Have You Been Setting Personal Goals? — Mastering Me Monday

When Day Chokes the Night“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” (Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich)

“Begin with the end in mind.” (Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

“Claim your dreams” (Emmitt Smith, Game On)

What do these quotes have in common?

Inside each of them is the key to unlocks success.  All success books have this key near the start.  Usually, it’s the first lesson, but sometimes it’s the second.

Without it, you cannot reach success.

As I was writing this post, I remembered coming across a story I had heard years ago.  I first heard about it in Stephen Covey’s book quoted earlier, but you can read a variation of the story of The Mayonnaise Jar on ThinkChooseLive.org.

So I ask again, what do these three quotes have in common?

Ready for it?


Setting Personal Goals.



Every single quote is about setting personal goals.  Not the little goals like what you what to get done this week, mind you.  I’m talking about the big ones.  The life goals.  The ones you would like to achieve in the next 10 to 15 years.

Who do you want to be?  Where do you want to go?  What do you want to be doing?  Who do you want to be doing it with?

Have you set your goals?

Have you chosen what you want your life to look like in 5 to 10 years?  Have you planned what you want to achieve with your business or career?

If not, take time, right now, to stop, and think about.

Go ahead.

I don’t mind.

I’ll wait.

I’ll still be here.

Finished? How detailed did you make it?  Can you picture on your internal movie screen?  Not yet?  Well, go back then.  Bring the picture fully to mind.  Hear the sounds you want to hear.  Feel the sensations and emotions you want to feel.  Bring the experience fully to life.  Reach out and touch it.  Does it feel real yet?

Good.  Now, write it down.  In the present tense.  In the now.  Don’t settle for “I want to be a football player.”  Emmitt Smith said he wanted to play for the Dallas Cowboys and later refined it with being a Hall of Fame running back with the most rushing yards, having  won several consecutive rushing titles, gone to the Superbowl, and a number of others along the way. Your vision doesn’t have to be perfect.  But it does need to be detailed.  As detailed as you can, at this point in time, make it.

Have you written down yet?  Why not?!  What are you waiting for?  Do that right now!

Now What?

Okay.  Now that you have your plan, put it where you can read it.  Every day.  Several times a day.  And read it.  With emotion.  Recall that vision.  Keep it in front of you.

It’s okay if you don’t know yet how to get there. That will come.

Now, make a dream board or a mind movie.  Use images of the things and people that you want to have around you.  Put a picture of someone doing the things you want to do.  Look at it, or watch it, every day.

Each time you look at your board, when you watch the mind movie, every time you reread your statement, bring the vision to mind.  Relive it until you can see it in HD.  And keep doing it some more.

As you learn more about your goals, and get closer to reaching your dream, you’ll want to refine it.  Add more detail.  Make a sharper image in your mind.

And when it happens, it may not happen exactly as you thought it would.  But usually, the experience will be much better than you thought.

My Vision

As for me, my vision is that this site gets tens of thousands, or more, of visitors a day.  I go around the world, giving motivational talks, teaching people how to reach for their dreams and improve their lives.  My novels inspire people and help them see how they can be better.

Most importantly, I get to share these things with my wife, my children, my brothers, and other family members.  We meet amazing people, famous and not famous, around the country and the world.  We get to go behind the scenes to see how movies and TV shows are made, meet professional athletes and politicians.  Everywhere we go, we have lots of fun and have an exciting time.

As a part of reaching that goal, I’m making a small change here at Success Building Blocks.  One that you might hardly even notice unless I say something about it.  See, we all want to achieve success in the 4 areas of mindset, health, wealth, and relationships.  But the cornerstone of everything else is mindset.  I will still talk about the other three in my other posts. But  I’m establishing my Monday posts as “Mastering Me Monday”, of which, this is the second post.  (The first being last week, though I didn’t really think of this idea until later.)

Each Monday, as we start the week, we’ll look at how you can get the right mindset to reach all your goals for yourself, your health, your relationships, and your money.  In the other posts, we’ll look at specific things that can help you in those areas.  But most of those will have the best effect when you have the right mindset.

I’ve shared with you my vision.  What is your vision?  What are your tips for setting personal goals?  Share your answers below!  I always enjoy encouraging others as they reach for a goal, and I’ll be happy to cheer you on!

