Have you ever tossed a stone in a well to test how deep it is, only to get wet by the splash it created? That is a good analogy for the response generated by last month’s article, “Crafting Goals You Truly Can’t Wait to Achieve.” People have been asking how they can create such goals, which led to this follow-up article.
In the previous article, I described how each of us is endowed with a heart that is capable of inspiring us to create a masterpiece of our own life. I introduced a concept called sensory-based goal setting, which enables you to access that heart, and I listed five reasons why this method is so effective.
Unlike the more common rational goal setting, sensory-based goal setting:
- Puts you in “listen” mode so you can connect with your muse.
- Transforms a grinding challenge into an enjoyable, creative opportunity.
- Harnesses the impressive power of your subconscious mind.
- Produces an ocean of emotion so you can weightlessly float or free ride on a high wave of productivity instead of doing the heavy lifting yourself.
- Engages you holistically – i.e., mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually – rather than just partially.
- Produces astounding results and outcomes.
If you would like to ignite your passion, follow these five sequential steps:
- Choose a goal to craft. Answer, “what would delight you most?” Do your thinking on paper to create an external focal point, clarity of thought and free space on your mental hard disk.
- Identify the feeling you will experience once your goal is achieved. Choose one single emotion containing high-octane fuel that resonates with you. Make sure it captures the exact feeling that will result from accomplishing an exceptional feat like the goal you face.
- Visualize what you literally will see happening that you are NOT seeing now, once you achieve your goal. Imagine a camera crew capturing these images on video. What are they filming? List at least four examples.
- Articulate what you literally will hear people saying to you, and what will say to yourself that you are NOT hearing now, once you achieve your goal. Use short, spontaneous phrases – e.g., “I can’t believe you did that!” List a personal and two other examples.
- Define precisely what it will take to produce the outcomes described in steps 2, 3 and 4. Then get to work to close the gap between where you are and where you’d like to be. While you’re working on your goal, refer back to this outline to keep you emotionally charged and going.
For example, I work with Olympic athletes. One Olympian decided to set a goal using sensory-based goal setting. Since this process allows aims and aspirations to emerge from the inside out, the goal she chose to craft was to break a world record in her game. The emotion she will experience when she achieves her goal is, “ecstatic.” The images she recorded are:
- Being far ahead of the other swimmers and first to reach the finish line;
- Staring at the scoreboard out of breath while waiting for the results to appear;
- Standing on the podium with the gold medal holding an Olympic victory bouquet.
- Speaking joyously with her family using a cell phone.
The auditory messages she jotted down include:
- “I did it.”
- “You are amazing!”
- “You’ve made history.”
Then, she defined what she needed to do or do differently, in order to achieve her goal and experience the outcomes she chose.
Even if you do not aspire to this level of mastery in sports, setting an Olympian-level goal is still achievable in the areas of life you value most. Give the sensory-based goal setting process a try. I’d be willing to bet you won’t go back to the rational process.