I think I’m going to die.
It’s January 2nd and we’ve finally boarded our plane after waiting for 3.5 hours in the sweltering Grenada airport. My clothes are damp from the humid Caribbean air and I've been guzzling 7 dollar bottles of water in an attempt to stay cool.
After a lengthy wait, we reach our seats…. in unlucky row 13.
Being 6’5” and 240 lbs, with long legs, planes just don’t fit me. The plane gods have been especially unkind, as I’m sitting next to an equally massive man, who seems to be radiating an inner heat, similar to a small nuclear power plant on the verge of meltdown. I can actually feel his heat on my skin. I look over and watch a bead of sweat hang from the tip of his nose, defying gravity for a few moments and then falling into his belly. It’s not pleasant.
We’re now waiting on the tarmac for takeoff and plane’s air conditioning system is working in overdrive (blowing hot air in my face) and I can’t move. I just sit, sweat and curse my decision to wear jeans instead of shorts.
Peering over the seats, I notice a middle aged woman on her laptop. She’s your typical midwestern mom, with gossip magazines, clothes a size too big, a short haircut and a face showing the late nights and early morning required of working adults who have families. You know the type.
I sit in an upright position, feeling miserable, unable to slouch or lay my head on the neck rest. My eyes drift to her laptop, which happens to be in full view. I try to ignore it, but the glow of her screen draws me in and I can’t help but read title of the article displayed...
The BEST workout to lose weight
Soon her laptop screen is flooded with Bikram yoga, “healthy foods”, crossfit, low calorie meal plans, fit bodies and just about every type of fitness product that’s been created in the past 50 years. Like many new years resolutioners she wants to lose weight, get her body back and finally do something for herself. She looks like she deserves it.
My inner personal development coach wants to help, because I know this isn’t the first time she’s made this same new year's resolution. In fact, I’ve seen the scenario play out countless times with the millions of people who flock to jam packed gyms in the early months of the year.
I want to walk her through a goal setting process, because I know that without it, she’s unlikely to consistently work towards her goals. Her fate is likely set and the cycle of setting goals and failing to achieve them will continue.
I actually have to stop myself from striking up conversation with her, because it's not part of normal airplane etiquette to interrupt strangers and hold a goal setting intervention (although I really wanted to).
I just sit there, next to my large companion who's now fighting me for arm rest position, writing the outline for what would eventually turn into this article....
So... to all my peak performing and goal achieving friends out there (yes, that’s you!), let’s discuss the finest and most comprehensive goal setting process available. It’s called…
The 7 Step Method To Achieve Any Goal
Whatever YOUR top new year's goal is -- grow your business, get organized, lose weight, spend less, get fit, be happier, get promoted, fall in love, enjoy life more, you can use this ultra effective goal setting process to achieve your top new year’s goal.
Interested? Want to follow along? Want to make THIS year, your best ever?
I thought so.
Let’s walk through this together using the following steps:
- Pick your top new year's goal. Pick just ONE goal. Remember, success demands and singleness of focus.
- Complete each step after you read it. Winners don't wait.
- Don’t skip ahead. You won’t be doing yourself any favors.
Step 1: Decide Exactly What You Want.
Clarity is power and our middle aged mom hasn’t created it. I can tell by the plethora of fitness websites displayed on her screen, that she doesn’t know what she wants. She hasn’t created her vision.
If she just wants to “lose weight”, that’s not specific enough. She should be thinking about what she wants to look like, feel like, what size she wants to be, how much weight she wants to lose, what her clothes will feel like on her skin, what she will look like on the beach, what her friends will say after she loses the weight, etc.
The more visual and crystal clear you can be is crucial because...
All goal setting starts with an extremely clear vision about what you want.
If we’re not clear, we don’t set a proper target to aim for. It’s like sailing the world without a map or a destination. You can’t get where you want to be if you don’t know where you’re going.
