Some entrepreneurs lose the race before they’ve even tied their shoes.
They fail before they even start, because the way they even set their goals sabotages their bestefforts to accomplish them.
There’s a right and a wrong way to think about the future. Make this simple mistake when youset your goals and you’ll find yourself trapped in an eternal cycle of struggle and underwhelming results.
But, when you get it right… things unfold smooth as silk. Your goals will almost develop their own gravity, sucking you in and pulling you forward to success.
You need to understand the psychology of setting well formed goals to make this happen. This article will show you how to do it.
If you want to set goals that almost magically accomplish themselves, you need to put in a little more effort than simply saying “I want a successful business”.
Your unconscious mind needs to be able to differentiate your goals from all of your other mentalchatter. Think about how often you ask yourself what you want for lunch. Now consider how often you mentally consider the specifics of your biggest goal in business. See the problem?
The way we think about our goals tends to fail to engage a part of our brain known as theReticular Activating System (RAS). This is the part of our brain that helps mediate transitions from relaxed wakefulness to periods of high attention. In other words, it’s what makes us focus.
The RAS is the neurological mechanism for “paying attention”. It helps us notice things, by filtering out the sensory “noise” of the trillions of sights and sounds constantly bombarding our senses. It draws our attention to any immediate threats and when none are present, it’ll have us focus on what it thinks will get us what we want.
The previous sentence is key. The RAS is deeply connected to our unconscious pain-avoidance and pleasure-seeking imperatives. It wants us to have what we want and helps us spot opportunities to get ahead. Serendipitous events unfolding in our favor happen because our RAS spots the opportunity for them to do so – what feels like “manifestation” is actually our unconscious mind filtering the glut of infinite reality so that we notice the good stuff.
The way most people think about goals doesn’t activate the RAS. The unconscious mind has noidea what to focus on – it’s too busy being bombarded with your mental chatter about what to eat for lunch. When the RAS isn’t prioritizing your goals, you will literally miss opportunities to movethem forward that are right under your nose.
Luckily, by simply answering a set of simple questions you can light up the RAS and have it zero you in on your top priorities, like a homing missile. The best way to answer these questions is to work through them on paper, transforming a simple goal into a long form essay on how you want the future to unfold.
Try it once, for one of your goals and watch the magic happen. Bookmark this page, because I guarantee you.
1. What specifically do you want?
Stated in the positive (not what you don’t want). Stated in the present tense.
2. Where are you now?
Specify your present situation in relation to your outcome. To get from A to B, you need to know where A is located too!
3. What will you see/hear/feel when you have it?
Specify your outcome. The difference between a well formed outcome and a goal is the tangible result (internal or external) you’ll experience when you achieve it.
4. How will you know when you have it?
Specify your evidence procedure. What is the last thing that has to happen so that you know you’ve achieved your outcome?
5. What will this outcome get for you or allow you to do?
Make sure this outcome is congruently desirable. Is there a part of you thatdoesn’t want this outcome? Incongruent outcomes will undermine your success.
6. Is it self- initiated and self-maintained?
Is this outcome only for you? A well formed outcome must be entirely your responsibility and under your complete control.
7. Is it appropriately contextualized?
Where, when, how and with whom do you want it? Are there any other specifics you need to include in your outcome?
8. What resources are needed?
What do you have now and what do you need to get your outcome? Have you ever done or had this before? Do you know anyone who has? Can you act as if you have it?
9. Is it ecological?
For what purpose do you want this? What will you gain or lose if you have it?
What will happenif you get it? What won’t happen if you get it?
What will happen if you don’t get it? What won’t happen if you don’t get it?