Predict Where You Will Be At the End of 2014: Dan Kennedy’s Process For Setting & Achieving Goals

By: Dan Kennedy on: January 2nd, 2014 10 Comments

Last year, by January 17th I had already collected fees and had work and bookings totaling 34% of my year’s income target.

This is what I think of as a good start. At that point, only 5% of the year’s days were used up, but 34% of my income was in or on the books.

I measure my work days using truthful numbers—measuring only total available work days after subtracting holidays, planned vacations, unavoidable zero income days (for instance a day of meetings with CPA’s, etc.) For me, that changes 365 to 250.

I also maintain a daily plus/minus count against the target total in dollars. If that needle doesn’t move day to day, week to week, I grow nervous and irritable. I may go days without shaving when working in isolation, but I never go days without counting.

That fact embodies two things of significance: First, I have income targets. Second, I daily measure where I am in relationship to them.

And you should too.

Before the year began, I pre-determined as best I could where my target income would come from.

I made a list of as much of the entire year’s income beforehand, on paper, looking to see who will be giving me money, when, for what, noting what I need to do to “collect.”

This prepped me for how much (or how little) I need to worry about it, scheme about it, or poke at clients and contacts to stimulate it.

This also helps me determine how easily I might say “no” to marginal or less than ideal opportunities.

I measure—again daily—my collected earnings, what’s under contract, to be collected earnings, whether or not I’m on pace, ahead of schedule or lagging behind.

This, by the way, is pretty much how I would manage any business I operated—be it a retail shop, restaurant, a charity, service business, info-marketing business, whatever. I’d make a list of every customer, client, patient or donor and assign the minimum dollar amount to be collected from each of them during the year. Then I’d total it up, consider the gap between my total and my year’s income target.

Then I would have two key tasks:

One, collect the pre-determined minimum sums from those I’d assigned patronage amounts to.

Two, if there’s a gap, figure out how to bridge it.

Incidentally, I have net worth targets, and a plan for where the income will be drawn from and where it will be moved to, and how it will be safeguarded, in order to hit those targets, month by month and at year’s end.

Of course, I have other goals measured in terms other than money, but they are harder to achieve because the progress is harder to measure.

I have an annually up-dated “Strive To Rid My Life Of This” list too.

Without targets, you are a blind archer. (Tweet this!) You’re handicapped, wasteful of arrows and energy and dangerous to self and those around you. But putting up targets alone doth not a marksman make!

Treating goal-setting as the end of the process will put you in the vast majority of people who set goals and do very little to manage the achievement of the goals they set.

If you want to achieve your goals this year, you must treat them instead as a hard-nosed, tough-minded, pragmatic “management” of your “objectives.”

You must be serious about monitoring them daily and realize that too much of the metaphysical community thinking of “think it and it will come” is delusional B.S. and flawed thinking.

By the end of January, 8.5% of the days will be gone. Will you be on target, ahead of the game or lagging behind in your income target for the year? If behind, what do you plan to do about it?

P.S.– Get “The 10 Rules to Transforming Your Small Business into an Infinitely More Powerful Direct Response Marketing Business” for FREE. Click here to claim your customer-getting, sales-boosting tactics.


Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

10 Responses

  1. Jason Clegg says:

    Great post! Printing this one out… especially fond of the “Strive To Rid My Life Of This” idea.

    This year I’m using “Don’t Break The Chain Lists” to start 4 new good habits and stop 1 bad habit.

    -Jason Clegg

  2. Benson says:

    It is a great introduction to great conference ,how do i get the conference materials.

  3. Greg Reed says:

    Great post without the B.S I’ve been bombarded with how to achieve my New Years Resolutions from the ‘wishful thinkers’ association.

    Dan always cuts to the chase and nails it

  4. Lee Arnold says:

    Great information from Dan as always! This was a good reminder that now hangs on my white board of things to do! Thanks Dan!

  5. Simon James says:

    I always look forward to these little insights into Dan’s thinking and habits. Excellent advice of course and I loved the idea of a “Strive To Rid My Life Of This” list.

    Many thanks.

  6. Tony Zito says:

    Great stuff! Nobody ever talks about the most important part, monitoring and measureing daily not only the goals but the action that must be taken if I get off track.

  7. The spreadsheet will do most of the work for you. Would you spend 5 minutes a week tracking your progress? Set it and forget it. Daily or weekly updates means plugging in today’s number and you’re done. Less than five minutes. Stepping on a merchant cargo ship in cover-alls and grime in 2005, I knew what my paycheck would look like 4 months later at the end of the trip, about the time I’d be throwing out my sweat band… how far ahead or behind I’d be on credit cards and car payments after taxes, and I’d have a rough idea of how many months of vacation I’d have between ships. I knew what it was worth to work 6 months per year instead of 4, (The difference was HUGE.) how long it would take to reach my retirement goals… Everything. The only real variable on a ship was how much overtime you’d complete in an average week. The spreadsheet auto-averaged this to dial in the prediction based on my observed behavior. Checking in once a week to put in my OT, I knew whether to push harder or sit tight, watching movies in my room at night. By “watching movies”, I meant studying the commentary tracks to learn how to produce movies. DVDs were my film school, and I knew how much this “film school” was costing me to attend. Sounds smart, right? It’s not. To prove how dense I was… I had all this figured out, tapping away at spreadsheets on my Pocket PC, doing animations and art on a laptop, singing Disney tunes while swabbing decks, optimizing my job performance on the fly, but it still took me awhile to figure out the blindingly obvious: I didn’t belong on ships at all. So if a bone-head like me can do it, so can you.

  8. […] Dan Kennedy’s Process for Predicting Where You Will Be At the End of 2014 […]

  9. Stephen Ruby says:

    Great ideas…as usual. Would not have expected less.

    I like the idea of daily, weekly, monthly income goals. It’s a great way of stopping any “bleed” early, before it becomes a fatal hemorrhage.
    I also like the idea of an annual (or ongoing) “NOT to-do” list.

    Here is to success in 2014

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