I can feel the sun on my back. The sea breeze gently takes the edge off the heat. I can hear the waves crashing on the nearby beach.
I’m relaxed, happy and focused. The table in front of me has a laptop on it, along with plates of exotic food, fruit juices and coffee. Sitting around the table with me are a group of amazing people of mixed ages, genders, races and nationalities. We’re enjoying our discussion which is about our new project that will change the world for the better. A fragrance of coconuts and lemon grass fills the salty air.
The above is a metaphor. I’ll come to this later.
Regular readers of this blog will know that every three months I set business goals and I publish them along with my online passive income. After the most recent, one of my visitors asked me how I set goals. I’m no expert but I thought I’d tell you how I use goal setting in my business and my life. And, there’s goal setting on steroids – affirmations and metaphors – these are very powerful.
Everyone should set goals. Every business should have targets. But it’s not a case of writing something down on a scruffy piece of paper and then forgetting it. Goals should be constantly set, monitored and reviewed.
It’s not the end of the world if you change your goals as you go along. In fact, it’s necessary.
There are good goals and bad goals. Goals should be SMART. That’s Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based. Here’s an example of an un-smart goal:
“I want loads of money”
Here’s the example of a smart goal:
“I will be earning $4000 a month passive income from Udemy by the end of 2014”
General wishy-washy goals will never be actualised. Keep a goal specific and relevant to your life at the moment. Don’t pick a lofty unachievable dream. Don’t forget your dreams, but you can build up to them by realising bigger and bigger goals. Make them achievable but, at the same time, don’t make them too easy. Push yourself.
This is not a one-off task, it’s a process that never stops.
What goals should I set?
You may think that everyone – or at least every business owner – should know what their goals are. But they rarely do. You may think we all have the same goals of money, freedom and happiness. Everybody may want to be happy. But the funny thing about human beings is, for all their intelligence and capacity for learning, they don’t know how to achieve happiness. They can’t decide between freedom or money either.
So the process of picking goals is surprisingly difficult. If you’ve never done this before but assume you know what you want, I would advise you to spend some serious “me time” to think about this. You’ll be surprised with the results.
Do it now!
Turn the lights out, draw the curtains, sit in a comfortable chair with your back straight, close your eyes and breathe gently through your nose. Try to be aware of the present moment in a non-judgemental way. Feel the sensation of the chair against your backside, the feeling of your clothes on your back. Become more and more relaxed and then ask yourself what do I really want? and what is most important to me at this precise moment? You’ll be surprised with the results.
You’ll find that money is probably not your primary motivation. After having read The 8 Pillars of Motivation by Farnoosh Brock (you should read that), I found that motivation is easier when your aim is to help other people rather than yourself. We humans are very bad, as I said earlier, at knowing what’s good for us. But we’re much better when we turn our attentions outside. So, think not about how you can help yourself, rather, think about ways you can best serve the world.
If you’re interested to read more of my goals, scroll down on my quarterly passive income and business reports – the goals are at the bottom:
Income and business report H1 2012
Income and business report Q3 2012
Income and business report Q4 2012
Income and business report Q1 2013
Income and business report Q2 2013
Income and business report Q3 2013
Income and business report Q4 2013
Income and business report Q1 2014
An affirmation is the declaration that something is true. Affirming your goals will help you achieve them.
Affirmations work. I don’t know how. I could regale you with tales of how positive thought causes a vibration that somehow ensures your wish comes true. I could even throw in a few unicorns or angels if you’d like. But the truth is I don’t know. But I do know that, if you really want something and constantly train your mind to believe you’re going to get it, you will succeed.
Write them down in a nice expensive notebook. You can affirm them to yourself in your downtime, when you’re waiting at a checkout, when you’re walking somewhere, just before you go to sleep. There are good affirmations and bad affirmations. Again, avoid the general and wishy-washy.
“One day I will be wealthy”
Affirmations should be specific and in the present tense so they’re current, tangible and “real”. Feel as though you’ve achieved your goals when you say them.
“I’m adept at creating assets and increasing my passive income”
To add extra power to your affirmation, “feel” this desired outcome whilst you’re extremely relaxed. Repeat the exercise within a meditation, sitting quietly with your eyes closed whilst concentrating on your breathing. Make the affirmation whilst you’re in a heightened state of relaxation. This helps you instil your goal into your subconscious mind.
Metaphors are an NLP technique to make a connection with your subconscious mind.
I was lucky enough to go to a motivation and goal setting meet-up last week with NLP Master Practitioner Mark Phoenix. I was told to create a metaphor of what I’d hear, see, taste, touch and feel when I’d achieved my goal.
I immediately thought of myself in a relaxed mood, sitting at a restaurant table in a beach resort, talking to a group of happy and well-motivated people. We are working together on a project that is going to help people (like the building of a hospital or an orphanage). Check out my metaphor in italics at the beginning of this article.
What do you think?
Do you set goals in your business or in your life or both or neither? Do you affirm them? Have you created a metaphor? Or was that bit too woo-woo for you?
I would love to hear what you think in the comments.