20 comments… add one

  • Bryce Christiansen September 26, 2011, 5:32 pm

    I really needed this. I’ve been putting off my personal goals with work being so busy, but I just need to make it a priority.

    I’m planning on starting my own personal blog. Just hashing out the exact theme, and target audience before I go headed down a road that’s hard to correct.

    Bryce Christiansen recently posted..Colossal Lessons From Roman RelicsMy Profile

  • Grady Pruitt September 26, 2011, 10:53 pm

    Sounds like a good start, Bryce! Good luck with it.

  • Andy@blackberry development September 27, 2011, 1:20 am

    Hi Grady
    Setting goals is really very important topic. I don’t believe that people who’re just drifting through their life are happy. They’re just lazy or unpretentious. If you want to achieve something – then set up a goal for yourself and do your best to achieve it.

  • Grady Pruitt September 27, 2011, 8:20 am

    That is so right, Andy. I know that for myself, I drifted for a long time. But having a goal and working toward it gives you something to focus on.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Paul Morin September 27, 2011, 6:23 am

    Excellent post, Grady. I’m a strong believer in the importance of goal-setting. After all, if you don’t have a target destination, how will you know when you get there? Goal-setting, particularly short-term goal-setting, is also very important because it allows you to more easily access the willpower you need to push through obstacles in your path. Paul
    Paul Morin recently posted..Be Bold. Rise Above The Noise.My Profile

  • Grady Pruitt September 27, 2011, 8:23 am

    As the Cheshire cat said, if you don’t know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which road you take.

    I agree that setting short term goals is important, but without the context of the long term goals, you could easily find yourself somewhere you don’t want to be.

    Thanks for your comment, Paul!

  • Justin@Mazzastick September 27, 2011, 4:00 pm

    Hi Grady,
    I have learned through the experience of life that mindset trumps everything else. The world is full of hard workers yet most are not successful because of their mind set.

    I always pay attention to when I achieve success and try my best to remember what my mind was set to when it happened.
    Justin@Mazzastick recently posted..Becoming An Expert On You And Life’s lessonsMy Profile

  • Grady Pruitt September 27, 2011, 4:05 pm

    Absolutely, Justin! Whether you want to build wealth, loose weight, or have a great relationship — or just improve yourself, you must develop the right mindset. “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” This has been passed about so much as to be cliche, but it is true, and without understanding and applying that statement, you won’t get very far in improving any aspect of your life.

    Thanks for stopping by, Justin!

  • Marcelina Hardy September 27, 2011, 9:46 pm

    Hi Grady! Following you over from Angus’ blog. :-)
    Thank you for writing such an important post. Goals are so important that they are the first thing I tackle in my life coaching services. It’s what so many people are missing from their life and it’s the simplest of things to do. Making a statement about what they want in life and then actually taking the actions (by writing those down too) to achieve those goals sounds so simple but they are just not done. It’s just too simple and overlooked because of it. Getting people to exercise this is one of the best things they can do for their business and their life as a whole. It can do amazing things!!! I’ll be adding you to my reader Grady and to Twitter – I’ll see you around!
    Marcelina Hardy recently posted..How Fear Motivates You to SucceedMy Profile

  • Grady Pruitt September 28, 2011, 9:36 am


    Glad you found me!

    I know I drifted for a long time. A large part of this was not having any goals, or not being focused enough on the goals that I did have. When I do NaNoWriMo, the goal is right there before me the whole month. But other times of the year, I hadn’t been focusing on goals as much.

    Funny thing is when I started focusing on the goals, it became easier to ignore the distractions and do the things I needed to do. I haven’t wasted much time, like I used to do, since I focused on my goals. Every once in a while, I struggle, but usually, what I need to do wins out.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Larry Lewis September 29, 2011, 12:28 pm

    Its taken me way to long to get over here and read your blog properly. For that I’m really sorry. I really have enjoyed the posts i’ve read and it’s obvious we share much in common. Love your idea for Monday’s. You want me to share a vision, well tht then must be for the likes of you and me to help chnge people’s lives for the better by introducing them to the wonders of personal development.
    Larry Lewis recently posted..Keep Putting Yourself Out ThereMy Profile

  • Grady Pruitt September 29, 2011, 10:29 pm

    Larry, I’m glad you managed to get over here to read.

