Wealth & Well-Being, Women Empowerment

It’s been said that everyone has goals, whether we know it or not. We have goals to keep our current job, or to get a different one. We have goals to save for the future, or to travel, take a vacation, or purchase the things we need and want to make our lives more enjoyable. An important distinction, however, is that top achievers are very intentional and focused on their goals, while many of the rest of us are not.

Top achievers know that the wording, structure, timing and format of a goal can make it’s achievement much easier – or far more difficult. Top achievers understand the basic skills for setting and reaching their goals, every time! They know how to design goals that create success. Here are the 10 most important steps to set and achieve your goals:

1. Reachable goals are SPECIFIC. Top achievers know that to reach their goals, the brain must know exactly, precisely, what they are trying to accomplish. Never word a goal with vague terms like “some” or “a little bit”, or “more”. Be specific! If you want to lose 8 pounds and reach a weight of 175, specify those exact numbers. If you want to save $200 this month, be exact. Your brain can help you accomplish almost anything if it knows precisely what you are aiming for.

2. Reachable goals are SIMPLE. Many people describe their goals in complex terms of retiring on the beach in Hawaii, with nice cars and lots of money, and…. Their list goes on and on. Any ONE of those things is a great goal, but the combination becomes over whelming and the brain gets confused. If you want to retire in Hawaii, just say so! If you want to increase your sales by 10% this month, say so! Keep your goals simple, clear, and focused.

3. Reachable goals are SIGNIFICANT. No one can muster the enthusiasm, hard work and courage to reach a goal they don’t really care about. A reachable goal is one you really, really, REALLY want! It’s something that will change your life, enhance your health or wealth, and make you proud. It gets your juices flowing, gets you up in the morning, and keeps you going all day long, because it is important! Set goals that are worth achieving!

4. Reachable goals are STRATEGIC. High achievers know that the best goals accomplish many great outcomes, all at one time. Running a 10K race will almost certainly: 1) feel great! 2) help you lose weight. 3) lower your cholesterol level 4) strengthen your heart 5) lower you risk of heart disease 6) increase your energy and stamina, and 7) improve your outlook. Design your goals to strategically impact as many areas of your life as possible. You’ll have more reasons to reach your goal and more excitement when you do!

5. Reachable goals are MEASURABLE. A goal without a measurable outcome is just a pipe-dream. You can’t achieve a pound of “happiness” or 6 inches of “self-esteem”, but you CAN get a new job. You CAN run a mile in under 7 minutes, or do 100 sit-ups. Someone has wisely observed that, “What gets measured, gets done.” Define your goals in terms of height, weight, dollars, inches, or hours. Then measure your progress until you achieve your desired outcome.

6. Reachable goals are RATIONAL. To reach your goal, you will need a plan, a path, and a vehicle for getting there. Your goals must make sense! When you explain them to friends and family, your goals should create excitement, draw support, and encouragement. Your goals should be just out of reach, but not out of sight! You want to stretch to be your best, not strain after impossible dreams. Set goals you CAN and WILL achieve!

7. Reachable goals are TANGIBLE. Choose goals that you can see, hear, smell or touch. Go for things you will enjoy and that you can clearly visualize. The brain has hard time going for “financial security”, but it can visualize a bank statement with nice, large numbers on it! Define your goals in terms that excite the senses, then go for it with all your heart!

8. Reachable goals are WRITTEN. High achievers always know precisely what they want, because they’ve written it down. Often, they write a short description of their goals every single morning, as a personal reminder of their priorities and their objectives. The act of writing your goals down vastly increases your chance of success. Write it down! Then, keep your notes where you can see and read them every day.

9. Reachable goals are SHARED. We are far more likely to stick to our plan and reach our goals if we know our friends and family support us. Being part of a team increases our determination, our stamina, and our courage. Caution: Never share your goals with anyone who may ridicule, tease or discourage you! The world is full of doubters and you have no time for them. But, find a support team, a group of cheerleaders, and a coach who will encourage you every step of the way. High achievers count on and work with other winners!

10. Reachable goals are CONSISTENT WITH YOUR VALUES. One of the biggest reasons people fail to achieve their goals is that they have conflict between their behavior and their values. However, when your values and your goals are in agreement, there is no stopping you! Clarify your values first, then set simple, specific, measurable, tangible, written goals that are consistent with those values. You will achieve them, every single time!


