Executive Education

New Goal Setting Strategies for a Novel Era

In order to live a life of stress-less success, it’s helpful to gain clarity about what you actually want to achieve. Are you facing challenges because of job uncertainty in today’s uncertain climate? Now more than ever it’s important to consider these breakthroughs in goal setting and achievement. These are the strategies for success that finally work.

Have you tried setting goals in the past but found that doing so never helped you improve areas of your life? You’re not alone. Research shows that most people never reach their goals. But new ideas that you may have never considered will increase your likelihood of not only achieving, but also exceeding, what you wish for in your life — and with less stress.

Yes, these are built on foundations that we’ve all learned before, but the extra nuances will catapult you from struggling to meet your goals to actually achieving success — and in enjoyable and fulfilling ways.

Follow these key steps:

1. Brainstorm.
What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? What is one thing you would try if you believed in yourself today? If there were no limitations, what would you wish for? Your answers may be too far-fetched to consider goals, but they’re an important beginning. Open your mind and allow in amazing thoughts, feelings and emotions as you begin to expand your thinking and your energy on this journey of creating and achieving an amazing life.

2. Write down your goals.
By writing down your goals, you gain clarity and encourage your brain to start thinking about ways to make these happen. Studies have shown that writing down your goals is one of the keys to achieving them. It has been shown that successful goal-oriented people who write down their goals have a 42 percent chance of achieving them.

3. Create goals for different facets of your life.
Consider creating goals that cover all areas of your life, including your physical and emotional health and well-being, your relationships, your career or whatever you do to contribute to the world, your finances, and your spiritual life. In my work as a High Performance Success Coach, I’ve found that the people who live the most successful lives work on goals they’ve set for all areas of their life. They strive to have success in both their professional and personal lives and they do what they need to do to ensure greater levels in all areas.

4. Phrase them in the now.
Stating your goals in the present tense triggers thoughts and feelings in your mind and body that better prepare you for having those goals become reality. You don’t want to project your goal achievement into the future by stating “you want” or “you wish” or “someday will have,” because then you will always be looking into the future to achieve them. Do you always want to lose weight or would you rather be thin? If you say “want,” you will likely only achieve the end-state of always wanting.

5. State goals as if they’re achieved.
Consider preceding each goal with the term “I am.” Stating each goal in this manner puts you in a place of peace, which is a very expansive and elevated frame of mind. When you live at a more positive and expanded place, you will attract into your life ideas and opportunities that will enable you to achieve your goals. This is the concept of stress-less success. For example, instead of saying, “I want to quit smoking,” you would write, “I am a nonsmoker.” Don’t use the word “want” or any word that represents current lack in hopes of future gain.

6. Feel comfortable with your goals.
Even though the goals will push you forward, they should feel real or possible to attain. For example, if my goal is to be an NFL quarterback, that doesn’t feel real to me. If it’s too far-fetched or feels uncomfortable instead of exciting, then choose something that you can believe. Positivity, passion and commitment, of course, are key, instead of stress and struggle. Choose words that create a feeling of pride, abundance, accomplishment, peace and joy. Consider saying, “I’m making healthier choices every day that encourage high energy and my perfect weight.” The important thing is that you create thoughts that feel good to you.

7. Assign deadlines.
Determine a clear deadline for achieving each goal and hold yourself accountable. Deadlines create a situation where you must get done what you set out to do, like packing for a vacation. You must have those bags packed and you and your bags to the airport on time to go on your trip. Without that deadline, it may never get done.

8. Remain open to the “how.”
Avoid asking yourself how you’ll achieve the goals. When you ask “how” in your mind, you’re actually coming from a place of not knowing. This again is a place of lack compared to a place of confidence and trust. It creates a different energy and will stop you from achieving your goals. Even if you think you know how you’re going to move toward your goals, don’t include how in the actual goal statement. By defining how, you may prevent other solutions from presenting themselves. Open yourself up to the unexpected.

9. Elicit feelings of achievement.
Think about and write down why you want to achieve each goal. Boil your why down until you get to the feeling place. For example, if you have the goal of moving to a new home, you may find that you’re actually pursuing feelings of comfort and security. Use your imagination to elicit the feeling that you’d have if the goal was already achieved. This sounds simple, and because it is, you may gloss over this very important point. But this is part of goal setting that everyone completely misses. What does it feel like to achieve your goals? What does success feel like to you? Is it a sense of freedom? Practice visualization as if the goal has already been achieved. Read your list of goals aloud twice daily and focus on the feeling of having achieved them. This changes your energy and attracts what you want into your life more easily.

10. Take action each day.
Taking action is obviously a key ingredient in achieving your goals. However, you must take action from a place of positivity. On a separate sheet of paper, write 20 positively inspired action steps to take toward achieving each goal. Plan to take action every day toward your goals. Again, don’t be rigid about defining exactly how you’re going to reach the goal, but brainstorm ideas of positive, forward-moving action. Block time on your daily planner for a few of those action steps. Make them high-priority items.

Be open and willing to revise as needed as you gain more clarity. When you focus on the feeling more than the thing, even greater ideas and opportunities will flow to you.


Written by Janet McKee. Have you read?

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Janet McKee
Janet McKee is a speaker, bestselling author, wellness expert and CEO of SanaView. She is one of only 200 elite Certified High Performance Coaches(TM) in the world and inducted as a member of the National Association of Experts, Writers and Speakers. She is author of the new book, Stressless Success: The Surprising Secrets to a Life of Passion, Purpose and Prosperity (Laurel Mountain Publishing, Feb. 1, 2020). Janet McKee created the acclaimed Accelerated High Performance Program and the emPower3 Leadership + Lifestyle Retreats to empower others to break negative patterns and achieve greater success. Janet McKee is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. Follow her on Facebook or connect on LinkedIn.