Archive for Goal Setting
As the New Year comes around, it’s time for you to take a look at your beliefs. I had a great call with one of my mentors (Rich German) yesterday and as he went through the class I realized that so much of what has been holding me back has been my fears – or, more precisely, my thoughts that I could not do something. As he talked, I realized it was all about whatever beliefs I had been harboring deep in the recesses of my mind for all my life. These are thoughts that have been ingrained in me somehow by someone (or a group of someones) throughout my life and mostly during my early years. Parents, teachers, family (in my case it was my brother whom I idolized), clergy, friends and then eventually the media – all contributed to what I think and feel now. I thought to myself “Do I want to be a puppet?” Because that’s what I am being by simply going along and following in the footsteps of what was brainwashed into my heart, mind and soul – no matter how good the intentions were. Of course I don’t want to be a puppet. I want to achieve those things I want to achieve. And with some examination of what my beliefs are, I can remodel my thoughts, feelings and subsequent actions. Remember that a belief is just a thought you’ve been thinking for a long time. Here’s a wonderful quote from Abraham:
A belief is nothing more than a chronic pattern of thought, and you have the ability—if you try even a little bit—to begin a new pattern, to tell a new story, to achieve a different vibration, to change your point of attraction. The Law of Attraction is responding to your vibration, and you can easily change your vibrational point of attraction by visualizing the lifestyle you desire and holding your attention upon those images until you begin to feel relief, which will indicate that a true vibrational shift has occurred.
Excerpted from the book “Money and the Law of Attraction: Learning to Attract Health, Wealth and Happiness”
I invite you to use the next 12 days before the New Year to take a look at your beliefs. Use your future goals/desires to figure them out. What happens when you say “I am making 50% more money than I did last year at this time”? Is there a “but” that comes after that? If so, that is where your limiting beliefs are lying. Use this technique repeatedly to figure out where those limiting thoughts lie and then make a commitment to do something about changing them. Examine your life, take inventory, what is there about your life that will actually contradict those thoughts. I bet you’ll come up with a great list and once you look at the list, you’ll go “what the heck have I been thinking all these years? Look at all I’ve accomplished”. You see, we do NOT take inventory enough. We live in the moment and do not use our experience or our past to propel us forward. Or, if we do look at the past, we’ll be looking at the negative aspects because that’s the mood we’re in at the time. Try to look at your life objectively and pick out the great things that you’ve done, received or accomplished in your life. Be grateful for the joy you have. Start this process by saying your “gratitudes” – I am thankful for….
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If you had one goal, and that was to feel good, you would never again need to hear another word from anyone. You would live successfully and happily and in a way of fulfilling your life’s purpose ever after.
Excerpted from the workshop in Napa, CA on Thursday, February 27th, 1997 # 639
It lets us know that the ultimate goal in life is to be happy and find joy. That’s the goal we should all be pursuing. And, I guess, in a sense we all are doing that by having other goals because we think that achieving those “other” goals will make us happy. But do they really? I remember my very first experience with goals and how they don’t always lead to joy. I had wanted to be a doctor since I was 4 years old. I persevered and persevered and finally made it. But you know what? On graduation day I felt more empty than I ever have in my entire life. I had no idea what was next. My life had been focused on “becoming” a doctor and now that I had “become” one, now what? I felt like that very old song – “is that all there is?” I had never even thought beyond that day and so, of course, I was empty. I do not ever want to have that feeling again.
So, as you look toward the upcoming New Year, ask yourself what will make you happy. And then go a step further and ask what will you want after that to continue to make you happy.
More about this and an upcoming webinar in the next few days.
If so, the answer to your blues may be very simple. It’s something I’ve only recently discovered (and chronicled with you).
Take a look at where you were a year ago (or even 6 months ago) in relation to the same situation or event. I think you’ll be surprised.
You see, not only does instant gratification work in the present tense and we “want it now” but it also prevents us from looking back very far – sometimes we don’t even look to last week.
You frequently hear the phrase “history repeats itself”. But I bet that if you start paying attention to the past in light of what you want to alter, your history will NOT repeat itself unless you choose for it to.
This is the essence of my “Activate Your Life’s GPS” system. There is so much attention on goals that it’s no wonder people get lost and don’t achieve them. You have to have a specific destination (many people are not specific enough in their goals and so they get lost in the nebulousness of them) – but you also have to know where you are to start with. And if you don’t know that, then, just like your car’s GPS, you can’t even get started because you don’t know how to navigate to the destination because you don’t have a beginning point.
