Brian Tracy shares several important rules that accompany effective goal setting.
Your goals must be in harmony with one another, not contradictory. You cannot have a goal to be financially successful, or to build your own successful business, and simultaneously have a goal to spend half your day at the golf course or at the beach. Your goals have to be mutually supportive and mutually reinforcing.
Your goals must be challenging. They must make you stretch out without being overwhelmed. When you initially set goals, they should have about a 50 percent or better probability of success. This level of probability is ideal for motivation, yet not so difficult that you can become easily discouraged.
You should have both tangible and intangible goals, both quantitative and qualitative. You should have concrete goals that you can measure and evaluate objectively. At the same time, you should have qualitative goals, for your inner life and your relationships.
You need both short-term goals and long-term goals. You need goals for today and goals for five, ten, and twenty years from today. The ideal short-term timeframe for business, career and personal planning is about ninety days. The ideal long-term period for these same goals is two to three years. These time horizons seem to be the ideal for continuous motivation.
The ideal life is focused, purposeful, positive and organized so that you are moving toward goals that are important to you every hour of every day. You always know what you're doing and why. You have a continuous sense of forward motion. You feel like a "winner" most of the time.
The decision to become a goal-setting, goal achieving, future focused person gives you a tremendous sense of control. Your self-esteem increases as you progress toward your goals. You like and respect yourself more and more. Your personality improves and you become a more positive, confident person. You feel happy and exited about life. You open the floodgates of your potential and begin moving faster and faster toward becoming all that you were meant to be.