Constantly Update Your Goals
By Patrick Combs

A totally ridiculous, perfectly laughable, and wildly foolish notion: In the U.S. we set our goals only once a year, on January 1st. Absurd. Goal setting only works when you redo, rework, and revise your goals constantly. No need for this column to go on long. I've only got one point to make - Have you written out your goals lately?? Yes or No.

If you have, good, and this particular column is a waste of your time. On the other hand, if you have not updated your written goals in the last sixty days, then you're like an Olympic hopeful that hasn't worked out for a month, a treasure hunter who didn't bring the map, or a person hoping to win the lottery who hasn't bought a ticket.

Get serious and write out your goals/dreams in vivid detail.

Several years ago I met a young man named Stephen, who aspired to become a speaker and an author. He was just getting started; hadn't yet written a word or done a talk. Yet, when I walked into his kitchen, there on his fridge was a newspaper clipping of the NY Time's best selling books list. Suprisingly, Stephen had added his own name and book title to the top 10 list. "I've written out all my goals and that list is how, every day, I visualize myself having a best selling book in five years," Stephen spoke with confidence.

I'm embarrassed to admit the following. I left Stephen's apartment thinking his goal was overly ambitious. Stupid me. Two years after the kitchen occurence, Stephen was invited to co-author a book in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Because of this, by the end of 1999, Stephen will be seeing his name on the NY Time's best sellers list, only this time it will not be handwritten.

Stephen's news was a w-W-a-a-Aa-K-k-Ee uP call for me. Suddenly it smacked me. I had never actually written a single sentence that specifically stated my dream of making it onto the NY Times best sellers list. Equally lame, I'd never written myself a 10 million dollar check, like Jim Carrey did.

Ask, and your formal request has been submitted.

Don't ask and your request papers might as well be in the trash.

Stephen, thanks. Upon hearing your accomplishment I immediately sat my butt down at a cafe and updated all my goals. And this time, I specifically wrote out that I want to see my name on the NY Time's best seller list within three years.

Back to my original point. You've either written down your dreams lately or you haven't. Those who haven't are ripping themselves off.

Happy New Month. Do yourself a favor; write out your goals and dreams in vivid detail.

Until next time, be great.


Patrick Combs is the author of Major in Success: Make College Easier, Fire Up Your Dreams & Get A Very Cool Job -- an excellent read for anyone wanting to succeed at their greatest passion. Visit him at

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