It’s February. Only a month and a half ago many of us set goals and made New Year’s Resolutions. How’s that working out for you? Are you making strides or are you…stuck?
It’s OK. Many of us get tripped up on the path to triumph. You’re at a critical point at this moment though– you can choose to throw in the towel or push through. When you have trouble imagining how you’ll ever achieve your goal (whether it’s writing a book, completing a dissertation, moving up a level, enrolling more people, or making headway on a project, etc) it’s time to stop and go through a visioning process.
When I work with clients one-on-one or in groups, I take them through several visioning exercises. One that I often begin with has 5 steps:
(1) See it: Close your eyes. Look at your goal square in the face. What does it look like when it’s finished? When you look around, who do you see? Where do you picture yourself? Get specific. I often encourage my clients to put together a vision board that keeps these pictures in the forefront of their minds. What images remind you of your goal? What lies beyond once that goal is achieved?
(2) Sense it: This may take some practice– especially if you are filled with stress and angst right now. What will it feel like to achieve your goal? What do you hear around you? What does victory taste like and smell like? The more visceral you can make your goal, the more driven you will be to achieve it.
(3) Say it: We are often caught using the future tense when talking about the completion of a goal. “I will finish it” might sound good to you but it doesn’t put you in action. In fact, that kind of language can invite procrastination. Who says when the “I will” will actually take place? When speaking to about your goal, say it as if it is happening right now; “I am completing my ________ by April 1,” “I own my own home in December 2012,” “I have straight As on my report card,” or “I am a graduate of XYZ University by June.”
(4) Believe it: Sometimes we feel as if we are lying to ourselves. Do I really think I’ll finish? That kind of goal-robbing gremlin needs to be put to rest. If you don’t really believe that you’ll be able to succeed, you probably won’t. When you have unwavering commitment and conviction in your goal, nothing can stop you. Be sure to put any voices of doubt to bed so that you can concentrate on taking action and making things happen.
(5) Achieve it: This is an active process. Achieving your goal means following your plan, ticking off your check list, and moving forward. Are you closer to your goal than you were yesterday? If so, you are in the process of achieving your goal. And of course, once you check off the last item on your list, the final part of achieving your goal is celebrating your success!
Where are you in the visioning process? Have you set your goals and intentions? Have you created your plan? Once you established where you’re going, the path is clear. Now all you have to do is follow it!