Why is it that we put so much effort and time and use tools and resources to run our lives, but we ignore planning our lives? In this show, we look at a one-hour exercise to decide the destinations we are going to direct our efforts towards. We listen to Zig onstage for about 10 minutes, then break it down. Today’s episode is brought to you by DesignCrowd

Hey folks, this is Kevin Miller, and this is episode 406 of Ziglar’s True Performance Show. Our goal? Today, and for a few shows, we are going to talk about goals and hear from Zig, but I want to start you with one simple analogy.

If you had to travel cross-country to get to a desired or needed destination, would you do any planning or use any tools? In a few days I’m flying myself and 10 family members across the country. We have spent — especially my wife — a grand deal of time planning it all. And utilized a toolbox of resources:

  • Maps
  • Apps
  • Websites
  • Payment methods
  • Airlines
  • Car rentals

And on and on and on.

So, what is one destination…a goal or desire you would like to achieve? Is it just a hope that resides in your mind? Or if it’s something you are at all serious about, what are the tools and resources you will utilize to take action and give it a chance of happening?

Zig is going to talk about this in today’s message, then we’ll dig in further.

Today’s message comes from Strategies for Success: Blueprint for Achievement, which you can get in MP3 format at Ziglar.com. In this segment, Zig is teaching a live audience and refers to The Performance Planner and his book Over the Top, both of which you can get right now at Ziglar.com.

I listen to Zig clips every week as I craft these shows. Zig is always taking new angles to get to the same points, and he often uses the same analogies, so there is a fair amount of repetition.

I want to impress upon you — and me — again…that the key to our positive change is constantly working to reprogram our minds. To improve our behavior and actions and, therefore, outcomes.

Reprogramming your mind is like working out, my favorite analogy. If I want to increase my biceps by an inch in diameter and someone shows me the best exercise there is, can I go do one killer workout and be done and move on to the next body part? Of course not. But this is how most people approach personal development.

At the core of everything, our primary necessity to improve at all, is to increase our belief and expectation.

That is reprogramming.

My family is heavily involved in a Native American children’s home in New Mexico. The children there come from abject poverty. Most have literally nothing. They suffer from significant neglect. They are addicted to sugar. From all of this, they are profoundly apathetic. They hope for nothing, expect nothing, and believe in nothing.

My first trip there, I took a group of eight teenagers and taught them in a class for five days straight. I was going to show them a new world! Inspire them, have them write down their goals and radically change their lives!

It was initially an absolute failure. The exposure…was meaningless. I was devastated and ashamed at my ignorance. Many years later…we’ve adopted one of those kids and her little three-year-old. The rest…lost back to the reservation. But this one…it took years of investment and reprogramming, and she’s still heavily in the process.

Likewise, we brought a five-year-old home with us. Washed him up, dressed him in new clothes, bought him toys and personal possessions, gave him a clean, nice bed and his own space, fed him healthy, wholesome food. And what happened? Initially…nothing. It took the same thing, over and over — for not days or weeks — but months. Slowly…he started to come alive.

We are no different. I think we assume we are because we may hear something and the light goes on and we understand, have a realization…we get it! And then, generally the next day, we wake up and plow into our day, and weeks and months go by and…what happened to that realization?! That inspiration, revelation and epiphany?

Think of it as a seed. Getting a seed, that realization, means you just got a seed. But the only way you’ll get any fruit from it is to prepare good soil, plant it, fertilize it and water it…give it sunshine…for days, weeks and months. Even when it starts to sprout, it’s weak and bears no fruit. It has to be nurtured until it’s strong.

So, how many new messages do you need per day, per week, per month? How about finding the main message you feel you need and listening to it over and over and over again? Until it’s a truth implanted into your brain.

Let’s listen to Zig teach and train us now:

Zig leads off with saying

A goals program will take you from:

  • Survival to Stability
  • Stability to Success
  • Success to Significance

Couple important points here, and we’ll use money as the focal point. I would define survival as…trying to make ends meet. Hoping there is enough money to cover the monthly expenses. Some of you listening are, in fact, here. Something to really take into account is…very few, if any, success stories did not experience this. A time of true survival. I’ve experienced it, unfortunately, more than once.

