The Importance of Goal Setting

GoalSet01Do you know where you are going?

One of the most effective ways of ensuring that your thinking stays positive is to have goals.

So in the next few articles I will talk about goal setting.

 

I consider it important to have clear, WRITTEN goals. This in my mind is one of the first steps to greatness. No matter what you want your destination to be, you need a map! No matter how old or young you are, if you are already successful or only now starting out in the great adventure of life, you need to have goals to give you a clear view and direction of where you are headed. Maybe you have already achieved a lot and simply need new goals, or maybe you feel like you have not achieved much if anything at all in your life.  In any of these situations, I will ask of you the same thing “What are your goals and are they written down?”

Today I will share my own story with you to help you see what this has done for me and how it has affected my own journey. I first realised the importance of this quite late in my life, but if not for doing that, I might not even be here writing this to you now.

Shortly after Timothy became my son-in-law he asked me if I had goals and I responded “of course I do!” and he then asked if they were written down. I replied “no, but they are pretty clear in my head.” He felt that I needed to write them down, and fortunately he was pretty persistent about it. I’d say it took me about 6 weeks to eventually concede and actually sit down to start to write them.

When I did the strangest thing happened. I was sitting down writing my first goal and when I had written it to my surprise it was; “I want to live to be 104!” Now that was a big surprise to me! This goal featured nowhere on the mental list that I had mentioned to them a good few weeks back. In fact, if truth be told I did not know it was a goal of mine until I had actually sat down to write them out, in fact until I had finished writing it! This was a goal that the second I sat down to write my goals out on paper was pushed to the front by my sub-conscious. Isn’t that interesting and strange? I had my mental list and that particular goal was not on it, but the second I sat down to write my goals there it was. I wonder what sub-conscious goals you have?

I sat and pondered this turn of events for a little while. Was it really what I wanted? Did I really want to live to be 104 years old? The truth is yes! I really did and really do! This first goal led to some more, because when I shared them with my family, my wife agreed to support me as long as I was going to be healthy and not a grumpy old man. So I added physically and mentally sharp to my goal list. I added another when I shared my goals with my mother, and she concluded that I would need to “make more money” if I was going to want to live comfortably till that age.  After that I continued my written list with all sorts of goals ranging from relationship goals, travel goals and business goals. I also have a number related to personal growth.

Glen McQuirk in his MAP4Life series has a diagram depicting a wheel of life. He has identified 8 aspects of life in which it is necessary to have goals in order to have a balanced life; Family and Relationships, Intellectually, Physical health, Financial Wealth, Career/Business, Social Responsibility, Rest and Restoration and Spiritual. I agree.

Before going further into the “How to’s” and making the tools for doing so available to you in the next article, let me first highlight the benefits with a hope to inspire you to getting started on yours.

Some of the benefits of goal setting are:

  • They give you clear focus and vision
  • Goals help you control your future
  • They assure you a sense of purpose
  • Goals permit you to focus your energy
  • They enable you to be positive in your outlook
  • Goals afford you to be more excited, more motivated and more enthusiastic
  • They are great for your self-image and your energy levels
  • Goals increase desire, passion and motivation
  • They enable you to overcome any difficulty or obstacle
  • They reduce laziness and procrastination
  • Goals make life much more fun and give you direction and certainty

When you see all those benefits it really makes one wonder why we resist and struggle to get them written down. Well I have some ideas about that, and some of them can be found in my book “Freeing Your Mind” and the rest I will be discussing  in the next article, so watch this space.

For now I will leave you with simply the idea in your mind. Let’s call it the spark that is needed to get you going. Think about it, and more importantly ACT on it.

The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them. – Denis Watley

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Focusing on your goals and not your obstacles!

FocusPositive versus Negative Thinking  Series

I am a cyclist and have recently changed from road biking to mountain biking. As you can imagine there are a lot more rocks on the road when I am mountain biking. I have realised that the way to avoid the rocks is to ignore them – to focus on the road ahead. As soon as I give the rock too much attention, I somehow gravitate towards it. My 4×4 instructor buddy tells me that when he is teaching people to drive on 4×4 tracks, he explains to them that if they don’t want to hit the boulders then they must not focus on them or they will be drawn towards them. And so it is with life, what we focus on we are drawn towards. What our thoughts and minds dwell upon consistently is what we become. This is why I mentioned in a previous article that we must choose our trains of thought carefully, and to assist in doing that we must know where we want to go. We must know or destination. We must know what we want.

