Inspirational and Motivational Thoughts
13 December 2010
Introduction to Goal Setting Tips for Success in Life
What if you believed that everything in your life was a creation, or an outcome that you had actually envisioned? What if this result, your current reality, was the outcome of all the choices you’ve made over the years of your life? What if many things you thought you did not choose actually were choices you made?
What if every single decision and action you’ve taken up to this very moment was a direct result of your choices and your actions? Would you be proud of your creation? Would you be glad to call this life your own?
What if we told you that this is the way it is? You are the master/mistress of your fate, the captain of your ship. Do you feel your ship is rudderless? Or have you decided to take charge of your future and create a life you love to live? Imagine that this booklet was written just for you and we have provided the tools you need to start living the life of your dreams.
If you’re a goal-setting beginner, you’ll find the basics for starting to fulfill your hearts desire. If you’re already happy with what you’ve created, you’ll find some advanced goal achievement concepts in this information packed report.
Goal setting should not mean a lot of work, it should mean enjoying yourself as you reach your dreams. If you find yourself faced with substantial resistance and negativity, look carefully to make sure that you really want the goal. Getting what you really want should create enthusiasm and energy.
In a classic study, goal setters were huge winners
Results from an often-quoted study done at Yale University placed goal setters firmly in the successful category when compared to non-goal-setters. The 3% of the participants who had written their goals with a plan and took consistent action were happier, more confident and better adjusted. They also earned more money over that 20-year period than the 97% of the other participants.
Will you die shortly after retirement?
Did you know that studies show that at retirement, if you don’t have a purpose or vision for the rest of your life, you are more likely to experience illness or early death? Goal setters generally find their senior years becoming richer, with warmer relationships because they have a sense of direction in their lives.
And, it’s never too late to start something new to get yourself inspired and moving. Remember that Grandma Moses started painting at the age of 70 and Colonel Sanders started his Kentucky Fried Chicken enterprise at the age of 65. We recently read about a 90 year old who was climbing to the top of famous mountains in various parts of the world!
Goal Setting: How to Create a Life You Love to Live
Goal setting can be fun and easy. Does that statement sound shocking, are you used to setting goals and finding that doing the steps is like pulling teeth? We’ve tried to take this process and break it down into simple steps that anyone can take. In fact you’ll find that writing any goals at all will give you some results.
In order to make goal setting a pleasure instead of a pain, it helps to try taking some fun outrageous risks. Break out of your comfort zone and use several of the goals techniques mentioned on this Web site. You’ll be surprised at the results you’ll get with very little goal writing effort.
Goal setting should not mean hard work, it should mean enjoying yourself as you reach your vision. Getting what you really want should create enthusiasm and energy, not resistance and negativity.
If you find yourself faced with goal setting resistance, look carefully to make sure that you really want the goal. You also may need to work more on integrating your left and right brain hemispheres.
What you will find in Goal Setting Guide 77 Tips
We give you a number of suggestions here for proven goal setting techniques. Some of them will appeal to you, some won’t. Choose the goals ideas you like and try them for a few months.
If you get the results you want, keep using the goal setting ideas that work while trying a few additional suggestions just for fun. If you don’t get the results you want, choose a few more of the ideas that you think might work and again try them out to see if you enjoy using them.
The main point here is that setting and reaching your goals should be empowering, it should make you feel good about yourself and your life. When goal setting work seems like drudgery, then probably something is wrong with the way you’re working or you may need to reevaluate your goals. Don’t be intimidated by the fact that we offer you many options and choices of techniques. If you just write some goals down, make a poster, and visualize a bit you will get results!
Goal Setting and the Use of Deadline Dates
Should you use deadline dates in your goal setting efforts? Some people always put specific dates for the completion of each goal in their initial goals list. Some people adjust the dates as they make progress toward the goal. Others prefer to just put the goal on a list and leave the completion date open. This may be a matter of preference, find out which way works best for you.
One way to use the information on this site is to go over it repeatedly. There is a distilled collection of goal setting ideas here that can help you reach any reasonable goal that you can imagine. It’s important to review these techniques regularly because repetition leads to mastery. Also, you may forget a great technique, you can use this article as a reminder.
Setting Goals Basics 1 to 11
These basic tips are organized in a sequence that will support you from thinking about your goals to actually achieving them. Don’t forget, these are only suggestions, take what you like and try it out for a while to see what works best for you. Have fun and play; Don’t make your goals “shoulds” but “wants”.
1. Use a journal to keep track of your goals journey where you may keep daily or weekly records of your progress including affirmations, successes, appreciations for your hard work, rewards, resistances, obstacles, etc. Use your goals journal to write goals initially and to rewrite them over time. Use it to break your goals into steps. Review your progress regularly and jot a few notes.
There are a number of paper and digital methods for keeping these records such as notebooks, planners or professional goal tracking software. Develop consistent habits of writing about your thoughts and goal progress. It will propel you forward at a faster pace. Use colored pens and playful things like stickers and pictures, have fun!
