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

Micro Thinking!

mountain biker

It is said “What a man thinketh, so is he” and “the fear that a man fears comes upon him”.

We are also told “thoughts become things.” I have heard and read a lot about visualization and vision boards and getting clear picture goals and vision.  I have also learned to control my thoughts, to what I thought was an acceptable degree. I mean just how much can you control them and how many of my thoughts really become things?

Well I had a revelation over the week-end based on my mountain bike riding – I gain an amazing amount of insights via my riding. While riding the first day of the week-end,  I was imagining a particular tricky piece of single-track about 3 Km ahead. I was thinking how tricky it was and how I have had various amounts of success negotiating the descent in the past. I saw myself going almost head-over-heals, if I was not careful. Sure enough when I came to that spot I was overly cautious and fell off! I was frustrated because I had fallen off in precisely the same way that I had imagined it a few minutes earlier. I saw clearly how I had fallen off in my mind first and then followed it up with exactly the same thing in life!

One of the articles I read recently talks about a trapeze artist or a high bar jumper. The writer tells the story that the chappie was being trained to jump over higher and highest bars. When it came to the highest one his fellow students had got over, but he couldn’t even attempt it. The instruction came:- you have to see yourself going over first in your mind – go over in your mind first then you will go over in body! Wow! isn’t that what happened to me in a negative way in the cycling incident earlier – I saw myself falling and I fell, I saw myself going through successfully and I did.

When I first read the high-bar story I read it without fully comprehending it. The problem is understanding exactly what is happening; just how much of what you think is creating your life. Well it seems pretty much all of what you experience is created by what you think. I realize that sounds wild and wooly, but I am pretty sure it’s true. It’s not that you are attracting stuff per se into your Life you are in fact creating your entire existence. Quantum physicists say there is only the Now, nothing else exists. So we are creating what we experience in the next few minutes which eventually becomes a life time.

No matter how wild that sounds, I believe that’s what’s happening! In many ways having to believe that is similar (as is quoted often in this scenario) to people thinking the earth was flat having to believe it was round. To someone now, thinking it was flat and that ships could sail off the edge, if they went too close, seems ridiculous. Conversely some who thought it was flat hearing someone who believed it was round, would have scoffed and wrote it off as nonsense. Well as Ripley’s says: “Believe it!” We are creating the future now, with our thoughts.

I like the analogy that equates how life/time works, to a movie. A movie, even a video, is made up of lots of photographs strung together to make it look like live action. Well life works the same, what you have experienced so far, is made up of micro-seconds of – let’s call it time, that are created so fast that it feels like we are moving forward in time. So you say to me “Are you telling me that I am creating this entire universe” and I say; Well yes! Not entirely on your own, but collectively we are. Aren’t you clever!

Seriously you are! Most of what we are seeing is “programmed” in so deep that it happens automatically. The PC you are reading this from, for instance, will not change colour or even change shape within the next few seconds, because it’s not something you would think it would do. There is some sanity to our thinking that will not allow things to float off into the air – it would go against our thinking. There are some “rules” to this. Well to be honest we think there are and we need to have them for our so called ‘sanity’.

Okay so if our daily lives are “programmed automatically” how do we add something? Well let’s add something like going on holiday, what do you do? Well you decide you need a holiday. You decide where you want to go. Fortunately you and a whole bunch of others, especially the people that live there, have thought of a place called the Seychelles. The other fortunate thing is that it’s not too close to the end of the sea, so there is no danger of you falling off! 🙂  So I consult my wife she agrees, we go of to the travel agent, somebody already thought them up too and ditto for airplanes -It seems the Wright brothers did most of the thinking work on that. Other people, at the time, said that if God meant us to fly he would have given us wings, but the Wright brothers thought otherwise!   So you get my drift – you think a holiday and it happens. Now maybe a holiday in the Seychelles is a bit too big a thought for you to create, but you have been on holiday before, right?, so you have created a holiday. So that’s how you create anything!

So let’s go back to the cycling example. I haven’t told you yet that the nice bicycle I was riding at the time was ‘attracted’ (I stay with that word for clarity). A few months ago I was riding on an old wreck of a bike, saying it’s fantastic to be riding on this beautiful ‘state of the art’ version and sure enough a few weeks later I now ride a very nice bike. I need to explain that without me asking someone just offered to lend it to me! Anyway when I think I am going to have a great ride I do and when I imagine myself falling, I do. We actually do it all the time and just don’t at all realize what we are doing. I just received an article from a Christian friend that backs this up 100% albeit in Christian speak. We do it all the time; “Accidents happen in threes” we say and sure enough they do. “I never win anything”  “I’m catching flu” – we are doing it all the time and just not realizing it.

I understand it’s wild and wooly thinking, but just think about it, that’s how everything around us has come into being. At sometime or other somebody thought we should have that, it was thought of, designed and made, whether it be your coffee mug, your desk, your building or even your town! Yes, there is some doing, some building some work, but it all started as a single thought no matter how you look at it. I am just saying, and so are the Quantum physicists, some of them at least, say that it is more by thinking that we think.

I am starting to realize that the micro-thoughts have an influence on what I experience. Hence if I think I am going to fall I do. If I am trying to attract a holiday, then the micro-thoughts wondering if I will have enough money, if it’s the right time because my son is coming about that time, etc. undermine, and in some ways cancel-out the first thought. The thought of “do I have enough money” seems like just an innocuous ‘wonder’ but! it’s undermining the original desire.  It’s tantamount to giving a potter a Coffee cup to design, then taking of the handle on the blue print.

Does the potter put a handle on or not? Well she in fact waits until the design is finished before he starts to make it. On the grounds that she does not know what the designer wants. I heard from the movie; “The Secret” that you could ask for a parking space and you would get one. (I have actually been doing that for 20 years or more) So I ask, but the micro thought, and maybe we can call it a hidden micro-thought, is that that spot is the most sought after place in the whole shopping center and therefore it will probably be full. So I have already decided that there won’t be a spot, before I have thought it would be nice to have one. So of course the parking spot is taken!

We need to realise in detail what “micro-thoughts” we are actually thinking and then start doing more and more conscious creating. Obviously this topic is a book long and not just an article. Start being honest with you thoughts and start correcting them and creating what you desire even more purposefully, remembering all the while to have fun. You have brought yourself to the point of reading this article, its just a matter of time before you have mastered the technique beter than me and as we both know there is no such thing as time so you have in fact already mastered it! 🙂

Thought and written by Roy Stuart Heeley