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Operation Goal Formula

By Erik Therwanger

Serving our nation presents many challenges to our brave men and women in uniform. The divorce and suicide rates are already at alarmingly high rates and the length of overseas deployments continues to grow, adding more stress to our military families.

Everyone wants to "support our troops" but most people do not know what to do, or what our service members really need. As a former U.S. Marine I created my company, Think GREAT ( with the desire to help people to accomplish their goals - no matter what circumstances they face. Over the past year, I have been blessed to be able to focus my efforts on our service members and their families.

I have had the privilege of training our troops and their spouses on the power of setting and accomplishing goals, especially during the rigors of deployment. As the author of The GOAL Formula, I have been hired by our military to make presentations at events such as the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, hosted by the Air National Guard. Programs such as this specialize in helping our troops prepare for deployment and adjust to life back home.

Why goals? Military leaders understand the importance of having our troops focus on their goals. In fact, pre-deployment literature often encourages our service members to "set personal goals to be met with them and their families during deployment." Unfortunately, our military does not have a consistent means to help them to stay focused on their goals, especially in combat environments.

It is fair to say that concentrating on their goals could seem virtually impossible during these times. But that is where I come in. As the keynote speaker at many "support" events, I have had the privilege of personally interacting with service members and their families and hearing about their struggles. Many feel overwhelmed and stressed; some lose hope. By sharing the goal-setting strategies in my book, The GOAL Formula, service members and their families, are provided with a powerful tool for staying focused on a positive future and actually work on their goals during deployment.

The Goal Formula combines three key components:

  1. The 5 Steps to Accomplishing Goals
  2. Setting up a well-defined block of time 3. Enlisting the support of other people

For today, I am going to share more about component #1: The 5 Steps to Accomplishing Goals. I use the acronym G.R.E.A.T. to identify these important steps.

G - Identify important Goals in your life R - Establish powerful Reasons for accomplishing your goals E - Set high Expectations for yourself A - Take all of the Actions necessary to achieve a greater life T - Track your results intensely

In upcoming columns, I will completely flush out all of the components of The GOAL Formula... stay tuned!

I am passionate about sharing these concepts, especially with our service members and their families. But I can only reach a small percentage of our troops at live events. It is a great start, but I am determined to make a difference in the lives of everyone serving our country. To do that, I have launched OPERATION GOAL FORMULA. This unique program allows people to truly help our troops to stay focused on their goals and a positive future.

Individuals and businesses can order copies of The GOAL Formula for our service members and my company has them sent overseas via care packages.

Each book includes a personal message to the service member, from the buyer, and provides the service member with a way to reply back. Now, everyone has a way to truly support our troops as they "Buy a Book for a Hero."

Organizations such as the Blue Star Moms and Beyond the Yellow Ribbon have shown incredible support for OPERATION GOAL FORMULA and are committed to sending out copies of The GOAL Formula in their care packages. But we are far from accomplishing the goal of getting a copy of this book into the hands of every service member (and their families).

We are now looking for people and businesses to help order copies of The GOAL Formula to increase the amount of service members we can reach.

Together, we can truly make an impact in the lives of our troops!

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