My son recently had some trouble sleeping due to a cold so I introduced him to the idea of counting sheep. As I explained to him what counting sheep actually entailed, I began to reflect upon the difficulty I used to have when trying to count sheep. Even with very few distractions I could typically only reach about twenty-five sheep before my mind began to wander.
Although the visualization of sheep jumping over a white picket fence seems simple, in reality retaining focus on such a simple image at a time when the active mind should be at rest can be extremely difficult. This in turn begs the question, how can we ever focus on the simplest of visualizations if we can’t maintain our attention when there is very little to distract us?
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Despite the thoughts that may consume our conscious mind, our sub-conscious mind remains at work. As we approach a new year, how are you preparing your sub-conscious mind to lay the ground work for your desired future?
How will you ensure you are achieving goals that you set?
I’ve been setting goals for decades and found that there are several key attributes that must be present if you are to actually achieve your goals.
Here are my top three practices in goal setting:
1. Commit to paper: Whether you are a visual person or not, simply by writing down your goals you commit your ideas to paper. The act of writing down specific goals forces us to consider the various aspects of how the goal might be achieved.
2. Verbalize your goals: When I decided to quit my corporate job nearly a decade ago I made it a habit of telling dozens of people of my intent. Although I was selective about my audience, by telling others my goal to quit being an employee and begin life as an entrepreneur, I was forced to take action towards bringing my goal to life in order to avoid the embarrassment of telling others that I had changed my mind. The more people you can tell of your goals, the better your chances of achieving your goals.
3. Be flexible: Each year I set a financial goal for the growth of my business. Some years I exceed the goal and on a few occasions I’ve fallen short. Interestingly though for those years I’ve fallen short I didn’t beat myself up because the slim margin by which I missed the goal palled in comparison to my previous years revenue. Focus on your goals but don’t get stuck in your ways.
Preparing for success is a necessary component of achieving goals. As the saying goes, whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.
Question: How are you going to ensure you achieve your goals in the coming year?
© Shawn Casemore 2014. All rights reserved.
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