Everybody you meet is chasing a goal. Losing those 20 lbs, quitting smoking, improving your relationships, starting a business, quitting a job — we all have something we want to work on, grow, improve and achieve. But in a world where your attention span for most things lasts no more than a few seconds to minutes, all the weekly therapy, motivational videos and podcasts, and daily journaling and affirmations aren’t working the way you’d hoped when it comes to dealing with your own bullshit.
You know what I’m talking about, right — the bullshit that keeps you from having the life and happiness you say you want?
The thoughts, beliefs and behaviors that keep you from truly achieving your goals. Bullshit.
We all have it.
Every leader, every winner, every success story comes with loads of it. It shows its ugly head every day, trying to stop us, derail us, suck the motivation out of our soul to keep us from doing what we need to do to finally be happy, skinny, rich and loved or whatever.
And when you let it get to you? It stops you from even remembering what your goals are and that you are perfectly capable of achieving them if you so choose to. It feels like one thing after another happens in your job and life to physically stop you from doing anything to reach those goals (or so you tell yourself, anyway).
This all happens because achieving a goal, any new goal, comes with just as much internal work as it does external work (taking action). You must first be able to achieve it in your mind and heart before you can do it in the physical.
What does that mean, exactly?
It means that if you don’t really believe you can achieve the goal, don’t really want that specific goal (lacking clarity), and/or think achieving the goal might bring more pain/discomfort (think: If get rich and I will lose friends and family), you won’t ever take the right action to reach it.
You might get close, but it will be impossible for you to get there because even though you may say you want it and take some steps to get it, your subconscious mind will do whatever it must to block you. Twisted and fascinating, isn’t it? I’m not making this up, I swear! (It’s neuroscience)
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zones.” — Neale Walsch
So, when you take a leap forward to try something new, break old habits and create new ones, you’ll be scared.
You’ll make excuses.
You’ll sabotage your own success.
You’ll get in your own way.
You’ll see reasons that aren’t even there.
You’ll even go as far as getting physically ill to avoid it.
Not on purpose, no, but your subconscious mind is THAT powerful, and it’s probably already happening to you and you don’t even realize it.
You’ll stop and start over. Stop, and start over again. Your brain will not want you to continue breaching the walls of the comfort zones you’ve been dormant in because continuing to do what you’ve been doing, even if it’s making you miserable, even if you’re playing victim to the world, even if you’re scared out of your mind to try something new, even if you know you’re drowning in your own bullshit (see above), feels SAFE.
SAFER than taking a leap into the unknown, trying something new, possibly falling and having to get back up again. But remember this when that happens again: Change will always equal resistance. How much resistance? That’s up to you. You have the power to break and set those thresholds. You have the power to decide what will stop you and what will push you forward.
You have the power to face all your bullshit and wave goodbye to it — in an INSTANT. Yes, it can happen that fast (quit your bullshit).
Decide that it’s time to re-program the way you think. Decide that you’re ready and willing to do whatever it takes to CHANGE. And then accept the fact that it’s going to take work to upgrade the habits you want to change.
You wouldn’t go to the gym for two days and expect a six pack, would you? Re-programming your mind and re-inventing yourself is no different. It takes time and just how much time is totally up to you.
One of the fastest and most powerful ways to re-program your subconscious mind is repetition. The other is hypnosis, but that’s another blog.
Repetition is how you got to be who and how you are today. Throughout your life, you’ve repeated thoughts, emotions, beliefs and behaviors that have shaped you. Repetition resets the mind, refocuses it and re-wires it — this happens with the good and bad.
But, how different would your day look if you were constantly reminded of your goals? How different would your entire day feel if you were frequently reminded of all that you have to be grateful for? How much more productive would you be if you had an hourly reminder of your big dreams?
Let’s be real, that internal and external work? It’s not always easy, especially in the beginning. It’s a radical change for most people, paying attention to themselves, at that level. But you know what? That’s what separates the winners from the losers.
The winners focus on winning. They do whatever it takes even if it’s uncomfortable and even if it’s scary as hell. And they know that know change or upgrade can happen on the outside if it’s not a possibility on the inside. Losers allow themselves to get distracted and lose sight of the goal.
And that’s where me and millions of people have been stuck many times. Trying to think positive. Trying to trust the process. Trying to take the right action to achieve the goal. But feeling overwhelmed and stuck and frankly, like nothing you do can make that goal come faster.
But I know that’s not true, and I’ve got the living proof and data. In my 13+ years in leadership and consulting to hundreds of great minds across the globe, plus my entire life of being obsessed with psychology, neuroscience, and understanding why people think and do what they do, I found that there are really just TWO things we need to do every day to re-program your mind or manifest something. Yes, there may be a number of other things you will need to do to feed your soul, but just two to keep your mind on track and where you want it to be,
Focusing on these two tasks every day despite how crazy my to-do list may look has helped me change my life and the lives of countless friends, family and clients. I dare you to challenge yourself to try them, and your life will never be the same either.
