It’s not about technique!
It’s not about technique!
If you said, “Not much,” you’re in good company and you probably don’t think goals have played much of a role in your success.
I’m not going to talk about the process of setting goals here, instead I’m going to talk about how you can use your unconscious mind to keep you on track and help you achieve your goals. more easily and effectively
I talk to a lot of people who say, “Goal setting doesn’t work for me, Chandell, but I still get plenty done.” Usually, that’s true, but then when we start to talk it’s clear that while they may not have followed a formal goal-setting process, the ones who are kicking goals and shaping their lives have a vision of how they want things to be, and have made significant decisions about what they want to be, do, or have and then set out to act in ways that would lead to that outcome. That’s goal setting!
But here’s the thing… Like most outcomes there are faster and slower ways of getting from A to B. I always like to find the fastest, best, and easiest way to achieve my outcomes and what follows is an outline of a goal-setting method that ticks all those boxes for myself and my clients.
Goal setting is all about deciding what you want, why you want it, and what achieving that thing will do for you. Whether you do this process formally or informally it is behind all your accomplishments.
When you decide that you do (or do not) want something, your unconscious mind sets to work behind the scenes to turn that decision into a self-fulfilling prophecy and the clearer and stronger your vision of the outcome is, the more effectively your unconscious mind can do this.
Once you’ve set your goals … and yes, choosing not to achieve anything is also a goal … your conscious mind sets to work to make those goals come to fruition.
Have you noticed how much less distractible you are when you have an important or appealing project to work on? You may not have written down all the steps you need to take, but your mind is creating momentum without any overt effort on your part. You might wake up in the morning with a new idea, or find that it comes to you while you’re taking a walk, then, when you sit down to work on it everything falls into place.
That’s because your unconscious mind is propelling you towards that goal. Thus, even when your conscious mind is toying with the idea of watching TV or playing another level of your favourite video game your unconscious mind keeps offering you the choice to act differently.
One of the things that often stops people from reaching their goals is the amount of willpower and deliberate effort it takes to stay focused. When you harness your unconscious mind and give it clear instructions about what you are trying to achieve then you take that pressure off your conscious mind. This frees up your energy to actually do the work required to reach that goal, so it’s a really powerful tool for achieving goals.
If you really can’t visualise yourself achieving your goal, then you probably should ask whether you can achieve it. The clear picture mental of yourself achieving your goal gives your unconscious mind all the momentum it needs to carry you forward to success.
In my experience, people who can’t get a clear picture of themselves achieving the goal often have unconscious reservations about their ability to do so. That’s important information, because once you realise what is happening inside your head, you can change your beliefs and your behaviours.
“That which was unconscious, when made conscious ceases to exist.”
The limiting beliefs and negative emotions that hinder our goal-setting can only be removed when we become aware of them. Often they are hidden beneath years of habit and thinking patterns that are so engrained that we don’t even notice the little voice that pops up and says…”Ooh, you’re not good at that!” or, “That’s risky!” or… “If you do that, you’ll lose the love of your life!” But, we hear it… and it rules our behaviour without our noticing.
However, you have a choice…
Once you’ve given your unconscious mind a vivid picture of where you want to be, you can work through the milestones you need to achieve those goals and your unconscious mind will support you through all the decisions and action you need to make along the way instead of sabotaging your intentions by tempting you to indulge in “just one more episode of “Big Bang Theory”.
When I was writing my book, “Confident Closing: sales secrets that grew a business by 400% in six month and how they can work for you,” my final goal was to hold that book in my hand and be able to say, “I’ve done it!” Early in the process I created a mock-up of the cover so that I could focus my unconscious mind on what the finished product would look like. Although many things change in the process (including the cover and title) while I was writing it I had a picture in my mind of me holding the finished book.
Along the way there were many milestones:-
At every stage, I had a clear picture in my mind, and I was feeding that in the background to my unconscious mind so that I stayed focused and kept moving forward. I still had to make decisions, and put in the effort, but my unconscious mind kept prodding me into action.
When you program your unconscious mind properly it does most of the work, but you can give it some help.
This is where physical prompts like lists, posters, vision boards, and white boards come in. My computer desktop, iPad, and phone usually contain visual prompts to keep my primary goals top of mind. That way, every time I open a device it focuses my intentions both consciously and unconsciously on the goals I’m working towards rather than distracting me.
Do you have a clear visualisation of what you want to accomplish today and this week? Here’s how to harness the power of your unconscious mind to achieve it more easily.
but maybe you’re choosing to live as though you were even less!
Our words shape our beliefs, and our beliefs affect our behaviours. If you believe that you are:
… then that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy in terms of how you see yourself, and how you project yourself to others. The words you use to describe yourself reinforce that projection every time you speak them.
It’s a chicken and egg relationship. Your beliefs affect your outcomes and your outcomes influence your beliefs and you can either let yourself get trapped in that cycle or you can choose to step out of the cycle and evolve into your best self.
