Effective goal writing with Vered Kogan
myvistage.com/research-center/personal-development/20210118-effective-goal-writing-with-vered-kogan January 18, 2021
What do you want to change in your life? And why do you want that?
You may have heard me share on other videos that it’s important for you to clarify what you truly want to achieve or create in your life. You’ve got to have a very clear and meaningful vision to be specific about what it is that you want, and even more importantly, why you want it.
That’s because it will allow your powerful subconscious mind to help you to achieve it. It may sound so basic, but the reality is that most people out there are not intentional enough about what it is that they want to create in their life. They’re essentially creating by default.
So how can you be even more deliberate about what you want so that you can adapt more easily and quickly to those changes in your life? In this video, you will learn some proven tips on how to do that.
You’re going to have a better understanding of how to write goals in a very specific way that will allow you to leverage the incredible power of your subconscious mind. And you’ll even have a very simple fill-in-the-blank formula that you can use any time to write your goals — because words matter. The way that you write your goals really makes a difference.
Why is that? It’s because there is this amazing part of your brain called the reticular activating system (RAS). When you take the time to write a goal in a way where you specify it in a very clear and meaningful way, you actually trigger that part of your brain, and you become incredibly acute at noticing anything that will help you to achieve your goals.
A common example of this is if you’ve ever set a goal to research or buy a particular kind of car and then you start seeing that car everywhere. Has that ever happened to you?
4 guidelines for goal writing
How can you give your brain the best instructions so that you can trigger your reticular activating system and tap into that power of your subconscious mind? What you want to do is follow these four simple guidelines whenever you are writing your goals.
1. Start by writing your goals in the present tense as if it’s already happened.
Write your goals as if you’ve already achieved them. You might ask yourself, “What’s the very last thing that has to happen so that I know I successfully achieved my goal?” For instance, if I wanted to lose five pounds, I would write my goal as if I have already lost the weight. As if I’ve stepped on a scale and noticed that I’ve lost that weight.
2. Be very specific.
You want to add a timeline and make sure that your goals are achievable and measurable. Let’s say I set a goal to have more money. And if I didn’t specify exactly how much money, I might go outside, see a nickel on the sidewalk, and my subconscious mind will believe if I picked it up that I’ve already achieved my goal. And then I might even start sabotaging myself from taking those actions that will actually allow me to gain more wealth.
3. Write your goals in a positive way.
Sometimes I ask people, “What do you really want? What is your heart’s desire?” And they’ll start to list all the stuff that they don’t want, which is fine because knowing what you don’t want will give you more clarity about what you do want.
But here’s the thing: Your brain does not understand negatives. Let’s play with that for a moment because I want you to get this point. If I said to you right now, “Do not think of a lemon. I mean, please, right now, don’t think of a lemon.” Did you just think of a lemon? If you’re like most people, you’ve probably thought of a lemon and even imagined one in your mind’s eye.
Another example is if you say, “I don’t want to be in debt.” If I said that, my powerful subconscious mind would actually hear, “I want more debt — unconscious mind, create opportunities for me to stay in this continuous cycle of debt.
Now, you may know people in your life that write their goals in that way, which is really focused on what they don’t want, where they create these repeated patterns in their life. Be it in relationships, in their career, their health or any other area. So make sure to write your goals the way that you want them.
4. Include how you are going to feel when you achieve your goal.
This is the most important guideline of all because your subconscious mind is driven by emotion, not by logic. So here is the simple fill-in-the-blank-formula:
It starts with the words “it is,” and then you plug in the future date by which you believe that you can achieve your goal.
Then you’ll write the words “and I have.” You’d specify the outcome that you want to achieve as specifically as possible.
Last but not least, you will add the words “I feel,” and then you will include all those good, positive emotions that you will experience when you achieve your goal.
Here’s an example. Let’s say I wanted to start a coaching business. I might write:
“It is December 31, 2019 and I have launched my coaching business. I have at least 30 clients who have hired me to provide my services to them on a continuous basis. I feel eager, excited, and grateful.”
I invite you to write a goal using this simple formula so that you too can begin to condition your mind by reading this goal and visualizing the goal as often as you can, especially first thing in the morning and right before you fall asleep at night.
You might be wondering, how do I visualize my goals? That’s a great question. Here’s how.
You will simply imagine what your life will be like after you’ve successfully completed your goal without any limitations. You’ll essentially play this beautiful movie of your future in your mind. You’re going to see everything you’re going to see, hear what you’re going to hear, maybe hear what you’re going to say to yourself at the moment that you’ve got it, and really feel — this is the key — those positive emotions that you wrote down in your goal.
You might also be wondering, why should I do this first thing in the morning? I have so many things to do as soon as I wake up. Why can’t I do it during my lunch or any other time in the day? There’s a very good reason for that.
As soon as you wake up in the morning, your brain is in a much more relaxed state, what’s called alpha, where your brainwave frequency is slower and you are biologically more receptive to suggestions. It’s actually easier to rewire your brain when you’re in that more relaxed state, kind of like in a mild trance.
You may ask, why should I imagine myself achieving my goal? Why isn’t it enough to just read it out loud and get on with my day? Here’s why it is so powerful for you to imagine your goals: Your brain can do many wonderful things, but there’s one thing it cannot do. Your brilliant brain cannot tell the difference between something that is real and something that you simply vividly imagine in your mind. You can literally rewire your brain just by thought alone.
Let me demonstrate this by sharing a study that was done at Harvard. The researchers did an experiment where they took two groups of people who’d never played the piano before and they asked them to learn a very simple five-finger, one-handed piano exercise. And they asked them to practice that exercise for two hours a day for five days.
One group physically practiced that exercise on a piano while the other group went into a room with no piano in sight, but they just simply mentally rehearsed the exact same exercise without ever touching a piano. At the end of the five days, brain scans showed that both groups grew the same amount of new brain circuits.
So what does that mean for you?
It means that when you repeatedly visualize yourself achieving your goal, ideally, first thing in the morning and right before you fall asleep, your brain will actually change as if you had that experience, and you will trigger your reticular activating system to help you access all those really good new ideas, all those possibilities that will allow you to achieve your goal even easier and faster.
So remember to write your goals using the simple formula that you’ve learned. Then mentally rehearse or visualize your goals every day so that you can condition your mind and body to adapt even more easily to any change that you want to see in your life.