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  • Leadership Harbor Coach

The SSA Method for Goals

We are still at the beginning of a new year, and many successful people attribute their success to goal setting. I’d like to share one of the most valuable tools that I know for goal accomplishment. It’s called the SSA Method or the Rule of Five. But it only works if one believes. (Simply—if you don’t believe, you won’t perform the actions, and, therefore, it won’t work.)

First, let me ask—do you want more? Everybody wants more of something. It’s OK. That’s human nature. Some of those reading may say “I am satisfied with what I have.” My reply—Great! And if you were to want more, what would that be? Even if it’s more peace in the world, everyone wants something. What is it? OK. If you have an answer to this first question, then we are ready for step two. What is your next step to fulfilling that desire?

You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to become great. —Joe Sabah

Whatever we want to accomplish, we have to get started, even if it is only a few minutes per day. One of my favorite methods of accomplishing a goal is the rule of five. Imagine that you are wanting to chop down a huge oak tree. Every day, take your shiny sharp ax (SSA) and go out to the tree and take five good whacks at it. If these are truly good, accurate, and concentrated chops, then, over time, the tree will come down. This works for any significant goal. Concentrated, accurate, focused work will eventually lead to goal accomplishment.

You must realize that at first the work won’t show much for results. The tree will not be close to falling, and the project will look barely started. Never fear. Keep the focus. Know that good things come to those who persevere. (Sure, the phrase sounds similar to “good things come to those who wait,” but that wouldn’t have made sense, would it? One cannot go out to the tree and give it five good “waits.” That isn’t action.)

The trick to goal setting is to figure out your SSAs. What are your “shiny sharp ax” actions to accomplishing more?

Let’s make this simple.

Step 1. Pick a long-range goal.

Step 2. Pick five SSAs (Rule of Five) that are the most important actions to do every day that will lead to accomplishing the goal. (Step two can be challenging. If you need to pick only three action items to start—that’s OK. If you need to modify the list over time, that’s great. The key is to start using the method. It will be one of the simplest, most brilliant moments in your thinking.)

Your five SSAs should be simple steps, just like ax swings. They must be done every day, rain or shine, weekend, vacation, and birthday included, even if only for five minutes a day. These actions, done every day, will lead you to your goal. Guaranteed!

If interested in mine: Positive affirmation; Think/Picture/Vision; Write; File/Sort; Read.

Now go! Make your day!

#GoalSetting

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