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Are you ready to make 2016 your best year yet?

It’s easy to start the new year full of enthusiasm and optimism. But to maintain your momentum through the year, you need to set powerful, crystal-clear goals.

The first step to getting what you want out of life is to decide exactly what you want.

What do you want to accomplish?

What do you want to experience?

What do you want to acquire?

Who do you want to be?

One of primary reasons most people don’t get what they want is that they aren’t clear about what they want. Others will recognize what they’d like to have, but when they can’t see how it’s possible to get what they want, and they dismiss their desires as foolish and unattainable.

Don’t sabotage yourself this way!

After decades of research into how the human brain works, scientists now know that for our brains to figure out how to get what we want, we must first decide what we want. Once we lock-in our desires, our mind and the universe can step in to help make our dreams a reality.

Dream Big

We start the process by getting clear about what we want. So, what do you want? To create a balanced and successful life, write down a minimum of three goals in each of the following areas areas:

  • Financial Goals
  • Career/Business Goals
  • Free Time/Family Time
  • Health/Appearance Goals
  • Relationship Goals
  • Personal Growth
  • Making a Difference

If you have more goals than this, don’t limit yourself – write them down! On the other hand, if writing down twenty-one goals seems like a lot, remember that we can have a mix of long- and short-term goals. For example, in the financial area, you may have a short-term goal of paying off a $5,000 credit card balance, as well as a long-term goal of amassing a net worth of $5 million dollars. You want to keep both goals present in your mind, even though you’ll be working more actively on the short-term goal first.

Use this worksheet to help you Unleash the Power of Goal Setting in these seven areas: Decide-What-You-Want-Worksheet.

Stretch Yourself

When setting our goals, it’s important to include a few that will make us stretch and grow to achieve them. These might be learning a new skill or trying something that is uncomfortable and maybe a little frightening, such as public speaking. It also helps to set a breakthrough goal that would represent a quantum leap. Examples of breakthrough goals include publishing a book, starting a business, getting on Oprah, winning a gold medal at the Olympics, or getting elected president of your industry association.

Material goals are important, but the ultimate goal is to become a master at life.

In the long run, the greatest benefit we receive from pursuing our dreams is not the outer trappings of fulfilling the dream, but who we become in the process.

The outer symbols of success can all be easily lost. Houses burn down, companies go bankrupt, relationships end, cars get old, bodies age and fame wanes, but who you are, what you have learned, and the new skills you have developed never go away. These are the true prizes of success. Motivational philosopher Jim Rohn advises that “You should set a goal big enough that in the process of achieving it, you become someone worth becoming.”

Turn Your Dreams Into Goals and Objectives

Once you are clear about what you want, write them down and turn each item into a measurable objective. Measurable means measurable in space and time – how much and by when.

For instance, if you were to tell me that you wanted more money, I might pull out a dollar and give it to you. You would probably protest, saying “No, I meant a lot more money, like $20,000!” But there is no way I’d know how you’d define “more money” unless you tell me, right?

Similarly, your boss, your friends, your spouse, your brain, God, and the Universe can’t figure out what you want unless you tell them specifically what it is. What exactly do you want and when do you want it by?

Your Goals Impact Others

As soon as you commit to a big dream and really go after it, your subconscious creative mind will come up with big ideas to make it happen. You’ll start attracting the people, resources, and opportunities you need into your life to make your dream come true.

Big dreams not only inspire you, they compel others to want to play big, too. @JackCanfield
(Click to Tweet!)

You’ll also discover that when your dreams include service to others – that is, accomplishing something that contributes to others – it accelerates the accomplishment of that goal. People want to be part of something that contributes and makes a difference.

Work on Your Goals Daily

To keep your subconscious mind focused on what you want, read your list of goals everyday. For an even more powerful approach, close your eyes and focus on each goal and ask yourself, “What is one thing I could do today to move toward the achievement of this goal?” Write down your answers and take those actions.

As the old joke goes, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Steady progress in bite-sized chunks puts even the most audacious goals into reach.

As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and speaks around the world on this subject. Follow Jack at www.jackcanfield.com and sign up for his free resources today!

Chicken Soup for the Soul 20th Anniversary Edition NOW AVAILABLE:

Image courtesy of Green Chameleon.