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Ready, set, goal!

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The conscious mind is the creative one; the one that understands words, comes up with brilliant ideas and detailed plans, but only its friend the subconscious will allow those ideas to be executed if it believes it’s possible. Our subconscious mind will only do what it’s been instructed to do, not by the conscious mind’s current directives, but by the sum of all of its life experiences. And by the way, it has stored all of your experiences since the day you were born in the form of images, including the repeated messages you received about money, health and relationships. Who or what are these influences that programmed your mind? Parents, friends, teachers, coaches, nana, the media and so on. The subconscious doesn’t take into consideration what’s good for you, or not. It uses no reasoning, no logic. That’s the trait of the conscious friend.

The conscious can desire and plan all it wants. If you don’t believe you could ever become rich, it will be a long climb uphill to reach your destination if it is to be wealthy, whatever your definition of wealth may be.

Therefore, your first task to achieving your goals is to influence your subconscious mind. As Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, aptly said, “The reason man may become the master of his own destiny is because he has the power to influence his own subconscious mind.”

Hard habit to break … or is it?

Many years ago, NASA experimented in their training of astronauts and equipped a group with goggles that literally turned their world 180 degrees upside down. For 24 hours a day, these astronauts wore convex goggles in preparation for a weightless environment. On day 26, something unexpected happened: The vision of one astronaut turned right side up! His brain adapted to the new input; new neural pathways were formed and strengthened. Days later, the rest of the astronauts followed suit.

In subsequent trials, the goggles were removed for short periods of time within the 30-day experiment. When this happened, it took twice as long for the brain to adjust and turn the astronauts’ vision right side up.

What does this mean for you? Back to your goal. If your level of believability was lower than you would like, you haven’t kept your goal at the forefront of your mind – in other words, the neural pathways in your brain haven’t been trained strongly enough. You may have begun charging toward your goal con ganas, but if you took off the goggles before the neural pathways in your brain could be hardwired, your efforts were for not.

Where you are, where you want to be

1. You must set goals. If you’re someone that wants to get the best out of life, goal setting will never end for you. So, give your brain specific targets for every major area of your life. The more detail you can add to each goal the better.

2. Write down your goals and keep them at the forefront of your mind – in your calendar, in your phone, on your computer, anywhere you’d like, just not in the cajón where you’ll forget about them. Remember, you must saturate your subconscious mind with messages; build and strengthen new neural pathways so your brain can adapt to the new information.

3. Visualize. Don’t think you’re a visual person? Let’s see about that. Think of what the outside of your dream home looks like. Have it pictured? Perfect, that’s all you need: five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening of imagining yourself already having accomplished your goal.

But don’t just limit your visualizing to pictures. Recruit your other senses in the process and have a conversation with someone in front of your dream home; smell breakfast cooking, taste coffee in your kitchen  and feel the cool breeze on your face on your balcony. Your five senses are the only language your subconscious knows.

4. Be aware of your thoughts, and when a negative thought enters your mind, affirm the opposite. As silly as it sounds at first (hence, why you need to do it), using this tool can have a significant effect on the actions you choose to take toward your goal.

5. Speaking of actions, determine at least one action you can take every day to get you closer to your goal, and hold yourself accountable to taking that step. You can also program these mini goals into your calendar every Sunday evening in preparation for the workweek.

6. Uncover beliefs that are no longer serving you. If it’s a feeling of not good enough, not smart enough, not anything enough, ask yourself, “When did I decide that was true? Who taught me that?” Often looking at those early years with a new perspective is enough to change a negative belief and stop it in its tracks.

Danielle Medrano is CEO and founder of Phoenix-based Mindful Management, “the leaders in training individuals and organizations to operate at their highest level.” Read her blog at mindful-management.com.

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One Response to Ready, set, goal!

  1. Pingback: My article featured in Latino Perspectives Magazine! | Mindful Management

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