And if you don’t look at your own history and where you were a few months (or a year) ago, then you really still don’t know where you are. I have a pet peeve in medicine. Interns and medical students would always tell me that a patient’s “vital signs are stable” but then when I asked what they were, they would only give me one set of numbers. They didn’t understand my look of consternation nor did they understand when I asked how they could then tell that they were stable. You see, in order for something to be “stable” you have to know that it hasn’t changed. And if you only have one set of values, then you don’t know that it hasn’t changed. Same goes for your life. If you don’t know where you were a year ago, how do you know where you are right now. Our perceptions get warped by what’s immediately around us instead of putting everything in perspective.
Think about this, open your emails and take advantage of the no cost coaching sessions I’m offering……
This is just one of the photos online (courtesy of CNN.com) of people standing in line yesterday (Black Friday). It amazes me what people will go through “for a bargain”. What’s your definition of a bargain, by the way?
What is it that drives you? That is a better question for you to ponder. I know why I trained so hard for the New York City Marathon and put myself through that entire year of hard work. That knowledge/awareness is extremely important in keeping you motivated toward your goal.
What do you think these folks’ motivation was? What was your motivation if this was you standing in line? What is propelling you to do something? How strong is that thought or feeling?
Abraham makes a distinction between “motivation” and “inspiration” and I like it. Essentially “motivation” is pushing someone toward something whereas “inspiration” comes from within and it’s a very positive desire to achieve something. Think about it. I had to listen to this several times before it made sense to me but it finally made sense to me.
A motivational speaker tries to push someone into doing something where an inspirational speaker simply tells a story and the essence of that story is what makes you want to go forth and accomplish something. I’m not sure that the actual words really matter as much as the internal/external concept. “Motivation” to me comes from without and “Inspiration” comes from within.
So, as you start to prepare for the New Year, look toward your inner self to find what goals to work toward. Now is the time to start examining what it is you feel inspired to change. If you are going to make a change it has to come from within and be something YOU want, not something imposed on you by others – I know that when I was younger I “tried” to stop smoking many times for my mom or for others. It wasn’t until I woke up one morning and said “I’m tired of this. I want to stop smoking now”. And I did. And guess what, it wasn’t tough at all. I developed a plan (see a pattern developing here) ahead of time, set a date to start and then I simply followed the plan. I succeeded on my first attempt when I finally decided to do it for myself.
Start examining your inner thoughts and feelings this coming month. Find out what you want to do next year. Write down these thoughts and feelings. Keep them to yourself. Do NOT share with anyone. As we’ve talked about so many times, that can potentially backfire for you. Your loved ones may mean well but they can sabotage your efforts before you even begin. Just start with this simple step right now.
Every day when I come in I stop and look at my Cactus Patch – but some days I forget or some days (even weeks) I don’t come in through the front door. The next time I do, though, I see how big my babies have gotten and then there’s another little cactus bud. I am not sure why but I am fascinated by this. Perhaps because it’s slow compared to flowers which are fast bloomers and then in a day or two they are gone. The Cactus takes its time and buds off, then slowly grows into another “arm” (you can tell I don’t know much about these things being a city gal all my life so I invent my own terms).
Next thing you know, though, the Cactus plant has grown and grown and grown and is bending this way and that.
So what the heck does this have to with either metaphysics or with life?
Change happens slowly in our lives. If we expect to see obvious evidence of major change over night, we’ll continually be disappointed.
But If we step back, continue to move along our planned path, and then in a couple of weeks or, preferably, months look back at how far we’ve come, we’ll be surprised AND amazed. As with my race the other day, there’s absolutely NO WAY I would have predicted taking 12 minutes off a short distance like 3 miles in just a year. I’ve never done that before. And you know what? It was never my plan to do that either. But I worked my other plan and this was a very nice and rewarding side benefit of it. But if I had been looking at my times every single day, I would NOT have seen so much of a change and might even have become disappointed.
Like the Cactus we have to step back and view our lives and what’s happened periodically, not continually. Then, and only then will we be able to see that there’s been significant change and also evaluate what it is and what it means. Then, we can do something further about it – new goals sprout up just as the Cactus will grow a new bud because it has the foundation and the nutrients to feed that new bud – my goals have been rejuvenated because of that one little race I was doing just to support the cause (Epilepsy Foundation), not to see how good I could do. I was blown away and stimulated, enthused, invigorated, etc. As Abraham says “everything is always working out for me”. And I proved it. After my tremendous disappointment this month I wasn’t sure where I was running-wise – and it had spilled over into my attitude about everything else. I just felt blah. Now I know I can attack the world and climb back up on top and sprout a new bud!
