Brian Tracy. One of my top 10 books that I've ever read is by Tracy and simply title "Goals." Here are seven questions he feels you should asked (and answer on paper) if you are to have the maximum opportunity for achievement:
Here are seven goal-setting questions for you to ask and answer over and over again. I suggest that you take a pad of paper and write out your responses.
Question Number One:
What are your five most important values in life?
This question is intended to help you clarify what is really important to you, and by extension, what is less important, or unimportant. Once you have identified the five most important values in life for you, organize them in order of priority, from number one, the most important, through number five.
Question Number Two:
What are your three most important goals in life, right now?
This is called the "quick list" method. When you only have thirty seconds to write down your three most important goals, your subconscious mind sorts out your many goals quickly. Your top three will just pop into your conscious mind. With only thirty seconds, you will be as accurate as if you had thirty minutes.
Question Number Three:
What would you do, how would you spend your time, if you learned today that you only had six months to live?
This is another value questions to help you clarify what is really important to you. When your time is limited, even if only in your imagination, you become aware of who and what you really care about.
Question Number Four:
What would you do if you won a million dollars cash, tax free, in the lottery tomorrow?
How would you change your life? What would you buy? What would you start doing, or stop doing? This is really a question to help you decide what you'd do if you had all the time and money you need, and if you had virtually no fear of failure at all.
Question Number Five:
What have you always wanted to do, but been afraid to attempt?
This question helps you see more clearly where your fears could be blocking you from doing what you really want to do.
Question Number Six:
What do you most enjoy doing? What gives you your greatest feeling of self-esteem and personal satisfaction?
This is another values question that may indicate where you should explore to find your "heart's desire." You will always be most happy doing what you most love to do, and what you most love to do is invariably the activity that makes you feel the most alive and fulfilled. The most successful men and women in America are invariably doing what they really enjoy, most of the time.
Question Number Seven:
What one great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you would not fail?
Imagine that a genie appears and grants you one wish. The genie guarantees that you will be absolutely, completely successful in any one thing that you attempt to do, big or small, short or long-term. If you were absolutely guaranteed success in any one thing, what one exciting goal would you set for yourself?
Study the pad of paper that you used to answer these questions. This paper represents your future goals. Look at what you wrote every day and shape your life the way you see it on that paper.