I have studied high achievers for 25 years, including 23 as a television news reporter. Time and time again I saw the power of goal setting, especially short term goals.
Nick Missos was a Warsaw, Indiana 9th grader who wanted to be on the wrestling team. He had two things going against him. He was very weak, and he was legally blind.
Nick spent a lot of time mashed to the mat when he first started. He had to grope to find his opponent because of his vision, and his lack of muscles led to extremely short matches. He was being pinned within a matter of seconds.
Nick then did something that was very powerful. As a 9th grader, he did something that many adults never do. He took the time to set and write down goals. More specifically, he set short term goals. They weren't "to win a match within two weeks" or "to be a better wrestler." They were much more effective, and they were brutally honest.
To make it sixty seconds before getting pinned.
To make it two minutes.
To make it a whole match.
How about that?!
It took him awhile, but he went a whole minute before getting pinned. That was significant. He had reached his first short term goal. Nick then made it two minutes, and then a whole round. He became stronger and steadily improved as a wrestler.
He went the whole season without winning a match. Many kids would have quit, but Nick had taken the time to write down goals. That gave him extra strength and direction.
A year later, in his sophomore year, he won a match.
The gratification was enormous. Success had not come overnight. It was hard, but worth it! Nick helped his team advance far into the state tournament.
He is now a freshman at Purdue University with a fresh set of goals. I know he will achieve them! As a professional speaker, I have used Nick's story across the country. It never fails to get a reaction. I can see the wheels spinning within people about their own goal setting situation. So many adults in this country don't set goals. They have various excuses. Many high school kids never even think of writing down specific goals. Do any of us have an excuse? How can we when a weak and nearly blind 9th grader had the resolve to sit down one night and came up with one of the coolest and most realistic list of short term goals ever made!
What are your short term goals?

Author's Bio: 

Charlie Adams is a Life Coach and professional speaker who is an authority on performance improvement and helping people reach their goals. He was an award winning broadcaster for 23 years who focused on Positive News. His latest book, "Stoke the Fire Within: A Guide to Igniting your Life" will be released in January of 2008. For more information about Charlie's keynotes and Life Coaching you can go to www.StokeTheFireWithin.com