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9 Uncommon Steps that are Key to Your Goal Setting Success

9 Uncommon Steps that are Key to Your Goal Setting Success

“Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.”—Les Brown

Everyone talks about goal setting, yet why are most goals never accomplished?

There are a few things that people aren’t talking about when it comes to goal setting. These are the keys that will be paramount to your success in attaining your goals.

Learn these keys and you will win in your goal setting. What you will find is that you will have to think about goal setting slightly differently to make it really work for you.

So here are the 9 uncommon steps that are key to your goal setting success:

1. Affirm to yourself that it is possible

This is the most commonly skipped step in goal setting. You have to know that you are capable of achieving your goal and you have to have the belief that you can attain this goal, that somehow, someway it could be done. Possibility leads to probability.

2. Toss away any thoughts of how your goal will be accomplished

To start we do not need to know how to attain our goal. Having a plan or being realistic is going to take away from the power of our imagination in that goal.

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For a moment, suspend critical thinking on how your goal is going to happen. Instead, dream of your goal being realized. What is most important is having a clear idea of where you want to end up. From this focus, you give your mind direction and purpose.

3. Make your goal compelling beyond belief

Now is the time for motivating yourself and imagining your goal. What you first want to do is focus on the pain of what will happen if you don’t realize this goal of yours.

Then when you have done that, try to vividly imagine the realization of this goal. Make it big, bright, and beautifully depicted in your mind. Determine what it will specifically mean for you.

Focusing on the pain of not attaining the goal and then the pleasure of reaching your triumph will give you intense motivation to get going. You do this so you have something to fight for. This will become essential when things get tough.

4. Commit to your goal

In 1519, Captain Hernán Cortés’ army arrived by boats in Veracruz prepared for war. His first order was for his crew to burn the ships that they just arrived in behind them on the shore. With the ships completely destroyed, there was no going back. His troops would win the battle and live or they would perish in the throes of defeat. He did this because retreating is easier when it is an option.

Where is it that you need to burn the ships behind you? This could mean throwing away all the junk food in your cabinets or getting rid of your addictive video games. It could mean letting go of that relationship that isn’t leading you towards your dreams. Make the decision to fully commit to your goal and let go of what is preventing you from doing so.

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5. Write your goal down

This is probably the most common advice, but it’s rarely acted on. In a study done by the Harvard Business school, researchers found a significant correlation between financial earnings and having written definable goals years earlier.

The study found that the 3% of the population they surveyed who had written goals 10 years previously were now earning more money than the combined amount of the 97% of people who did not have written goals at the time of the original survey.

When you write your goals down, there is an additional neuro-association connected with your goal and yourself. Your mind has an additional reference for this goal being something that you want to make a reality.

Putting your goal into writing and focusing your mind with this added action will help you achieve your goal.

6. Tell other people about your goal

Now that you are committed to the attainment of your goal, let your friends know. This can add an added level of community and accountability.

Some friends will keep you accountable, but more importantly telling someone else motivates you to stay true to what you told that person about your desire to accomplish that goal. The good friends will motivate and encourage you.

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These people can help you develop a community of positivity. The bad friends will dissuade you and tell you that you can’t do it.

7. Disregard your non-believing, nay-saying friends

You will have friends that don’t believe in you and whether or not you can achieve your goals. It’s not necessary to unfriend them, but you should keep great distance from these people.

It’s important to know that those doubters are not necessarily bad people and they might just be jealous of what you might accomplish, but you need all the positive support and energy helping to move you towards your goals and not any of that negative energy.

At a later time, those doubters might just come back and want you to help them.

8. Surround yourself with at least one believer

In the same way that you have doubters, you are going to have fans. There are going to be some of your friends that absolutely want you to attain your goals and live out your dreams.

Spend more time with these people and do everything you can to help them support you as well. With this positive energy, you can develop a positive community and a supportive mastermind group of people who are focused on winning.

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Things are going to get tough, you will need some believers and fans.

9. Take your first step now

Identify your plan for achieving your goal as it is now. This plan will likely change a few times, but identify the steps that you think it will take and then get in motion.

Break down the tasks into smaller chunks and when you have the first step, get moving. When you start now, instead of tomorrow, you build momentum and get yourself moving toward the attainment of your goal.

Sometimes starting is the hardest part, so get it out of the way right now.

If you want uncommon results in your life it makes sense to think uncommonly and exceptionally. Think of your goal setting differently.

Find a goal worthy of you and take these steps to the realization of it in your life. What you will find is that having this worthy goal will inspire you to new heights of greatness. It is only you that is holding yourself back from living the life that you want. Do what it takes to accomplish your dreams because you are worth it.

What is your biggest goal and how can you start now?

Featured photo credit: Arijitrex via pixabay.com

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Shawn Schweier

Life Success Coach

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • They rile up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

The Bottom Line

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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