10 Steps To Achieve Your Personal Goals

Maybe you set some goals in January, or some other time. How is it going? If you are like most people, the initial rush of motivation wears off and you find yourself right back at the starting line, thinking "I really need to get back on track". Knowing what to do is one thing, but doing it is another. With the right mindset and a little bit of understanding, you can programme your mind for success the easy way.

There is no better time than now to re-focus, reset your priorities and reboot your motivation.

Hypnotherapy and coaching work hand in hand to help you to achieve your goals with ease, getting your unconscious mind working for you, in the background. Automatic brain programmes run patterns at an unconscious level without us knowing it, so that we repeat the same old familiar patterns over and over, encouraging us to stay in our comfort zones. However, nothing changes until you change something. If you want to become better, stronger, emotionally resilient, calmer, more confident, give up smoking, lose weight, beat stress, or anything else you set your heart on, you need to push the boundaries and stretch yourself, stepping over the “you” that’s holding you back. A clear defined goal is the first step, add in mental rehearsal and sprinkle on a bit of creative visualisation, and you are almost there. Seal it with hypnosis and watch your success manifest before your eyes. Don’t wait for another year to go by. Learn how to programme your mind for success today.

“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” — George Herbert

Step 1 - Clarify

Start with clarity of mind by asking yourself some questions:

  • "What do you really, really want to achieve?"
  • "Why do you want it?"
  • "When do you want to achieve it by"
  • "What’s getting in the way of you achieving it already?"
  • "What will success look like to you?"

Step 2 - Identify Your Personal Obstacles to Success

The things stopping you from achieving success already may take the shape of unconscious beliefs, thoughts, behaviour, attitude or environment. Ancient Chinese proverb says "Know thine enemy and you can win all battles". What is your biggest enemy when it comes to self-sabotage?

  • Psychological: Laziness; self-sabotage; negative attitude; self-doubt; lack of self discipline; mindlessness.
  • Beliefs: Out-dated or unhelpful ideas about life, family, health, your abilities.
  • Behaviours: Unhelpful habits; conditioned responses.
  • Thoughts: Internal dialogue might be critical; self downing; unrealistic expectations; perfectionism.
  • Environment: Following the crowd; spending time with the wrong type of people.
  • Skills: Time management; problem solving; relaxation; effective planning.

Step 3 - Create an Empowering Vision

Having a clear and precise image in your mind of what exactly you really want engages the part of your brain that focusses on achieving your heart's desire. What is your vision of success? What does it look like? How do you see yourself? What will you be doing? What will you be feeling? Who is there with you? What kind of things do you say to yourself in your own mind? What do you focus on? Take your time to answer these questions and fill in all the details.

Step 4 - Keep Your Eyes on The Prize

The intention is where you begin. Success is the destination. We need to start with the end in mind. Keep your eyes firmly fixed on the prize. There could be many different ways to get to where you want to go. You might want to take the fast road or the scenic route. The journey might be more important than the destination. It all depends on how you look at it. When you programme the Sat Nav in the car, you always start with the destination. This way, the car knows where to go. Your brain works in much the same way.

Step 5 - Create The Blueprint For Success

What are the ingredients of success? You can't drive your car without learning the skill of driving. There are certain skills that will help you to achieve success. These include:

  • Clear, precise, well defined goals - include as many details as you can;
  • Effective communication - includes positive self talk and empowering language;
  • Time management - schedule your day in a well-balanced way;
  • Planning ahead - look at short term, medium and long-term goals;
  • Problem solving abilities - break down every problem into bite size pieces and tackle one piece at a time;
  • Self discipline - be your own coach and encourage yourself;
  • Delayed gratification - you don't have to have everything right now, take time to cherish the anticipation of reward;
  • Taking responsibility/ownership of your problems - step into your power and take control of every aspect of your life;
  • Willingness to change - if we don't change we stagnate, look for areas and opportunities for improvement;
  • Openness to challenge - be willing to challenge your thoughts and your ideas and your emotions, they are not fixed in stone;

Vision - take the long view, the scenic route and imagine where life could take you.Step 6 - Discover your Motivation

We are all motivated by different things. Motivation comes from reward or punishment, moving towards something or getting away from something. Some people like to have a carrot, others like the stick. The thing that motivates you gives you that push you need. If the goal is weight loss, for example, the carrot might be looking and feeling great, wearing your favourite clothes, having energy and zest for life, feeling attractive and at your best. The stick might be the fear of becoming really unhealthy, unfit and unable to do the things you like to do, feeling unattractive, becoming even heavier and having to buy even bigger clothes. Each one (carrot or stick) brings with it thoughts, feelings and images. The one that creates the most powerful feelings is usually the one that will motivate you more. However, the Law of Dominant Thought tells us that what we focus on the most, is what we move towards. Remember to keep your eyes on the prize. External motivation comes from others acknowledging your success, or receiving an award, or something that is outside of you. Internal motivation comes from within, like feeling proud of yourself and wanting to prove to yourself that you can do it.