2. Get yourself into a positive state before writing your goals: It’s really important to get yourself into an inspired, positive and relaxed state before writing goals. Some ideas for getting yourself into a positive state include: Meditation, listening to inspiring music, reading something fun or funny, watching a funny movie, taking a walk in a naturally beautiful place, brisk exercise, reading or listening to an inspirational story, listening to motivational tapes, brisk exercise or prayer.
3. Start brainstorming: After getting into a good mental and emotional state, start your brainstorming. Write all possible goals quickly without any editing or criticism. You can review and prioritize later; right now you want to be as creative and grand in your vision as you can be.
4. Areas of your life to consider for goal setting: Here are a number of possible areas of your life to think about when you are developing your goals list: Career, financial, relationship, family, home, friends, personal development, health, appearance, possessions, fun and recreation, travel, spiritual, self esteem and service/community. Some types of goals include: personal development such as emotional, mental, physical and spiritual.
Then there are “thing” goals like vacations, cars, yachts, antiques, houses, etc. Another area is financial goals—savings, net worth, retirement income, investments, etc. Make sure you include some health and energy goals because they are the foundation of a successful and satisfying life.
5. Goals time frames: Goals fall into varying time periods such as: Immediate goals, 30 day goals, 6 month goals, 1 year goals, 5 years, 10 years or longer. Make sure you can accomplish what you want in the time frame you set.
There are mixed opinions on how specific the deadline dates on goals should be. The authors use different methods; Joel usually puts specific deadlines on his goals. Teddi uses general time frames (i.e. a few months or within a year) but not exact dates. They both get good results.
6. Here are four tips for writing effective goal statements:
* Say it like it’s already happened: When writing your goal, say it like it has already happened. Put your goals in words that assume that you already have achieved them. For example, “I now have a new silver BMW 4 door 2002 sedan.”
* Use motivating language: To get you passionate, committed and motivated, add emotional language to your written goals. Here’s an example “I absolutely love and am excited about my beautiful new home in the hills” which is much more passionate than “I like my new home in the hills”.
* Write specifically and in detail: Because your subconscious manifests things literally, you want to write specific detailed goals. Use language that is clear in describing exactly what it is you want
* Write in positive terms rather than negative ones: Examples of positive statements might be: “I am now free of the habit of smoking”, or “I am now a smoke free person”. Negative examples might be: “I don’t smoke anymore” or “I’m not a smoker”.
7. Be sure they’re really your goals: Check in with yourself to make sure that you’re thinking about what you really want. Often we try to please others at our own expense. You won’t be successful trying to reach the goals your parents, spouse or other friends or relatives want for you.
8. Be congruent in creating goals: Consider your most important values and beliefs when formulating your goals (e.g. honesty, security, integrity, freedom, responsibility, respect for others, love, leadership, etc.). For instance if you value freedom, your goal might be to be self-employed. If security is what you value, you might want to work for the government where layoffs rarely occur.
9. Choose rational goals: Choose goals that you can actually reach in a reasonable amount of time. An example of a rational goal might be: “I’m 55 years old and I want to sing opera with a local light opera performance group, a choir, or monthly recitals with my voice teacher’s students” (given of course that you have a good voice). An irrational goal might be: “I’m 55, I’ve never taken singing lessons, and I want to be a world class opera singer performing key roles with the New York Metropolitan Opera”. It’s unlikely that anyone starting at the age of 55 could do this, even with an excellent voice and rigorous training.
10. Prioritize your goals: After you’ve brainstormed, one way to prioritize is to put the highest priority goals at 10 out of a possible 10 points and the least important at 1 out of 10. Pick 3-7 of the goals with high numbers and focus your efforts only on them for the next few months. Try not to pick too many goals to focus on as this will dilute your energy and make it harder to get the results you want.
11. Create a step-by-step plan: Break each goal down into manageable blocks creating a step-by-step plan to achieve it. For example, if you want a new car, first decide exactly what color, model, year, and brand you want. Write this down in your goals journal. Then write the specific steps you need to get to your goal such as: Apply for a car loan, look at and test drive different models, write affirmations, visualize yourself driving the car, etc.
These Tips Expand on the First Eleven
12. Use affirmations: Affirmations can move you forward dramatically in achieving your goals. Put them in the present tense as if you have already achieved them and say them out loud! Also, create the affirmation with lots of details and positive language rather than negative (no, not, can’t, never, don’t etc.).
13. Join or create a support group: Getting help from others is one of the secrets of successfully reaching your goals. So be sure to find or create some sort of support group of similarly minded peers.
You could decide to form a Goals Success Group consisting of several people who decide to work together on goals. Your job as a group member is to help and support the other members’ goal setting efforts in any way that seems appropriate. They should reciprocate. The authors have been meeting with a Goals Success Group for over 6 years and it has really changed our lives for the better.
14. Model the strategies of successful people: Think of people you know or you know about who can serve as models. Modeling your actions after someone who has already achieved what you want can help you save time and prevent the painful trial and error that you would have to endure without this kind of help. They can provide an effective roadmap to move you ahead.