Besides its well known big cities and busy life, Spain also hosts a series of impressive historical sightseeing objectives. The beauty of Puente Nuevo, however, lays in the combination between impressive scenery, history and architectural details dating back to the 18th century.

Nearly three centuries ago, King Felipe V of Spain came up with what was, at the time, the eccentric idea of building a bridge over the 120 meter deep canyon in Ronda, Spain. In 1751, workers began the complex project having three arches, one chamber above the middle arch and a series of impressive details. It took over 40 years to finish the construction and 50 workers dying while building it. Apparently, though, the architecture and the materials were so carefully chosen that the bridge lasted until the present day.

Besides the main purpose of making it easy for locals to move from one village to another, Puente Nuevo has also been used as a prison for approximately 3 years, during the Civil War. Above the center column of the bridge there was a chamber designed as prison. It didn’t take long until it became a torture room every time the local army captured opponents. It is believed that some of them were thrown out the window into the El Tajo gorge, but there is no real evidence to support this supposition.

After the Christian conquers have ended, the area of Ronda was gradually filled with merchants who thought there was great potential to produce money there. At the time, Puente Nuevo was the sport every merchant fought for; there were the greatest selling opportunities. As time passed by, the popularity of the region in terms of merchandising increased considerably, so more and more people came there for shopping.

Nowadays, Puente Nuevo is a museum where visitors can check out the former torture room, architecture, as well as the incredible view towards the El Tajo gorge.

Image credit: wikipedia.org

Photo by angellico11/Flickr

Photo by kanaristm/Flickr

Photo by fraangio/Flickr

El Tajo gorge. Image credit: andrew.snell/Flickr

Markets & News

When the OPEC nations last met with Russia to agree an output freeze, back in April, it was Saudi Arabia that shot down the deal — refusing to take part without Iran. This time both countries may be more accommodating; the stumbling block is more likely to be Iraq.

OPEC members are planning an informal meeting in Algeria in late September, where discussions of a freeze could be revived. In April, the Saudis refused to limit output unless Iran did the same. Not surprisingly, as it was still raising production after the easing of sanctions, Iran refused and the Saudis walked away.

Things are different now. Saudi production has surged, hitting a record 10.67 million barrels a day last month, according to official figures. That’s almost 450,000 barrels more than the January level on which that last failed deal was based. The kingdom might be willing to adopt this as a ceiling, at least temporarily. After all, domestic demand will start to fall in line with its normal seasonal pattern in September. Freezing output at a seasonal high point is much more attractive than doing it at the seasonal low.

Iran’s production has risen too. It’s within a whisker of pre-sanction levels, as the chart below shows. Tehran had said that it wouldn’t contemplate a freeze until recovering all that output.

Iran still isn’t likely to accept a cap while neighbor Iraq and arch-rival Saudi Arabia continue to boost supply. But its grounds for opposition are diminished. It’s determined to get to 4 million barrels a day by the end of September. And if its production reaches a point where it can’t be raised further without significant investment and a long lead-time it might, just might, agree to a freeze to call the Saudis’ bluff.

So Iraq is the most probable holdout. Almost the first action of new oil minister Jabbar Al-Luaibi was to ask oil companies operating in the south of the country, including BP, Shell, Lukoil and CNPC, to revive spending plans that they were ordered to shelve earlier this year and to boost output. The results won’t be immediate, but they could come soon enough to conflict with any undertaking by Iraq to freeze production at the current level.

Nigeria, too, will balk at freezing production at its current level, which has fallen by about 500,000 barrels since January because of sabotage in the Niger River delta region. A temporary ceasefire by the Niger Delta Avengers militant group, who claim responsibility for most attacks, could let companies restore some of that production.

Russia, an architect of the April gathering, also seems wary of risking a repeat of the embarrassment inflicted by the Saudis last time. So it will play its cards carefully.

This won’t stop others in OPEC from continuing to promote the idea of a freeze. Nor will it prevent the oil price from jumping on every hint of a deal — no matter how absurd. Just don’t expect to wake up in late-September to a world in which OPEC and Russia have reached a credible agreement on a cap.