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Nigel Risner shares the 5 Ps of successful goal setting.

1. Passion — You’ve got to want the goal badly enough that you won’t allow yourself to become discouraged when the finish line proves hard to reach.

2. Persistence — Clichéd as it may sound, if at first you don’t succeed, you have to keep trying. Any goal worth attaining is worth pursuing even through repeated setbacks.

3. Planning — If the road to defeat is paved with good intentions, the road to success is smoothed with actual planning. Successful businesses begin with a well-thought business plan. Successful goal setters likewise require a carefully considered plan to reach their goals.

Each plan should include:

o Ways to break the main goal into smaller, easier-to-accomplish parts
o A realistic timetable
o Strategies and resources (including mentors) you can utilize
o A system for tracking your progress
o Fallback positions for when you encounter potholes and detours

4. People — The Boston Marathon attracts 25,000 participants and roughly half a million spectators each year. The number of qualified entrants and the large, cheering audience handing out cups of cold water do not make the 26.2 mile race any shorter. But the support and enthusiasm of the crowd and the momentum of the pack do provide most runners an extra boost on their journey to the finish line.

Family, friends and co-workers can likewise give you the extra boost you require to reach your goal. Whether they are running alongside you, cheering you on from the sidelines, or handing you advice based upon their own scrapes and triumphs, enlisting the help of others dramatically increases your chances of success.

5. Positivity — Mental attitude can carry you forward even when circumstances aren’t breaking your way. Is reaching for a goal a burden, a responsibility, a sacrifice, even a punishment? It can be if you decide to think of it that way. But you can also picture your path as an adventure, an opportunity, a competition and a growth experience. The task is the same regardless of how you view it.

The outcome, however, is far more likely to be positive if you remain upbeat and optimistic at each step along the way.


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