15. The 3 “R’s” - Review, reevaluate, rewrite: Review your goals regularly and write the steps for the day on your “to do list”. Reevaluate and rewrite your main goals every three to six months. Because things change, you may find that what you wanted a few months ago is not exactly what you want now. Be sure to reevaluate sub-goals, steps and strategies.
16. Patience is a virtue: Don’t be too impatient—some goals take longer to manifest. Delays in reaching your goals do not imply that you won’t reach them. When you plant a seed, you can’t keep digging it up every week to see if it has sprouted, sometimes reaching goals is the same. You must believe in what you want enough to keep pursuing your dream while putting your attention on other things as well.
17. Keep your balance: Maintain a lighthearted attitude while working on your goals. Although commitment and persistence are important, balance in your life will keep you motivated and enthused. Too much focused intensity may keep you from opening up to new possibilities and can actually hold you back.
18. Pay attention to hunches: Make a commitment to pay attention to hunches and intuition when taking actions towards your goal. Sometimes these are very subtle nudges that move you in a beneficial direction you didn’t expect.
19. Be public with your goals: This may create some pressure on you to keep going after what you want and will probably help you take consistent action. Be sure to only tell people who will be supportive towards your success that you are absolutely committed to reaching your goal.
20. Rehearse and visualize your success: Imagine having your new car, new house or vacation whatever your vision is. Imagine with all your senses having already achieved your goal. Think about how great that feels, looks and sounds. (For more details, see Imagery and visualization section).
21. Use a “to do” list for taking daily actions: Using a “to do” list and prioritizing your goals regularly is a useful technique. Sometimes you will get bogged down in day-to-day busyness and you might overlook the steps needed to get to your goals. Be sure to integrate the goals into your “to do” list daily or weekly (at least), then put the highest priority goals at the top and take action on those first.
One of the secrets of successful people is they take action on the most important things every day. Avoid focusing a lot of attention on things that are not important. Here’s a quote from Robert Allen (a best selling author and motivation expert), who recommends facing the hardest things first. “Don’t do first things first, do feared things first!” An even more outrageous way to start the day from Allen is to “dig a hole, throw in a crocodile and jump in!”
Self-appreciation and self-acceptance –
Loving yourself is one of the secrets of goal success
When you are moving with great energy towards achieving your goals, it is important to appreciate yourself for the big and little changes you’re making. There may be times when you feel like you’re falling short of your daily plan or even going backwards. You may find yourself criticizing your progress.
This is a time for self-appreciation and self-love, especially if you’ve had a tough day with some setbacks. You need to realize that there will be good days, OK days and plain old bad days! Imagine appreciating yourself for your commitment, your drive, your focus and patience, even if that day didn’t seem to give you the results you wanted. Self-criticism and judgment will not help you get what you want faster. Self-appreciation will.
22. Leave motivational messages on your phone machine: A fun way to give yourself support and keep up your motivation is to leave goals related messages on your voice mail—daily or at least weekly at the beginning of the week. For example you might want to leave a message on your machine saying: “I have completed the article today that I wanted to write to publicize my new book”.
You can also leave personal encouragement especially if you’re having a hard day. The message might be: “I really appreciate myself for all the effort and persistence I’ve been demonstrating this week to reach my goal of having a very successful book that is a best seller”.
23. Give yourself rewards: It is a good idea to give yourself small regular rewards for taking incremental steps towards achieving your goals. This is in addition to rewarding yourself in a bigger way when you reach your ultimate goal. For example, you could give yourself a dinner out and a movie for taking action on your high priority goal every day that week.
Be sure the reward is something that really motivates you to take action. For your grand “prize” when the goal is reached you might want to take a special vacation or buy yourself something you really want. Plan in advance what the reward will be, that way you will motivate yourself.
24. Give yourself positive feedback while looking in the mirror: Here’s a great technique that can help you overcome obstacles to reaching your goals as well as to help you feel better about yourself. Many well-known actors and other famous people use this technique daily. Look at yourself in the mirror in the morning with love, affirm how good you are and admire and appreciate your courageousness.
You will find that within a short time you feel better about yourself than you ever have before. You could say; “I love and appreciate myself for all the work I’ve done lately to reach my goal of (put your goal here), I’m a truly good, wonderful person aside from my accomplishments”. Remember, your words are powerful and have a very strong effect on you so make them positive!
Commitment and courage: The magic force that makes the difference
Commitment is the ultimate decider of your goal setting success. If you’re not committed, you won’t succeed.
So what is commitment? When you are committed, you will do anything to reach your goal, no matter how hard, tedious, boring, scary...you will do whatever it takes to get where you want to go. If you have a lot of questions, doubts or resistances to taking action, start thinking about how much you really want your goal. Stop fooling yourself and pick one you are committed to! Committing to things takes courage.
But there are other reasons you need courage to reach success with your goals. When the going gets tough and you have a difficult period or long plateau, do you have the courage to stick with your goal even though you may not have any idea how you will actually reach it? You may even have an inner nagging voice that says; “you’ll never get what you want”.
