How to create powerful goals
Science shows the brain to be a goal-seeking organism. In other words, whatever goal you give your subconscious mind, it will work day and night to achieve it.
What are goals?
We spend our lives setting goals for our careers, our health and our lives in general. They are a powerful process for thinking about our future. They give us long-term vision and short-term motivation. Once we start achieving our goals, we increase our confidence and feel more empowered. So, why do people find it so hard to define, implement and sustain goals? It’s because we don’t think enough about the strategies of how to accomplish those goals.
Why set goals?
Unless you set specific goals, your life can start to drift. You can end up going from one event to another. You may start to react irrationally to external circumstances and feel out of control or stuck. But you can take back control of your life. Visualise your future and identify clearly defined goals that will help you to achieve your vision, and write those goals down. One study showed that people who write their goals down and review them regularly earn nine times more over the course of their lifetime than those who don’t!
Once you have written your goals down, close your eyes and picture each goal as if you have already achieved it. Take a few more seconds to feel what it would be like if you had already achieved that goal. Emotions are a powerful catalyst to achieving your goals fast. How you feel about your goal determines everything, because you will achieve your goals if they truly excite you. Once you feel the passion for your goal, make a public declaration and identify another person to be your accountability partner, such as a close friend or a wellbeing life coach.
What is your experience of achieving your goals?
I am naturally goal-orientated. I like to have one big goal that stretches me. I enjoy doing things that are outside of my comfort zone. By stretching myself, I have learnt new skills, built new relationships and overcome fears. I have experienced a few hiccups along the way. Skiing comes to mind. After years of lessons resulting in bruises and hurt pride, I never really got it! The holiday itself, though, involved lots of laughs, great food and beautiful scenery. I now look back on the experience as self-development and not failure.
To achieve long-lasting changes to the way I live my life, I have had to change within myself. I went on a journey to find my life’s purpose. I formulated a vision of what that would look like and I became emotionally involved. I set specific and measurable goals. I acted on them with certainty. I did this by taking small action steps. I asked for other people’s advice, I read books and I attended courses. I kept researching until I had a realistic action plan, I constantly measure progress and, most importantly, I adjust my goals accordingly. I have remained flexible, because external circumstances change everything!
I write my goals down. I have created a vision board. I use affirmations as part of my mindful meditation. This allows my subconscious mind to absorb what I am working on. My mind then subconsciously identifies opportunities and solves problems, so I can achieve my goals. However, my subconscious mind occasionally gets in the way and holds me back, as I am inclined to overthink things. Over the years, I have consciously learnt to recognise my thoughts so that I can face them, process them and deal with them. It’s been a very empowering journey for me!
How are you going to design goals that last?
Be as specific as you can about your goals. Write them out in detail and visualise the outcome. Remember: vague goals produce vague results!
Put a list in your daily planner – the objective is to constantly keep your goals in front of you.
Remember: failing to meet a goal does not matter if you have learnt from the experience.
Your goals may change as time goes on. Adjust them regularly to reflect your growth. If they don’t motivate you any more, consider letting them go!
Here are six top tips to help you set powerful goals (inspired by Jack Canfield and Mike Pettigrew)
- Know your personal values – when values and goals are aligned, you are more likely to take action and remain motivated.
- Own your goal – when you are completely engaged with your goal, you will be more passionate about it, increasing the likelihood of success.
- Set priorities for your goals – make a list of goals and name your top 10. List them in order of priority, number one being the most important – this is your priority goal.
- Set each goal as a positive statement – review this statement regularly. This ongoing positive statement reinforces your subconscious commitment.
- Be precise – a clearly defined goal will provide you with the necessary incentive to grow awareness and provide you with forward momentum.
- Envision yourself in possession of that goal – illustrate your goal with pictures, words and phrases, and cut them out and begin a vision board; add new images as your goals develop.