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Fly With Waldo

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Visualizing Success: A Goal setting flight plan for the New Year

In January of 2007, I made a commitment to write a book.  But it wasn’t an ordinary commitment.  I wanted to write a New York Times bestseller.  After all, if I was going to do something as unique as write a book, why not challenge myself to see if I could make a it a bestseller?

After I made the commitment, I got busy.  Real busy.

I attended seminars on book publishing, connected with fellow speakers who were successful authors, researched agents, built relationships with marketing experts, and started outlining the content of my book.  I hired a writing coach who helped me to “think outside my cockpit” with regards to my content. Then, I shared my goal with my family, friends, and my closest business associates.

Never Fly Solo Author Waldo WaldmanI wrote most of my book at a local Barnes & Noble bookstore.  Whenever I was there, I would religiously walk over to the business section and peruse the bestsellers. I would check out the covers, testimonials, and acknowledgments.  And then I did something that really made a difference. I envisioned my book in section.
I would smile as I said to myself, “My book is going to be right here. I am going to be a NY Times bestseller!”

Then a wave of fear would hit me as I thought of the daunting task ahead and all that needed to be done.   But instead of letting my fear hold me back, I would grab my favorite cup of coffee, re-focus my energy, and get down to the painstaking task of writing.

Page by page. Chapter by chapter. I finally got it done. It took me three years.

Within three months of the book’s release, I sat down in my office, grabbed a black sharpie and wrote the title of my book on a piece of paper.Underneath it (in big bold letters) I wrote these words: “NY Times bestseller!”  I taped it to my bathroom mirror so I could look at it several times a day.

And on Dec 8, 2009, my dream came true.  I became a NY Times bestseller! It’s 2010. We’re starting a brand new decade. What extraordinary goals are you trying to achieve this coming year?  What do you want to accomplish that will stretch you beyond your limits and test your determination, work ethic, and passion? The new year means new challenges.Are you ready to tackle them head on and take your success to the next level?

Here are seven powerful wingtips to help you reach your goals and start planning your flight plan for success:

  1. Set a high but achievable goal – Choose a goal that will get you to step out of your comfort zone and stretch your limits. Be careful. If you set the bar too high and miss the target, you may get de-motivated and frustrated.
  2. Share your goals with your wingmen – By letting others know your goal, you create accountability partners who will help keep you on track and force you to live up to your challenge. Don’t just tell anyone. Tell only those who know you, believe in you, and who will be brutally honest.
  3. Establish a flight plan:  Don’t fly by the seat of your pants.  Formulate a strategy for success. Invest in yourself by attending seminars and workshops, and stay disciplined and focused as you pursue your goal.  Remember, a goal without a plan is like a combat mission without a target.
  4. Ask for help: Solicit advice from experts and successful people and model their actions (and attitudes!) However, also take the time to build meaningful relationships by offering your advice and expertise to others as well.
  5. Set a timeline:  Pick a realistic date when you expect your goal to be accomplished.  Then, establish “checkpoints” along the way to monitor and assess your progress. (*I failed to do this initially and it prevented me from achieving my goal a lot sooner!)
  6. Visualize the goal:  Envision how success looks and feels. Feelings incite action. Write your goal down and look at it every day.  By writing down your goals, you visualize the goal and make it real. Then repeat the goal out loud…and with confidence.

Jet from AboveCommit to making several professional and personal goals. But don’t over commit. It’s easy to become overwhelmed in the pursuit of success. Be tough but patient (and understanding) with yourself.  Finally, be prepared for setbacks along the way.  Remember, hidden in the soil of failure are the seeds to success.

Thank you for being my wingmen this year and for supporting me in my goal of becoming a New York Times bestseller! Without your encouragement, none of it could have happened.
Wishing you health, peace, and success in the new year and beyond.