I think many people’s problem is right there; they don’t know what they want. This is usually due to a few reasons; sometimes they don’t realise they can change what they have, sometimes people feel they don’t deserve anything better and sometimes individuals are just plain stuck in a rut!

I have often asked people to write down some goals. I give them a pen and paper and say write down their goals there and then. Often, very often they can’t do it. This is not good. How can we reach a destination if we have no idea where we are going? We have either no desire to know or simply just a very vague idea of what we want or where we are going.

Okay, so let’s take those 3 reasons why we don’t have goals, that I just mentioned, one at a time.

sometimes individuals don’t realise they can change what they have; This is a common belief and it’s just not true. Anything and everything can be changed, you just have to have the will to do it. Depending on the situation it may take some determination, it may take effort and it will probably take time, but every circumstance can be changed, you just have to believe it can and start changing it.

sometimes people feel that they don’t deserve anything better; this problem is more common than what you might imagine, but look at it objectively. Is anyone that different to you? Is anyone more special than you? There is no one saying you are not special, you don’t deserve to succeed and you are just average, you are never going make it! If there is someone up there telling you anything, he is saying that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, you are very special and he loves you! In fact if there is anyone saying negative things to you and pulling you down it’s probably you. It could possibly also be “Life Sentences” that has you trapped in those thoughts.

But I’m telling you right now you are just as special if not more special than me and I am very special. J Some may have more challenges than others, but no one, absolutely no one deserves to succeed any more that you do.

sometimes people are just plain ‘stuck in a rut.This is probably the most frustrating one for me. I see such wonderfully talented people that have just become complacent and settled into their particular rut. They have made peace with being okay, mundane and average. And I want to say “Wake up! Smell the coffee!” There is a wonderful world out there for you to experience and enjoy. Decide to get out of your rut today!

Once you have dealt with any and all of those issues in your life, you to need to set some goals for yourself. You can then start determining your vision and your purpose. We all have a purpose, and we need to get ourselves to a place where we can determine it.  If you don’t have goals you focus on the wrong stuff, you don’t go anywhere other than around in circles.

You need to decide what you want and resolutely focus on it so that you can get there. Focus, Focus, Focus on what we want and we will get there!

Focus on your potential instead of your limitations” Alan Loy McGinnis

Positive versus Negative Thinking – Does negativity pay off?

large-rose-colored-glasses-on-beach

I wrote in the first article of this series that: People who do not concentrate on the positive things in life have less fun that people who do! And I am sticking by that, although the definition of fun is open for interpretation and discussion. The thing is we don’t do anything in life unless there is a pay-off – unless we are getting something out of it. And what does someone get out of negative thinking you may ask. Well for the life of me I have no idea! J Well that’s not strictly true I have an idea, but it doesn’t make sense to me. My wife would say I was born positive and that’s probably true, but aren’t we all?

Getting back to the pay-off for people who have a negative disposition, I suppose it may be easier. If you have no positive expectations then when things go wrong you are not disappointed. You have no need to worry about them going wrong, because you already know that they will and then of course they don’t just go a little wrong, they go badly wrong. And there’s the gloating aspect; a negative person is always ready and willing to say; “I told you so”.  A negative person doesn’t have to smile or be friendly to the neighbor or the petrol pump attendant or his kids or even his cat. He always “knows” that the economy is bad, the news is bad and even the weather is always either too hot or too cold. And of course why not be negative because you have lots of reason to be. – I’ll not get started on those. You see it does make life a lot simpler and there is lots of “pay-off”!

The problem largely comes down to a topic I touch on in my book “Freeing your Mind” and that is . A negative person will search out and focus on all things negative and a positive person will search out on all things positive. Either way it gets to be a habit. One just needs to realize the bad habit that you are in and change it. Getting rid of bad habits is another subject for a future post, but the mainstay of what will be in that post is that one can’t forever TRY and stop a bad habit, the only way to actually stop a bad habit is to STOP! I have experienced that in most cases when someone is trying to cease to do something and can’t succeed, it is because the person has sub-consciously no intention of stopping, it’s only a conscious thought or decision, but as I said a subject for another post.

