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This year many of us will be turning our vision for 2012 into measurable goals by setting quarterly, weekly and daily goals.  Good stuff.

Have you ever heard of setting a breakthrough goal to go along with your other goals? I first read about breakthrough goals in The Success Principles by Jack Canfield.

Breakthrough goals set the bar a little higher. They make you feel a little uncomfortable or they can make your heart pound. These are the goals that make you say, “Oooh, I want to do that!”  Examples can range from training for a marathon, getting an article pubbed in a glossy magazine, having your own radio show, opening up a much-needed daycare, building a killer website or volunteering to steer a charity. Breakthrough goals are those goals that bring you new opportunities, get you in front of the right people and can take your activities, groups and relationships to a higher level.

Once you decide on your breakthrough goal or goals (you can have more than one)  write them down. All your goals should be written down. If you aren’t sure how to do it, use the SMART rules of goal setting.

Reread all your goals daily. I like to do this before I go to bed or when I grab that first cup of coffee in the morning. On days when I sense I need extra focus I read my goals in the morning and in the evening.

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen went a step further when they wrote down their breakthrough goal of writing a bestselling book. They wrote it on the back of a business card and placed the card in their wallets where they would see it several times throughout the day.

They wrote and signed each others card with; “I am so happy selling 1.5 million copies of Chicken Soup for The Soul, by December 30th 1994.”

They set small incremental SMART goals, worked their tails off and sold 1.2 million books by their target date. The first Chicken Soup for the Soul book went on to sell 8 million copies and was reprinted in 30 different languages.

Today there are over 100 million copies of Chicken Soup for The Soul books in 80 different languages. Wow! Even though this is an extreme example, you can see how achieving a breakthrough goal has the potential to change your life.

One of my breakthrough goals last year was to take the leap into social media. For a lot of people this goal would not be considered that big of a deal, not by a long shot.

For me, social media changed a schedule that was already full. I do hate to change my schedule, especially when it’s working well. Oy. Social media also meant putting myself out there when I preferred to stay grounded in my office and write books. I’m an introvert at heart. Social media also meant that techno-challenged Kate would have to learn to be less techno challenged. That was scary for me and it was hard.

But…

It changed my life. Getting my brain cells hopped up on widgets and tweets has improved my confidence with technology.  Blogging has improved my writing and my voice. Best of all, I’ve met the most remarkable people through social media. People who have touched my life and my writing with their creativity in the most amazing ways, ways I would never have dreamed possible.

Once achieved, breakthrough goals have the power to make your life amazing.

What’s in store for me in 2012? Among my everyday goals of sprucing up my office, digging up a new flower bed in the spring, continuing writing articles for a regional magazine, improving my blog and helping plan my daughter’s wedding, I have three breakthrough goals for 2012.

My top of the heap, breakthrough goal is to have my book rewritten and edited by Sept 1st2012. I carry this one in my wallet:) This year I’ll be working with  professional editor Lorin Oberweger someone I know will push my writing and craft to a higher level and someone I met while pursuing a breakthrough goal in 2011. See how this works? But still, the self-doubt and questions arise. Can I do this? Am I capable?  When I ask those questions, I know I’m outside my comfort zone.

My second breakthrough goal is an exciting new venture called Book 100 which will be the focus of my next blog post. This is a challenge for readers and writers but a FUN challenge worth reaching for.

My third breakthrough goal will be to exercise for 30- 45 minutes six days a week. Yes. Six days from someone who was having trouble getting in five. This goal excites me for its health inducing, energy producing results down the line. I’ll explain my logic and motivation for this breakthrough goal in a future healthy living blog post using the book and PBS show Younger Next Year. Perhaps you’ll want to join me and make it a breakthrough goal too!

Breakthrough goals are goals that reach outside your comfort zone, change you forever and are worth following with passion. The title of this video is Just Do It but it’s not about Nike, it’s a two inspirational video about choosing goals and going for them.

You don’t have to take this journey alone. Another place to find inspiration is over at Marcia Richards and crew’s Life List Club. Join some of the best writer/bloggers for laughs and insights on goal setting and achievement.

Do you have a breakthrough goal for 2012? I’d love to hear about them, your fears and how you believe they’ll impact your life.  Thanks for all your insights and comments in 2011. You inspire me.

Here’s to a terrific 2012!

Kate~

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