“Goals in writing are dreams with deadlines.” Brian Tracy
All of us have grand desires or small wishes. What separates a few from the many is the fact these few have goals, to the attainment of which they are striving. This makes this selected group successful, and the other not. Even though a definition of success may vary from one person to another, I would agree with Earl Nightingale: “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.”
Tons of personal development books have been written on the importance of setting goals in making the Law of Attraction work and materializing in our lives the very things we desire. I presume you agree with this and have set yourself on the road to success. My idea today is to share with you how to make these goals more powerful.
There are two major reasons behind putting your goals on paper. Firstly, writing clears your mind, helps you analyze things better, and makes you think in more precise terms. So, actually writing goals helps you make them more exact. Secondly, the act of writing your goals helps them penetrate in your conscious and then subconscious minds, and from their guide your actions towards the fulfillment of them.
The goals you set should be SSMAART. You have all heard of the SMART acronym that stands for many things, depending on your interpretation, but in my opinion the goals shouldn’t be just SMART, but SSMAART! Here is what I mean.
Specific. State exactly what you want to achieve. “By the end of this year I am the founder and the president of Our City Personal Development Club that has a mission of helping people reach their highest potential.”
Stretch. It is also my firm belief that goals should challenge you, otherwise you are fooling yourself. The goal described above may stretch you, if you have never founded or presided over any club. If I put as my goal to make a bungee jump from 50 m cliff, it’s a specific one, but it’s not that challenging since I’ve done this several times. However, to jump from 100 meters bridge would really stretch me.
Measurable. If one of your goals is to improve academically, write exactly what GPA you plan to have. So not just “become better in my studies, especially in that Calculus course I had to retake,” but “I have successfully passed the Calculus course with grade B, and my cumulative GPA is 3.3 by the end of my sophomore year.”
Aligned. That goal has to be aligned with your inner world and Overriding Purpose. So, if your major calling in life is to be a successful psychologist working in academics, it’d be a non-aligned goal to become Olympics medalist in swimming in parallel. It’s not that it’s not possible. But singleness of purpose will move you faster on the ladder of achievement. In the meantime, if you set a goal to participate in the swimming marathon of 20 km, you are bound to succeed if you spend 1 hour per day swimming – every day, and 2-3 hours per day on the weekends.
Ambitious.The goal should set an ambition inside you. A desire to achieve. A great desire to achieve! An enormous desire to achieve!!
Rocking. “Most people fail in life because they major in minor things,” as Anthony Robbins eloquently said. So dream big. Be daring! Make your dreams excite and motivate you and rock your inner world. Be brave in your desires! See, maybe you want to have a master’s degree in rocket science by the age of 30, and that’s a rocking goal for you. Or maybe for you it’s more daring to have Ph.D. in sociology by that time. As Joe Vitale said “A goal should scare you a little, and excite you a lot.”
Time-bound. Any goal has to be definite in timing also. Since everything is possible with time, you need to define what the period limit is. Presumably, you want things to happen in this life. It’s the same logic as behind time limit on exams. If you were left to solve tests indefinitely, you could solve any test that could be invented. So the goal has to be expressed with a clear expectation of the time in your life when it happens.
In order for your subconscious to take the goals “wholeheartedly”, they have to be in the first person present tense. The statement of goals as something that has already happened or is happening makes them more powerful, and stimulates the process of auto-suggestion more forcefully.
It is even more important to visualize your goals then just read them. Visualization is one of the finest products of the mind, and the mind, as we know, is the locomotive of bringing your thoughts to reality. The goal is half- achieved once you get the clear mental image of it. So if you have a goal list of the Overriding Purpose + 1 goal for each of the main fields (the fields of life as described by Brian Tracy, for example), it could look something like this:
Overriding Purpose: I am the most virtuosic piano player in the world by December 2027 (and you imagine how easily and nonchalantly you play Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata, while the 10,000 people in the audience look at you with sincere admiration).
Family & Personal: I am happily married to a smart and beautiful girl who shares my passion for music and we have 2 healthy and happy children, a boy and a girl, by end of 2025 (be sure to imagine, for example, the wedding in which you see exactly how your suit looks like and what hairstyle your future wife has; what are the songs being played on this mega-party, and how the champagne tastes; as well as flashing several years into the future, you can see the little sweet clones of you and your wife hopping around your house and calling you “Daddy, daddy, I want a candy.” )
Business & Career: I earn 5,000 EUR per month 2 years after graduating from the university, by the end of 2017. I earn 50,000 EUR per month by the end of 2027. (See in your head your bank account slip with these amounts, or in cash — if you can — or in check).
Self-Development:I am fluent in French by end of 2017 and it helps me greatly when I travel with my concerts around the world. (While reading this you can hear yourself chanting “Bonjour, madame. Je suit un grand pianiste.”), and you can smell the scent of your favorite perfume.
Health & Energy Level: By the end of this year I have acquired a habit of jogging 4 km in the morning, at least 3 times per week, that makes me feel positive and energetic the whole day. (And you see how happy you are because of keeping your body in great physical condition.)
When you visualize your goals as already attained, be sure that the projection in your mind is 5-D, as much as possible, that is touching upon all the 5 senses. For example, when thinking about your own house on the seaside, you clearly see the picture of a two-floor ten-room mansion at the forest near the beach, you hear the voices of your kids playing on the sand and clearly taste the flavor of freshly made mojito that you and your spouse are drinking while watching them with love and affection; feel the warm breeze gently blowing over your face and under your T-shirt, and smell the air of the sea and the forest at the dusk.
Anthony Robbins also said: “People are not lazy; they simply have impotent goals… that is… goals that do not inspire them.” So, make your goals sexy and magnetic. The goals you have should be such that when you’re going through the list with them, they put a feeling of exhilaration in your heart and a wide smile on your face. Every time you imagine yourself in the attainment of these goals, you feel more powerful and joyful.
Be creative in designing your life SSMAART goals. As Napoleon Hill put it, “Do not be afraid of new ideas! They may mean to you the difference between success and failure.”
So write your goals and achieve them.