1) Write Down Your Goals Three Times a Day
Writing is a physical exercise that engage the subconscious mind. Too many of us have goals that we never think about, look at and forget focus on all day every day.
A vision board is not enough. To simply “just know” what those goals are isn’t enough. You have to do above and beyond to break the patterns that have kept you stuck. You have to accept that your mind is a busy place and that if you’re not resetting it to what you want, it will wander.
Life is busy and there is a plethora of distractions, temptations and demands of your time. It’s your responsibility to do whatever it takes to keep those goals at the center of your everyday. If you’re always writing them down, then you’ll always be thinking of them. Then your decisions will be heavily influenced by them, then your results will be what you expected.
When you wake up in the morning, within the first hour, write down your goals. At lunch time, write them down again, and before bed, do it one more time. It shouldn’t matter how long it takes. It doesn’t matter what you write it on or who is around.
Matter fact, any excuse you can come up with, and I say this with absolutely certainty, is just you resisting to take this step. Wake up earlier, fast during your lunch break and go to sleep later if you need to.
If you feel that your goal list is 7 pages long, make it work. Find a way by focusing on 1–5 goals at once. If you want the goal as bad as you say you do, you’ll find a way. Force yourself to get physically engaged with those goals, at a minimum, three times a day (some of my exercises require more goal-writing because IT WORKS!).
2) Set Reminders Throughout the Day, Everyday
This will probably be the most difficult one for you to get used to because constantly breaking the patterns of your daily thinking and doing always is! But as someone who struggled with this for weeks — even already being a semi calendar-abiding person — I can tell you that it has been one of the best things I have ever done for myself. And even though I am not currently on any program or experiment as I casually do, all my alarms are still set and still blazing. 7 days a week.
What happens in the minutes, hours and moments between the time you wrote down your goals in the morning but before lunch time when you have to write them down again? LIFE.
Almost 80,000 thoughts in a day tend to have a way distracting us from things. That’s why, again, it’s up to us to do whatever it takes to stay the course, keep the focus and keep taking action.
When I first did this, I tried an alarm for every hour from 10am-6pm. At that point, I planned on stopping for a couple of hours to do dinner, reading and books with my children as I do nightly. Each time the alarm would go off, I’d listen to an audio file I created, reciting my goals and some affirmations. Multi-sensory manifestation is SO my fave!
So, the plan was to end the day with my nightly mindset routine of journaling, goal-writing, listening to my manifestation audio files and catching some beats as I fall asleep.
But, I failed.
By the time the first alarm went off, I was already trying to keep my cool about my toddler throwing a fit because I wasn’t in my bed where he expected me to be when he woke up at 7am. Before, I knew it, the alarm was ringing again, and I was hitting snooze.
The first week went just like that, and at one point, I even told myself that it was okay to turn off the alarms for a few hours until I could catch up with some things and make time.
But really? What I was making was excuses. I was resisting because it was breaking my pattern, disrupting my normal, making me uncomfortable and forcing me to reset my focus. I didn’t like it, but I know repetition works, so I kept at it.
After a few weeks of feeling like I had failed this experiment completely, I got the hang of it. Only then I decided to try 90-minute spans, and that’s where I found success. I found a way to make it work on the hour every hour, but 90 minutes seemed to be my max.
By each 90-minute mark, I was asking myself if it was possible that time had flown that quickly, confirming that I had in fact been so focused on whatever else I was doing that I had already forgotten the goals I was supposed to be thinking of all day long.
And by the way, if you haven’t already figured it out, this same exercise can be used to manifest anything. When I say “goal” I mean anything you’re trying to make happen for yourself in your life. Anything.
How? Because what we focus on, we attract, remember?
So, what do you think will happen if you radically started focusing on your goals and the things you want to manifest, daily, every hour or 90-minutes, every moment you can, every space available goes to thinking about, day-dreaming about and doing something about THAT goal?
It becomes your new reality.
You re-wire your mind and don’t even realize that you’re thinking differently.
You re-wire your beliefs and don’t even realize that you’re blazing through your old bullshit like nothing.
You start to make choices in your everyday that serve and support those goals.
And last but not least, you start to eliminate the things you know go against what you’re working for because it becomes pain-stakingly clear that it has to go.
Start by setting alarms or reminders on your phone for every 60 minutes. Pick a unique sound just for that reminder. Every time the alarm goes off, stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few minutes to read through your goals or listen to them like I did. The countless people who have tried these exercises are not special. You have ALL THE POWER to create a new life for yourself, too. From the inside out.
But you have to want it bad enough. You have to be so sick and tired of where you’re at that you’re willing to do anything to get where you want to be.
You have to be willing to turn off the auto-pilot and take control back of your life, your habits, your choices.
Well, are you?
Then start with this article.
And remember —
When you challenge yourself, you always win.
This article was originally published by Vanessa Rende on Thrive Global.
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