To get out of this place…takes a lot.

Next, however, is…stability. You have a steady income that pays the bills and you’re not overly concerned with the basic needs of life. However, the vast majority of the populace, whether making $3k per month or $13k, is living paycheck to paycheck. They do not have the reserves to miss a month’s income.

Additionally, we know that around 80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs and work and would change if they could, meaning…80% don’t enjoy what they are spending their time doing to make their needed monthly revenue.

Folks, I don’t believe any of us would really call this “success.” Now, we may have a lot, and a lot to be grateful for, but is it success for you?

To go from stability to success…takes a lot.

Now, most of the guests we have on this show have achieved a great deal of success and they are now pursuing…significance. Looking at our list of recent guests:

John O’Leary
Dina Dwyer Owens
Brian Buffini
Simon Sinek
Carrie Wilkerson
John Hayes
Chris Guillebeau
Kyle Wilson
Brian Tracy

They are all devoting themselves to messages of inspiration, hope, and helping others with the lessons they’ve worked so hard to learn…as they’ve gone from survival to stability to success — and they are now on to significance, which is the ultimate fulfillment.

These are destinations that will take…planning and tools.

Which brings us to step number one that Zig mentioned:

A dream sheet. Now, I mention often that “dreams” aren’t my favorite term, as it sounds like lofty and “out there” and nice, but not necessarily an intended destination. But whatever word works for you:

  • goal sheet
  • desire
  • conviction
  • want
  • need
  • achievement

If you will simply do this, whether in Zig’s Performance Planner or on a blank sheet of paper, in your journal or somewhere on your computer, if you will do this, you’ll place yourself in the top percent of achievers globally, and you’ll increase your odds of achieving those things by 50%. That’s literally what most leaders will say…getting them down on paper puts you half-way towards achieving them. If that sounds a bit much, think of this. I just went on an anniversary vacation with my wife. We dreamed about it for a while. Finally, we decided upon Cancun and we went and bought plane tickets. There it is, destination is on paper and official. We know where we’re going and have a plan to get there. That’s half of it. The next will be us packing, driving to the airport, making our flight, getting a shuttle to the hotel, and so forth.

But once we had the destination officially stated, we could then plan accordingly.

So there is your start. It’s simple, but…it probably won’t be, as it’s work to really think through and clarify…what you really want.

Before we move on to that piece of Zig’s message, I want to give a tip with your goals…and get to the result. Some examples:

Let’s say you have a goal of increasing your monthly income by $2k, or making $10k per month, or getting a raise. These are great and specific, but a means to an end. Also list that end. Those are rational listings. That’s good for your head. But your heart needs an emotional listing. You want to make $2k more per month so that…what? So you can pay off debt that is an anchor on you? So you can afford a better car, so you can afford that dream vacation, so you can quit working on weekends and be with your family, so your spouse can quit working or have the margin to pursue a better job or start a business…what is it? What is the motive and driver…the result you want? You need both of these; that’s a big deal.

In that light, for this exercise, here is another idea. In the list above, your dream sheet, or

  • goal sheet
  • desire
  • conviction
  • want
  • need
  • achievement

These are all focused on positives. On desires.

But you may find help by looking at the negatives in your life. The pains. The things you want to go away. List them…then list the positive outcome or achievement that would solve the problem.

For instance, I don’t really desire to stretch. But if I think of pain, I do want to get rid of my frequent back spasms that stretching helps. Stretching is the solution for my specific issue. So…I want to stretch twice a day, so that…I don’t have back pain and I am fully mobile to enjoy the active lifestyle I love.

