Setting Goals and Achieving Them
After setting goals, this article will explore how you can tap into your mental resources and use them to achieve your goals!
1. Identify negative triggers
2. Creative Visualization
3. Identifying Your Strengths and Weaknesses
4. Mental Contradictions
5. Mental Drivers
6. The Twin Powers of Self Discipline and Persistence
Identify the negative triggers
After setting goals, you need to identify what triggers your behavior towards the things you do.
Take an example of public speaking. If your goal is to become a good public speaker, you need to identify the negative triggers and eliminate them. Does standing in front of an audience trigger fear? Then you have to eliminate this negative trigger.
Is your goal to lose weight? The negative trigger could be thinking losing weight requires lots of effort and takes up most of our time.
If you can break your exercise routine into several time blocks then it would not seem like too much effort.
This is only one way of eliminating the negative trigger. Whatever your situation, if you can identify the negative trigger and get rid of it you will find yourself taking more consistent actions towards your goal.
Use Creative Visualization
After setting goals, use creative visualization to create mental pictures of them. Creative visualization simply means visualizing images in our minds.
This gives us the power to making thoughts come true. It has allowed many to achieve that ‘impossible goal’.
Before we continue, you must know that setting goals alone will never let you achieve your goals! You must visualize them and take action.
So what are the powers of creative visualization? In the 70’s the Russians prepared their athletes physically and also mentally. They decided to split them into four groups. The first, had 100% physical training, the second group had 75% physical training and 25% mental, the third group had 50% physical and mental training, and the last group had only 25% physical training but 75% mental training!
The group which spent most time visualizing than having physical training won the most medals! This was why they had an edge over other athletes because they started visualizing themselves winning their respective sport.
Take a look at the man behind the world’s largest and well-known fast food chain. Today McDonald’s can be found anywhere around the world from America to Europe to Asia. This was because the man behind McDonald’s had a clear vision, he wanted McDonald’s to grow while he envisioned his fast food chain all over the world!
Another amazing story is about a man who went against everybody’s beliefs.
Everybody said that running one mile in less than 4 minutes was impossible, until one man decided to go against their beliefs. This person was Roger Bannister. He crossed the finished line for the 1 mile run in under 4 minutes. Prior to this many could hardly break that record. Most say that it was an impossible feat. But when Roger Bannister ran the four minute mile, everyone suddenly believed they could, and since then many have broken the record.
After setting goals it is a matter of visualizing yourself succeeding. Visualizing the results is only half of the process; you have to visualize yourself taking action until you get the results! When you set your mind to it, you make things clearer because you will know what actions to take to achieve your goal. Visualizing yourself achieving outcomes does not mean you will magically obtain your desired results.
It helps you focus your mind on what you are supposed to do. When you visualized yourself losing weight, you could have been thinking in your mind of the appropriate steps you will be taking to achieve your goal.
Let’s take an example of setting goals to lose weight, when you start eating that irresistible bar of chocolate, or that delicious pack of potato chips, you will find yourself being constantly reminded automatically that this is only slowing you down from achieving your aim. This is because your actions are not in line with what you envisioned.
Your Strength and Weaknesses
Setting goals is not enough, because the biggest problem will be your bad habits. After setting goals, you need to eliminate your weaknesses and use your strengths to your advantage!
Let me give you examples of this, my weaknesses are procrastination and laziness, if I do not deal with them, I will never achieve any goals because I would just keep delaying the tasks. When I decided to deal with my 2 weaknesses, I found myself achieving the goals I set.
You need to do the same too, what are your weaknesses? Do you have low self-esteem? Or do you have the same problems as me? Identify your weaknesses and avoid them at all costs.
Do not forget to bank on your strengths at the same time! Are you creative and hardworking? Use those strengths to help you speed up your completion of tasks.
Your mental contradictions are also known as cognitive dissonance. This simply means that when you think of your goals or aims, and some negative things result, in which might derail you from your initial plan.
In these times, remove these negative thoughts immediately! With a strong plan and superb strategy you will make adjustments quickly when things don’t go your way. You will find yourself adjusting with the flux of time. In short, when anything doesn’t go the way you had envisioned, try not to complain.
If any negative thoughts come across your desired path, remove these mental contradictions. The reason why it is so important to do this is because it will only muddle your thoughts and make you less energetic!
Dissatisfactions or displeasure will slow you down in completing your tasks.
Mental contradictions can come from you! You need to understand what drives you forward and what stops you from moving on. Emotions drive us to achieve things.
But there are times where our emotions contradict each other. I’ll use smoking as an example, some people want to stop smoking, they feel that it is unhealthy and a waste of money.
But they also feel that pleasure they will receive when they smoke. Noticing what drives you to avoid or achieve your goals are important.
Complete this simple exercise
1. Take a pen now and jot down 5 factors which drive you towards achieving one of your goals.
Goal: Stop smoking
Example of positive mental driver: Concern about the side effects of smoking etc
2. Now jot down 5 mental drivers you can identify that stops you from achieving one of your goals.
Goal: Stop smoking
Example of negative mental driver: Pleasure received from smoking etc
Take 10 minutes to write down your 5 mental drivers.
How is this going to help you? You now know what drives you towards achieving your goals and what causes you to drift further away from your goals. After completing this exercise, identify how you can eliminate your negative mental drivers and instill more positive mental drivers to achieve your goal. Write in DETAIL what steps you will take to eliminate the negative mental drivers.
Ask yourself do you need help to avoid your negative mental driver? The example above was smoking. This negative mental driver may be harder to eliminate because it is an addiction. So how do you deal with it? Write down the specific steps you will take. Maybe you could stop buying new cigarettes. Get help from professionals, doctors to eliminate your urge to smoke.
For your positive mental drivers, make sure you remind yourself constantly why you want to achieve that goal. Stick it in your car, or your workplace. Just make sure that is really what drives you to achieve your goal!
By knowing these three important aspects of achieving your goals you will know how to formulate a better strategy of implementing your tasks!
The Twin Powers of Self discipline and Persistence
Setting goals are important, but you need self discipline and persistence to achieve them!
Self discipline is the key to keep pushing yourself. Most people have the ability to get what they want, they work hard, but some slack off half way through the process. People tend to take action when the matter is urgent, you should be discipline enough to follow through your plan.
Now let’s do a simple exercise. Can you think of a situation where you completed the project or task just before the deadline because it was a ‘must’? Think of situations where you procrastinated and eventually got it done. Was it paying those bills? Was it work at school that you had to get it done?
The point of this exercise is let you know that we tend to complete projects on time whether given 3 months or 3 weeks. No matter how unrealistic the situation may be, when it is a ‘must’ to achieve something, we will eventually find the answer to the problem. Think of a life and death situation, if someone points a knife at your throat and tell you to do something, will you do it? This situation becomes a ‘must’ do.
So what must you do to achieve your goals? When setting goals, you should make it a ‘must do’!
When it becomes a ‘must’ you will find ways to achieve them! Do you have great plans and ideas on how you can achieve your goals? Great! The last thing you need to do is to master yourself. Keep yourself motivated to achieve your goals!