Thursday, June 03, 2010

A Simple Way to Make Your Goals Reality

At Christmas time last year, a blog post by literary agent Nathan Bransford invited readers to comment with a wish for 2010. For every comment, he pledged to donate $1 to Heifer International.

Mr Bransford invited others to take the ball and run with it. I took him up on the challenge. So did at least 22 other bloggers (according to the links on his original post). And ::bam!:: -- just like that -- a bit of writing that I did, coupled with a bit of writing that others did, resulted in a real benefit to real people. (The comments I received were enough to buy some bees!)

How's that for a warm, fuzzy feeling and for knowing that your writing is doing something worthwhile and making the world a better place?

The experience made me think about how I can make my dreams (and the dreams of my clients) have a more positive impact.

I wanted to come up with a way that would not only help clients, friends, and others reach their goals, but that would also make the world a better place as those people were reaching for their goals. So My Goal Posts was born.

It’s simple, really:

Step 1 State what you want to do.

(If you, like me, have several big projects you want to tackle, then each major project counts as a single goal. This keeps you from than loading up all of your dream projects into one big pile and calling that your goal.)

Step 2: Choose a time frame in which you will make it happen.

Step 3: Divide your main goal into 12 quantifiable sub-goals.

(For instance: If your goal is to write a novel, the following sub-goals might make sense:

1.) Outline entire project and begin required research.
2.) Write the hook, complete required research, create character notes.
3 - 7.) Write 20,000 words (5,000 words per week) until project is completed (100,000 word total).
8.) Read and edit first 50,000 words. Solicit criticism on the edited draft.
9.) Read and edit second 50,000 words. Solicit criticism on the edited draft.
10.) Incorporate necessary changes.
11.) Polish prose until squeaky clean.
12.) Edit for grammar and punctuation.)

Step 4: Determine your favorite non-profit charitable organization. Set up a way to donate to them and post it on your website or blog.

Step 5: Identify at least 10 people who love you and who want to see you succeed. Write their names down, contact them, and ask if they will help support you in your quest to reach your goal.

Ask each supporter to pledge a total of $60 to help you reach your goal.

Every time you make a stated sub-goal, each supporter pledges to make a $5 donation to your chosen charity.

Important!: If you do NOT reach a stated sub-goal, your supporters are not required to donate. However, you (and no one else) are responsible for committing to your dreams.

Failing to meet a sub-goal is literally taking money away from your selected charity. That's not fair! So it is YOUR responsibility to pledge to make up the difference that your missed sub-goal has cost the organization. If you have 10 supporters, and each is happy to donate $5 / month for each goal you make, that means that you are responsible for a $50 donation for every month you miss your goals.

How's that for incentive AND for knowing that your dreams are as important to the world as they are to you?

At the end, you will not only have reached your Big Goal, but you will also have raised at least $600 for your favorite charity!

I would love for this to take off and inspire tons of people to reach for their goals. It's on my Stuff That Would Be Cool if it Happened list.

Imagine: if only 1,000 people committed to their Goal Posts in this way, not only would those people make major strides toward making their dreams come true, but they would raise over $600,000 for charities around the world! How cool would that be?

My friend Kelly and my husband are working with me to develop My Goal Posts. Throughout the month of June, our idea is in the running for a Pepsi Refresh Everything grant. If we win the grant, we’ll receive $5,000 to put into developing and maintaining a killer website that can help inspire people, track their progress, put them in touch with others who are willing to support them in their goals, and more.

You can help! Log in to the Pepsi Refresh Everything site and cast a vote for My Goal Posts.

While you’re there, check out the other cool ideas in the running this month. You can vote for up to 10 different ideas per day. But PLEASE – come back every day and cast a vote for us.

Then – why not get started on your Big Goal? Get some friends to pledge their support, pick a charity you’d like to benefit from your efforts and make it happen!

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