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Need to Know Rules for Setting Yearly Goals

This guest blog features author Dean Lindsay’s rules for creating what he calls “PHAT Goals”, within an organization.

This guest blog features author Dean Lindsay’s rules for creating what he calls “PHAT Goals”, within an organization.

Lindsay’s Six Rules for Crafting Big PHAT (Pretty Hot And Tempting) Goals

By Dean Lindsay

Rule #1: Big PHAT Goals Are Written and Visualized

Both the conscious and subconscious mind take written goals much more seriously than those that are merely spoken. Writing our goals down gives them more weight, and can help develop both strong resolve and a solid course of action.  Writing and rereading goals turns on the brain’s “Can Do” switch. If we also visualize a positive outcome, the subconscious mind will begin working to make that goal a reality.

Rule #2: Big PHAT Goals Connect to Personal Progress

In order to get employees committed to, and engaged in, reaching the organization’s goal, we need to focus on how that achievement will benefit each individual.  To create authentic commitment and excitement, everyone involved must believe they will feel their own unique mixture of the Six Ps of Progress: Peace of Mind, Pleasure, Profit, Prestige, Pain Avoidance, and Power, from achieving the organization’s goal.

Rule #3: Big PHAT Goals are Stated in the Present Tense

When we state a goal in the present tense, the mind takes ownership, sees the goal as an actuality, and works towards reaching it. Using future tense postpones goal achievement to some indefinite time in the future. For example, if you write “I will be debt free,” the subconscious mind does not act. When we craft goals as if we already achieved them, the mind wants to make them true.

Rule #4: Big PHAT Goals are Detailed and Measurable

Detailed goals enable us to measure and track our progress toward meeting them. In order to make sure we are progressing and not merely changing, we must craft goals with precise and vivid outcomes.  When we give the subconscious mind clear information about our intentions, wants, and goals, the right next steps become clearer, and our actions, in turn, become more focused. The details help create the inspiration that propels us to progress towards meeting our goals.

Rule #5: Big PHAT Goals are Positively Worded

Words hold great power.  Words or phrases that have a negative connotation remind us of our weaknesses or failures. This negativity can create a mental block that limits our thoughts and behaviors.  To avoid this, we must rephrase our goals, using only positive words. Crafting goals from a positive perspective raises our expectations and, in turn, encourages an empowering thought process.

Rule #6: Big PHAT Goals Have an Achievement Date

Achievement dates are important for measuring and tracking progress. Without an end date, there is no strong reason to take action today. Having a specific timeframe gives us the push we need to get moving.   Without a date for accomplishment, we may feel we could start at any time. A timeframe makes the goal real and grounded. It gets the fire burning and sets the subconscious mind in motion.

Dean Lindsay, the author of HOW TO ACHIEVE BIG PHAT GOALS, is a graduate of the University of North Texas and served on the advisory board for UNT’s Department of Marketing and Logistics. He has helped build engaged sales leadership and customer service cultures at a variety of companies, such as New York Life, Gold’s Gym, and many more. For more information, please visit


Views expressed in the blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of GreenSky, LLC, its management or subsidiary companies.