Monday, January 4, 2010

Week One. Day One: 3 %

Diving into Music Success in Nine Weeks today brought to my attention the astounding fact that only an estimated 3% of all people have their long term goals written down.  Here's an excerpt from a fascinating article by John Lloyd that I found on Ariel Hyatt's advice column, "Sound Advice:" 
What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School (a bestselling book) talks about a research study that was conducted at Harvard between 1979 and 1989:

“In 1979, the MBA graduates were asked, “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?”

Only 3 percent had clear written goals and action plans to achieve them.

Thirteen percent of the graduates had goals, but they were not in writing.

The other 84 percent had no specific goals at all.

In 1989, a decade later, the researchers again interviewed the students of that class. Surprisingly, they discovered that the 13 percent, who had goals that were not in writing, were earning on average twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all.

The truly amazing finding was that the 3 percent of students, who had written, clear goals when they left Harvard, were earning over ten times as much, on average, as the other 97 percent together.

There are many other similar recorded research studies that seem to conclude with approximately the same results - that only 3 percent of people set clear, written goals and action plans for their achievement.

These people clearly achieve far more success and happiness in their lives and careers than others. Goal setting ability is the skill that separates these top performers from the rest.”

Here are a few tips from Ariel on Goal Setting:

1.) "THIS IS A GAME; YOU CAN CHANGE THE RULES AS YOU GO."  In other words, goals are not a bining contract.  They should be used as a guide and if you need to alter them as you go, feel free.

2.) "DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP!"  Be patient.  There may be days where you mess up or get frustrated, but self criticism gets in the way accomplishing your dreams.

3.) "FIVE SUCCESSES EACH DAY."  Write down five successes that you have each day.  According to T. Harv Eker, author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, writing down your successes trains your mind to focus on the positive, eliminating self criticism.

So my friends, without further ado, I'll conclude this post with my five successes for the first Monday of the Year:

1.) Got the oil changed and broken tail light fixed on my car.

2.) Made dinner early and stuck it in the crock pot.

3.) Wrote two blog posts!

4.) Opted to get my broken computer repaired instead of buying a new one.

5.) Read a story to my son's kindergarten class.

Pretty simple, I know.  But sometimes I forget about all the good things I do in a day and only see snapshots of failures.  I think I'm going to like this.  Feel free to share with me any of your small successes for today.  I would like to read those very much.  


  1. Mindy,

    Thank you for sharing yourself in such a way that shows humility and yet is so inspiring. The combination of those two characteristics is why you've achieved success, I'm sure. I have lived so much of my life looking at the snapshots of my failures, but this year I WILL change that. I must. Thank you for the motivation!


  2. Yesterday I...

    1) made 3 meals for my family
    2)organized my spice cupboard
    3)put my son's train set together
    4)changed the batteries in my flashlight
    5)got to bed before midnight

    That felt good!

  3. Way to go Gerb! 3 meals for your family in ONE day? I think I made 3 meals for my family last year alone.

  4. I, too, waste far to much time whining. One of my own songs says, "Whinin' won't save ya, cryin' do good..."

    Thanks for the thoughts.

  5. Focusing on the positive is great! And I love the simplicity of your first day's successes! Awesome!

    FYI, the goal study never actually took place. Appears to be another urban legend that has been floating around for years. (Originally started as a Yale study from 1953.)

    It's too bad that most people equate money with happiness. Look at the many gorgeous celebrities with fame and money, but they obviously aren't very happy, as is seen by their actions.

    Mindy, from your worldly travels, you've seen people with virtually no possessions or money, living in shabby conditions, etc. Yet they are some of the happiest people in the world. And what little they do have, they'd give to you in a second if they thought you needed it. They are the perfect example of how we should look at, live, and appreciate life.

    Your music is a great inspiration, sending messages of hope and understanding to those in need. I wish you all the best!

  6. Oh I love this!!
    1) filed away all the 2009 papers- I love a fresh start!
    2) cleaned out the 'junk cupboard'
    3) made a two week menu and grocery shopping list
    4) had an amazing mom/son date with the coolest 10 year old on earth!

  7. Anonymous,

    I'm glad someone is checking their facts. I haven't searched extensively yet, but there is similar info out there through Dr. Edward Banfield of Harvard University. I still think I believe in the general idea that you are more likely to achieve goals if you write them down. Thanks for your comment!

  8. Good job, Mindy! You are wonderful...