The best way to predict the future is to create it – Jim Rohn
Many years ago I was living in a way that was less than ideal – I was solo parenting three very young children, not working and was on the sole parent pension (SPP) for a time. I remember lining up to submit my SPP form thinking to myself – “this is so not me”. Around that time I read a book called Conversations with God by Neil Donald Walshe. It was a book that was to change my life. What I got from the book was that I created everything in my reality and I was not happy! The tricky part of this scenario was that I absolutely had no clue how to do things differently to create the life I truly desired – the life of my dreams. So began my quest! Now, I am married to my gorgeous husband, Helmut, my children have grown into wonderful adults making their own way in the world, I have a wonderful extended family, great friends with whom I connect with on a very deep level, a great lifestyle and beautiful home, I do purposeful and fulfilling work and I am healthy, active and happy, and it is just getting better and better!
Creating the life of your dreams is actually very simple. There are five basic steps:
- Declare – your accomplishments, strengths and uniqueness
- Dream – about what you want to be, do and have
- Design – write how you want to live, what you want and why you want it
- Delete – remove the limiting beliefs and sabotaging thoughts that have been holding you back
- Do – follow your action plan and take massive action
When we see our own value and live from that place, others begin to see our value too.
While we are all human and, in essence, the same as other people, each of us is also uniquely different and uniquely ourselves. We are different from everyone else on the planet. We spend very little time affirming ourselves (and often a lot of time being hard on ourselves!). Declaring our magnificence one of the best activities we can do.
The first step is to list all of your accomplishments in your life so far. Consider all of the things in your life you are proud of and that are worthy of recognition or celebration. Think about your relationships, mental achievements, times of resilience, family, friends, career or work accomplishments’, health and well being, hobbies etc. Then list your strengths and things about you that make you uniquely you. Finish by making a list of everything you are happy and grateful for.
The greater your purpose, the greater your life – John Demartini
People who achieve greatness have a great vision, so dream big!
Visualisation is an excellent strategy to begin to think big because it begins to stretch the boundaries of your thinking to what is possible. Imagine going out to your 80th birthday celebrations and visualising what the significant people who are there with you celebrating are saying about you, and how you feel about that. This helps to identify what is really important to you. It is a “magic wand” activity where everything is possible. From this you can work backwards to develop a vision for what you want for your life. I encourage people to think about:
- Their relationships
- Their career
- Their creativity
- Their health
- Their leisure activities
- Their contribution
When we commit our goals to paper we instantly engage providence.
Developing your life purpose is the next step in the process. We are all here to contribute our best and to live our best life. I get people to complete the following statement:
My life purpose is to…
Then it is time to set some clear fuzzy goals. To help define our goals in line with our vision in a much more right brained and powerful way is through the use of Afformations. Afformations, created by Noah St John, are different to affirmations in that affirmations are passive and work to repeatedly bombard the mind with statements, which works at one level. What I find much more effective is to engage the brain much more actively through the process of afformations, asking the brain “why?”. These should be completed for each of your life areas:
- Romance / intimate relationship
- Question – Why is my intimate relationship so loving and fulfilling?
- Answer – My intimate relationship so powerfully fulfilling because…
- Family and friends
- Question – Why are my relationships with my family and friends so caring and supportive?
- Answer – Because…
- Business and career
- Why is my business/career so brilliantly successful?
- Why am I so financially secure and free?
- Why am I so abundantly wealthy and prosperous?
- Health and wellbeing
- Why am I so healthy and vital?
- Personal growth
- Why am I so content, joyous and wise?
- Why am I so happy?
- Fun and recreation
- Why am I having so much fun?
- Why is my life so fantastic?
The outcomes of these questions form the basis for goal setting SMART Goals.
The ability to set goals is the master skill of success – Brian Tracy
A goal can be defined as “an aim (direction) or an end (outcome) in mind. Commiting goals to paper sends a clear message to our brain about what we need to focus on. The part of our brain that is like a radar, our Reticular Activating System, goes into overdrive for us to notice synchronicities to achieve what we have defined.
Research conclusively shows that when we set goals and commit them to paper, and have a plan to accomplish them, we are 97% more likely to achieve them compared to those people who do not write them down (Harvard MBA Statistics Page).