You are in the process of becoming what you aspire to be and that raises two questions:
This is not about creating discontent and dissatisfaction with your life per se. It’s about challenging yourself to lift your vision and live into your potential rather than being trapped by your current circumstances and beliefs. It’s about the reality that whatever you think you are in this moment, you are more than that.
You’ve heard the stories about the amazing feats of endurance, strength, and heroism people perform in moments of urgency. These are all feats that they would never have imagined themselves capable of, but which emerged under pressure. Equally inspiring are the parents and carers who watch the suffering of a child and tirelessly minister to their needs beyond the point of physical or emotional endurance. If asked in advance, most of them would say, “I could never do that.” Yet they do because in the moment they expand their image of themselves.
You don’t have to wait for a crisis to initiate this process of growth, you simply have to make the decision that you are ready to change. My mum demonstrated this possibility thinking once she realised how her language and beliefs were keeping her trapped in her reality.
She used to frame her defeat in words like, “I worked so hard, and look at what I’ve ended up with! I’m just no good with [whatever the specific area of defeat might be].”
Once she realised what she was doing to herself she changed both her words and her thinking to reflect the possibilities in her life.
Mum had shut off the idea that she could be good at numbers and make enough money to do more than pay the bills in primary school and, of course, money has to do with numbers. Every time she talked to herself she cemented the belief that she “just wasn’t good with numbers.” That belief system was cemented into her behaviour and overflowed into her business and finances.
Maybe for you it isn’t numbers and money, but I’d be willing to bet that you have some beliefs about yourself that are stopping you from taking the actions needed to be the person you want to be and do the things you want to do. In my NLP Master Practitioner trainings we do an exercise based on the principle of “re-identification”. It’s a transformative exercise that helps students think about the:
All the students who fully engage in this process notice changes almost immediately in their choices and behaviours which positively affect their results.
If you’ve decided that you’re not good at something or that you have limitations that keep you from achieving your goals, then that decision becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. At the same time, when you change those beliefs you open up new opportunities and outcomes.
By opening yourself up to the possibility that you could do or be something and change the language you use around that possibility you can make choices that will turn that possibility into living truth. The biggest difference between the prosperous business owner (successful parent, author, speaker, athlete, …) and the wannabe is not talent or luck. It’s the choices they made along the way about how they behaved and who they were.
Take a moment to think about WHO you want to be, WHAT you want to have, and HOW you want to behave then CHOOSE the words you use to describe this, words that focus on your aspirations, so that you are open to new possibilities.
My Mum worked hard to change the language she used from the constraint-focus of: “I’ll never be…” to the possibility-focused “I’m in the process of becoming…” or “I’m stepping into…” Using this principle, she would ‘act as if’ she were already the person she wanted to become.
The words you use when you speak to yourself matter as much as, or even more than, the words you use when you speak to other people because you spend much more time speaking to yourself than you do to others. Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) acknowledges the reality of the connection between the wiring of our brain and the language that shapes that wiring.
No matter who you think you are, you are far more than you think… so let the words you use to describe the person you are reflect the truth that you are constantly becoming more and opening up new horizons of being and doing.
What if this were the last year of your life – if you knew that on December 31st 2019 your life would end…
I believe that S.M.A.R.T. Goals are really important, but sometimes they feel a bit clinical. So I think the ‘Live As Though This Was The Last Year of Your Life’ idea adds a whole new sense of urgency to the goal-setting process, although some people find it very confronting.
There are a lot of posts about ‘legacy work’ and the idea of thinking ahead to what you want people to say at your funeral which I think help put this life into perspective, but they can also be hard to get your head around, so I came up with this idea of setting 12 month goals, using the:
This has nothing to do with fighting illness, or anticipating death, and everything to do with creating an ambitiously realistic plan for next year.
If you start today, you have more than a month to get your goals down on paper before the end of this year, so you can have them staring you in the face on January 1st and every day that follows.
Start by thinking about the various aspects of your life:
For each area of your life think of the single outcome you most desire – something that can be achieved in just 12 months if you focus on it.
Now write it as a S.M.A.R.T. Goal –
New Year is the time when I like to look at the totality of my life for the year to come and set a single goal in each area. Once I have the big picture I’ll look at milestones and actions for each.
Just because you are setting a 12 month goal doesn’t mean that your goal will be small – it just means that it won’t involve going from 0 to a Nobel Prize in one year. On the other hand, 365 days to overnight success is quite achievable … if you work hard and focus on taking appropriate actions.
What’s the Point?
The point is that if you aim at nothing you’ll hit it … every single time!
If you want your life to count … if you don’t want to come to the end of your days and say, ‘Is this all there was and all I did?’ then you need to set some goals. It doesn’t matter whether your 12 month goal is to get married, make a million dollars, build a log cabin, or stop the whaling industry: if you only had these 12 months to live, what would you do to bring your goal closer to realisation?
Once you’ve set your goals in each of these areas you need to actively visualise them and plant them in your timeline. I talked about this in “Taking S.M.A.R.T. Goals One Step Further” and in my Confident Closing Workshops we demonstrate how to plant these goals in your timeline so that your unconscious mind guides you very powerfully in the direction you have chosen. If you haven’t heard of this before you can sign up for our next Confident Closing Workshop which will be held in January.