In the mean time I re-iterate that consistently selecting, focusing on, thinking and speaking out negatively can be just a habitual train of thought that you have unwittingly fallen into. So you say; “well I don’t do it all the time”, but the point is that even a small amount is detrimental to you. We need in fact to eliminate every bit of negativism in any and every area of our lives. It will take time and effort but ultimately it is a lot more fun and produces far better results. A glass that is half full seems to get fuller or refilled, whereas a half empty glass just gets emptier. Viewing life and the world through rose-coloured glasses is far more fun than doing it through doom and gloomy ones. One tends to become much more optimistic and much more adventurous when you always think you can instead of “knowing” you can’t.

We need to recognize and understand that negativism is poisonous to us and to those around us and we need to desist immediately and fourth-with. As stated there is a form of pay-off and it’s not a beneficial one, it’s not going to get you anywhere – not anywhere worth going anyway. So make a decision today to stop it, do what it takes to change the habit. Start looking out for any and all negative trains of thought or speech patterns. When I am personally changing things like this, I will stop mid-sentence when starting to utter something I shouldn’t. That serves three purposes; it stops negative stuff coming out of my mouth and it re-enforces the decision to stop, i.e. if I can’t finish sentences I need to learn to stop starting them. Thirdly it is also a message to others that I am stopping and they become my accountability partners.

So yes every cloud does have a silver lining and life is a bowl of cherries – let’s always be on the look-out for them. Let’s always look out for all the positive things in life and have more fun!

I leave you today with this quote: “If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it” – Mary Engelbreit

Positive versus Negative Thinking – Restraining Order

elephantchain

Information about positive thinking, the law of attraction and self-improvement is freely available to any and all who wants to hear it. Lots of people buy books about the topic, attend seminars, motivational talks and even workshops.

After coming back from a particular meeting where I was very well received and my explanation of the “Life Sentence” was very favourable, I asked my wife, who attended the meeting with me “Why do some people still, even after hearing the message that I bring to them, not act on the next step I am offering them and want to get free from it.” Her answer was: “They are so used to the bondage they have lived with for so long, that it does not feel like bondage anymore”.

The problem is she was 100% right! We get so used to the bondage we live in that we don’t even know where we are restrained, it becomes the norm for us. How sad!

I immediately thought of the story of the way that they train the elephants in India. Apparently when they are young, they plant a stake in the ground and tie a strong rope or chain to the elephants back ankle. The rope allows the elephants to move around a bit, and walk a little way, but soon he gets to the end of the rope and then can’t go any further. They do this for a certain amount of time, a week or two perhaps. Obviously the elephant learns that when the stake is planted in the ground he can go a distance, but no further. The remarkable thing is (and the part of the story that is of particular interest to us), is that after the time is up they no longer bother to attach the rope to the elephant. They just plant the stake in the ground and when the elephant walks the same distance that the rope used to limit him to, he stops and doesn’t go any further! He has grown so accustomed to the bondage in his mind that he submits to it even though it’s not there anymore.

Well my message is not quite the same i.e. we have not yet been released, so we cannot go free yet. It does however have some major parallels though and that is; we have grown so accustomed to the bondages that we have made peace with them. We are “happy” to live with them. And off course that is my frustration, not heavy frustration, because I have learned not to get to upset about anything, but yes there is a small measure of frustration. Not because people don’t always act on the message of positive thinking and motivation I bring them, or allow themselves to time to read through the resources I make available to them, but because they have gotten so used to the bondage that they live in that they don’t see the need to do something about it.

When I think about it, I have been there and done that. I too had in prior years not acted on many of the opportunities and resources that were made available to me or that stood before me – ready for me to just take action on it. Of course it was either someone else speaking or resources that were provided by someone else, and it was quite a while ago, but it was the same sentiment; I’m okay, I am doing fine as I am, why do I need to read the ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ I’ll give it a read some time later in the never, never”. It was only when I saw ‘The Secret’ that I realized that what was going on in my mind was my responsibility! I spent a few years trying to implement the Law of Attraction in my own life and although in some instances I succeeded, I still felt like I was not quite succeeding in all of it. I realized that it was the “Life Sentences” that were controlling what happened in my life and the things I wanted to happen weren’t happening.  This is when I woke up, smelled the coffee and realized that I needed to do something about my thinking. I started to understand that I must DO something about what was going on in my sub-conscious and my conscious mind for that matter.

