Goal Contracts (A Life Skill from the Old School)
A few months ago I spoke at a real estate sales meeting in an office where I’ve spoken and taught seminars for many years. As soon as I was finished, an agent, who had transferred into this office about a year before, standing in the back of the room, graciously offered a glowing testimonial about my seminar he had taken ten years ago. He talked of a number meaningful changes for the better he had experienced in his life since that seminar. Then he took out of his pocket a small number of 3 by 5 cards and held them up like he was holding the Holy Grail. Of all the internal and external techniques he was exposed to in the seminar, these cards (Goal Contracts) were his game changer.
I stopped guessing years ago, which ideas or systems I teach will be best or most appreciated. We all perceive ideas so differently. Generally, feed- back I get in coaching sessions is Goal Contracts (A Life Skill from the Old School) By Barry Eisen that the biggest issue for most, who are not fulfilling their own personal promises, is lack of focus, not lack of ability or planning. There are lots of good ideas available to shake a person out of the Limbo they’ve created. Here’s one that has worked for many. If you like the idea, don’t just acknowledge it as a “nice idea.” Do it for a month. Get past the initial new/awkward/judgmental stage. Then decide whether this is an idea worth continuing or not. Come from KNOWING, not second-guessing. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
The Goal Contract
Get as many 3 X 5 cards for as many selected personal/business goals you’d like to accomplish.
1. Create 4 horizontal lines across each card with a few spaces in between each.
2. On the top line of each card answer the question WHAT? What is that card’s goal? Write that goal on the top line (e.g. Weigh 150 lbs., $200,000, run a 42 minute 10K, etc).
3. On the second line, answer the time question. What is the specific TARGET or DUE DATE for that goal to be accomplished? (A specific date creates a sense of urgency.)
4. On the third line of each card answer the HOW? question. This is the action step, where the rubber meets the road. How are you going to get from where you are to where you are going? Dig deeper than the lazy answer: “If I knew what to do I’d be doing it!” If you’ve crossed the street by yourself a few times already, chances are you know what you need to do. Write this down in a few words on the third line.
5. On the bottom line of each card, SIGN YOUR NAME. As simple and perhaps silly as this may seem, we have been conditioned to live up to You have everything to gain and nothing to lose. responsibilities we sign for (mortgages, insurance, credit cards, cars, etc). Personal and business goals don’t generally fall into that category. A small action can have a huge impact. As you sign your name, feel the responsibility of your commitment.
6. Stick a small piece of double sided tape on the back of each card.
7. Carry these cards with you through the travels of your day. In your pocket or handbag, carry case, on the dashboard of your car (not when you have others with you, if you feel self conscious), on your office and home office desk, etc. Just the physical act of moving the cards, subconsciously reinforces what the cards represent. Since most of our attitudes and actions are subconsciously motivated, you will feel more immediately compelled to make the better, usually more productive decision.
This is a little idea that can play big in getting you to another level. Because it’s easy to do, it becomes easy to NOT do. Do it, you’ll like it!
By Barry Eisen