Are Your Goals Lip Service or Do You Smile at the Thought?

We hear about goals, setting goals, working towards goals. But is this truly enough? Why aren’t more people reaching their goals? Can it be the goals themselves are not exciting enough to take action? This year I have decided I am going to take a new tact with goal setting when meeting with clients. For example, everyone eventually wants to “retire and not run out of money.” That’s a goal, but it’s also a necessity.

How does this sound instead? “When I retire I want to see the world and fly first class on every trip I take abroad.”  Think of flying first class– free bags, bin space, free drinks and specially prepared food by gourmet chefs, lots of legroom, being treated well and arriving refreshed instead of trashed to the destination is pretty motivating isn’t it?  Do you feel the difference between “having enough money” vs. what that money would really mean—being able to afford first class?

Think about a goal that would get you truly excited—that the mere thought of it literally takes your breath away and makes you pause and smile. What would instantly take you to your “happy place” by the mere thought of what it would be like to have done something? It could be having something extraordinary, losing weight, paying off a credit card, flying first class on your next vacation, anything that you could possibly want or do. Give yourself permission to dream.

Write that goal down. A goal without a plan is a wish. What steps can you start to take today to make it happen? Maybe fund a special savings account from each paycheck and call it “future first class fund.” Is it a dream car you want? Put a picture of it where you can see it each day. How much does it cost? Can you lease it for less money?  Your dream goal can be anything you want it to be that is important to you.

Now that you have a true, compelling goal, your mind will begin to seek answers and solutions. Think of the color and make of your car. Do you notice how many people are driving your same car? You don’t notice other cars, but you will notice when someone is driving the same car you have. This is called the Baader Meinhof Phenomenon. Your mind will be selective as to what you see based on your experience.

You must see your goal, be able to touch it, feel it, experience it even if it hasn’t happened. Go to the car dealer and sit in your dream car. Next time you get on a plane, imagine yourself sitting in the front with a drink in your hand and relaxing. If you want a nice handbag, go to the store and ask the sales person to show it to you. Look at yourself in the mirror with it. You may not be able to get your dream goal today, but your brain will now begin to be selective in seeking creative solutions to make it happen.

Don’t let another year go by without taking some action on what you truly want in life.

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