?
Or, how about the self-employed entrepreneur? If you happen to be self-employed – whether it’s in a bricks and mortar business or in an internet based marketing business – you may have heard the old saying:
“The great thing about being self-employed is that no one tells you what to do. The bad thing about being self-employed is that no one tells you what to do.”
So, as it turns out, overcoming procrastination is actually rather important, isn’t it?
Again, I’m not saying that the occasional bout is anything to worry about – but if it starts getting in the way of seeing positive results in your life, guess what? Then it’s a problem or obstacle that needs to be addressed.
I came up with a couple of ideas about overcoming procrastination, and I have posted the article right here on my blog!
This is a technique I have used myself (Remember… I have needed to really work on overcoming procrastination myself !)
Have a look here => Overcoming Procrastination – An Important Key to Your Success
As always, I would love to hear YOUR ideas!
When I was a kid, my Dad gave me a lot of encouragement, and he read lots of motivational poems to me. One of them was “It Couldn’t Be Done” by Edgar A. Guest. The poem was in a book called “The Best Loved Poems of the American People” – which I still have (see the photo) and which is now in a very tattered state!
I owe a LOT to my Dad. He was – and still is – one of my greatest pillars of support. I learned more from him than I think I have ever learned from anyone else in my life. Actually, I think I’ll need to share more about my Dad in some future posts – but suffice it to say that if everyone had a Dad as amazing as mine has been, it would be a more wonderful world than it already it.
(By the way – this is not to dismiss the amazing gifts I also received from my Mom, who unfortunately left this earth far too soon in 1987 after a long illness… I miss her very much, and I’m guessing I’ll write about her as well!)
Anyway, I became inspired to make a quick video for you about this poem, which I share with you now (I link to the print version below the video)
(Oh… If you decide you enjoyed my debut video – yes… this is my FIRST video on this blog – Please click the FaceBook “Like” button here – you won’t leave the page. Thank you SO MUCH!)
Anyway, I would like to share my favorite “It Couldn’t Be Done” story with you now – which you can read here at my article – CLICK HERE => A Motivational Poem – It Couldn’t Be Done.
I just watched Gary Ryan Blair’s (aka “The Goals Guy”) video for his 100-Day Challenge called “Time is Money.” This particular video – it’s not real long – just a few minutes – is almost scary.
No. Scratch that… It IS scary. The reason WHY it is scary is because it is true. Everything he talks about – the fact that there is one resource in the world that is NOT for sale, and NOT for exchange, and NOT able to be bartered.
That resource is TIME.
The scary thing is, it is also one of the easiest things to waste. And I know I’ve done my share.
Please click on my article here to watch the video: Life Success Strategies Truth – Time is Money. See if you don’t agree with what Gary talks about. If you don’t – I would certainly like to know your view. Maybe you can convince me that I should not be concerned about how I spend (or waste) my time.
I wouldn’t mind a good excuse… 🙂
Again, the video is right here on my blog: Life Success Strategies Truth – Time is Money.
If you are a member of my Self Development Strategies newsletter, you may recognize the information in the following post from one of my newsletters.
The inspiration for this topic comes from Part 8 of Charles F. Haanel’s famous The Master Key System – an early self-development correspondence course from around 1917 or so.
First of all, let me say how much I enjoy the The Master Key System. I learned about it some years ago when I was initially beginning my own now-passionate journey of personal development. I got to know the work of Tony Michalski over at Kallisti Publishing, and he is truly one of today’s best known experts on Mr. Haanel’s work.
Anyway, this is an excellent visualization exercise that I would like to share with you, in hopes that it offers a little inspiration and motivation to keep moving forward.
Right now, you are currently sitting at a computer, reading this post.
Have a quick look around the room where you are sitting, and pick out an object – anything will do. A book, perhaps. Or a chair, or table – maybe even your very computer.
Now, take that object, and trace it back in time from where it is now – all the way back to its origin.
For example, the chair in the room came from a store. But before it was at the store, it was in a delivery truck. Before then, it was being painted or upholstered at the factory…
Before then, it was being pieced together… etc. Finally, it was pieces of wood, shaped from a tree which had been trucked over to the lumber mill…
Do you see how this progresses?
Finally, before that, there was a plan that had perhaps been rendered by a draftsman or furniture designer…
And finally, we get to the designer him or herself. He or she had an IDEA in mind – a thought – one way or another about a chair that would look just like the one that currently sits in your room.
