What are the two tools?
Pen and paper
Only about 3 percent of people have written down goals for their lives. I didn’t say that only 3 percent have goals–just that only 3 percent bothered to write them down. Most studies tell us that the 3 percent with written goals achieve more than the other 97 percent combined. That alone is a pretty strong testament to writing things down. If you are working from thought alone it’s not tangible, it’s just an idea. Write it down and make it real.
Where you want to be
Get out several sheets of paper and a pen. Use one sheet of paper per area of your life: money, health/weight, career, relationships (one for spouse, one for each kid, one for friends, parents, boss, co-workers and one for customers).
On the left side of the sheet write down the way your life is in that area. For instance, on your health/weight sheet put your weight, the time you spend exercising every day, how much you sleep, how much television you watch, the number of times you eat and how many calories, etc. On your money sheet, write down your current money situation in terms of cash on hand, who you owe and how much, savings, investments, etc. Follow this process for every area of your life.
Then on the right side of the sheet, write down how you would like your life to be. Just look at what you’ve already written and decide how you want it to be. If you’re happy with it the way it is, and you should be in some of the areas, then you won’t have much to write. If there are areas where you aren’t that proud of the way your life looks, then you have a lot of writing to do when it comes to how you want your life to look. Simply figure out “where you are” and then figure out “where you want to be” and put it on paper.
Give up to get
Figure out what you are going to give up to get from where you are to where you want to be. That’s right: I want you to figure out what you are going to give up. That’s what achieving success always comes down to: giving up. You don’t get rich. You give up what’s making you broke. You don’t get skinny, you give up what’s making you fat. You don’t get happy, you give up what’s making you unhappy. It’s a new perspective most folks have never considered.
Just do it
Now do it. If you get out those two critical tools, the pen and paper, and go to work as I have described here you will move to the top 3 percent of all people simply by taking the time to write down your goals. You will also have a written list of things you can take action on that will move you from where you are to the place you really want to be.