How Zig Ziglar and Seth Godin Taught Me to Write and Keep Goals

It was late in the summer and another activity year was on the horizon. Floating around in my mind were all kinds of ideas, deadlines, possibilities, prospects, options, and opportunities. It was overwhelming and frustrating. I knew I needed to prioritize, but didn’t quite know the best way to go about it.

That’s when I turned to Zig Ziglar’s Legendary Goals Program, updated and simplified by Seth Godin. It has been newly published under the title Pick Four. At one point in his life Seth Godin felt very much like I had been feeling:

I was rudderless. Every project seemed like a shiny new toy, a new opportunity to make something work. I was so busy lurching from one project to another that I never had time to do the work necessary to make my ventures succeed. The lurching was a natural response: when things get tough, go do something else.

…Then I found Zig…Within a month I had written down all the steps he describes in his goals program, and I started following the steps. Drip, drip, drip. Day by day, bit by bit, I started to make progress. And then, quietly, my progress started accelerating. Suddenly, the bricks started falling into place, sales were made, personal goals achieved.

So I heeded Seth’s advice and began to work through the opening pages of the book. It is safe to say that it is just that: work. But it’s a good kind of work. It clarifies thoughts, ideas, and priorities. It’s even a little scary. 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 center of our fear.

As of this writing I have composed my four goals and intend to keep track of my progress the next twelve weeks. I’m sleeping on them for a couple of nights before I sign the book and make my final commitment. I’m hoping that when I waver, this little notebook will keep me on track. When it doesn’t, I hope that my family and those close to me will.

If you have read this far, I want to give you a special opportunity. Pick Four comes in a four-pack, meant to share. I would like to give away my three extra workbooks. If you would like a chance to receive one of the three workbooks, completely free, here’s what to do:

  1. Comment on this blog post (not on Facebook or Twitter…but right here on this blog);
  2. Explain in your comment why you should receive the Pick Four goal setting book;
  3. Share a link to this blog post either on Facebook or Twitter.

At my discretion, I will select three people who do all three of these things to receive a copy of Pick Four. I will send or deliver it to you at my own expense. Then we can, together, bring priority, change, and accomplishment to our respective lives.

How do you prioritize and set goals?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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18 thoughts on “How Zig Ziglar and Seth Godin Taught Me to Write and Keep Goals

  1. Hi Pastor,

    In the past (and even now to a certain degree) I was not organized. I live in the moment, have big plans for the future, and little more than vague ideas of how to get there from here. It's all the "in between" stuff that doesn't get thought through, planned, or completed. My lack of setting (or achieving) clear goals does not always completely fail to produce results, but I'm sure that what I'm doing (or failing to do) ain't working.

    But I have found some success at achieving goals as a result of tracking, including weight loss. It's interesting to see how regular tracking will cause an intrinsic change in behavior (if you make a game out of your pedometer results, you will WANT to take the stairs instead of the elevator for the sake of seeing how many extra steps you took that day, etc.). This insight came via Tim Ferriss, but also by means of Ramit Sethi and probably BJ Fogg as well.

    Like you, I'm a Seth Godin fan and have found much of his work useful (his evolutionary worldview not withstanding). I would buy my own copy of Pick Four if it was sold individually, but haven't found (i.e. looked for) three other people to split it with. I'd be honored if you shared one of your copies with me, and we could even correspond as I start going through it (if, for no other reason, to have someone outside myself to hold me accountable).

    • Thanks for your response! Writing things down is, indeed, a great motivator. I appreciate your taking the time to read and post!

  2. It would be easy to say that this is the time of year when everything is swirling and swimming in my brain. First, there is the urgent matter of preparing for the classes I teach at two ends of the spectrum. And why exactly did I choose this year for that new collegiate text and renovating a classroom? Meanwhile there is the balancing act of caring for family, others, and self.

    Setting goals is something I do almost constantly, but tracking them is another story. They often get lost and buried thus leaving some tasks totally unfinished.

    Perhaps I need the help of someone who does this better and more efficiently in order to stay accountable to a small number of goals and perhaps for that Purple Cow to surface!

    • Tracking is definitely a problem for me, as well. You are a busy person. Thanks for stopping by, reading, and commenting!

  3. Next week it will be one full year that I have been unemployed. I keep lists, I have lists of my lists.. My friends make fun of and have even suggested that instead of ripping them up, that I should keep them for one year and see if I have really accomplished anything on any of them. I ripped apart my bathroom and it took nearly 6 months to put it back together. Then looking for something in my bedroom led me to taking that apart, vacuuming, rearranging and because I kept getting distracted, that took almost 4 weeks to finish. My living room may or may not get done before christmas and my kitchen table may see the light of day before thanksgiving..We are talking about maybe a 600sq foot apartment..Granted..There was my Mother's death, finding a new place for my son to go to school, personal issues and my Father's cancer..So if you have something, ANYTHING, that could get ME on track, I would be more than willing to give it a shot!

  4. You know I'm a fan of Seth's (Thanks to you!). Interesting premise, and one I can definitely relate to…I have this terrible habit of saying yes to ANY and EVERY opportunity that comes my way (finally said no to one recently and it was so odd!), but it leaves me way out of sorts…overbooked and overcommitted and not able to give enough to the things I truly care about! I could use some simplification and some streamlining of my goals!

  5. I would try to win your prize – but I already knew I needed it. Ordered it the second I finished reading about it.

    Started the preliminaries – thinking about it – now it's time to put it to use. Good luck with yours – wish me luck and yell at me to do it – now!

  6. Hi..

    this is the first time to read your blog, even thought my first language is not English but i liked what i read,i was searching for zig pick four book and found your blog.

    its hard, life is hard.. to have goals to follow your heart, to do what you want to do not what your expected..

    am torn.. to go with my comfort zone the simple expected choices or go with my dreams..

    yup as Seth Godin said am afraid to write or even say what my goals are.. still need a lot of courage to do so, i hope i can do it.

    why i need this book??

    because i need to stop thinking what if.. i need to focus.. i need to be me because of me not because what they say i am..

    i need to start working.. and i need the help to keep me on track..

  7. Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog.
    Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out
    pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where
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    Appreciate it