Do you have the courage to create an exciting, grand vision for yourself? Tony Robbins says a big reason why people are not excited and motivated is that their vision is too small, it lacks power. Sometimes even exciting passion-filled goals have steps that are tedious, boring, hard...can you keep going when the going gets tough?
If you decide to create powerful, passion filled goals, you will probably need to make changes in yourself in order to achieve them. Do you have the courage to make those changes?
25. Take immediate and consistent action on new goals! Tony Robbins says that whenever he sets a goal he always takes at least one immediate action as quickly as possible (even a small one makes a big difference). Then, take an action toward your goal every day, this will get you motivated to take more. Creating a list of sub-goals and the actions required to achieve them will increase your momentum. Remember to keep changing your approach when what you’re doing doesn’t work.
26. Get out of your comfort zone: Often the comfort zone can work against your desire to reach your goals because it holds you in place instead of urging you forward. Your comfort zone is what makes up most of your life, all the things you already know how to do, all the habits and reliable experiences you’re used to having. In order to change your tendency to stay comfortable you need to be conscious of your actions and thoughts.
Make it a practice to do things on a daily basis that challenge you in various ways. They can be as small as taking different routes to get to familiar places, eating something new, meeting new people, trying a new hobby or just breaking out of routines. Or, they can be as big as asking your boss for a large raise, getting married, getting divorced, buying a house or moving to another part of the country.
They can even be as outrageous as going bungee jumping, fire walking or scuba diving (assuming you’ve never done any of these before). You have to provide your own urging. Stretch yourself!
27. “Commit to change”: Imagine who you’ll become as you reach your goals and actively decide that you want to be that new and different person. The very act of formulating a goal will inevitably result in changes in you and in your life.
28. Do whatever it takes: If you really want to reach your goals, you have to decide to “pay the price”. Sometimes there are things you must do that are boring, difficult, risky or scary...it doesn’t matter how hard it is; if you want your goal you must still take the action.
29. Don’t give up: When the going gets hard, don’t give up; instead, try to get creative about new ways to get to your goal. Use the creative tools to break yourself out of being stuck and go around that obstacle, over it, under it, or through it. Possibly the most important quality of the successful 3% of the participants in the Yale study was…they never gave up!
30. Get help when you need it: As you’re moving toward your goal, ask for support and help from others. Don’t be too proud to get help. Sometimes another person’s viewpoint can help you think better about what you want and where you want to go.
31. Take appropriate risks: Sometimes reaching your goals will require that you take risks you’re really uncomfortable with. Change is an uncomfortable state; we all want certainty and security in our lives. But if you don’t take the risks, you may not reach your goal. Make a decision to break out of your comfort zone (see #27). Get support when needed.
32. Be honest with yourself: Be honest with yourself about your progress and whether the goal is still appropriate. If it is, does it need any changes? Are you following through and taking consistent action? Have the courage to admit your blind spots and to be humble. Sometimes you may need to change a belief or habit. Are you willing to change to get what you want?
33. Write your commitment: In your Goals Journal, it’s helpful and motivating to write why you are absolutely committed to reaching your goals. This involves stating all the benefits you’ll get when you’ve achieved the goal.
34. Keep your sense of humor: Have the courage to keep your sense of humor while going after your goals. Especially when progress is temporarily slow. Tom Hopkins, the great Sales Trainer would tell sales people who missed a sale: “I never see failure as failure, only as an opportunity to develop my sense of humor”. Play with your goals. This will bring in lots of energy to help move you forward. Make the whole process fun and inviting. Are you having fun yet?
Imagery and visualization: Wishes really can become reality
Imagery and visualization can be very powerful tools in your goal achievement process. You can use visual images of your goals or you can use words, thoughts and feelings. Ideally you can use all of these elements to unleash the most powerful potential of imagery.
Scientific studies show that the more senses you add to your imagery, the more powerful the results will be. The reason these techniques are so powerful is that they tap into both the left and right parts of your brain. For people who have trouble seeing things with their eyes closed, just use all the other senses to imagine what you want to create.
35. Use imagery and visualization: Make a point of spending a few minutes a day visualizing yourself reaching your goals—seeing, hearing, feeling (tasting if appropriate) as clear a visualization as you can! Bring colors, sounds, smells, and tastes to your visualization. Put yourself into the picture so you actually see yourself getting and having what you want. You may find that your pictures have bright vivid colors and lots of detail…this is good. But even more important are the feelings that go with your picture. Try to create a vision that makes you feel motivated, passionate and enthusiastic.
So what would this process look like? Imagine that your goal is to take a trip to a tropical island. In your mind, you would imagine yourself in the picture lying on the beach feeling the warm sun and smelling the flowers. You could be lounging on a lanai tasting an exotic drink or snorkeling seeing the wonderful fish and feeling the water all around you.
Whatever is the most exciting part of the trip for you, put that in the picture...feel it, touch it, smell it, taste it (if appropriate), hear it, see it. Try to create the most compelling image possible for yourself using all your senses. If you use this technique at least once a day and take consistent action, your success is virtually guaranteed.
