My friend, Andrew, called me last week and said his friends keep telling him to set goals and to dream big. BUT, like many others, he is not sure about "all that goal setting stuff". Does it work? Does dreaming big really matter?

My Response:

First, I told Andrew he has some smart friends. We live in a world of abundance. A world that rewards us for the service we render to others. So yes, size matters. Not the size of your house, your bankroll, or your investment portfolio, but the size of your dreams. Mosquito dreams or elephant dreams…it's really up to you. However, remember this, it's better to aim for the moon and miss than to aim for the trash can and make it. At least if you miss the moon, you will fall among the stars. Whether big or small, long term or short term, we should all have goals. Goals give us a sense of direction. Goals, along with a plan of action, can lead to a great sense of achievement and fulfillment. Do goals work? Walt Disney had goals, Sam Walton had goals, Oprah has goals, Bill Gates has goals, and yes, you should have goals, too.

The challenge is to find a goals program and stick to it. Many of the top speakers in the world have laid it all out for you. But in case you missed it, here is mine. AND, it doesn't get any simpler. Ask yourself these questions?

Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?

Who? Whose goal is it? I did better the second year in college because that's when I decided to go. The first year, every else wanted that for me. You must own the goal.

What? What specifically do you want? I want to give 1 million copies of my book Happiness is a Pair of Shorts! away for free to children and adults coping with cancer or dealing with adversity.

When? Make this a real date. My goal is by 2008. Recently, I received a letter that my high school reunion was in 30 days. I said, "Great!" However, some of my classmates said, "O MY GOSH, I have to lose 30 pounds in 30 days." Let me say that that is not going to happen. They haven't lost 30 pounds all year, let alone in 30 days. So, give yourself time to make it happen and, if you arrive earlier, then good for you!

Where? Where is the place you list the people, resources and places you must call or visit to realize your vision. For my goal, I needed the hospital names that I was going to donate books to, as well as the contact person that I would be sending them to.

Why? This step is so important because, as you read your goals daily, it reminds you why you are willing to commit to your goal to the very end. This is where many of us fail. We set a goal and, when it gets difficult, we are ready to bail. If that weren't the case, why is the gym packed in January and back to normal in February. Because, the "why" you started this goal in the first place was not strong enough to weather the storm that always comes. I once heard that we all face two pains in life: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The choice is yours.

AND, lastly, How? Inch by inch, it's a synch. This is where you break that big hairy audacious goal down to bite-size, doable steps. This is the plan of action. The step-by-step action plan that you will take to make your dreams come true.

So you want to be the next sales manager, the salesman of the month, or perhaps own the company…well, your first step is setting a goal. Then, eat it, breathe it, live it.

By the way, if you want to help me with my goal, click here and see how we can make a BIG difference in the lives those that are dealing with cancer.

About the Author

Manuel Diotte is a professional speaker, trainer, consultant and coach. He is the author of the life-changing book, Happiness is a Pair of Shorts!, and contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul. He lives in San Antonio, TX and can be reached at