Use Thanksgiving to do some reflection. Take a look at where you were 6 months ago (or you can go for the whole Enchilada as they say and do the whole year). How far have you come? Write it down. Put it in the comments. See what’s happened in your life. Don’t just go blithely along each day like a robot. See your progress and your change. Then do something with that information. Try to figure out what has happened and why there’s been the change. Or, if you think there’s been no change, try to look at that too. Maybe you need a team like I did. Maybe you need a coach like I did. Look at it and be grateful for it all.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone – even those not in the US – know that I am thankful that you are in my life!
Short background. I had not run since about 2001 but had missed it so very much. In September 2011 I started running again. In November 2011 I ran my first 5K in 10 years. I am very slow and always have been but that’s ok.
My goal was to run in the 2012 New York City Marathon (26.2 miles). I paid my entry fee, figured out my plan and diligently began to execute the plan. I was ready. Well, it didn’t happen (but that’s another whole story as you guys know).
Saturday just for fun I ran in the same 5K I did last year. I knocked 12 minutes off my time since last year. For me that is phenomenal.
My take away points from that are that I can succeed in anything by developing a plan. Then all I need to do is diligently execute that plan and I (we) can score big time like I did in my race.
Simply knowing what to do and then doing it with the attitude of knowing it WILL work is something I completely embrace. What about you?
I know that as I was progressing through this plan all I “worried” about was what I had to accomplish that day or in that section. Your life can be like that too. Break it down (I like the phrase “chunk it down” because we actually are creating small chunks) and then go to work on a small chunk. I never imagined I would have taken 12 minutes off my time. That is kind of unheard of even for a slow old person like me! I just went out to see how much I had progressed and I was blown away. Interestingly enough, all the components were the same – same weather, same time, same location at the start, same course etc. The only thing that was different was me!
Have a plan, make it manageable and you can achieve anything! You need a team though. I have had a phenomenal team this past year and attribute the majority of my success to that team – BUT, you know what? It was me out there at 2 a.m. running or running for 6 hours every Sunday in the San Antonio heat, not the team. I followed the plan they helped me lay out. That’s what coaching is all about.
Do you want to knock 12 minutes off your time (the equivalent in whatever life event you’re working toward)? Stay tuned for the upcoming program(s).
Enough for now – back to basking in my glory – for about 10 more minutes and then it’s out the door again…LOL.
And we also mentioned that you had to know where you are NOW in order to figure out how to get where you want to go, right?
Today’s Abraham quote aligns with that perfectly:
In your moving yourself up the Emotional Scale, your business will begin to prosper in new and profound ways! Your business, your relationships, your finances cannot grow beyond your emotional response – nothing can grow beyond your emotional response. Everything matches your Set-point of emotions on every subject that exists.
Excerpted from the workshop in Tampa, FL on Saturday, December 6th, 2003 # 628
That last sentence is so important – “Everything matches your Set-point of emotions on every subject that exists.”
When setting goals (which unfortunately we don’t always connect to our dreams and that’s why they often are not achieved but that’s for another day), we often tend to be so objective about it and look only at the facts. But it’s really what’s invisible and inside of us that’s key – our emotional set-point, our feelings about these goals. You can “wish” for something all you want but if when you “stop” wishing for a few minutes and realize that you have to “wish” because you do NOT HAVE whatever it is you’re “wishing” for, then you’re attracting more of that lack – more absence. And you know what? Often times that’s because that’s where we’re comfortable. Comfortable is a damaging word for sure – it keeps us from growing beyond where we are right now.
Take some time to look at how you FEEL about where you are and how you FEEL about where you want to go. If there is a sensation of discord, then look more closely at the specific emotions behind that discord. Is it fear? If so, fear of what? When we examine our fears we find out so much about where we are and what is keeping us there. Also, when we begin to examine the fears and get specific about them then we can see that whatever is behind them is not really so frightening at all. When you get specific, you can evaluate where you are and what you want to do about that one particular specific thing.
So your action step today is to determine where you are emotionally in regard to your dreams. If it’s “that was a great dream I had but there’s no way I could ever achieve that because I’m too old” or something like that – stop and examine all the parts to that one sentence and see if it’s really true.
Write all these things down too. It’s important to connect the hand and mind to help you analyze and feel them better. Keeping a record will also help you later when you want to change these feelings and emotions or when you want to measure your progress!
I think that your dreams are the beginnings of your goals. The reason they really aren’t goals yet is because they aren’t specific enough and maybe not attainable right now. If you are a couch potato but your dream is to be in the Olympics, that’s not very attainable RIGHT NOW, is it?