36. Make an audiotape proclaiming that you have reached your goal. See technique number 6 for details on how to write an effective goals statement. Add details to your description to make the tape several minutes long. Listen to the audiotape every day in the car, in the house, while you are out exercising or at the gym.
37. Smell me the money: Here’s an unusual but very effective technique for increasing your income and improving your relationship with money. It may sound strange, but we’ve both tried it and found that it works really well. Keep a $100 bill in your purse or wallet and look at it, and then smell it while thinking about how wonderful money is. Then smell it again and visualize lots more of those $100 bills in your hands.
38. To get the things you want quickly, “act as if” you already have them: Take a photograph of yourself in your dream car at a dealership or on a boat similar to the one you want or in front of a house you’d like to own. Photograph yourself “in the picture” and put this up on your wall. You can also actually test drive the car, test sail the boat or go to open houses and act like you are buying the house. “Act as if” you are already a great speaker, artist or businessperson. This technique is surprisingly powerful.
39. Expand your vision; the power of thinking big: Allow for the possibility that there may be greater goals or visions. Mark Victor Hansen author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books met with Tony Robbins, to ask about why he (Mark) wasn’t reaching greater success.
Tony said; “Do you have a lot of millionaires in your success and networking group?” Mark said; “Yes”, then Tony said; “Do you have any billionaires?” Mark said “No”. Tony said, “If you find one or two it will make the difference.” And that’s what Mark did...this was one of the factors that helped him to reach the pinnacle of success with the “Chicken Soup” series of books. Along with being a good example of thinking big, this is also a good example of an already highly successful person being humble enough to look for models and get additional help.
Intuition and hunches: The magic of your unconscious
One secret of goal creation and achievement is found through working with intuition and hunches. When creating your goals, notice that “feeling in your gut” to determine how much energy you have for this potential goal. Are you energized and drawn toward it? If you consistently lack enthusiasm for the goal, it may not be the right one.
Intuition and hunches can often lead you to reach your goals in totally unexpected ways as well. If you get a little nudge to go to that meeting or take that action, pay attention. You may be getting a message from your subconscious that will help you get to where you want to go much faster and more smoothly than you could get there with lots of planning and pushing.
40. Look for unexpected opportunities: Be aware of unusual things that happen that could relate to your goals. Pay attention to seeming problems or crises; they can be opportunities in disguise. For instance, you may miss an appointment because of a massive traffic jam and end up at a café someplace where there is a school catalog on the table. You pick it up and it mentions a course that will help you develop a skill you need to reach your goal.
When you run into someone you haven’t seen in a while be proactive. Find out what that person has been doing lately. This may lead to a surprising opportunity for you to further your goal. Be sure to tell them what you’re doing, they may want to help you in some way.
41. Stay open and flexible: Sometimes you may develop a goal in one form and it may manifest itself in another form. Be open to receiving it in whatever form it shows up. For instance, you may have a goal to make $100,000 in the year 2002 and you expand your business, which helps you on your way. You may get the biggest contract you’ve ever gotten which nets you your money. Or you could get an inheritance from a relative or receive the money from an investment.
42. Allow your goals to evolve: Do you still want the goal in its present form: Has your situation changed? This is an important question to ask, pay attention to the answer you get from your intuition.
43. Here’s one way to tune in to your intuition: To get your creative juices really moving and to center yourself, try sitting and doing nothing except to look at a beautiful scene in a natural place, such as a park, for at least ½ hour. This puts you into a relaxed, receptive state where you can receive information from your intuition. Be sure to keep your goals notebook handy to take notes on the ideas that will come to you from opening your mind. Turn off your cell phone to avoid distractions.
Creative tools: Wild, wacky, fun and outrageous
Here’s a way to add to your fun. Using creative tools for goal setting can expand your energy, help you to have fun and make goal setting more joyful rather than a chore. Creating colorful playful visual images will get you to your goals quicker and add to your pleasure in the process.
44. Create a goals list poster: Using a piece of poster paper, write out your goals list in colors. You can use “Mind-Mapping” and put the goals anywhere on the page rather than in linear order. Don’t forget to add your sub-goals with lines linking them to the major goals. Decorate the poster with colorful pictures on stickers you can buy at the stationery store. Draw things on the poster or paste on pictures you cut out of magazines, whatever appeals to you. It should be exciting and make you feel great when you look at it. Imagine you are a kid and having fun.
45. Create a collage to support your vision: To make a goals collage, cut out pictures and words that you like from magazines and glue them onto a piece of paper the size of a placemat. Be sure to put your picture on the page as well. Laminate the paper at copy shop like Kinko’s. Use it on your dining table to remind you of what you want to create. For example, you see a picture of a beautiful home in the magazine Architectural Digest so you cut it out and put it on your paper. Then you glue a picture of yourself right under it or in it with words that you cut out of ads that say; “I own it and I love it!” You can also make larger collages to put on your wall.
