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Zig Ziglar’s goal setting strategies

You can choose to set goals and realize your potential or you can choose ‘not’ to set goals.  And if you choose not to set them, you have to understand that the consequences are not going to be good down the road”.

The above is a quotation from a Zig Ziglar presentation where he discusses goal setting strategies.  I believe  ‘goal setting strategies’ should be mandatory in all school curriculums.  They should call it  ‘ Goal Setting Strategies 101’.

We have an educational system that fails to impart this successfully.  And hence we have so many young people drifting aimlessly through life for lack of knowing how to successfully set goals and work toward them.

In this video Zig Ziglar outlines a few simple points that he used in his efforts to lose excessive weight.  For 24 years he carried around excessive weight and he mentions that his excess weight was a result of his ‘choice’ to eat.  He stresses it was his ‘choice’ to eat, because no-body forced food in his mouth.

It was not until he did the following that Zig Ziglar’s goal became a reality and he finally lost the weight:

  1. Write down the goal or desired goal
  2. Put a date on it ( when you intend to achieve it by)
  3. List the obstacles you have to overcome
  4. Identify the people, groups or organisations you have to work with
  5. Spell out a ‘plan of action’
  6. Set the time limit into the plan of action
  7. Identify all the benefits you will gain as a result of achieving your goal.

Too often we wish for a better job, better circumstances in our lives, better relationships, a better home, more money flowing into our lives, and too often the dream stops there – wishing!

But wishing is not the same as goal setting.  Thinking about it a lot backed with the feeling of ” wouldn’t be nice if”, doesn’t give you the desired outcome.

The fact that you want something more is a good sign.  But if you really want to see it realized in your life then writing things down is an important step.  This is a process whereby it gives you the opportunity to clarify exactly what you want.  I often tell young people, that the Universe doesn’t know what to give you if you don’t know what you want.

You have to KNOW what you want first!

Setting a time frame is critical because let’s say you are interested in losing weight – just an example of course, you would need to give yourself a time frame so that it forces you to remain focused and on task.  If you didn’t give yourself a time frame and your time frame was ‘whenever’, you would find a million excuses either not to exercise or pay attention to your food intake.  

Identifying the people, groups or organisations you would have to work with is taking that extra step keep you inspired and motivated.  Notice how more motivated we are and more inspired we are when we are surrounding ourselves with people who have similar goals?  Exercising with a group of friends, joining a gym, exercise club or training with a personal trainer all aide in helping you achieve your goal.

Spelling out a plan of action requires that you seriously take into consideration all that you would need to do to reach your goal.  And if it’s losing weight then you would have to think about the daily exercise plan, the necessary dietary and sometimes lifestyle changes and habits ( including mental habits as well) that you would need to work at in order ot achieve your goal.

Setting the time limit into the plan of action would require that you factor into your plan of action a reasonable time frame in which you intend to see the end result.  I suggest ‘reasonable’ as opposed to an unrealistic time frame because your body will take time in responding to the change of lifestyle, dietary changes and exercise and any good health practitioner will tell you that to expect dropping weight quickly is neither safe or healthy.  So consider what is a suitable time frame for any plan of action, be it for losing weight or anything else for that matter.

Identify all the benefits you will gain as a result of achieving your goal.   Setting out all the reasons why you would benefit from achieving your goal helps you to see the end result up front so to speak.  If you can get a mental picture or visualize what you would look like with 5-10kg less, if you could see that clearly in your mind’s eye, that gives you the inspiration to propel you forward even more and stay determined throughout whatever time frame you have given yourself.

JC Penny ( founder of America’s  chain of mid-range department stores) said ” Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who’ll make history.  But give me a man without a goal and I’ll give you a stock clerk”.

2 Responses

  1. This is a great post, Nancy! Like the saying goes, “Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll keep getting what you’ve got!” We need to take responsibility for our lives, our dreams, and our goals. Only we can hold ourselves back.

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