They say that visualization is the most powerful goal setting tool that has ever been given to us. Yet we almost never use it. Before I tell you about the 6 Steps to setting razor-sharp, polished, shiny goals, let’s take a step back and do a 2-minute visualization. This simple exercise will help you understand what your goals should “feel” and “look” like.
It has been proven that the crystal clear goals we can picture easily in our mind, are much more powerful and much easier to achieve. They stand a higher chance of being followed through and bring much quicker results. And the best thing about visualization is that it does not require hard work or hours of practice. It can be done by anyone, anywhere, at any time.
For example, right now is a great opportunity to sharpen your visualization skills.
I want you to take a deep breath, let go of any thoughts and picture a bowl of freshly-cut lemons with shiny green leaves still attached to the stub. You reach out and select the biggest ripe yellow lemon. You feel the weight of the lemon in your hand…, you slide your fingers over the smooth waxy skin… feel the dimpled texture… You lift the lemon to your face and breathe in that lemony smell… and then you slice the lemon open. As the bright yellow flesh is exposed you see the juice run out… a lovely lemony citrus aroma fills the room. You cut a slice and put it in your mouth. You bite down on it …. the juice runs over your tongue… your mouth fills with the taste of lemon juice…
Have you managed to visualize it clearly? If yes, your mouth is probably watering right now.
This is the power of visualization. It is not just about imagining things. Your thoughts actually provoke very real physical response in your body.
Similar, your goals should make you feel very real, positive emotions. Then they become truly powerful, inspiring and impactful.
Unfortunately, most of the time when people set goals, they state them in a very abstract way that does not evoke any pictures in their mind. This is why we later struggle to stick with them. This is why we cannot keep our motivation up. This is why we get easily distracted by less important things.
If it sounds like a problem you have faced in the past, make sure that you follow these 6 easy steps to setting goals.
6 Sizable Steps to Setting Razor-Sharp Goals
Take an index card and write down a goal that you would like to achieve. Don’t worry about making it sound right or about being specific. We will do this later. For now any goal will do. It can be “getting in shape” or “make more money.” What’s important is your desire to achieve it.
Visualize what “getting in shape” or “having more money” means to you. For example, when I think about “lots of money” I imagine a wooden box on top of my fridge. When I open it, there are $5000 laying there in $20, $50 and $100 bills. This box never gets empty, no matter how much money I take out of it. Similar, when you picture the “getting in shape” goal, you may think of fitting into size 6 pants and easily closing the zipper, without having to hold your stomach in.
Turn your visualization into a statement. For example, “I want to fit into size 6 clothes and lose 20 pounds by giving up hi-calories snacks and doing sport activities such as biking, swimming, jogging at least 3 times a week.” This is the part where you figure out a concrete action plan or the number of steps that you need to take in order to receive what you want.
Add numbers to your goal or your action steps to make them measurable. For instance, “Swimming for 40 minutes 3 times a week.” This step makes it easier to track your progress and hold yourself accountable. Just make sure that you take into consideration external factors and are realistic about your abilities and level of motivation. “Losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks” is not only unrealistic, but dangerous for your health. Your goals should stretch your comfort zone slightly, not overwhelm or de-motivate you.
Attach a deadline to your goals. “By April, 2013 I will fit into size 6 clothes and lose 20 pounds by substituting hi-calorie snacks with fruit, drinking a 2l bottle of water a day, visualizing myself achieving my goal daily and doing sports activity at least 3 times a week”. The deadline creates a sense of urgency and makes it harder for you to procrastinate.
Write a final version of your goal and make sure that you failure-proof yourself by using other techniques that will allow you to stay on track.
• If you find yourself procrastinating you can use one of these super-powerful techniques to beat procrastination.
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• If your work environment is full of distractions and interruptions, check out these 20 ridiculously easy ways to improve your focus and concentration.
• If you have a habit of leaving tasks incomplete and feel that sometimes you lack consistency, you will benefit from reading and applying quick tips.