One reader of my book asked me “Why 104 goals? Why not 100 or 80, what’s the signifigance of 104?”
She was referring to the section in : “THE WOMEN OF THE ROSE”” where I’m talking about my New Year’s tradition of composing 104 goals for the coming year.
I don’t know exactly ‘where’ I discovered the 104 number, after all it is a magical number. But I do know that writing down goals is an exercise I’ve engaged in for most of my adult life.
Creating goals for the new year has also become an annual tradition among the employees at The Rose. I doubt anyone else actually has 104 goals, but I’m always surprised at how many of my employees participate.
Every year, in late December or early January, I rescue the envelopes containing their goals that were written twelve months before from a special drawer in my office. It’s so much fun distributing them, handing each employee his or her own envelope containing their private wishes, hopes and dreams. Many have forgotten they even wrote them, and eye the envelop boasting their name in their own handwriting suspiciously. They laugh when they realize what it is and tear right into them.
From one desk to another, one work station to the other, I make the rounds and relish the squeals of delight as one employee after another lists their accomplishments—3 goals out of 6 or 20 out of 30, more often than not everyone is pleased with what ‘came true.’
New employees are curious about the process, questioning what’s going on. I leave a fresh envelop with every person-new or old, reminding them that they need to turn it in at the January Staff meeting and telling them to make a copy for themselves if they want.
After so many years, most everyone knows the routine: once collected, the sealed envelopes will be wrapped in a big red satin ribbon and put away for a year—waiting to be manifested over the next twelve months.
Does it work? Can a goal really be manifested?
Yes they can and I have seen it happen over and over year after year.
There are some easy, common sense guidelines I follow when creating my own goals. So if you want to take a stab at it, here they are:
Always write down goals. Goals floating around in our minds are just intentions, and most often remain just that: good intentions. Goals written down make an imprint in your being and somehow say to the Universe, “I’m serious.”
Write goals in the present tense and as affirmations. Use the terms: “I have…” or “I am…” as opposed to “I want…” or “I need…” because the way things work, your mind will keep you ‘wanting’ or ‘needing’ those things.
I have discovered that using the phrase “I explore…” is very powerful and opens up all sorts of possibilities. Another one is “I enjoy…”.
Losing weight is usually on many lists. But what is lost has a way of being found again. So a better statement is I am the perfect weight. Or I enjoy robust health. A new image is planted and the mind goes to work.
I’ve read a lot about making goals very specific, as in saying In 12 months, I’ll earn 20% more than I make now. I’ve seen that ‘work’ to a point. But goals don’t always happen in a year and sometimes need a lot of other ‘things’ to fall into place before they become reality. For instance: on my list for nearly a decade was “Writing the book about the Rose.” And that’s what I did, off and on for years, write.
It wasn’t until I change the phrasing to “I publish the best seller about The Rose” that something happened. I was led to the right creative editor, through a total fluke of the universe. He stayed with me for the next two years as I wrote, rewrote, edited and re-edited the book.
In spite of lots of angst and last minute delays, it’s not only written but published. Hooray! Best seller? Well, I may have to tweak that verbiage.
So the point is: remember that goals may need to be tweaked, reworded or simply carried from year to year before they manifest.
Every now and then, they just don’t happen and in the end, you’ll find yourself grateful they didn’t.
Another guide for me is creating what I call ‘Maintenance’ goals.’ These are the goals that involve those basic events or relationships that we sometimes ‘forget to do’ or take for granted.
A maintenance goal for me is “I talk to my sister at least once a week.” Or “I see five to six great movies this year.” Or “I attend 3 positive and life-affirming seminars and/or event.” Or “I spend special time with my walking buddy or friends every month.” Or “The Master Mind group meets regularly.” Or “We entertain often and the pool is soundly enjoyed this year.” Sounds goofy I guess but it is strangely effective and the years when I forget to include them, invariably the relationship suffers or I didn’t see any movies or go to seminars or something goes awry.
Notice the ‘we’ in that last goal? Yes there are Together Goals, goals you make with your special love or family. Patrick and I make out a list of Together Goals, remember to include the fun, the serious and life stretching goals. We also include those basic domestic goals that we hope to achieve for our home or yard. Our place in the country, GMILY Ranch has its own set of goals, it needs them; there is a lot to get done there!
Finally, I produce a list for Rose goals and this year that list will be expanded to the Author goals.
Sounds like a lot of work? Not really. It’s kind of fun to day dream about those things you want to attract into your life-new relationships, better health, more fun, prosperity—whatever you can imagine can come true.
Now, the odd thing about this exercise is you don’t have to even look at your list again until the following year. I remember one year I was sharing some of my goals with my key staff and commenting on those that made it and those that didn’t.
I was stunned when I saw the sentence that read: “My teeth are white and straight.” I reread it and laughed out load. Yes, I remembered thinking last year that I wanted to have my teeth whitened but I had totally forgotten the second part about them being straight.
Only a month before, my dentist had convinced me to try porcelain veneers as a solution to my crooked front teeth. Until then, I hadn’t even known that veneers were a possible fix. Long ago, I had resigned myself to the unevenness of those teeth knowing I’d never go through the effort of braces.
I didn’t need much encouragement and the price was right. Was I ever delighted with the results!
So does creating and writing down goals work? Usually…and in time.
And sometimes we even manifest those goals we’ve forgotten we wanted to achieve.