Power of Focus
It doesn’t matter what your goal is … losing weight, quitting smoking, or running a business. You have to set goals, and then focus on them becoming a reality. It sounds so simple and yet so many of us don’t do this when we embark on a healthier lifestyle. The mind is an incredibly strong and influential organ, and when we focus on our goals, we can truly see and feel the power of the mind.
But it’s not just good enough to keep your goals in mind. If you really want to succeed in anything you set your mind to, it’s important that you write down your goals and put all your power and energy into that list. Then you concentrate on that list, believing in those goals … until they become a reality.
So let’s take a look at how you can develop your own action plan for your goals. (Reference book: Power of Focus by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Les Hewitt)
Make It Yours
When you write down your most important goals, keep in mind that these must be the right things for you, not someone else, and that the goals are meaningful to you. We live in a world where image is very important and we are tempted to strive for goals set by the media, our peers, or our culture. Your goals of owning a certain brand of car, getting married, where you choose to vacation, or what career path you choose, may actually be designed by someone else. So ask yourself whether your goal is something that you really want for yourself – or is it that you feel pressured to do that by society’s image, your family or work.
If your goal is to get into shape, don’t do it because you have always wanted to look like a model or a cover girl of a magazine. Don’t strive to look like someone else, but strive to look the best that you can look. Do it because you want to be healthy, happy and live a long life, and not because it’s fashionable to be skinny.
Let me give you an example of a bad goal:
“I want to lose weight.”
Yes, you read me correctly. It’s not a good goal to have … because it’s not specific enough.
What do you mean by “I want to lose weight?” How much do you want to lose? Three pounds? Half your current body weight? You just need to skip that double hot fudge sundae to achieve the first, but you probably need a good year or two to achieve the second.
In order to make things happen, you must accurately specify what it is that you really want. Don’t write down general statements such as “I want to lose weight” or “I want to be healthy”. These vague goals won’t get you anywhere. When you write down your most important goal, look at it, and ask yourself: “Can I be more specific about it?” Keep repeating this question until you cannot get any more detailed.
For example, if you are really serious about losing weight, start by writing down your goal as “I want to get into great physical shape”. Now this sentence is very broad – on a par with “I want to lose weight” – and you know how we don’t like broad things! Try to narrow it down further with sub-goals that will get you into the shape you want. List things like “Start exercising” and “Control food portions” and “Choose healthier foods”.
But wait. Those are still pretty broad statements, aren’t they? What does “Start exercising” mean? Walking the dog once around the block every weekend? Or does it mean making a true commitment to hit the gym regularly? See if you can get even more specific. For exercising, write down: “Go to the gym four times a week after work from 6 pm to 8 pm, and do one hour of physical activity on the weekend.” Now that’s specific, and we’re all moving in the right direction.
For eating healthier, write down “Reduce my daily calorie intake by 300 calories, eat more fruit and vegetables, and choose less oily/fat versions of my favorite meals”. These are very specific statements that you can measure and follow through easier.
This is where a little bit of self-confidence and believing in your potential comes in. If you are too afraid of setting a big goal, you will never achieve it. But if you push yourself and visualize it clearly, you have a chance. Don’t think that it’s useless to set a really high goal if it’s most likely not going to happen. If you think that, then it probably won’t happen, but if you find it in yourself to dream big, there’s a good chance it will become a reality. You never know unless you try. The key to becoming successful is to look fear in the eye and go for your dreams in spite of any obstacles that may come your way.
Even if you get half way to your goal, that’s still amazing and worth celebrating. Don’t listen to what others may say. Believe in yourself and follow your heart.
Be A Realist
Dream big, but be realistic about your dreams. You get much better results that way. Don’t let your imagination go too wild and create dreams that are physically impossible. If you don’t have the physical requirements to be an astronaut, don’t set your goal to become one.
Give yourself a timeframe
Being realistic also means that you have to give yourself reasonable time frames to achieve your goals. If your goal is to become a great motivational speaker, and you have never done any public speaking in your life, then don’t give yourself a time frame of three months to achieve your goal. Give yourself a reasonable time frame to develop the skills and practice them, since it may take years to become a great public speaker.
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