Step 2: Write It Down
You are way more likely to achieve a goal when you write it down. One study conducted by Prof Gail Matthews showed a 33% increase in goal achievement for those who wrote their goals down and were held accountable. 
Don’t leave this small step to chance. Write it down.
Step 3: Set A Deadline For Your Goal
Goals without a deadline never happen. Our natural tendency to procrastinate always gets in the way.
Our middle aged mom on the plane, should resolve to achieve her goal by a specific date. From there she should hold herself fully accountable to meeting that deadline.
We learn in Maxwell Maltz's Psycho Cybernetics that, once the date is set, our automatic success mechanism takes over and we start proactively working to achieve our goals. 
When you set the date, you resolve to make it a reality.
It’s one of the most powerful (and easy) things you can do to achieve your goals.
Step 4: Make A List of Everything Can Think Of That You Could Possibly Do, To Achieve Your Goal
This one is hard.
It requires us to take off the blinders and look at our lives from a 3rd person perspective. It requires that we acknowledge our shortcomings, obstacles and the skills we need. It requires we be honest with ourselves about our own situation.
Your Turn: Think about your top new year's goal and write the following lists:
- Make a list of obstacles and difficulties that you will have to overcome.
- Make a list of knowledge and skills that you will need in order to achieve them.
- Make a list of people whose cooperation and support you will require.
- Make a list of everything you will have to do in order to achieve your goal.
If we take this approach, we can proactively overcome the roadblocks, success barriers and obstacles that are inevitable on the route to any goal. This way, we don't get discouraged when setbacks happen.
The purpose of this step is perfectly described by Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu when he said:
“Do what is hard when it is easy”
Step 5: Organize Your List By Priority and Sequence
This is where the 80/20 Pareto principle and the power of the ONE THING come into play.
There are certain actions that produce the greatest result and make everything else easy or unnecessary. For example, our middle aged mother won’t need to a 2 hour gym session every day, if she’s eating high quality nutrient dense food in the form of vegetables, meats and healthy fats. She won’t need an hour on the elliptical each day if she does 10 minutes of barbell squats instead. 
No matter how many to-do's are on your list, you can always narrow it down to the ONE that produces the greatest result.
Your turn: Look at your list from the previous step and pick the actions that produce the greatest result. Then focus all of your energy, attention and awareness on those actions and do them consistently.
Step 6: Take Action On Your Plan Immediately
In the world of big goals, tomorrow is a magical place. It's where we achieve all of our goals, dreams and create the life we want.
But… Things that are suppose to happen tomorrow rarely materialize.
Winners take the first step immediately. They don’t wait.
Your turn: Never leave the site of a goal setting session, without taking immediate action towards your goal. What is one baby step you can take (right now) to create some positive momentum towards your goal?
Step 7: Do Something Every Single Day That Moves You In The Direction Of Your Goal
Your objective is simple -- work at it 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
In the example of our middle aged mom, even on her “off days”, she can still make progress. This includes stretching, walking, eating high quality nutrient dense food, living a low stress lifestyle and getting sleep. A day off from the gym doesn't mean a day without progress.
This type of approach is crucial, because…
Daily consistency, creates unstoppable momentum.
Your turn: What are the actions you can take each and every day that move you closer to your goals?
One article published by the University of Scranton, said as much as 92% of people fail to achieve their new year's goals. That’s a lot. 
But.... that’s for normal people... Not peak performers like YOU who use the 7 Step Method to Achieve Any Goal. You are different. You are unstoppable. You WIN!
 Tracy, B. (2010). No excuses!: The power of self-discipline. New York: Vanguard Press.
 Dominican Research Cited in Forbes Article. (n.d.). Retrieved January 13, 2016, from http://www.dominican.edu/dominicannews/dominican-research-cited-in-forbes-article
 Keller, G. (2013). The One Thing. London, UK: Hachette Book Group.
 Maltz, M. (1960). Psycho-cybernetics: A new way to get more living out of life. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.
 Statistic Brain. (n.d.). Retrieved January 13, 2016, from http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/