Step 7 - Recognise and Challenge Your Excuses

The excuse I hear most often is “I haven’t got the time”. We all have 24 hours in the day and we do what we want or need to do. Work takes priority for most people. Work/life balance is crucial for health and when life is unbalanced something may eventually give. The signs of an unbalanced life might manifest as stress, physical illness, anxiety, depression or in the worst case complete physical and mental breakdown. Burnout is a state of mental, physical and emotional exhaustion caused by ongoing, excessive or prolonged stress. Feeling completely drained, unable to meet the constant demands of life, feeling overwhelmed, feeling emotionally drained, is a kind of super stress that leads to serious illness. Maybe it's time to see the excuses you make to yourself and take a deep breath, look at your life objectively and take stock.

In reality, work often takes up more time than anything else in a day. 24 hours might be broken down into 10 hours work, 8 hours sleep, and there are six left for personal growth and relationships. Personal growth includes things like self knowledge, developing a positive attitude, setting goals, identifying our values and updating our belief systems. We all have inherent strengths and weaknesses and knowing what these are is a basis to improvement. Personal growth is a continuous path throughout life and if it becomes stagnant we can feel stuck, in a rut, on a treadmill or in an uncomfortable comfort zone.

Step 8 - Step Out of The Comfort Zone

Success can lead to freedom - freedom from the chains that bind us to old ways, the old feelings, the old behaviours - the old life. We often find ourselves in a comfort zone where we feel safe. The brain likes familiarity and we are designed to repeat the patterns of familiarity because we feel a certain sense of comfort in what we know. If we want to grow personally, we need to stretch the boundaries we place around ourselves. It might mean working harder, getting up earlier, helping others more, learning a new skill, or examining our relationships. Some relationships are toxic and some activities and behaviours are destructive. Are we a good role model or are we modelling ourselves on someone else? Are we living in the shadow of an overbearing parent and always trying to prove that we are good enough? Do we deserve to be the best version of ourselves? What drives us? A little bit of self reflection goes a long way. Maybe we are actually doing very well and deserve to acknowledge our success, or maybe we work too hard and neglect other important areas of our life.

Step 9 - No Death Bed Regrets

Become mindful of what your priorities are and where you put your energy. There will come a time when it’s all over. Beginnings and ends are inevitable, what we do in the middle is up to us. We don't want to get to the end of our days regretting all the things we didn't do, or prioritising the wrong things. Goal setting helps us to look at the long term vision as well as short term goals. Here are some of the things people regret, it might help you to plan ahead to include what's really important, and spend your time wisely pursuing things of value, having worthwhile goals that you will be proud to achieve.

Death-Bed Regrets: According to Susie Steiner in her article in the Guardian on 1 February 2012, the top 5 death-bed regrets are listed below (extract):

(1) I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

"This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it."

(2) I wish I hadn't worked so hard.

"This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence."

(3) I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

"Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result."

(4) I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

"Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying."

(5) I wish that I had let myself be happier.

"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again."

Step 10 - Make Sure Your Goals Are Worthwhile and Fit In To the Greater Plan of Your Life

Every goal is important in it's own right. Each goal could be a stepping stone to a well balanced, healthy, happy life. Setting goals and reviewing them on a regular basis will help to keep us on track. Ultimately, life is like a sand timer, there are only so many grains of sand left. Rather than reacting to the challenges life throws at us, we could be working towards the ultimate goal - to live a meaningful, fulfilled, purposeful, happy and successful life that impacts positively on all those around us.

"A person without a vision for their future is doomed to perpetuate the habits of their present and the outcomes of their past."

Put Yourself First, For A Change

We only have one life at a time, and it’s up to us to make it matter. Hypnotherapy and Coaching work hand in hand to give you the skills and tools you need to achieve success.

Why not put yourself first for a change? If you are interested in exploring some goals, I offer a free, no obligation, discovery session.

Let me help you to achieve those goals!

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