Continuing from the last article on goal setting, how does a simple piece of paper with our goals written in it be so important that can lead us to SUCCESS?
We don’t always know what we want or how to get there, it’s true; but from the moment we define what we want (goals / objectives) and we write it down in a piece of paper, our subconscious mind (the most powerful “machine” we have in our body) is alert to this and shows us when situations or opportunities happen that enable us to achieve what we want.
Written goals boost internally our decision to achieve them, putting the subconscious mind to work for us.
So let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work! 🙂
The goal setting process goes through the following steps:
- Decide exactly WHAT YOU WANT (in whatever area of your life); don’t be limited by thoughts like “I will never”, “I’m cannot.” Let your imagination go wild and think about what you really want to achieve.
- WRITE your goals in a clear, accurate, objective, comprehensive and measurable way, e.g.: “by the end of (month, day) I have signed up for the X course and finish it before the end of the year with a final grade of Y “.
- Set a DEADLINE; our subconscious mind uses deadlines as “forcing systems” to drive us, consciously and unconsciously toward achieving our goals on schedule. If it is a very ambitious goal, define several sub-deadlines and if for some reason you don’t achieve your goal by the deadline, don’t worry! Simply set a new deadline. “There are no unreasonable goals, only unreasonable deadlines“. (Brian Tracy)
- Identify OBSTACLES you may have to overcome in order to achieve your goals. Fully 80% of the reasons that are holding us back from achieving our goals are inside ourselves.
- Identify the KNOWLEDGE, EDUCATION, and SKILLS that you need to have to achieve those goals. Focus on the essential and leave the accessory for later.
- WHO can help you achieve your goals? With whom should you work or collaborate with? Family, partners or even a boss or a mentor can certainly help you, but it is important to bear in mind that YOU should also help. Reciprocity: we are all in the same “boat” and we receive as much as we give.
- Make a list of STEPS that must be taken to achieve your goals. Combine this list with the obstacles identified and the skills / training / knowledge required, as well as with the people that may help you. Add accordingly as you realize what is needed. Although it may seem a lot of things to do, it’s much more reasonable to achieve it step by step, little by little.
- Pick the list above and make the PLANNING for each objective, putting the steps and deadlines together. Do it sequentially and assign priorities.
- Organize your ACTION PLAN: put your planning into a calendar / diary: plan each month, week and day in advance.
- Pick up the #1 TASK that you choose to be a must-do each day.
- Be DISCIPLINED: apply yourself to a task until it is completed. This is one of the best-kept secrets of productivity … and it is not the most difficult! It doesn’t seem easy, but 80% of the obstacles are in our mind, remember?
- Practice VISUALIZING your goals. If you think this is bullshit, don’t. For decades the best athletes and the biggest CEO’s are using this technique. So, this is the brain programming that I mentioned in the first article, but without the preceding steps, you may spend a lifetime visualizing and yet you will not get there without the rest of the work! However, on top of our body we have a “computer” that doesn’t distinguish reality from the imaginary and if we give our brain specific instructions (visualising our goals), it will give us the “little” help we need.
- (Re)Define your goals regularly, using the word “I” and an action verb: instead of writing “quit smoking”, write “I’m a non smoker.” Action verbs are specific instructions to the subconscious mind. Use them at your favor.
Does this seem a lot? It’s not.
Thinking about what you want to achieve, writing your goals and focusing on them with the right method is something that we learn throughout our life, but it helps us a lot.