Friday, February 8, 2008

The secret weapons to success could be right at your fingertips Part II

My desk is a veritable treasure trove of weaponry… weapons of success that is. Having spent much of my working life at a desk in front of a computer I decided a few years ago that what I had with me at my desk was going to be vital in assisting me towards achieving my definition of success.

See weapon 1 in previous blog

Weapon 2. The Low-Tech Goal Box

I’ve always been pretty goal oriented even from as early as age 7 or 8 when I decided the best way to make my first million (one of my first goals) was in peddling pirated video tapes to my school mates (see my first book Advance to Go for some of my other childhood escapades)!

Obviously I’ve progressed into more legitimate means of achieving my goals these days. I used to keep lists upon lists of goals taking my cues from my mentors like John McGrath who laminates his list and has it in the shower and then mine was in my car under the sun visor (until I realised that I live in Tasmania and don’t need to use my sun visor all that often!) I’ve had lists taped up at my desk, lists in my wallet, lists by my bed, lists in my head. Until I realised that I didn’t love the idea of having a list at all for two main reasons:

1. Because I’m a pretty visual person – so I wanted to be able to incorporate pictures to really make my goals seem real
2. Because each time I updated my goal list and got rid of those things that I achieved, I lost that information. My “done” goals were done but also gone which meant I had no way of looking back and seeing what I’d achieved.

And then one day it came to me. I was sitting with a very special sales consultant, Jeff, from our real estate company and we were discussing the fact that although we had all this amazing technology and software for databasing his clients, if the best system for him was a file box with each client on a card then that’s what he should use.

It hit me that I could use an online goal program like (which is very cool and I highly recommend it) – but maybe I just needed to get very low tech and invest in some file cards and a box myself.

These days in my funky little low tech box of goals I have everything categorised:

P for those goals already Planned and waiting to happen (like my trip to Cambodia in January)
G for Goals that don’t fit into any other category (my dream wardrobe, the world’s largest shoe collection, a Bugatti Veyron for my husband)
B for Business goals (subscribers to my weekly email, income goals etc)
T my favourite, Travel goals (this category has by far the most cards)
E Experiences I want to have (seeing a volcano erupt, going zorbing)
L Things I want to learn (waterskiing, dancing, piano, sign language, reading 52 books this financial year)
A Affirmations, these aren’t so much goals as just things I like to remind myself of – seeing as I check through my goal box at least weekly I thought this would be a good place to put them!
D DONE! The best section! (includes completed goals like indoor skydiving, speaking in Las Vegas, launching my new book Retired at 27)
U this is my Undone section. Goals I thought I once wanted but have now decided aren’t a priority for me (being flexible is good – I just kept them here as a reminder in case I change my mind again!)

This system works really well for me because I’ve got room to write in detail where I need to, I can add pictures (which gets me much more excited than words) and I also have room to write when and how I achieved the goal.

Checking back through my Done section gives me reasons to celebrate, moments to remember and a great record of what I’ve achieved for the past year.

Now of course, good things don’t come cheap! I think you can pick up your very own goal box in any office supplies store for the princely sum of less than $10. And if the low-tech goal box isn’t for you, write a list, paint your goals on a wall, tattoo them on your leg – do whatever you need to do to make it work for you!

"The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them. Even the most tedious chore will become endurable as you parade through each day convinced that every task, no matter how menial or boring, brings you closer to achieving your dreams." Og Mandino

More weapons to come.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment


What a great idea! I am going to do this one! I have a journal that I keep all of my goals in but it is not organized in this way and it is hard to put pictures in it. I am very visual so I need to see it. I have a vision board too. But I think having all the smaller goals in the index box leading up to bigger goals would be a great way to measure progress. I also think that having the section for the accomplished goals is fantastic! Your are right, I check off my list and then it is gone, out of sight! Not great for visualizing progress!

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