Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Keeping your goals in mind

Hopefully, you’re starting to see the value of making some goals for your career or revisiting previous goals. Today I’ll discuss how to keep yourself on track. By keeping your desired outcomes in the forefront of your mind, your energy will be directed to achieving them!

 It’s not enough to just think to ourselves (or even say aloud) what our goals are. They have to be set out in a very real way. The first tip is writing your goals down! Start thinking on paper! When you write it down, a goal becomes real, something no longer rattling around in your mind but existing in reality. This is the first step to achieving your goal in reality. Write down your goals, and keep the list in a place where you can find it and check in on it.

You may choose to engage in affirmations, which are positive statements about what you want. Some folks say them aloud or write them down a certain number of times each day. Affirmations can be quite powerful for making changes, especially in your own mindset. To do affirmations, you should be specific (check tomorrow’s blog posting for more about getting specific), word it in the positive, use the present tense (not past or future), begin with “I choose to . . .”, and be sure your affirmation has a powerful emotional impact. In T. Harv Eker’s wonderful book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, he has readers place their hands over their hearts and state aloud (and firmly) their intention for change.

An extremely powerful method for keeping you focused on your goals is to make a dream board. This serves well for reminding you of your big goals in life. A dream board (or scrapbook) is a visual reminder of what you want. For instance, if you want the following things in your life:

  • A Hawaiian vacation
  • A BMW Z3 roadster
  • A paid-off mortgage
  • A beach house
  • A special piece of jewelry

Then your dream board might have on it

  • Photos of Hawaiian beaches or plane tickets that say “Honolulu” on them
  • A photo of the BMW zooming along a road
  • A photocopy of your mortgage statement with “$0” written in for the balance
  • Photos or drawings of your dream beach house
  • Photos or drawings of the jewelry you want

The point with the dream board is to remind you of the large, overall goals. Look at it frequently--Put it where you can see it. If you put your dreams in a scrapbook, with, say, one major goal per page, you can write in the date you achieved it. A great idea: Put a photo of yourself that you like right in the middle of the board!

You may have noticed that you have to use images to identify what you want out of life--you can’t make a dream board filled with images of things you don’t want. This is an important part of goal-setting: Your goals must be worded in the positive. Identifying what you don’t want in life actually brings more attention to that mental image, because the brain doesn’t recognize the negative. For instance, I can say to you, “Don’t imagine a bouncing red rubber ball,” and you will immediately see a bouncing red rubber ball. Put yourself in the driver’s seat and state clearly and positively what you do want!

 Focusing on an image (rather than only words describing what you want) engages the visual cortex of your brain. This is a powerful part of your mind--it’s the part that projects into the future. If you can put an image of what you want into the future-pacing part of your mind, your immensely powerful brain will work to make it happen! This is another good reason to word your goals in terms of what you want, rather than what you don’t want.

A colleague of mine who has an incredibly successful direct sales business made dream boards years ago. She had forgotten about them, until she pulled them out to train some new team members. She suddenly realized that she had achieved every single thing on her dream board! Including purchasing a motor home for traveling. Dream boards really work! 

I challenge you all to make a dream board this week--and dream big!

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