This goal-setting exercise is simple and easy to do.
If done consistently, it will force you to think like the most successful people in the world.
First, imagine that your life is perfect, five years from now.
You live exactly where you’e dreamed of living. You have as much money as you want. You’re doing exactly what you love to do. Take some time to visualize what that life would look and how it would feel.
Now, it might take a while for you to do this, and that’s okay. For most of us, it’s pretty hard, because most people don’t really know what they want out of life. Even when they have a set of goals, sometimes their goals are not clearly defined. On the bright side, you definitely want something different from what you have right now, and that’s a good place to start.
After you have given this some serious thought, and you’re able to visualize it in fairly good detail, think you way back to your present situation.
What can you do right now that will move you even a little closer to that dream life?
How can you repeat that behavior daily?
One of the great mysteries of the mind, as Jim Rohn likes to put it, is the way we tend to psych ourselves out with the perception that certain goals, whether in sales or life in general, are so difficult to attain. As he is fond of saying, success is not always about doing extraordinary things; it’s often about doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. So the path to your dream life might not be quite so hard as you might think.
In my own journey, I’ve found that many things are not quite so difficult as they seem, and looking back I am sometimes amazed by some of the really dumb things I did and bad decisions I made simply because I thought what I was really after was too hard to obtain. One thing to remember is that aiming low is one of the most dangerous things you can do with any goal.
I’m saying this because I’ve been there. I’ve known what it’s like to get my foot in the door with a really big prospect and then fumble the close because it was so big, and back then I honestly didn’t know how I was going to handle an account that size if they did say yes.
Don’t be afraid of HOW you are going to achieve your higher goals, or even your dream.
Now, perhaps this isn’t enough to convince you. That’s okay, because I’d rather let you convince yourself of the greatness lurking within you. One way you can do this is through another simple exercise. Grab a pencil and paper, and make a list of the problems or challenges in between you and your ultimate goals. For each one, write down at least twenty answers.
For this particular case, you could write at the top of your page, “How can I live my dream lifestyle in five years?” and then start writing things you could do toward that objective. This may seem simple, but once you get to twenty or so answers, that ultimate goal won’t seem quite so far out of reach.
Maybe every answer you come up with won’t be a good one, and maybe some of your ideas won’t be good, but that’s okay. You’ve gotten started in the two most important steps toward achieving a major goal: thinking that it is possible, and thinking of practical ways to get there.
Activity rarely produces achievement without direction.
Why can this work? The human mind has an innate goal-seeking ability, much like a sophisticated missile with a guidance system that makes course corrections along the way. Successful people are successful because they have direction.
Give yourself permission to believe that you can achieve more.
Another reason this exercise can work is that one of its side effects is that it makes it much easier for you to give yourself ‘permission’ to pursue your goals.
Some people call this approach to goals ‘Ready, Fire, Aim.’ It may seem strange, but it works. Give these exercises a try, and see what happens!
Another great resource that will teach you a great deal about this principle is this recording by Earl Nightingale, The Strangest Secret in the World.