Today, we want to focus on four small, but important suggestions about setting goals. I’ll go through these quickly.
- ONLY ONE SENTENCE. When you write a goal, I want it to be only one sentence. Many people make the mistake of making their goals too long. Your goal should be short so that you can remember it and repeat it in your head over and over again.
- WRITE AS AN AFFIRMATION STATEMENT. An affirmation is defined as “A statement or proposition that is declared to be true.” When you write your goal, begin it with the words, “I have,” or “I am.” Some examples:
- I have learned and implemented three new time management techniques by February 15, 2012, or
- I am exercising three mornings each week from now through March 31, 2012.
- PRESENT TENSE. Write your goals in the present or past tense. Never write it in the future tense. Why? Your subconscious mind doesn’t understand (and will fight) the future tense. But it does understand the present tense. So I want you to write your goal as if it is presently happening or has already happened. Your brain doesn’t understand the difference between what you actually see and what you visualize. So when you write your goals in the present tense, you’re creating and stating it in a way that the subconscious “believes.” In the future tense, it is distant, so your subconscious doesn’t see it as happening. There’s a huge amount of power in your words and self-talk. Let me give you a couple of examples:
- Future tense: “I am going to sign up for classes at the YMCA by March 31, 2012.”
- Present tense: “I have signed up for classes at the YMCA by March 31, 2012.”
- CREATE A CELEBRATION STRATEGY. Whenever you set your goals, include at least one action step to do as a celebration when you complete your goal. I don’t care what it is, but do something. Suggestions: go to a great restaurant, take a weekend at the beach or mountains, go get a hot fudge sundae at your favorite ice cream parlor, or pamper yourself—go get a pedicure or massage! You have to figure out what motivates you. There will be times when you get tired of working on your goals. You’ll have good days and bad days. That’s normal. But when you create a celebration strategy that motivates you, you’ll want to continue on during the tough times. And yes–you deserve it!
That’s it! In our next session, we will actually begin practicing the art of writing goals. The lesson will be fun, and everything you’ve learned up to this point will begin to make sense—I Promise!!!