Next, Zig asks us to do something…really brilliant. And to even give it a day in between. To get the list back out and do five things:

  1. Ask, “Is this really my goal?” It’s a good time to be honest about how important it is to you. Do you really desire it enough to work towards it? I’ve run the Pike’s Peak Ascent three times. It’s a half-marathon that goes from the bottom of Pike’s Peak over 7,000 feet up to the top. After the last time I did it, I had it as a goal to do again…for a couple years. Then I finally let it go. I really didn’t care enough to train for that distance. I’m enjoying 30-45-minute runs and going faster. So, even though it’s a grand goal, I’m crossing it out right now. I may add it in at a later point in life.
  2. Is it morally right and fair to everyone concerned? For me, I immediately think of my family. And, in truth, the aforementioned goal of the Pike’s Peak Ascent fits here, too…to run well for 3.5 hours, I need to be training longer distances. I really can’t afford that much time away from my business endeavors, family, personal care…it’s not the season. I doubt many of you would have goals that are morally wrong, but they may not be fair to others you care about, or just not be best for everybody the goal achievement effort will affect.
  3. Is it consistent with my other goals? If you have a goal of increasing your income $2k more per month to help your spouse quit their job or have more security in pursuing a better job opportunity, then you list a goal of becoming a coach for your kids’ soccer team. That would probably infringe on the work you need to devote to the prior goal, and help you see that you might need to wait on your coaching goal until the next season. Zig also said to ask yourself if you can really see yourself reaching this goal. To stick with the current analogy, I may need to get real with the fact that, while it’s sweet to want to invest in my kids by coaching their team, maybe I can invest in another way, because I don’t know much about soccer and am not a great coach and teacher with little kids. So while it’s nice, no…I can’t really see myself doing this. Mark it off.
  4. If I reach all of my objectives, will my life be in balance? I’ve had a goal for three years now to build a barn. With our big family, we have far outgrown our little barn and now have stuff sitting around…everywhere. It’s a big yard like Sanford and Son, for you folks over 35. I live in a big forest and have a wood mill. I want to design and build it by hand, myself. However, there is no way this can happen right now. With kids ages 6 to 21 and other family we care for, businesses we’re building, my wife is now pursuing her doctorate — there is no way I could do that and keep the other priorities in balance. So, either I let it go for now, or…I hire help and help some, but not the majority. In this case, it’s not that important.

    However, eight years ago we had our fourth and fifth kids and grew out of the house we lived in. We literally had a crib in an oversized closet. We felt led to get our family in a house that would be home…for the long haul or at least a good while. I was still recovering from a business failure, but…we bought dream property, designed our home, did the general contracting, and I did a great part of the hands-on labor. For nine months I spent four to five days at the property, living out of a fifth-wheel trailer. I’d get up early when the construction guys came, work with them until 3, then go into the trailer and satellite Internet and work in my business until I couldn’t stay awake, fall asleep, and do it all again the next day. My family was only 10 miles away, but they were busy homeschooling, so we’d see each other for a bit here and there during the week and spend all weekend together. It was a tough nine months of being out of balance, but it was a family decision we were in agreement on. And…it had a deadline. A construction loan with hard parameters. We got our certificate of occupancy and moved in! All of a sudden, back in balance and living in our dream home!

    So you have to really look at that balance and weigh the pros and cons.

Now, with all that said, I’ll also caution you on the other side. I see far too many people who really have desires, but want them to happen without disrupting their lives at all. They try making little deposits here and there amongst their carefully-crafted lives, then get frustrated as the months pass and they don’t make any significant progress.

No pain, no gain. I had a friend once say that, normally, when we want to improve some aspect of our lives…let’s say on a scale from 1-10 we’re at a six and want to get to an eight or nine, we’re going to have to stress things and dive down to a two first. And we don’t want to do that. We don’t really want to get up earlier or stay up later or give up our lunch time or personal time or risk our income. We don’t want to rock the boat or unbalance things. Very little chance of that happening.

Last, Zig says…

  1. Categorize your goals – prioritize.

You probably can’t go after them all at once, and you may want to knock out some smaller, easier ones first, or…you may want to put them all on hold except the most important one. That’s your call

So, I leave you with…your sheet. Right now, when will you do it? One hour to think on what you want. Remember to write the rational — earn $2k more — and the emotional — so that my spouse can afford some career options.

If you want to get more official than a single sheet and get the Ziglar Performance Planner, visit Ziglar.com now.

Thanks so much for tuning in to The Top Performance Show by Ziglar. It’s an honor to inspire our true performance, together. ‘Til next time.

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