The THOUGHT preceded the resulting ITEM, did it not? Someone had to first think about a chair before the chair could be produced.
It is the same with everything. EVERYTHING begins in thought – an idea. The things you are working toward – all your dreams, your goals, your objectives – all these things had to begin with a THOUGHT.
This is why thinking about what you WANT to attain (versus what you do NOT want in your life) is so critical.
This is why we emphasize getting clear about what you want to begin with. Otherwise, if you do not (or if you think only about what you do NOT want), it will be very difficult for you to take action steps toward making those goals come to pass.
And action, as we know, is how we move forward.
So, use this exercise in your own process. Think about some of the wonderful things you have already accomplished in your life, and race the results back to their origin – where they first crossed your mind to begin with.
This should give you the inspiration and faith to know that your current goals and objectives have an exciting journey ahead towards their fulfilment.
By the way: Here is a page on some categories for personal goals and motivation, if you’d like to “nudge” your brain a bit. 🙂
A little more about The Master Key System: I think that one of the reasons I enjoy Mr. Haanel’s instruction so much is that there is no “fluff” surrounding it. He is showing us how to use our minds, our imagination, and our abilities to concentrate in a concrete, step-by-step way.
If you are serious – REALLY serious about learning how to focus and use your power of concentration effectively, then I urge you to have a serious look – you can find The Master Key System at Amazon. I use a lot of personal development tools – and this is, by far, one of my favorites. Tell Tony I say hi! 🙂
PS: If, for some reason, you have not yet bought a copy of my Goal Planning Strategies Guide and newsletter, please visit my Self Development Strategies site! If you decide to buy it, I thank you!
PPS: If you would like to read another article inspired by Charles F. Haanel, here is the link => On Giving and Receiving – Inspired by Charles F. Haanel.
Actually, since you are here, you may already have a copy of this book, or are a member of my newsletter.
Do you know how many people search online for help with goal planning every month? I did a quick search out of curiosity, and was stunned to see that the following statistics for search terms related to goal planning (the numbers are approximately how many people search that term globally in a month):
Personal Goal Setting => 3,600 searches
Goal Setting Exercises => 3,600 searches
Smart Goal Setting = > 5,400 searches
Setting Goals and Objectives = > 1,900 searches
Setting and Achieving Goals => 1,600 searches
These are just a FEW of the terms people search for regarding goals and goal setting.
If this many people are looking for help with goal setting, then this must be an important topic indeed! Would you not agree?
Anyone who knows me knows how much importance and value I place on setting goals and objectives.
Here is why: Without a goal, you can’t really move. You would have no direction.
Look at any game like soccer or football – without goal posts or nets, there’s no game.
Being the visual sort of person that I am, I can’t help but picture a soccer field without goal nets at either end – I see all these soccer players hanging around in the middle of the field just kicking the ball back and forth and around in circles aimlessly. None of them are kicking with any real vigor – just sort of lethargically and mindlessly passing the ball around. I also picture them all with a rather quizzical look on their faces, as though they’re all wondering, “So, what exactly ARE we doing here? What are we supposed to do with this ball?”
A goal – no matter how small – can be what it takes to spur us into some sort of action.
Take my visualization of the soccer players without their goal nets. Now… take the same scene, and this time – all of a sudden people bring 2 goal nets onto the field – one at each end. Almost as if by magic, the players on the field suddenly see that there is something that they can kick the ball into – something they can begin moving toward on the field. Now they can take some ACTION, and the fun has begun.
So, without a goal, you won’t take action. Without action, there’s just no game. And without a game to play, a goal to attain, something to work for – there’s just no fun.
I like Gary Ryan Blair’s approach to his Personal Strategic Plan. He isn’t known as “The Goals Guy” for no reason – His programs include competition (maybe not quite like soccer!) and accountability. Without accounting for your goals and actions, most people simply will not take the actions required to succeed.
Get some goals! Any goal that will entice you to move, take action, and enter the game… Then, be accountable!
You won’t be sorry!
PS: Have you heard of Gary Ryan Blair the “Goals Guy?” If so, you already know that he is one of the premier motivators in the United States! If you want to REALLY kick yourself into high gear and become VERY effective, please visit this site and get your own Personal Strategic Plan. => CLICK HERE