by Jack Canfield
Are you ready to make 2014 your best year yet?
It’s easy to start the new year full of enthusiasm and optimism. But to maintain your momentum through the year, you need to set powerful, crystal-clear goals.
The first step to getting what you want out of life is to decide exactly what you want.
What do you want to accomplish?
What do you want to experience?
What do you want to acquire?
Who do you want to be?
One of primary reasons most people don’t get what they want is that they aren’t clear about what they want. Others will recognize what they’d like to have, but when they can’t see how it’s possible to get what they want, and they dismiss their desires as foolish and unattainable.
Don’t sabotage yourself this way!
After decades of research into how the human brain works, scientists now know that for our brains to figure out how to get what we want, we must first decide what we want. Once we lock-in our desires, our mind and the universe can step in to help make our dreams a reality.
We start the process by getting clear about what we want. So, what do you want? To create a balanced and successful life, write down a minimum of 3 goals in each of the following 7 areas:
Free Time/Family Time
Making a Difference
If you have more goals than this, don’t limit yourself – write them down! On the other hand, if writing down 21 goals seems like a lot, remember that we can have a mix of long- and short-term goals. For example, in the financial area, you may have a short-term goal of paying off a $5,000 credit card balance, as well as a long-term goal of amassing a net worth of $5 million dollars. You want to keep both goals present in your mind, even though you’ll be working more actively on the short-term goal first.
When setting our goals, it’s important to include a few that will make us stretch and grow to achieve them. These might be learning a new skill or trying something that is uncomfortable and maybe a little frightening, such as public speaking. It also helps to set a breakthrough goal that would represent a quantum leap. Examples of breakthrough goals include publishing a book, starting a business, getting on Oprah, winning a gold medal at the Olympics, or getting elected president of your industry association.
Material goals are important, but the ultimate goal is to become a master at life. In the long run, the greatest benefit we receive from pursuing our dreams is not the outer trappings of fulfilling the dream, but who we become in the process.
The outer symbols of success can all be easily lost. Houses burn down, companies go bankrupt, relationships end, cars get old, bodies age and fame wanes, but who you are, what you have learned, and the new skills you have developed never go away. These are the true prizes of success. Motivational philosopher Jim Rohn advises that “You should set a goal big enough that in the process of achieving it, you become someone worth becoming.”
Turn Your Dreams Into Goals and Objectives
Once you are clear about what you want, write them down and turn each item into a measurable objective. Measurable means measurable in space and time – how much and by when.
For instance, if you were to tell me that you wanted more money, I might pull out a dollar and give it to you. You would probably protest, saying “No, I meant a lot more money, like $20,000!” But there is no way I’d know how you’d define “more money” unless you tell me, right?
Similarly, your boss, your friends, your spouse, your brain, God, and the Universe can’t figure out what you want unless you tell them specifically what it is. What exactly do you want and when do you want it by?
Your Goals Impact Others
As soon as you commit to a big dream and really go after it, your subconscious creative mind will come up with big ideas to make it happen. You’ll start attracting the people, resources, and opportunities you need into your life to make your dream come true. Big dreams not only inspire you, they compel others to want to play big, too.
You’ll also discover that when your dreams include service to others – that is, accomplishing something that contributes to others – it accelerates the accomplishment of that goal. People want to be part of something that contributes and makes a difference.
Work on Your Goals Daily
To keep your subconscious mind focused on what you want, read your list of goals everyday. For an even more powerful approach, close your eyes and focus on each goal and ask yourself, "What is one thing I could do today to move toward the achievement of this goal?" Write down your answers and take those actions.
As the old joke goes, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Steady progress in bite-sized chunks puts even the most audacious goals into reach.
Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul® and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield
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I've come to a place in my life where I believe there are 2 simple questions that can quickly lead me to new insights and guide me to the next right step.
The questions, which have become the mainstay of my personal growth, no matter what's happening to me, within me, or around me, were discovered in my work with Jack Canfield and are always on the tip of my tongue. I never wrote them down ... I know them by heart. Or at least I thought I did.
The problem is I'm human and sometimes, when I'm stressed, overwhelmed, or off track, my brain gets sidetracked and my subconscious mind takes over my life and puts me in thought patterns and cycles that make it difficult to practice what I know works!
This has been one of those weeks. And when I realized that my brain had been derailed and my thoughts were not supporting my ideal life, I seached for the questions to help me get back on track ...
And they were gone! I couldn't, for the life of me, remember them. I had been using them on a daily basis in my own life and in my coaching and training practice for a really long time ... and they were gone.
Hmmmm ... once again, the power of the brain and our subconscious mind to take control and lead us down a less than desirable path became evident.
A week and I couldn't remember those two simple questions. A week of procrastination, lack of productivity and motivation, perhaps a bit of fear about a project I'm working on and some sadness related to a situation with one of the families I'm working with.
Yesterday, I was coaching a young person through a rather challenging and emotional situation. There was frustration, tears and even a few swear words ... and then the questions came. I heard myself asking them slowly, one at a time, while she reflected on her response.
What if it's all perfect just the way it is to support your growth?
And then ...
What opportunity is there in this situation for you to learn and grow?
Just two questions ... so simple yet so powerful ... leading us to our next action. When I ask myself these questions or process them with someone I trust, I am clear about what I need to do next to keep my eye on my goals, clear my blocks and identify the next right action step.
And while she wiped away her tears and searched for her answers, I quickly typed the questions into the notes section of my iPhone so that when I needed to ask myself those questions, my iPhone would take over for the subconscious brain patterns that no longer serve me.
Gotta love our brains, our technology and our opportunity to help each other learn, grow and be our best selves! And, for myself, I appreciate that I can help young people get clear and find their inner magic ... while they help me take full advantage of my technology!
Check out my new live event ... a 3 day retreat intensive.
This is my favorite event to facilitate!!! I love watching people connect to their inner magic and discover their next steps to creating the life of their dreams!
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