A Simple Plan for Setting Goals

I’ve known Dr. Daniel Amen for twelve years and he’s helped more than one of my family members with their health. He’s a clinical neuroscientist and psychiatrist, best known for his incredible work with the brain.

In his book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life (1998), Dr. Amen says that “being goal-directed helps keep our behavior on track” (p. 134). His “One-Page Miracle” is a goal-setting exercise that he shares with his patients. It’s simple yet very effective. I’ve used this exercise with people I’ve counseled many times over the years and it’s very helpful. Just follow the plan you create and stick to it.

Take a sheet of paper and compose your primary goals using four main headings: “Relationships, Work, Money, and Myself.” Under “Relationships,” create the subheadings of spouse/partner, children, extended family, and friends. Under “Work,” write the subheadings of current and future work goals. Under “Money,” pen the subheadings of current and future financial goals. Under “Myself,” write the subheadings of body, mind, spirit, and interests.

Then, beside each subheading, write down what’s important to you in that area; what you want, or think you need. This process may take several days. Once finished, make copies and post this One-Page Miracle sheet in a few prominent places. If you post it where you can look at it every day, it will help keep you on track. It will serve as a reminder of what’s important and what’s not. If you don’t have something written down on your “One Page Miracle” then think twice before getting too far off track and away from what you stated your goals are.  
“If you’re failing to plan, you’re planning to fail.” Robert H. Schuller

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