How to achieve the goal
How to achieve the goal you set. This is the second part of the book “Master your workday now” by Michael Linenberger. He describes here 4 steps you can follow –which I find are powerful- to achieve your goals.
Chapter 1: Vision: the missing component of workplace goals
Incorporating vision into your goals reenergizes lifeless “paper goals”—goals you write down but never get anywhere with—and it serves as the basis for the next steps to achieving all your goals
Michael Linenberger, author of master your workday now presents 4 steps to turn goals into reality.
Adding vision to your goals
According to the author, vision is the main missing component of most goals. Vision includes an appreciation of the reasons for the goal, the Why of the goal. Vision, to Michael, implies a depth of purpose associated with the goal. It provides a positive overlay to the activities taken to reach the goal.
Vision is the missing Create-layer component of goals. With a vision in place, if it is strong enough, goals can be achieved much more easily. Adding vision “correctly” is the secret Create-layer tool to achieving your goal
How to achieve the goal: Vision defined
Vision, at its simplest, is a passionate image of an outcome. At its best, it is a multisensory image of an inspired outcome. It is a mental image usually mixed with a personal emotional connection to the outcome.
The multisensory image gives the vision its form, and the emotion gives it its power. Form and power together are what lead to creation of the vision’s goal.
A Vision Goal is a goal that is written in such a way as to emphasize the vision. It does so in a way that describes the outcome, conveys a sense of how the new outcome transcends the status quo, and engenders inspiration for action. In other words, it allows you to picture the goal and get excited about it.
The key to creating Vision Goals is to focus on the reason for the desired outcome. Write text that captures the Why of the goal, as opposed to the How or merely the What. Try to represent the excitement, the inspiration, the passion of the goal in that text. It’s easy to do, and I have a simple formula for writing Vision Goals.
Formula for a well-written vision goal
As you create your vision goal, you want to create very emotive statements. An emotive statement is required.
Just make sure to include all the following qualities—they are ones that help elicit an emotional experience during goal activation. Those qualities are:
A) Appropriate length
B) Descriptive text
C) Emotive text
D) Always positive
E) Written in the present tense
How to achieve the goal Chapter 2: Merging vision goals and target goals to create now goals
Target Goals are numeric or specific measures and statements that help give focus and clarity to a vision. They typically answer the question, “How can I measure this outcome?”
Target Goals often also answer the question, “How can I clarify this outcome?” Adding Target Goals to a Vision Goal, to create a Now Goal, is Step 2 of the full 4-step Now Goal creation process.
Now Goals are goals that are written in such a way that they include a powerful Vision Goal and include applicable Target Goals that help clarify the vision.
Now Goals are the next evolution of personal and workplace goal setting, improving greatly on the previous standard of SMART goals
Chapter 3: Activating now-goals – the key to goal success
This is probably the most important step in the 4-step goal creation process Michael suggests. If you want to learn how to achieve the goal you set for yourself, read on.
What is goal activation?
Activation is simply taking a few steps each day to embrace and internalize the vision portion of your goal. It is very easy and surprisingly powerful.
The author first observes that we all get minor thoughts spinning over and over again in our heads. It for example happens when a song gets “stuck” in your head. It seems to spin over and over again, often in the background of your mind.
Often such thoughts are spinning in your subconscious mind, just below the surface level. Sometimes they pop to the surface and you even stop and consider them. In either case, most of you also know how strongly such background thoughts—self-talk—can influence your attitudes and your success at work, especially when a thought spins consistently.
Seed the spinning thoughts
What Michael proposes is that you will actually “seed” those spinning thoughts with a short segment of purposeful focus on your goals each day. In general it means reviewing—reading and picturing—your Now Goal statement each day, and getting your vision of the goal activated in your subconscious mind. By doing this, your habits of background thought start to be more and more in support of your goals.
You’ll need to activate your goals because it makes achieving them much easier—and ultimately, you will never achieve some of your harder goals without it. It does this by activating the power of your subconscious mind to find solutions that may not be obvious.
While some willpower is certainly necessary, the author says the magic of getting goals completed goes well beyond the application of willpower. Activating the goal can provide that missing element.
How to activate your goals
Activation should be applied to the vision portion of the Now Goal because the subconscious reacts best to emotions and feelings, not numbers; you cannot activate the goal without the Vision Goal in place.
The first step is to create that Vision Goal portion of the Now Goal statement. You want it written with vivid sensory description and emotive language, according to the formula in Chapter 1.
Reading and Picturing the Now Goal Statement
Once you have created the Now Goal statement, one containing a strong Vision Goal, you will then “spin it up” daily by reading it.
While reading, you will picture the Vision Goal outcome using your imagination. You want to get, even if only for a brief moment, a clear and passionate picture of the outcome.
You should picture the goal as if it were already accomplished and already active in your Workday Now (your immediate now, and a few weeks out). Try to experience, in your imagination, the positive feeling of the goal already being accomplished. Just for a moment, live it, breathe it, and feel it. See it as being established in your work life, both right now and in the week or two ahead from now.
While reading your goal during goal activation, mentally put yourself in your new reality. Doing so will have a profound effect later in helping you achieve your goal.
Your habits of thought in your subconscious are like spinning wheels. Once you get a consistent habit of thought going in the subconscious, it will give direction and power to your thinking, and keep you in a somewhat consistent stance, thought- and attitude-wise.
This can be good if the habit of thought is a good one.
Once you get a thought spinning deeply in your subconscious, it takes on a life of its own, and directs your future thoughts and actions, often in an unseen way and as an unseen force. This explains many habits of behavior you see in other people and yourself, both positive and negative.