But if you take your dreams, make them very specific and then “chunk” them down (meaning break them into chunks) and develop a plan to get there, these individual goals become attainable. Your dreams really are alot of goals put together and visualized as having been accomplished.
Do you know a way to take your dreams and bring them into reality? Or do they just remain dreams – far away and only available when you’re not actually living in the “moment”?
You need a plan. I have a method for you to create your own plan, have a coach and make your dreams come true.
But if you just started with the tip I gave you here, you’ll be so much farther along than you were a few minutes ago.
So go ahead, write down your dreams – don’t be afraid to commit them to writing. You do NOT have to share them with anyone and in fact, I discourage sharing them at this point – many people are well meaning but say things that may cause you to question your dream. You don’t want that right now.
After you’ve written down your dream then go ahead and write down what it would take to get there. Write it in as many steps as necessary. The smaller the steps the better.
Do it now! Get a head start on the New Year (I never understand why we wait til the New Year to make resolutions – we waste so many opportunities the rest of the year).
“You have sole ownership of your vision. And the Universe will give you what you want within your vision. What happens with most people is that they muddy their vision with “reality”. Their vision becomes full of not only what they want but what everybody else thinks about what they want, too. Your work is to clarify and purify your vision so that the vibration that you are offering can then be answered.
Excerpted from the workshop in Boston, MA on Sunday, October 11th, 1998 # 614″
This is what was happening (in part) to me this week. I had a vision – to run this marathon that I had trained for this entire year (actually 13 months) but it just as easily can apply to any other goal that we have (you or me). I resisted what others thought about my goal for the year. I got the usual comments (when I even told anyone about it): “you’re too old, aren’t you?”, “that’s an awful lot of work”, “why on earth would you want to do that? It’s so much work.” and on and on and on. So, mostly I just didn’t tell anyone. Because I knew what I wanted. I did NOT want their opinions to get in my way or to even possibly influence me to change my goal – based on what they were saying or thinking. They were NOT inside of me or my head.
It’s worse for many of you that have family and have ideas about your goals that may not be as supportive as you’d like. You have to live with them and try to figure out how to keep the peace and still accomplish what you want.
Our job (and this is where coaching and a support network comes in) is to keep that vision right there in front of us and NOT let anyone cloud it up (muddy it up). If you’ve thought of this idea, this goal, this vision, then know that it definitely is yours. Do you get excited when you think about it? Do you feel alive when you visualize it? Do you just know that it’s yours to do and have? It really is yours if it generates all that enthusiasm, excitement, even love.
Do NOT let anyone else interfere with what you want, no matter what. You will regret it and you will be unfulfilled. Remember that the Universe gave you this idea because it was yours to do. Do not be concerned if it seems too big or too massive for “little ole you” to accomplish. It came into your mind for a reason and if it came into your mind, then you can do it. Just hold onto that thought. There are many ways to recruit and deploy the necessary resources to accomplish your dream, your vision, your goal – whatever you want to call it. Do not get discouraged before you start. I could have easily given up before I ran a step a year ago. Two years ago this month I could not walk one-tenth of a mile without severe back pain. So how dare I even contemplate trying to run 26.2 miles? I even allowed my vision to be muddied over the Christmas holidays in 2011 when I started to have some back pain and talked to one of my doctors about it and he said I was too old to be putting that much pounding on my back. For several weeks I “listened” to him – I had his words in my head. But fortunately, my desire to run pushed him away and I got back on track. That is bound to happen to us since we live with other people. But the key thing is to continue to hold the vision so that we can get back on track or not deviate forever. It may be that life circumstances get in the way and we have to change our schedules but we should NEVER give up the dream and vision.
This is why we recommend often that you don’t tell people about your goals and dreams. Human nature is to find something inherently wrong in what you’re after, especially if it’s lofty or will make you very happy. People think they are “helping you” when they are pointing out why you shouldn’t do it or how hard it’s going to be. Don’t let them in. That’s the easiest way to keep your vision from being muddied. Or if you have to let them in, tell them the least amount possible and keep it very generic. It’s your goal and dream, not theirs.
Having a coach is one way to ensure that you’ll not be pushed off your desired path by others. The coach is your coach and will support you, not those with the other opinion. A coach will help you get back on track, nudge you to shake off that mud that’s clouding your vision. Someone who is there for you and with you all the time, supporting you in your goals, helping you continue along the path. It is possible to reach your goals on your own but it’s so much easier and faster if you do it with someone.
All I care about is that you continue with your dream, your vision, your goal. Your path is just that – yours! March down it keeping your head up high and always know that you will get there. It may be postponed (as with my marathon) or it may even come earlier than you think. But the point is, it will come!
What are your dreams? Who is your coach?