Goal Setting. Goal Getting
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In the last issue of 2009, Bill wrote a piece on goals and how important it is to set the context within which you consider setting personal goals. This week’s article is a follow up and offers simple but effective tips on setting and getting goals.
Master the simple art of goal setting and getting and you could find your life turned on its head (in a very positive sense of course!) Here are four of my favourite tips:
Dream in Technicolour
By this I mean 'get detailed'!
It simply won't work if you set vague goals. While your conscious mind deals with the many demands of day-to-day life, your subconscious mind will try to manifest, or bring into reality, anything that you imagine with sufficient clarity and emotional connection! If your goals lack substance, it simply won't have enough to work with.
Here's a typical example of a vague 'goal':
"I need to make more money."
Adopting this as a 'goal' - if you can call it that - is likely to do your cause more harm than good.
Firstly, there is no detail. How much money do you want, why, by when and how will it feel? Secondly, the word 'need' evokes thoughts of scarcity or lack and could even imply a measure of desperation. If you know anything about the Law of Attraction you'll appreciate that you get what you think about - which, in this case, is a shortage of money!
An effective goal is one that has some colour or substance to it and which is as specific as possible. It needs to have a clear time frame and be written (yes, written) in a way that ensures there are no ifs and buts about whether and when you've achieved it. The most obvious attribute of a great goal - but one that's often overlooked - is its capacity to inspire you; to connect with you emotionally.
When it comes to writing a goal, one way in which you can really bring it alive is to describe or write it in the present tense, as if you are experiencing the realization of your goal right now.
Let's revert to the example of making more money, a subject close to the hearts of many of us. Here's one way in which that aim could be formulated into a more powerful goal:
"It's the 20th December 2010. As Christmas approaches and I sit with my family enjoying a gorgeous celebratory dinner, I feel ecstatic. For the first time in many years I know what it is like to have an abundance of money. I am truly looking forward to the season of goodwill and the opportunity to share my good fortune with loved ones. My decision, six months ago, to start my own business, has paid handsome dividends. Now I enjoy a sustainable monthly income three times higher than it was a year ago. Prospects for the future look really bright!"
I'm sure you'll agree that having this statement pinned up on your bathroom mirror would be infinitely more effective in helping generate feelings of joy, excitement and financial abundance.
It really helps to describe your goal in such a way that you can virtually 'see, hear, smell and taste' it. When your goal leaves you feeling excited you'll emit positive vibrations and, in turn, you'll attract positive results.
Eat your elephant one bite at a time
There's nothing wrong with dreaming big, 'elephant-sized' dreams! On the contrary, the biggest mistake most of us make is to underestimate what we are capable of. The problem arises once you get over the giddy feeling of imagining yourself achieving this big, hairy goal and start to come to terms with what needs to be done to bring it to reality.
For this reason, it's vital to break down your goal into small, manageable action steps and focus on achieving those steps, one at a time, while keeping your vision of the end goal firmly in your mind.
When it comes to goal getting, contemplating even the first action step may seem rather daunting. To the uninitiated, it's natural to associate goal getting with the prospect of some 'pain' (e.g. failure, embarrassment, discomfort, etc.) and that inhibits much needed action.
The secret is to start small. Make the first action step something easy, like writing down all the good feelings that you associate with getting your goal, making a phone call to your bank, researching ideas or simply meeting a trusted friend for coffee and a chat - anything that will get you started.
Once you start planning and handling the small steps effectively, success with the bigger steps will come automatically. You will literally programme yourself to succeed. And, as we all know, success breeds success!
Log your Success Story
Keep a success journal. If daily entries prove too taxing on your time, complete a weekly log. Do whatever works best for you - just be sure to do it!
Human nature is such that we tend to undermine our own achievements by dwelling on the things we did less well, forgot to do or avoided, rather than on what we did well.
By keeping a success journal, you'll have a record of your achievements, both large and small, that will leave you feeling justifiably proud of your accomplishments. In addition, you'll have a neat reminder of your journey - something to reflect back on and, perhaps, share with your kids or grandkids in the future.
Never take yourself or life too seriously. Remember that the whole point of your life is to experience - and give - joy and happiness.
No matter how committed and serious you are about setting and getting goals, always remember why you're doing it. Keep the end in mind = and in the proper context - and be sure to have fun getting there!
Warm regards as always
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