Today’s guest post about is brought to you by Elliott Kosmicki, the founder of Good Plum. Today, Elliott sits down and talks with us about how we can achieve the goals that we set down in writing.
Setting goals has been widely promoted for centuries as one of the most powerful methods to become successful. You’ve probably heard it, you probably have even tried it, and if you’re like most others, you’ve probably “failed” trying.
That’s a good thing.
Setting goals does not alone bring success, even though that’s the primary way it’s taught. The idea that simply writing a goal down will somehow make it come true later on sounds like wishful thinking. Impossible, right?
The question we need to ask ourselves then is “Why do some people think goal setting works at all?”
The answer lies in the examination of two separate groups of people. In one group, there are the self-help “gurus” who believe everything they’re taught and then simply pass that information along to you – with no real knowledge of WHY it works or doesn’t work. The other group consists of people who have found that setting goals DOES work for them. They know it, too, but very few of them actually know WHY it works for them. Even if they do know, they can’t figure out how to teach it because they don’t really know how to translate that mysterious process into something that works for you! Follow me so far?
Goal setting is a lot like how we think about gravity. We know it’s out there, we know it sometimes works… but most of us don’t exactly know HOW… just that it does.
The Difference Between Believers and Doers
“How” goal setting actually works is not as mysterious as you might think. The answer is embedded in a gray area between belief and action. Achieving the goals you desire doesn’t come down to how you set the goals in the first place. Whether you use a computer program or a sheet up paper, it’s easy to get caught up in the physical part of setting the goals you want to achieve — but remember, goals begin in your mind!
Goal setting is simply a byproduct of something that’s inside each of us: vision, belief, and motivation.
I’d like to use a new car for an example – a $50,000 Lexus. A simple-yet-modest request for someone who works as hard as you do and is as smart as you, right?
First, can you envision yourself driving your new Lexus? What color is it inside and out? Who are you with? Most of us can usually get past this step, because it’s similar to a dream – where we see in our mind’s eye that anything can happen.
Now, where most people fail (and why goal setting does not work in 99% of cases), is believing it in your heart. Trying saying to yourself, “I know I will drive my dream car this year.”
What happened? Did you feel a twinge in your gut or chest? THIS, my friend, is doubt. Doubt is the killer of all dreams, the slaughterhouse of vision, and the number one reason why writing down goals does not work.
If you’re able to speak your goal to yourself while having no feelings of doubt, you simply need to build your motivation. Typically, after conquering your limiting beliefs, self-motivation will actually come naturally, and almost without effort. However, maintaining your self-motivation by reviewing and visualizing your goals morning and night, is mandatory if goal setting is going to be successful for you.
Successful people who use goal setting don’t even realize they’re doing this. All they do is visualize their goals, and believe – without no hesitation or doubt – that they will achieve them. That is the only difference between them and you.
Moving Past Limiting Beliefs, Into Motivation
Remember, that there is a difference between thinking you believe you can (or can’t) do something, to truly knowing that you can do it.
If we accept that doubt (or limiting beliefs) is the only thing holding us back from reaching a goal, then we can try to determine what, exactly, that limiting belief is. There are many books and audio programs devoted to the topic of finding and conquering limiting beliefs. I’ve found many of them helpful, but have found that the most successful method for getting rid of limiting beliefs has been through hypnosis.
If you find yourself saying things like, “I can’t do that because I’m too fat/old/skinny/weak/etc…” then I ask you to stop for a second and acknowledge that you have limiting beliefs. These negative beliefs are more than just passing thoughts in your mind; they are holding you back in all areas of your life.
It’s okay – everyone has them on some level. It’s the people who choose to get past them who will prosper.
A major player in this, is consistent positivity.
Here are a couple of quick things to get you thinking in a positive way – no matter what the situation. Try the “what if up” trick. This is from Mindy Audlin who challenges people to ask questions of themselves in a more positive way, like these examples:
- Instead of: “What if my car breaks down again?”
Ask instead: “What if my car runs worry-free forever?” (See? It’s “up” at the end instead of “down.”)
Instead of: “What if I don’t get the job?”
Ask instead: “What if I get this job and it’s the best job ever?!”
You get the idea. This has proven to be an immediate lift in positivity for me when I need it… and all you need to do is ask yourself, “What if…. up!” Try it and let me know what you think.
The other quick method to conquer some of the negative self-talk is this: write down a quick want-list. The reason creating a “want-list” works is because if you’re drowning in negative thoughts, you’re likely thinking about all the things you don’t want (more work, idiot drivers, etc.).
A want list forces you to focus on only positive items you want to attract into your life. Things like more family time, a Hawaiian vacation, a new car, an addition on your house… all create positive images that can make an immediate impact on your thinking.
If you did just these two easy things multiple times per day, in 6 months you’d be surprised at the progress you’ve made towards your goals – just by being consistently positive.
Goals Will Magically Get Checked Off
When you start applying consistent positivity to your thoughts and actively seek out to conquer your limiting beliefs, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve. In a year, you’ll look back at your list of goals and realize that more things have actually been checked off than you ever imagined possible.
It’s not magic, but it might feel like it.
Good luck to you; and may your goals for this year, and every year, be checked off with “magic.”