I know that we are fastly approaching February and if you haven’t yet set your goals for this wondeful 2010 year, here are 10 tips you should consider, and 5 that you should avoid.
- Motivating Short-Term Goals: Your short-term goal should be constructed in a way to motivate you towards your long-term goal. Each long-term goal should have a series of corresponding short-term goals. Each short-term goal is only a stepping stone to reach your final long-term goal. This form of goal setting is great because it makes you think and forces you to set-up a plan that’s concrete.
- Write out your Goals: Writing is simply a series of symbols called letters formed to make words and sentences to convey a thought. So by placing your goals on paper, what you have are your thoughts looking back at you. We often times have the ability to dismiss the things that we can’t see with our natural eyes, like our thoughts, but it is harder to overlook something that is before our face. That’s why we put the objects that we desperately need not to forget out in the open because those things that are hidden are easily forgotten.
- Present Tense: Write your goals in the present tense. Believe it or not by phrasing your goals in the present tense you are more likely to complete them. Begin off by saying, “I will…” “I have…” or “I am…”
- Attainable goals: Have you ever seen a grown man dunking a basketball on an adjustable fisher price basketball goal? He looks like an idiot don’t you think? Or what about the guy who tries to dunk a basketball on a regulation sized goal and gets hung almost sending him on his backside? He looks like an idiot too right? Well if you are one of those people don’t worry I’m not insulting you because if I were I’d be insulting myself. The idea here is to set a goal that isn’t too easy to reach, and a goal that is not out of our range of reaching. No one else may know, but at the end of the year if we achieved our goal too easy or had no chances of achieving them at all we will look like idiots to ourselves.
- Benefits: No one goes into a hockey, soccer, basketball, and football etc, game without the mindset that making a goal for the team is important and beneficial to the team’s success. So they strive to makes points or goals so that the team benefits with a win. You are your own team so you should know the benefits of reaching your goals. Make a list of the benefits for each goal.
- Environment: Anyone who has ever gone to a golf tournament knows one thing, and that is silence is paramount. However, if you were to go to a soccer match you know that the players thrive off of the energy of the crowd. Each sport has a desired goal in mind, and to achieve that goal each sport needs a certain environment or atmosphere to prosper. What this means for you is in this quote, “you are a product of your environment, so make an environment, that will make you what you want to be.”
- Affirmations: We perform affirmations daily and may not even know it. The “self-imposed-reverse-psychology” method as I like to call it is a simple name for working with the functions of your mind, and not to trick your mind. Our minds do an excellent job in protecting us so we must be careful of what we say because it is always listening. For example, if there is something that we want to do our phraseology sounds like, “I want to go to the mall today and hang out.” So automatically our minds are conditioned to think that with this language there shouldn’t be any resistance because it’s something that we want to do. IT’S SAFE. When there is something we don’t want to do we usually say, “I have to go to work today,” and your mind says, “Oh no I must protect us!” So your emotions cause you to drag along. So for those things that you don’t want to do, say I want to do and amazingly you’ll find no barriers or restrictions to do that thing. You may be saying isn’t this a contradiction to reciting our goals in the present tense? Well I’m not referring to your goals here specifically. What I mean is this, if your goal is to lose 50 pounds, you will recite, “ I have lost 50 pounds,” “ I will lose 50 pounds,” or “I am 50 pounds lighter” but on those days that you don’t feel like working to lose 50 pounds, you just recite, “ I want to work out today” and not ” I have to workout today.” This affirmation grabs your mind by the horns and forces it into submission.
- Aggressive Repetition: Actors, actresses, athletes, spelling bee champions, all understand practice and repetition is the only way to get the subconscious mind to take over and what seemed foreign becomes second nature. Make it a point each day to recite your goals with conviction. When you recite your goals remember this illustration, your mind is like the sail of a boat, the boat that it’s attached to is your will and the wind that powers the boat is emotion. The sail (mind) may be willing and able to move the boat (will) but without wind (emotions) you’re going nowhere.
- Accountability: This is an important category because we are masters at convincing ourselves that “one day won’t hurt”, or “I’ll just do it later.” Your ability or someone else’s ability, (preferably someone else) to keep an account of your actions, thus accountability. You will benefit from having someone keep account of your progress or advancements. Preferably someone who doesn’t have the same goal as yourself, and someone who you trust will keep you accountable.
- Service: A good amount of your goals should be geared towards improving yourself so that you can help someone else. For instance, you may set a goal to improve your social life or friendliness. I’m sure someone is out there waiting on a good friend, and a smile is always helpful. I’m sure all of your goals won’t appear in this form, but we should be mindful that if we want to bring the attention of success to ourselves we must first bring people to ourselves.
- BONUS TIP Picture Book: We can learn something from children. When we were in elementary school it probably would’ve been very hard for us to learn if we did have pictures. Pictures much like music is a universal language. Everyone understands, which is why most public transportations signs are symbols. Our subconscious mind from scientific study is said to not grow pass the 4th to 5th grade level. This is roughly about 10 years old. Therefore, our subconscious mind is more prone to pictures than anything else. When writing your goals, have an imgae associated with that goal. See yourself having already attained the goal and your subconscious mind will soak it up. You’ll begin to do the necessary things to get to your completed goal.
- Wishful Thinking: Thinking, writing your goal on paper is enough, because the universe will bring the necessary resources and people who you need to carry out your goal. It’s not enough to write a goal, you must place action to thought, because if you don’t all you have is wishful thinking.
- Passive Repetition: You cannot hope to achieve your goals if you don’t believe you’ll achieve them. Simply reciting what you have placed on paper is not enough. You must believe with all conviction that you will accomplish what is written as if you already have. The just shall live by faith.
- Harry Houdini the Magic trick: It’s not possible to write out a goal and simply think very hard and visualize yourself attaining the goal without doing something to meet the goal. We live in a cause and effect universe, thinking by itself will only bring more thinking, which isn’t bad, but we are trying to get materialized results. This is like saying if a NASCAR driver would visualize themselves winning the race they would. The only catch is that they actually have to get into the car and drive!
- Shooting at the wrong goal: We have to be clear on why we want to achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves. What is the motive?
- Architect with no Blueprint: Don’t aimlessly write out goals in the hope that if you recite them and take misguided steps toward them that you will accomplish them. You need a plan. If when writing out your goals and plan, and in the process it is not thought-provoking, then you need another set of goals and a better plan.