This is a truly powerful process because it takes the burden off your will. You are still responsible for your daily actions, but your unconscious mind helps you get there once you have told it where it is going.
Why not make 2019 the year you make deliberate progress in your chosen direction by living as though it were the last year of your life?
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Your unconscious mind is very powerful and you can use it help you achieve your goals if you follow a few simple steps. Let’s start by looking at some of the key functions of your unconscious mind.
Your unconscious mind is responsible for all your behaviour, all your learning, and all the information that goes into your brain – it is the control centre of your entire body. If your unconscious mind is not doing it’s job your life suddenly gets much harder – you have to think about how to balance yourself, you have to consciously decide how many times your heart will beat in a minute, and pay attention to how often you need to breath in and out to be comfortable and to blink to keep your eyes lubricated.
All of this would take a lot of effort and you would be so busy making all these decisions moment by moment that you wouldn’t have any energy to spare for higher-level thinking, but your unconscious takes care of it for you and it ‘just happens!
Imagine what would happen if we could harness the power of our unconscious mind to achieve our goals, instead of just take care of core functions. If you thought about the 9 key functions above, you might notice that numbers 3, 4, and 5 all deal with things we can influence if we choose.
We can give our unconscious minds positive commands – for example, “Earn $10,000 per month.” “Weigh 60kg”. These are much more powerful and effective than, “Lose weight.” or “Don’t be poor.” or “Eat less.” This is also why visualisation is such a powerful tool – your unconscious mind takes the picture you feed it of an end result, and helps you turn it into reality. It receives these pictures as a clear command of something you want to be true.
Because your unconscious mind is a clear and impartial judge it is really important that your thoughts, words, and actions are congruent with your values. Money is often a key area where our desires and values collide because we often have a conflict between what we would like to earn or own, and what we believe we deserve. If you set a goal about your wealth that your conscience tells you is wrong, then you will probably not achieve it. Success in business is another common area of conflict because we are constantly bombarded with stereotypes about ‘evil’ business men.
If we deal with these conflicts and uncover the unconscious beliefs that conflict with our goals our unconscious mind will guide us almost without effort until we achieve those goals. Instead of pulling us away from behaviour that supports our goals it will guide us toward it, so that we are no longer having to discipline ourselves every moment, but rather are willingly taking the necessary actions.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is the study of how your brain processes language and pictures and controls your behaviour, I have found that the insights NLP provides into my unconscious mind has dramatically increased my power to achieve the things I really want in life – from material goods, and opportunities to relationships.
We all have an unconscious mind, and it is a very powerful tool, but most of us let it go to waste. You can harness your unconscious mind and use it to help you achieve your dreams.
“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.” – Jim Rohn
Do you know that it is the unconscious mind that generates habits? Want to find out the ways to train it to install habits that can make you successful in life?
First, you got to build rapport with your unconscious mind. This is because there exists a disassociation between the conscious and the unconscious mind. Treat it kindly like you do a five-year-old child.
Second, know what you want. You have to give your unconscious mind directions for it to follow you (conscious mind).
Your directions have to be clear and specific and must be something positive. The unconscious mind does not process negatives. An example can be: I want to save a thousand dollars every month starting January 2017.
Then, focus on what you want. Be aware of what you want. Have external reminders of your goal in your bedroom and work area. This will train your mind to see instances everyday where you can meet your goal. It could be in a store as you are shopping for a gift for a friend. Your unconscious mind may tell you in a feeling that that reasonably-priced jacket is perfect for your friend instead of a much rather expensive one.
These feelings would be so subtle; you wouldn’t know it to be your unconscious talking to you. And they would point out other areas in your life where you can manifest your goal. It could be by an increased awareness for other income generating activities that come your way.
As you go through your life installing habits of success like saving and investing, your unconscious mind may become your best friend. It will support you to meet your goals and it will attract people and events that are in the direction/congruent with your dominant thoughts. Your dominant thoughts being your unconscious mind geared towards success.
Know more about your unconscious mind and how you can harness its powers in our NLP Training. Look up dates in this website and reserve your slot now.
A few years ago I did some research into ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ and how effective they really are. Most statistics show that roughly 70% of people will have abandoned their ‘resolutions’ by 15th January and what I found was that most of the population think of New Year’s resolutions as something that you need to ‘try’ really hard at.
In considering my research, I realised that many struggling to make those ‘resolutions’ a reality are sabotaging themselves by doing one or more of the following…
So here’s a few things to do to make 2016 the year that you get stuff done, a year that you can look back and say “I achieved…”
In 10 years of coaching at Life Puzzle I have seen many people spend a lot of time dreaming about how the year will be different and yet they are still ‘trying’ to achieve the same outcomes when you talk to them again at the next turn of the calendar year. So please, Instead of ‘trying’ just start ‘doing’ and if you need a little help you may wish to join us at Quest 4 Your Best.
Make those Commitments your Reality and until next time,
Be well and Be Empowered!
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