Over the past few decades I’ve read a lot of goal-setting ‘self-help’ books. Most of them end up part-read, and collecting dust in some forgotten corner of the house. Only a few have inspired me to any kind of action, and only a tiny handful of those have made any real impact.

I’ll be sharing more on those select few over the coming weeks but I want to point up one at this point.

Seth Godin reintroduces us to Zig Ziglar & his amazing goal program

It was Zig Ziglar, legendary author, salesman and inventor of modern motivational speaking who said:

Lack of direction, not lack of time is the problem. We all have twenty-four hours in the day.

A few weeks ago I read a post by Seth Godin on his blog. Seth posts daily and is required reading in my opinion. If you don’t know who Seth Godin is then I recommend you check him out as soon as you’ve finished reading this.

Seth reminds us in his post about Zig Ziglar’s fifty year career, how relevant he still is today and in particular his thinking on goals. This really struck a chord with me as I could identify with Seth’s early struggles with seemingly never having the time to get his ventures off the ground and succeed with them. He has long since become one of the most prolific and effective people I know of in terms of creating and shipping extraordinary value. He credits Zig’s goal program for helping to get his goals achieved. Praise indeed.

What Seth has done is to condense and update Zig’s original goal program (seventy two hours of tapes) and publish it in a quickly digestible and actionable form.

A brief outline of what to expect

Step one is to identify your four genuinely most important life goals. This is tough but potentially the most life-changing thing you can ever do – but also frightening. As Seth says:

The reason we don’t set goals is that we’re afraid. We’re afraid of saying a goal out loud, even to ourselves, and certainly afraid of writing it down. We’re afraid of trying to achieve a goal and failing.
And, surprisingly, we’re afraid of reaching our goals, because reaching them means our lives will change, and change is often at the centre of our fear.

The second step of the program is about analysing for each goal: the expected benefits, the skills & knowledge needed, the major obstacles, the people who can help, and a plan for reaching the goal.

The final stage is all about accomplishing your goals and tracking progress on a daily and weekly basis. This is supposed to be the relatively easy part. As Seth comments:

Drip, drip, drip, things get done, progress is made, and goals are accomplished.

My take on the book and how it’s working for me


The book is only available in a pack of 4, hence the title: Pick Four (4 Pack – Designed to Share). Each volume is good for 3 months, so you can either work through a years worth of goal setting for yourself, or give away a few to others in your team.

It’s also a workbook. So, you not only have to think, but to do some writing too. Long-hand, in old-fashioned pencil, pen, quill, whatever. Every. Day. For twelve weeks.

I’m now three weeks and 4 days into it and so far it’s working for me. Brilliantly.

Thank you Zig. Thank you Seth.

Watch Zig in action

Here are three fun videos (5 minutes each) of Zig himself talking about goals. Enjoy.

Have you found a way to identify, and action your own goals? If so, what works for you? If not, let me know if you try out Zig’s method and how you get on with it.