The 4 Hand-Written Notes to Self — You Need for Meeting Your Goals

Midwest Journal Press
Mar 13 · 3 min read

There are four items that must be in writing, are best hand-written, and reviewed daily, to make your goal achievement happen fastest.

First, Napoleon Hill’s Goal Achiever Steps. Name your goal, when it will happen, what value you will give to earn it — then review this morning and night (and maybe any odd scraps of time — like lunch or other breaks) with the feeling of having accomplished it.

Second, your Internal Press Release. Joe Pulizzi has a great, short podcast on this and included this in his Content Inc. book (see episode 41 at this link.) Others have mostly referred to Ian McAllister’s version. You write this before you do any actual work on the new product itself. Plan your work before you work your plan:

Here’s an example outline for the press release:

  • Heading — Name the product in a way the reader (i.e. your target customers) will understand.
  • Sub-Heading — Describe who the market for the product is and what benefit they get. One sentence only underneath the title.
  • Summary — Give a summary of the product and the benefit. Assume the reader will not read anything else so make this paragraph good.
  • Problem — Describe the problem your product solves.
  • Solution — Describe how your product elegantly solves the problem.
  • Quote from You — A quote from a spokesperson in your company.
  • How to Get Started — Describe how easy it is to get started.
  • Customer Quote — Provide a quote from a hypothetical customer that describes how they experienced the benefit.
  • Closing and Call to Action — Wrap it up and give pointers where the reader should go next.

If the press release is more than a page and a half, it is probably too long. Keep it simple. 3–4 sentences for most paragraphs. Cut out the fat. Don’t make it into a spec. You can accompany the press release with an FAQ that answers all the other business or execution questions so the press release can stay focused on what the customer gets. My rule of thumb is that if the press release is hard to write, then the product will probably suck. Keep working at it until the outline for each paragraph flows.

(Yes, Amazon is said to use this — but there’s no record of wherever they got it from.)

Third, Your Mission Statement. This also comes out of Pulizzi’s book, but gets clarified best in Covey’s 7 Habits. The trick is to have a “best of breed” or “world class” outcome. Big Hairy Audacious Goals that make you uncomfortable. Your mission statement says what you should do at all times to achieve those exceptional goals. And something to post above your monitor to refer to daily or more often.

Fourth, Your $25,000 List. This is from the story Nightingale tells of the efficiency expert Ivy Lee interviewing a steel executive. Lee talked to that executive for a short time and then said — “Try what I just told you to do, then pay me what you think it’s worth.”

That executive gave him a $25,000 check a few days later for something like 30 minutes of talking. ($400,000 in today’s money.)

Essentially: at the end of each of your work days, list the 6 key things you need to get done the next day. Prioritize them. Number them that way. Stick that list in your pocket. The next day, pull out that list and work on getting them done, one at a time, in order.

When you get these four pieces of paper all written out, and get them in use daily, then you’re tremendously streamlining all you need to do to make any success you want to appear. The more often you review it, the more feeling you put into their already happening, the faster they’ll show up.

Yes, weird maybe. But you’ll find the core ideas behind these in very ancient data. Like from the first recorded texts.

Be part of the 2% of successful people — write out your goal, then use these other notes-to-self to speed up everything.

Originally published at Living Sensical.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade