Goal Setting & Visualisation: critical tools for success

Understanding the importance of goal setting and how to get the most out of the process

Whether it be to understand the path you wish to travel in life, devising a way of getting there, or even just keeping you on the right track, goal setting can improve many aspects of our present and future-selves.

I was fortunate enough to be taught about goal setting in secondary school. My teacher explained that, “In order for you to achieve your goals and not be discouraged by failure, your goals should be SMART. This means that all goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.”

While the teaching is true, the interpretation of the realistic part is important.
A younger version of myself believed realistic to mean that our goals should not be seen as crazy, or outrageous, but always within our reach to avoid disappointment.
This was a fearful mentality that I held onto for years.

Then I discovered the true significance of goal setting and the power of our beliefs.

Why do many great leaders believe that you can do anything you set your mind to?
Why do they constantly affirm that there is no limit to what we can achieve? Belief.
It’s all about what you believe.

There are a great number of critically acclaimed literary pieces that explain the importance of belief in yourself, including The Secret (R. Byrne), The Power of Now (E. Tolle), The Power of Positive Thinking (N. Vincent Peale), Think and Grow Rich (N. Hill), 12 Rules For Life (J. Peterson), and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*uck (M. Manson), as well as countless hours of free podcasts available from experts on success, such as Tony Robbins, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Abraham Hicks, Lewis Howes, and Sadhguru.

With relevance to setting and achieving goals, one book stood out with a powerful message that is currently being spread all around the globe.

The Secret, by Australian author, Rhonda Byrne, explains how the Law of Attraction works in our every day lives. Rhonda Byrne interviewed 55 teachers of The Secret around the world, who all had a similar message to share. “Whatever you think about, you draw into effect. Good or bad, it does not matter. The Law of Attraction works by bringing your dominant thoughts into reality.”

The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne, explains the Law of Attraction’s presence in our daily lives and streaming is available for free on Spotify.
There is also a video documentary available, but I highly recommend the audiobook narrated by the author.

What do all of these renowned texts and influential figures agree on?
The power of belief, as well as our ability to create lives beyond our wildest dreams.
What limits most of us, however, is a lack of gratitude and a lack of belief that everything we desire is within reach.

The practice of gratitude is visualising what you are grateful for.
As per the Law of Attraction, when you practice gratitude, you are visualising, and therefore attracting, more of what you are being grateful for into your life.

Feel the feeling of having whatever you desire and hold onto that feeling.
Imagine that you have achieved your goals and be grateful for everything you desire, before you have it. Believe that anything you want is already yours and you fast-track it into your life.

The power of our minds and thoughts has been largely suppressed by modern society, so it is understandable if anyone scoffs at the lessons on this page. So let’s look at goal setting from a purely physical angle.

If our thoughts had no creative power, then what would the benefits of setting goals be? There are a wealth of known benefits of goal setting, including:

  • A goal setting session can help you understand what you desire from life
  • Goals keep you focused on what’s important and moving in the right direction
  • Working towards goals gives a sense of purpose
  • Working towards goals can teach the importance of prioritising
  • A goal can deter Shiny Object Syndrome, which is jumping between tasks and not making any real progress in the big picture
  • A goal allows accountability and responsibility for an action
  • A goal can help overcome procrastination
  • Having a goal allows you to measure progress towards your desired achievement
  • Having goals can motivate you to achieve more than initially expected
  • Goals can keep you motivated to continuously achieve great things
  • When you are constantly thinking about your goals, you are far more likely to make decisions that will bring you closer to reaching them
  • Achieving the right goals feels good and helps you live your best life

With all of the clear benefits of setting goals, what are you waiting for?

Sit down somewhere peaceful and think about all the things you want to achieve.
Ask yourself what do I want from life?
Think about short term goals, as well as what you want in the future.
Think about goals you would like to achieve every single day, then write it all down.

From that list, decide what you want to start working on in that moment and then give yourself a deadline for completing it. You’ve got a goal, now start believing it’s yours. Aside from a bit of hard work, it really is that simple.

Here are a few useful tips to remember when setting goals:

  • Pick goals you are passionate about
  • Make your goals SMART
  • Write down your goals and look at them daily
  • Create reminders for daily tasks or big deadlines
  • Give yourself enough time for completing tasks
  • Setting multiple goals (in stages) is better than one big, unrealistic goal
  • Reward yourself for accomplishing each goal
  • Understand any risks or obstacles to success to mitigate them
  • Evaluate goals, both successful and unsuccessful
  • Talk with your support network about your goals
  • Prioritise one goal above all others
  • Regularly visualise yourself achieving your goals (feel it)
  • Remind yourself WHY you are working towards your goals
  • ALWAYS be positive about your goals

Do not be afraid to set outrageous goals and if you fail, do not be discouraged.

Reality is created by the mind. We can change our reality by changing our mind. – Plato

Published by Harry Hansford

Australian in Spain with a passion for all things sport, health, fitnes & nature. Go deeper to find out more.

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