Come on people don’t stay complacent with the bondages you have. Don’t be satisfied with living with the limits, that bondages and mental baggage you are unwittingly putting upon yourself. Get to understand them, get to a place where you can identify any and every bondage and eliminate them. Get to work on “Freeing Your Mind”.

Just like the elephants we are roaming around in our own little space not realizing that there is a much bigger world out there, and a much bigger life to lead. Let’s take advantage of it, let’s get into action and make use of every opportunity we have.  Let’s not allow “Life Sentences” or anything else to hold us back from getting into action and becoming everything that we can become and achieving so much more than we ever thought possible.

There are things to do and places to go, let’s get free go and do them!

Positive versus Negative Thinking (Part 2)

The Importance of AcknowledgmentBroken Arm

The phrase I have always used is; the instant we have something wrong with us physically we rush off to go get it fixed. I mean when we get a deep cut we get it stitched up and when we get a sickness we get medicine. We are quick, often too quick in my opinion, to rush off to the doctor. We don’t limp around with a broken leg, but we do limp around with emotional hurts. If there is one message I would like to shout from the rafters it would be that for Pete’s sake get if fixed!

Don’t, don’t whatever you DON’T go another day without starting the healing process.

Okay so where is the place to start?

Well, I would say its “acknowledgement”. Yes we first need to acknowledge and admit to ourselves that we have a problem. There are however problems that we don’t know that we have. The problems that at this present time we can’t see that we are suffering from. If you can’t see it, then obviously it would not be the place to start. But there are often problems that we are very much aware of and often we nurse these problems like Florence Nightingale would nurse a sick patient. Sometimes we suffer in silence, and sometimes we are quite vocal about it.

Pretty much everyone has a history that includes some kind of hurt or trauma, or some misfortune and I understand that everyone deals with it differently. I’m not saying we don’t get hurt and that we don’t take time to heal. I understand that life is not a walk through the park for everyone or anyone really, sometimes life sucks! Well let’s say that it sucks, until we learn that we have control, but that’s another blog article. So life happens and we definitely need time to mourn, heal and get over it. The question is how do you handle it, how quick do you recover and how do you stop yourself from staying in bondage and carrying baggage with you for the rest of your life. Well as I said start with acknowledging that you have a problem.

Now that I think about it, the place to start might rather be just admitting that it’s possible that you could have a problem, because I know that so many of us don’t admit even to ourselves that we have a problem. Be honest with yourself, you have a problem, you have something that is making you behave or react  in a certain way and it needs fixing. Well preferable it needs eradicating.

In my book Freeing Your Mind I have given a number of examples of things that put you in bondage and of course make you think negatively. These can include guilt and unforgiveness and of course many different Life Sentences.

So, to sum-up this article; first admit that you may have a problem in some areas, then identify them and then most importantly take ownership of them.  It’s your problem! And you need to do whatever it takes to get it sorted out. Freedom from this type of thing will allow you to think much more positively about yourself, others and life in general.  But this is only the start.

In the next installment I will discuss some of the ways one can go about dealing with hurts, bondages and baggage. So join me again soon to continue on this journey. Until then, I leave you with a little inspirational thought.

“Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. Most of all other people can’t stop you. Only you can stop you.”  Jeffrey Gitomer

Your friend in success,

Positive versus Negative Thinking (Part 1)

angel-on-shoulder

There is a little block on Facebook that one fills in to let others know what you are doing. Everyone who has a Facebook account will know exactly what I am referring to. At the moment it asks; “What are you thinking about?” Yesterday I answered the question by writing: “Well only positive stuff! I am successfully keeping any negative thoughts out! Although there are a few yapping at the door, trying to get in!”

