Goal success is best achieved through daily focus. This was a lesson I learned a long time ago from two of my oldest friends and mentors, Bud Haney and Jim Sirbasku.

Bud and Jim revolutionised the modern employee assessment industry, and the company they founded in 1991 with a modest stake of just $25,000, Profiles International grew to be one of the leading assessment companies before it’s acquisition to John Wiley and Sons in 2014.

I asked Bud & Jim how one goes about achieving goals on their level; they told me that it was “relatively simple – all you’ve got to do is be prepared to work hard and then implement a system for continually looking forward”.

In a series of posts, I’m going to share a system with you and walk you through the process of getting it working for you. (Subscribe to the blog to be notified when future posts are published).

The Haney-Sirbasku system has been at the core of Bud and Jim’s development of the organisation over the last twenty years and is very much responsible for their success.

The System

The system is straightforward; here are the first two steps:

  1. Buy yourself a good quality three-ring binder or utilise a project planning online system. I personally prefer a hard copy binder.
  2. Set up six sections and populate them as follows:
  • Accomplishments
    In this section, put details of anything notable you have ever achieved – especially goals that you set and realised. Don’t forget things like testimonials, press clippings, and anything else that reminds you of times when you performed at your best and makes you generally feel good about yourself. Celebrate your strengths and successes.  It does not matter who you are or what point you’re at in your life or career we can guarantee that you have forgotten more of your achievements than you remember.  It’s human nature: we ditch our accomplishments and focus upon what we still have not yet achieved.  We all need to remind ourselves of just how successful we already really are.  When someone congratulates you on a speech or on a job particularly well done, make it a habit to ask them if they wouldn’t mind writing down their comments. Some will, some won’t. But every personal testimonial like this will further reinforce your self-confidence.  Build all of those into this section.
  • Current Goals
    These are goals that have target deadlines somewhere in the next six months, so you’ll likely be working on them or thinking about them just about every day.  You must keep these goals in front of you every day.
  • Medium-term Goals
    ‘Medium-term’ means different things to different people – we define it as being in the six months to two-year time frame.  These are goals that you’re probably working on a little less frequently, but which need some attention nonetheless to progress them towards completion.
  • Long-term Goals.
    In here put goals you want to achieve that stretch somewhere beyond the two-year vista, perhaps even many years into the future, are ‘long-term’.
  • Dreams
    These are goals that seem so far beyond where you are now, so outside what you see yourself as capable of achieving in the timeframes above, that you do not want to put timeframes on them.  They are things you’d like to accomplish at some point in your life – ones that you’ll move into long-term goals when the means for progressing them becomes more apparent to you.
  • Affirmations.
    Earlier, you saw how to create affirmations that would build your mental fitness and eliminate any negative self-talk.  Your affirmations go in this section.  All of the research shows that a key constituent in the success of all high achievers is the positive messages they feed themselves daily.  Besides the personalised affirmations you developed for yourself earlier you might be interested in two of our favourite ‘off the shelf’ affirmations. The first comes from motivational speaker Zig Ziglar who suggests a strong affirmation: “ I love myself, I love what I do, and I will be successful in the short-medium and long-terms”.  The second is from Emile Coue, a French psychologist who died in 1926; it is beautiful in its simplicity: ‘Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better’.  Affirmations are a crucial element in this system – at the very least harness those from Zig and Emile.

We Irish have a proverb: a good start is halfway done”.  In setting up your system, you have made an excellent start.

In the next post, I’ll talk about how you can integrate this simple but powerful system into your life so that you start to see some real changes in your achievement level.

What steps have you taken in working towards achieving your goals?