The following is a summary of Dr. Beverly Potter’s book, “High Performance Goal Setting: Using Intuition to Conceive and Achieve Your Dreams,” on how to boost the power of your goals. Again, my only advice is to say that if this stuff makes you crazier, go for a walk instead (which is what I had to do for a long while).
But if you want to get serious about some goals, her seven ways to get started may be helpful:
1. Picture Your Goal Often
Imagine yourself in the goal state. Add details to your image of the goal. The more clear and positive your picture is of you being in the goal-state, the more compelling and powerful your goal will be.
2. Accomplish Goals Through Small Steps
Suppose your car has a dead battery and you must push it to get it started. The greatest effort to get the car moving is the first push. This is when you break the inertia and move the car from rest to motion. Once moving, it takes much less effort to keep the car moving.
If you’re like many people, you often have trouble getting started moving toward your goal. The problem is inertia. You are a body at rest! You must break the inertia to get moving.
3. Take Small Steps
Set the objective for a small improvement over a short time period.
Begin at your current level of performance with the first objective, the proceed in small steps. Ask yourself for small improvements only.
It’s similar to practicing yoga. In yoga, you assume a posture that you can do without undo strain, then you stretch a little bit. You don’t demand too much or try to force yourself into a position.
Don’t set yourself up to fail by demanding enormous changes.
4. Set Yourself Up to Win
Set yourself up to succeed.
Your small step should be only as big as what you know you can achieve with relative ease.
If the goal is something difficult because it is distasteful or involves an entrenched habit, then shorten the time frame of the objective.
For example, suppose you want to stop smoking. If, for your first objective, you demand that you will chew gum every time you feel like smoking for a month, you are likely to fail. Chances for success are better if you make the first objective for one day instead. When you meet that objective, set another one for a slightly longer period of time.
5. Get Into Motion
The objective helps you get started and creates momentum. Once you’ve broken the inertia of a bad habit you have also started to develop a winner’s attitude, which will help you to succeed.
6. Slowly Stretch Your Abilities
Don’t worry about the steps being too small. No step is too small as long as there is some stretch and some movement. Remember the inertia principle: A body in motion will tend to stay in motion. Use small steps to keep yourself in motion toward your goal.
7. Make Getting There Fun
People often equate self-management or self-discipline with austerity–sacrifice and withholding of pleasures. Such an approach is a mistake and will undermine your success.
Grease the skids of change with fun. Enjoyment of a task lessens the toil.
Consider physical exercising. Doing jumping jacks and running in place isn’t much fun. By comparison, playing tennis with a friend is more fun. And it provides a good workout. With this in mind, think of ways you can build fun into the process of achieving your goals.