Long time clients and friends know that Christmas Day is my day of self-reflection and goal setting.  Things are quiet on Christmas since I’m a nice Jewish boy from Long Island.

I’ve been lucky in my life. I’ve been married to this cute little blond haired girl for 35 years now with 4 children and now, welcome to the world to my 3rd grandson.

I’ve built half a dozen businesses and sold one that netted me a modest nest egg.

I’ve built myself a home on the beach with an unobstructed view of the sunset. And I’ve learned how to live part time in a foreign country and speak the language.

View from my office window

View from my office window

All my lists have come to me from the years of my Christmas Day goal setting exercise.

I am not any smarter than most, I’m not much more motivated than the average guy and  like Gary Halbert used to say, “I’m semi-handsome.”

I am not writing this to you to brag or blow my own horn. I am writing this to you for the simple reason that I want you, my valued clients and friends to have a happy life.

I read that one out of every 5 Americans is taking some sort of drug for depression. I’m not a licensed therapist, don’t play one of TV, but that sure seems like a heck of a lot of people.

I’ve been depressed in my life so I know what its like. But in looking back on those periods of being depressed, I think it was caused by the way I was driving my brain. You see, whether you realize it or not you do get everything out of life you want.

Not everything exactly the way you think it will be, but you set your own direction in life. Depending on the oomph you put behind it you either achieve or not.

Clarification here: This is the world according to Alan, but bear with me and hopefully some of what I am saying here will help you.

When I have been at my most productive (able to set and achieve the goals I’ve set for myself) I’ve taken the time to systematically set and achieve them.

Two steps there: 1) set and 2) achieve.

I set goals on Christmas Day for the year. Every year now since 1987 I’ve sat down and written them out. And then I save them in a folder – no fancy system. I do try to keep them in some sort of chronological order. But at the beginning of the day on Christmas they get all spread out and its kind of fun to put them back in order.

I’ve kept journals – and that is by far the best way to me see myself for who I really am, but daily journal keeping has some downside for me because I tended to be overly critical in it. I recommend you pick one day a year to write your goals from here on out.

As a human being with limited vision, my ability to see the time frame on goals is laughable. I really thought every year since 1987 I was going to have a house on the beach with an unobstructed view of the sunset that year.

I didn’t achieve the goal until 6 years ago. In other words it took me 20 years to achieve a goal that I thought I would achieve in a much shorter time frame.

Mediterranean from deck

But because I have developed a system for annual goal review and achievement I never lost sight of the goal. And today here I am sitting out at the Mediterranean while I write this.

A Goal to Cure Cancer and Live

I have a couple of friends I meet with by Skype every week. One of them I’ve been meeting with for nearly 20 years now on and off. (I’ve been meeting with him since long before people knew what a business friend looks like.) He was my client at Radio Profits Corporation, then I became his coaching client when he became a certified E-myth coach.

Five years ago we made a commitment to meet weekly by Skype for an hour and hold each other accountable.  One day he missed our call which was very unusual – I was the one who would miss calls, he is very disciplined (typical High-S). Later that day he sent me an email that he was in the hospital with a very aggressive form of Leukemia.

I did an internet search for his type of cancer and found “prognosis poor.” That was more than 2 years ago. We then began a series of meetings where we both committed to meditate an hour a day and to hold each other accountable for it.

Today my friend has achieved his goal of being alive, regaining his health and continuing as a business coach.

I am not saying that everyone who commits to a goal of regaining health after being diagnosed with “prognosis poor” type of cancer will regain their health. I am saying that without setting a goal to do it, then taking the steps necessary the odds fall dramatically.

Doubling Clients’ Sales Hiring Success Rate in Real Time

My commitment to you this year is to continue to improve Advanced Hiring System’s ability to help you select top sales performers. Our new StylesMatrix™ coupled with the improvements we’ve made to the ValuesMatrix™ are working perfectly.

We will be tracking our recommendations more effectively this year. We’ve done studies and we increase sales hiring success rates by 200% on average.  I’ve always wanted to be able to track that in real time across our entire client base.  This year we’ll put that in place. You’ll be hearing more about that going forward.

Thank you for the many friendships I’ve made with many of you and best wishes for a good, healthy 2014!