    You know it’s funny, because a lot of what I am doing now with my blog is the beginning of fulfillment of ideas I had as much as 10 years or more ago, but only now have figured out and taken the time to learn how to do so.

    Good luck changing people’s lives and thanks for stopping by!

  • Jimmy September 29, 2011, 8:48 pm

    Hi Grady,

    This post is to the point. Without goals there could be no success and a good future. Thank you for sharing your goals with us. You will reach it surely. We are rooting for you.

    For, I have actually come up with more than 100 personal goals already. These are goals that addresses the key areas of our life. There are short term, medium term and long term goals. Ultimately everything point to on big goal for me – I am the founder of a sports foundation that offer coaching services to underprivileged kids of the world for FREE. This foundation is funded by my personal development business empire that spans the globe. This business involves me flying around the world starting my franchise, conducting seminars, giving talks, training people, and selling my company’s unique brand of product. My family gets to enjoy all the great lifestyle of successful company. I spend more time connecting with people and allowing my trusted people to run my business empire. That’s for me.

    You actually forced me to write that up in detail. Now I have it. I will twitch my own vision boards to incorporate new details now.

    Thanks for your inspiration.
    Jimmy recently posted..6 Effective Ways to Start Taking Action for Success in LifeMy Profile

  • Grady Pruitt September 29, 2011, 11:00 pm


    Thank you for your encouragement.

    Seems like you are well on the way to your goals. It really does help to keep them in front of you. That is the one thing that I failed to do over the last 10 years or so. I kept loosing focus, and strayed away from the path. Some of that was not really knowing what I wanted to do as fully as I should have and some of that is just not knowing where to even look to figure out what I wanted.

    Setting the goals is only the beginning. It’s great to have the 100 personal goals. Creating a vision boards or Mind Movies are a great way to keep the goals in front of you. But you need to start taking action towards those goals. Take a look at your goals and figure out which one, if you accomplished it in the next 3 months, would have the biggest impact on your life, and start working on it.

    Good luck in reaching your goals, Jimmy!

  • Pj Zafra October 3, 2011, 6:23 am

    Such an amazing post here! Thanks for sharing this to all of us. Goal setting is definitely important. Always important to have a positive vision in life on what we want and how we want them to be like. It would all go to waste though if we do not act upon them. Goal setting and constant and consistent action is always important to achieve our dreams and goals in life.

    I love the tips and insights you’ve shared here. Great job and keep it up! :D

    Pj Zafra recently posted..Sean’s Thoughts For the Week Ahead-5My Profile

  • Grady Pruitt October 3, 2011, 8:33 am

    I think the biggest mistake a lot of people make when setting goals is to focus on what they don’t want instead of what they do want and I agree with you that goals are useless if we don’t act on them.

    Glad you like the tips and thanks for stopping by PJ!

  • Chris Antonelli@Ashburn mls October 21, 2011, 1:46 am

    Setting personal goals is very important for any human being who wants to achieve anything in his or her life. Writing down goals is one important step in making sure you achieve them. After writing our goals, we tend to forget them with time and hence loss of focus. That is why I agree with you when you say you ought to repeat the goal to yourself each day so that you do not lose focus.

  • Grady Pruitt October 22, 2011, 12:53 am

    Repeating those goals does help. My biggest problem is remembering to do that. I’ll do really good for about 2 weeks, but that third week is where I tend to slack more than at any other time. That’s why having someone who can “mentor” you or just help keep you on track can be of great assistance.

    Thanks for your comment!

  • Chris Barba June 13, 2012, 3:55 pm

    I have a confession to make. Up until a short while ago, I really didn’t believe in the power having a future vision or goals to work towards. Crazy, it was not till I really started doing some honest journalling on a regular basis that I saw how much happier I was thinking and writing about these things.

    In Sonja Lyubomirsky’s How of Happiness, she writes about journalling what the best possible future vision for you looks like. She found that people are significantly happier having done this activity!

  • Grady Pruitt June 14, 2012, 2:38 am

    Thanks for sharing that, Chris! I’m going to have to check that one out.


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