In 1979, interviewers asked new Harvard MBA graduates if they had set clear, written goals for their future and made plans to accomplish them. What they found was that:
- 84% had no specific goals at all
- 13% had goals but they were not commited to paper
- 3% had clear, written goals and plans to accomplish them.
In 1989, the interviewers again interviewed the 1979 graduates and found the following staggering results:
- The 13% of the class who had goals were earning on average, twice as much as the 84% who had no goals al all.
- The 3% who had clear, written goals were earning on average, 10 times as much as the other 97% put together!
When we set goals and write them down we are utilising our conscious mind, which is our goal setter. Our subconscious mind acts to support our conscious mind and is our “goal getter”. It does this by activating our Reticular Activating System (RAS), located within our brain stem. The RAS acts as a “radar” to begin to notice things from our external environment that are consistent with our values, beliefs, thoughts and expectations. It does this by acting as the initial filtering system that directs our attention, allowing relevant data to come into our conscious mind. If the data is relevant, interesting or consistent with our beliefs, expectations and thoughts, it passes into our mind/brain system for further attention and processing.
To optimise the RAS function in our brain we need to ensure we program it by having a compelling vision of our future, one that inspires us and that we can vividly imagine. The subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between what is real or imagined.
Here is a simple visualisation: If I suggested to you to close your eyes and imagine you are in a beautiful orchard filled with lemon tress. It is a beautiful summer’s day with a light fragrant breeze in the air, the warm dappled rays of the sun are gently touching your skin, and the grass is soft and dewy under foot. You walk towards a lemon tree and the lemons in the tree are large and ripe. You gently reach up and feel the lemon, with its waxy dimpled skin, with your hand. It easily comes away from the tree – it is so ripe. There is a table with a plate and a fruit knife next to the tree so you can easily cut the lemon into wedges. When you are ready you can bring the lemon wedge up to your lips and suck on it. Now, most people will have a physical response to this and instantly salivate. This was not real, but the body/mind connection processed it as real.
The power of the mind/body connection is that we can “prime “ our brains with positive expectations and goals, then use our senses to create our vision – see what we will see, hear what we will hear, feel what we will feel, think the way we will think. When we do this we run the neural pathways to the outcome we desire and the brain has to follow it through to manifestation. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
When we write goals we need to ensure they are SMART. SMART goals are:
|MeasurableMeaningful to you
|As if nowAchievableAll areas of your life
|RealisticResponsible / Ecological
|TimedToward What You Want
Then define why you want it – it needs to be compelling and working towards your bigger vision.
For example – Some of my 2011 SMART Goals
|What and Why
|Jan – ongoingMarchFeb – ongoing
Once we have written out our goals we need to remove the limiting beliefs and sabotaging thoughts that might be holding us back from achieving our goals and desires.
Think about the aspects of yourself that most challenge you.
What things do you find hard or would like to change about yourself or your life?
In the context of your current life, complete the following statements:
- I must…
- I have to…
- I should…
- I can’t…
- I don’t want to…
- I mustn’t…
- I couldn’t…
- I wouldn’t…
- It’s impossible to…
- I have to…
- I might…
- I could if I wanted to…
- I intent to…
- I can…
- I will…
What do you notice about your responses?
What are the limiting beliefs you have around what is possible for you?
Review each life area and the goals you have identified. What is or might be stopping you from having these goals?
What might be holding you back?
Fear is one of our biggest obstacles to living the life we desire. Some people have fear of failure, some have fear of success. Generally, we all have some fears in our life otherwise we would be living exactly the way we dream of living it.
Consider the following statements and write out your responses
- “I’m afraid of…”.
- “If I wasn’t afraid…”
What do you believe is possible for you?
Review your life purpose and goals to ensure you really have a sense of giving yourself permission to live big and have what you want. Then finish the following sentence:
“This is possible for me because…”
Remember as you do this to really connect with the feelings inside you.
This is where we get to decide what specific actions we need to take to achieve our goals. Next to each goal write at least 3-4 things you need to do to make your goals happen. Each area should contain an action that you need to take within the next 48 hours to create momentum. Then list the things that need to happen over the next week, month, 3 moths, 6 months etc to reach your SMART Goals.
Remember to continue to take massive action!
The only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary – Vidal Sassoon
As always, I would be delighted if you would share your thoughts and results with me at firstname.lastname@example.org