46. Use your computer to support you in reaching goals: There are many ways you can put your goals on your computer. Scan your collage or a poster/picture that inspires you into your computer, convert it to a bitmap and use it as wallpaper. You can create a screensaver with your scanned images or just put up a digital “post it” with your goals list. Try sending yourself an encouraging email. You can also create your own custom posters, personal stickers and printouts using a graphics program. Have fun and let yourself get creative with your digital friend (your computer).
47. Make a Money tree: Take a piece of paper and draw a tree on it, then stick play money (you can get play money at toy stores) all over it or you can use real money (with removable glue). This will help you overcome any negative thoughts you have about creating lots of money. Be sure to put this picture somewhere where you will see it regularly. Put a picture of yourself on the poster holding lots of money.
48. Use images that inspire you: Find an inspiring picture and write a few motivating words on it. Try writing the words with brightly colored markers. Hang this picture on your wall at home or at work to inspire you and build energy for your goals. You can use pictures of animals, nature, mythical figures (from fairy tales, Knights of the Round Table, kings, gods, characters from Star Wars), etc. Buy a Poster with a word, poem or saying already printed on it that motivates and inspires you. See our Inspirational and Motivational Posters page for more ideas.
49. Write some outrageous goals: Start with some silly and outrageous goals to mix in with your regular goals when starting your goal setting session. This loosens you up and helps the left and right brain to be more integrated. A silly goal might be to play charades with friends at least 3 times in the next 3 months, dye your hair green, or to dress in a funny costume and trick or treat on Halloween. An outrageous goal might be to learn to fly a helicopter, learn to skydive or fire walk in the next six months.
50. Try writing goals with your non-dominant hand: One interesting technique that can help you break through from left-brain thinking to more creative right-brain is to write your goals and detailed plans with the opposite hand from the one you normally use. It can be a bit challenging physically at first and it might not look very elegant but this technique can reveal hidden aspects of your plans and dreams and new goals, too. According to a recent article in the magazine, Utne Reader, this process is an excellent technique for contacting creativity and intuition.
51. Use creative techniques to open up your mind: Try drawing, painting or playing with play dough before working on goals to loosen up your creativity. If you are using a computer for some of your goal setting, planning, and development use a paint program to put your goals in colorful letters or use pictures, etc.
52. Take a “mini” mental break: When you’re feeling stuck while doing disciplined mental work including working on your goals; give your mind a rest by playing solitaire or minesweeper on your computer. You can also play solitaire with regular cards. This gives your left-brain a vacation. After ten minutes or so, you can go back to the task you were working on with renewed energy.
Resistance and procrastination: Ways to identify and overcome these goal stealers
Everyone finds at certain times that they just can’t move forward, they are stuck...has this ever happened to you? It may mean that you need to reformulate your goals. It might be helpful to go back to brainstorming or other goal setting basics. This can also be a sign that it’s time to get creative and find other more enjoyable ways to get where you want to go. Getting help from others can be particularly useful at these times.
Internal roadblocks that keep you from advancing towards your goal can stem from temporary lack of focus or fear. Outside distractions like too much partying, TV or computer games can also stop your forward momentum. Some people distract themselves with extra long “to do” lists of unimportant tasks that take up time that might be better spent focusing on high priority items.
However, resistance and procrastination may be a sign of distress stemming from deeply held programming or blockages from childhood. Another possibility is that you may have a deep-seated fear of success and the responsibilities that come with it, or you may fear failure so much that you don’t even try anything. When you encounter obstacles such as these, it is useful to get support from a therapist or other professional. A professional can help you explore your internal motivation so that you can release what gets in the way of your creating a life you love to live.
53. List obstacles in your journal: Writing down both inner and outer obstacles to reaching your goals can help you to become more aware of what is getting in your way. And it can help you overcome them. Often just being conscious of the difficulties helps you to find creative solutions.
For example, your goal may be to develop a successful business that nets you one million dollars in 3 years. Examples of external obstacles you might face in reaching this goal could be; recent challenges in getting a bank loan; a lot of competition in your type of business; or family members who are unsupportive or negative about your idea. Inner obstacles might be: your own belief system, that says; “you will never succeed with your own business”; a belief that you don’t really deserve what you want; or fear of failure.
Writing such obstacles down takes them out of your head and puts them on paper where you can get a helpful degree of objectivity.
54. What are the payoffs for not reaching your goal? One payoff for not reaching your goal may reflect a part of you that says; “I don’t want to change. Attaining this goal will force me to become a new person and I’ll have to move out of my comfort zone”. Or, “reaching this goal might put me in a position of power and I don’t like giving orders, directions or commands”. It might also be that, “reaching this goal will require me to have to work much harder than I do now, I may have to take risks or do things I’ve always been afraid of.”
You might become so successful that you could lose friends. So another payoff for not reaching your goal is to keep your present friends. Yet another payoff for not reaching your goals or having “problems” is that you get to play victim and have people feel sorry for you. You may get extra attention for having a problem. It’s human nature to want to keep the status quo of comfort and security.
55. Ways to release negative feelings: In your Goals Journal, write down anything negative that comes into your mind. Keep writing until you have a sense of completion. If you find that the negative feelings you face repeat over and over like an obsession, consider getting professional help.
