It’s not about technique!
When YOU set goals, what happens?
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.
What is Goal Setting?
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.
The Importance of Visualising Your Outcome
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.”Carl jung
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:-
- Write the book;
- Edit the book;
- Design the cover, illustrations, & internal layout;
- Organise printing, ISBN, etc.
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.
Using Physical Prompts to Support Your Unconscious Mind
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.
Here’s a Quick Exercise…
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.
- First set a goal for this week: maybe the next stage of a big project;
- Shut your eyes and visualise that project or stage completed – what’s the last step that when completed you know you can check it off? Get a really clear picture of that final step.
- Now break that into smaller tasks or milestones. They will be among the smaller tasks you will do each day.
- Now let’s get back to today: think of your very next task;
- Shut your eyes and visualise that task completed – what’s the last step that when completed you know you can check it off? Get a really clear picture.
- Now open your eyes and get to work. Pay attention to how your focus changes and how many more things you actually complete.