The fact that we can control our thoughts still remains one of my greatest revelations in this entire personal growth endeavour. For many people, thinking positively is a luxury, but really it is something we shouldn’t live without! So in actual fact it really is a necessity. I mean many people get through life with very little positive thinking at all, but the question is do they enjoy that life? I would imagine that they don’t, well not as much as they could anyway. People who do not concentrate on the positive things in life, have less fun than people who do! We all want to enjoy life more, don’t we?

Well here’s the solution; take the trouble and the time to direct your thoughts in a positive direction. It might seem tedious to start doing this at first…but make it a habit! As with everything in life, practice makes perfect! We’ve all seen cartoons of a character with a little angel sitting on one of his shoulders and a little devil sitting on the other. If the character gives in to the little devil that is making negative, evil suggestions he inevitably goes off and does some mischief. Similarly, if the little angel wins the battle of the will, the character goes of and performs a good deed. Although this is usually just a bit of fun entertainment, there is a lot of truth to the scene. We are constantly having to make mental choices, whether we realize it or not.

Positive and negative thoughts are vying for attention all the time.

As I mentioned in the Facebook quote, there are little negative thoughts yapping at the door of our minds all the time, and it is our job to keep them out. We have things ‘thrown’ at us on a moment-by-moment basis. We could easily chose to construe many of them as negative. It’s at that very moment that we must choose to think positively! Of course that is sometimes easier said than done, especially if you feel that you have a reason to be miserable or you have some other baggage, bondage or Life Sentence that has pre-programmed you to think in a negative way in this situation automatically. This of course is the very heart of my recently published book; “Freeing Your Mind”. In the book I identify all sorts of things that direct your thinking into a negative path. It’s things that give the red little imaginary devil sitting on your shoulder fuel to taunt you with. Yes, thinking positively is a luxury, but as earlier stated I venture to suggest that it’s a luxury that we can’t do without. In the next few blog articles that I will be submitting, I will address some of these bondages that make us open up the door to those yapping little negative thoughts. We have to keep that door shut! In fact we need deal with many issues that are causing the yapping, and causing the negative thoughts to surface more regularly. To stay with the metaphor, we need to reinforce that door so well that we can’t even hear most of the yapping and the little that we do we can easily ignore.

The problem is this does not happen by itself. It needs work, it needs attention, it needs you to take control of your thinking.

I feel like pleading with you, if you have not already done so, to make a conscious decision today! Decide that you will take control of you thinking from this moment on. Decide that from now on you will do whatever it takes to keep any negativism at bay. Do this and stick to it and you will find that your life will take on far a more positive hue. You will be far happier and have much more fun. In time you will have a whole new different life. If you would like to learn more about this, and harness the power of positive thinking I hope that you will join me and countless others by staying tuned in, and by following my blog in future.

For all the Facebook fans, you are also welcome to connect to my facebook page.

For today I leave you with this quote: “The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.” Unknown

Free your mind! A new e-book by Roy Stuart Heeley

Cover final - yellow(A5)

“Freeing Your Mind” focuses on “Identifying Life Sentences and other Bondages.” Roy explains that there are a good number of restrictive thought processes – bondages, that impede our progress in life. We live in a world where setting goals, pursuing our purpose and attracting the life that we desire, are concepts banded about everywhere. Many of us have these desires and have made serious steps in the right direction, but in many cases there seems to be some unseen forces holding us back, some damper on our efforts and spirits. In some areas of our lives it seems that no matter how good the intentions, things just don’t change. This could be and often is due to Life Sentences.

In his anecdotal book, Roy explains and illustrates what these subversive Life Sentences are, how to identify them, together with other bondages that hold you back and he also tells us how to do deal with them.

Roy’s book will give you amazing revelations of yourself and why you do and think the things you do.

If you have struggled to get the Law of Attraction working for you or even if you have never even heard of it, this book will set you free to be more than you ever thought you could be. Do yourself a massive favour, read this book, while making notes from the insights into your thinking and behaviour that it is sure to generate. Apply the instruction on dealing with these revelations that are explained in the book and then get ready to live a happier unrestricted future. You will be far freer to do or be anything you want to be. It will give you control of your life that you never even knew you could have.

Read it and live!

Available Now! See redbowtie.co.za/book