So naturally, you want the ideas spinning in your subconscious to be ones that support your positive work goals, goals such as getting the raise, making the promotion, creating the new product, reaching high sales numbers, and so on.
Most of us need to purposely do this
For most of us, the positive vision is rarely in sight in our full-time work. We very quickly lose sight of the positive vision that brought us to our daily routine.
Working a plan is not enough; you need to constantly remind yourself of the vision you want to achieve, and do it in a positive and emotive way. Most workday activities just don’t do that.
Finally, perhaps the Vision Goal you are pursuing has nothing to do with your full-time job; perhaps it is a personal vision that you do not have time to focus on in the course of the workday.
So in all of these cases, you will need to find time to activate the Now Goal every day yourself. Make it a specific daily task, to ensure it gets done.
Do this formal goal spinning every day. Michael has a routine of doing it every morning with his coffee.
How to achieve the goal CHAPTER 4: Taking first action on your now goals
Take first action as soon as you create your goals.
If you are activating your goals every day, you will see that inspiration for action arrives fairly regularly.
In addition to first action, you may want to do some action brainstorming— creating a list of action steps, for example. Perhaps even create a simple plan.
For larger goals with multiple stakeholders with varied interests, you will definitely want to create a project plan and use formal project management methodology to help drive deadline completion.
CHAPTER 5: Stretch your now goals
If your emotional reaction to a new goal is “This is not very exciting since it’s so small,” then it will be hard to achieve. Emotion and passion are a strong part of what makes goal spinning—goal activation— possible.
If those emotions are absent, the goal may be even harder to activate and create. So if the only reason you set a particular goal level is that it’s all you believe you can get in your current situation, but you are not excited about it, then aim higher, set a larger goal, even if you have no idea how you could get it.
Michael Linenberger advises you to increase your goal to a level that may be beyond your current beliefs about what you think is possible. On the one hand, that allows you to get excited about the higher goal. You now have no choice; you need to adjust your beliefs to fit the bigger goal.
Push past glass ceilings
We create a glass ceiling for ourselves through the beliefs we hold about our abilities or about the world around us. And we do that without realizing it.
We hold beliefs and mental models about ourselves and the world around us: how much money we can make, how prominent a position we can hold, or even the class of people we can associate with. Many of those beliefs define limits that don’t need to be there; they lock us away from expanding.
If the only goal you can get excited about is one you currently don’t believe in, you’re going to need to change your beliefs about the goal.
All you need to do is know that, somehow it is possible. You just need to feel that it is believable that you could somehow achieve it. That’s enough of a start.
The HOW to achieve the goal: Adjusting your beliefs
To overcome limiting beliefs, the author cites a few methods:
Neuro-Linguistic Programming, summarized well in the 1996 book NLP: The New Technology of Achievement by Steve Andreas and Charles Faulkner
Neuro-Linguistic Programming was also highlighted by author Anthony Robbins in his book Unlimited Power.
The Sedona Method® has a strong but very simple technique for working yourself past your internal resistance to upward movement.
Another is the Lefkoe Method, highlighted in the book Recreate Your Life by Morty Lefkoe.
Mind body techniques
There are a number of mind-body techniques available for rewiring deeply held limitations.
A process called Psych-K is one—it uses muscle strength testing to isolate and fix limiting beliefs.
Another technique that has gained recent widespread prominence is the Emotional Freedom Technique ( EFT), also called The Tapping Solution.
“What if – why not” method by the author
In the What If–Why Not technique, you state the new goal and you look inside yourself for internal objections to the goal. You then, one at a time, talk down the objections in your own mind until you stop rejecting the goal.
1- Write a very brief Vision Goal
2- Adjust the language like this: “What if I found a way to easily…” and then the Now Goal statement. For example: “What if I found a way to easily… get a house 50 percent larger than, but just as nice as, our current house.”
3- Now, read this statement to yourself. What does your gut say? If your gut responds pleasantly, “That would be nice. I look forward to it,” then adding the “What if I found a way to easily…” statement softened this enough for you, and you are probably fine with this goal now.
4- However, if you still feel a strong doubt about the Now Goal statement, enough that it sucks the energy or enthusiasm out of the goal, then take it to the next level. You want to clearly identify the objection or the source of the doubt.
5- Then, for that objection ask yourself, “Why Not?” in a way that can soften the objection. You want to list so many possible exceptions to the objection that you overwhelm your negative internal voice. Continue finding options until you soften your objection; continue to the point that you stop mentally rejecting the possibility of your goal.
6- Next, rewrite the portion of the Vision Goal that you were “stuck” on in a way that captures this possibility. For example: “I know I can find a way to afford a 50 percent larger home. I am a creative person and will easily find a smooth path to doing that; after all, I listed 15 ways to make it work, so I know this is possible.
7- Now, read the vision statement to yourself again. How does it feel? If you are no longer rejecting it, you are good for now. If there’s a rejection, repeat steps 4-6
8- Live with the larger vision for a while until it feels right and is part of your mental model.
Using visualization to lock in new beliefs
The point of this exercise is to create a script you can read to reinforce a new belief once it’s been set.
It is a set of statements around a number of specific aspects of the outcome that, together, can get the subconscious becoming more accustomed to the new belief, thus locking it in.
Doing “scripting,” which is writing a detailed narrative of how you would move through your day with your new goal in place, is a common prescription from many success books that teach their own versions of goal spinning.
In step one you brainstorm a list of all things currently in your work or personal life that might be influenced by the new belief.
In step two you then write a new version of each, describing what their positive new state would be once your belief or associated goal was complete.
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