56. Explore inner and outer conflicts: When you start losing energy or passion for your goals, explore any conflicts you uncover. Ask questions in your journal with your dominant hand and answer with the non-dominant hand. See if this helps bring clarity into the issue you’re facing. You can also use your Goals Support Group to help you understand your motivations. Sometimes you may have a conflict with another person that is somehow impeding your progress, at other times you actually have a conflict inside yourself. You may find that the answer is simple and only requires tools that you will find here or…you may find that you need professional help.
57. Take action on things you’ve been putting off: Make a list of all the important things you’ve been putting off and start doing them. These things may not necessarily be directly related to your goal. Put them on your “to do” list. Denis Waitley, a well-known success trainer, says that he writes down the five most important tasks that he has put off for the last month and then makes sure to take steps towards finishing them. You break out of being stuck by doing and taking action. Willingness to take action creates the energy to do something. This is an extremely powerful technique that will really help remove resistances and catapult you ahead!
58. Find your “problem areas” that may be holding you back: The concept of “problem areas” is that you may have a weakness in a certain area or a lack of skill which holds you back in other parts of your life. For instance, a salesperson tells the story of being reasonably successful but hating cold calling and prospecting. Once he made the commitment to focus and overcome the resistance and fear he had about taking action, his sales career really took off. Not doing this was holding him back even though he was quite successful in his other work activities. Figure out what your “problem areas” are that may be holding you back in your desire to reach your goals. Start taking action on them today!
Releasing attachment: A little known secret of the greatest teachers
Releasing is an important practice for successful goal achievement. It has to do with letting go of attachment to something or someone. How do you know when you’re attached to a goal? If you find yourself obsessing and worrying about the goal as opposed to being enthused and enjoying thinking about it, you’re attached. You’re attached when you believe that in order to be happy, you must reach this goal. If these signs appear, then it’s very important for you to practice releasing.
The technique is simple but not easy. You just decide to let go of your attachment to getting the goal. In other words, you decide that if for some reason you do not reach this goal, life will go on and you will still be happy. Believe it or not, this is a very important part of the process of reaching your dream.
If you’re too attached, worried, obsessed or tense other people feel it and pull away from you instead of helping. When you’re enthusiastic, inspired and radiating confidence, other people will be magnetically attracted to you and will help and support you.
59. Release attachment to control: There are some things in your life that you can control. All of them have to do with actions you can take or internal changes you can make inside yourself. You cannot control other people, events or circumstances. You can make the best of what you are given as in “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade” and you can release attachment to making things fit your model of the world. When you practice this kind of release on a regular basis, you will find peace and abundance creeping into your life.
60. Forgiveness, another kind of release. Forgiveness actually is a releasing process that involves letting go of negative feelings and resentments you’re holding towards other people. When you forgive others, you are actually helping yourself more than them. If you are able to let go of holding on to the negative thoughts and feelings you have about others, you become much lighter and freer with a lot more energy. Many well-known success teachers such as Oprah, Tony Robbins and Wayne Dyer mention forgiveness as an important step in creating abundance and peace in your life.
61. How to handle bad days and good days: Sometimes as you’re working hard to get to your goals you’ll find that you have really bad days when you feel like you’re getting nothing done. This is a time to release your attachment to being extremely productive every day and just accept what’s happening. You will also find that some days are just great, it’s also important on these days to release attachment to all days being like this. We all go through energy cycles, ups and downs and highs and lows.
62. Release things you don’t need anymore: Go through all of your excess “stuff” and start getting rid of (releasing) what you aren’t using or don’t need. This is a technique that will really open up space in your world for new things. It will also increase your energy and help you to feel more deserving. Go through every room in your home including the kitchen and either sell or give away those things that may be secretly draining your energy every day!
63. Open your mind to alternative strategies for reaching your goals: By learning to accept feedback and constructive criticism, you will be able to expand your thinking and become much more creative. Often what holds people back are “control patterns or ego attachments” where a person thinks, “Their way is the only way”. There may be many ways to get to the same goal and some of them might be faster or more efficient than others.
Sometimes a particular strategy may have worked well in the past but with changing conditions, this may no longer be true. If you can only open your mind to one way of doing something, you limit your progress. Make a point of accepting help and ideas from others in rethinking goals strategies. Don’t be attached to being right.
64. Great stress release technique: Here’s a great technique to help you instantly release stress and resistance. Imagine yourself breathing in harmony and relaxation, and then when you breathe out let go of stress and negativity. Do this for about 5 or 10 minutes. This simple process can be surprisingly useful for putting you into a relaxed and clear state in just a few minutes so that you’ll be more effective in working on your goals.
65. Love your goal but release attachment to the form: It’s really great to love your goal and be committed to it, but be willing to be flexible in the way it shows up. For example, you may want to earn an additional $5,000 through an investment and instead your uncle leaves you $5,000 in his will. We never have control over how the exact outcome of our goals will show up. The releasing part of reaching a goal is just as important as feeling passion and energy for it.
66. Some fun ways to release fear: Draw your fear with colored pens or crayons or make a play dough model of it. Or scribble with colored pens or crayons until you feel a sense of release. This technique may sound simplistic or silly but it is a really good way to release fear. Both authors have used it and found it to be tremendously effective. If you find yourself resisting using these techniques or you find that your fear leads to panic or is chronic, you probably need professional help.
67. Gratitude for what you have: This may be one of the most important tips in this entire report. Being grateful for what you have allows you to focus on the positive elements in your life, value the gifts you’ve already been given and appreciate the fruits of your goal setting efforts. When you’re having a rough period where you’re starting to judge yourself negatively, gratitude can break that pattern by shifting your focus to the positive things in your life.
Persistence and patience:
Essentials for following through when the going gets tough
As you can imagine, persistence is very important in reaching your goals. It relates to patience, which is also very important. Sometimes reaching goals takes much longer than you expect or things can really fall apart. This is when a dose of persistence and patience can really make the difference. You may need a vacation, a mini-break or to just keep on plugging away taking action every day. Remember that you may need to re-evaluate your direction and try different ways to get there when required.
68. Change your approach: Persistence is very important when working with goals. But sometimes you find yourself doing the same thing over and over and you aren’t getting the results you want. When this happens, try something else. In general, you want to have the attitude of “never giving up”, not allowing failure as an option, even during tough times. Keep your vision, but you may just need to change the strategies you’re using. This is a good time to get advice from people whose opinions you trust. It’s also a time to be honest about and aware of just exactly what you’re doing and how you can best change your approach.
69. Example of “persistence pays” and small improvements: You may not always know how you’ll get where you want to go but if you’re persistent, you may be surprised. Very small consistent improvements over a long period of time can make you or your company very successful...or even turn you into a black belt martial artist! Here’s an interesting story from Roger Von Oech, a well-known author, about the magic and power of persistence. Two frogs fell into a tub of cream, one gave up and drowned, the second didn’t give up; he scrambled so hard he churned the cream to butter and jumped out. You can give up and continue to get what you’ve always been getting or you can move up to a greater level of empowerment and pleasure in your life by taking the risks and persisting.
70. Don’t give up: Sometimes, after working hard to get your goal for a long period of time, when things look discouraging, you find yourself wanting to give up. This is just the critical time for you to continue taking action. Remember, “It’s often darkest before the dawn”.
71. Discipline and practice - small regular improvements: Some goals require you to commit to long-term discipline and practice. Your patience may also be tested. George Leonard, an author and accomplished martial arts teacher wrote a book about the importance of continual practice and self-discipline. One of the most important points in the book is that even when you’re on a plateau and there seems to be little or no improvement; no matter how you feel, do the practice every day. If you want to become an expert at something, especially martial arts, you have to decide to be relentless in your commitment to the self-discipline required to reach your goal.
72. How can you tell when you’re truly committed to a goal? Have you ever noticed when you really really want something that you automatically think about it all the time? When you think about it you get so motivated and enthusiastic that it’s easy to take action!
73. What speeds up goal achievement? Some of the things that will get you to your goal faster are: Commitment, enthusiasm/passion, thinking about the goal a lot, using imagery or visualization, regularly working with and getting help from your Goals Success support group, opening your mind to possibilities, moving out of your comfort zone, letting go of old ways of doing things and taking lots of actions. Correct as you go. If one thing doesn’t work, try something else.
74. Surround yourself with successful supportive people: It’s very important to associate with people who have already reached the goals you want. It’s also good to spend time with people who are striving for goals similar to yours. Unsupportive friends and family may try to sabotage your efforts, be prepared for this if it happens. The best way to handle such behavior is to ignore it or to make a point of spending more time with those who support and empower you.
75. Right and left-brain integration: As you probably know there has been a lot of research recently on the importance of bringing both sides of the brain together in your life. This helps us to keep balance in our lives. The left brain is mainly occupied with linear, word and number oriented tasks. The right brain is connected to creativity and intuition. When you bring them together, you’ll find that you have more energy and enthusiasm and things become almost effortless.
How do you do this? Most people are left brain focused. If this is true for you then you need to check out the ideas under creative tools in this report. Try them out and see what a difference it makes in your goal setting experience. We use these tools all the time and find they help to make setting and reaching goals a lot more fun!
76. Don't let other people’s reactions to your success discourage you: As you reach goals and find yourself changing you may lose many of the friends you’ve made who aren’t on the same path. They may feel uncomfortable and jealous about your success. They also may try to discourage you so that you won’t change. Be prepared for this and try to find new friends as you go along who will support and grow with you to enhance and expand your horizons.
77. Read success stories about others: One of the great ways for you to develop more inspiration, passion and commitment for achieving your goals is to read stories about people who have achieved outstanding success. Stories that are especially inspiring are about people who have faced great obstacles in reaching their goals. Their ingenuity, commitment and perseverance can be very motivating for you. You can also watch inspiring movies and listen to audiotapes, etc.*******
Inspirational and Motivational Thoughts
13 December 2010