By Terry Lemerond
A New Year means a new beginning. It’s a reflective time. During the first days of this new start, we often think, “where will I be and what will my life be like this time next year?”
The answer is that you can be the person you’ve imagined and make your life what you want. It’s all about following through on the goals and dreams you may have been putting off far too long.
But there’s a catch. The time to start achieving these goals is right now.
Goals make it happen
I’ve learned that everything I have accomplished has occurred after I’ve set clear goals. In fact, aside from my relationship with God, setting goals is the most powerful facet of my life.
Whether you want to slim down, join a professional or volunteer organization, be promoted at work, or simply have a more peaceful and contented outlook, you need to consciously and deliberately set your goals to make them happen.
While I can’t choose your goals, I can tell you – from experience -- the seven most important steps that help you obtain your dreams and how to make them happen in two words: focus and faith. What you focus on becomes your reality. Believe and succeed. Christ said, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
We live in an easily-distracted world. Our cellphones and tablets double as TVs and radios. We believe in multitasking (which typically means we do many things poorly at once). And, we have social networks that demand ever more status updates, tweets, and “likes” for us to feel “connected.”
Yet, in the midst of this, we lose focus. Our dreams fade into the background as though they were on a to-do list that we can put off until tomorrow. But is it any wonder that our goals recede when this happens? After all, when light is scattered, it gives off little heat. But when it’s focused, you have a powerful beam.
Stay with your goals. Focus on them like a laser. Don’t let a million distractions keep you from reaching them, and don’t waste your energies on minor things.
Pay attention to your dreams!
Your dreams deserve your full attention. This does not happen by accident – you have to work at it. One of my favorite and most successful techniques is to simply write down what I want. Enjoy the process. Write down hundreds of goals if you’d like, but only give one your top priority. Post that list where you’ll see it often – on your fridge, on your computer, on the dashboard of your car – and read it several times a day. The act of reading this list helps pull you back into focus.
Don’t worry about how you’re going to make this all happen. Think of your goals the same way you think of taking a trip to a favorite vacation spot. At first, you just know you want to be there. Then, you begin setting about getting there. And you will get there.
It may not happen overnight, or the next week, or even the next year. But with the right time, people, and season, you’ll get there. Your job is to simply know the direction and keep going. The rest will take care of itself.
Give Your Goals the Time They Deserve
Goals need intention and concentration. You have to make a time and place for them. Set aside 15 minutes a day in a quiet, peaceful environment and think about your goals and the progress you’ve made. See yourself in the exact event or situation that you want to accomplish. Make it a mental movie with sound and color. The more real you make it, the greater impact it will have for becoming your reality. Give thanks to the creator according to your own beliefs. That could be God, or the Universe, or wherever your spirituality leads you. This short quiet time of reflection will make an enormous difference in your life. Give it a try for a minimum of 21 days. All change usually takes at least 3 weeks. If you do this, I guarantee you will want to make it a part of each day.
The next part of achieving your goals is faith. You must have faith in yourself and the universe that your goals will happen. You have to SEE yourself as successful before you become successful. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds, you need to see it in your mind—how good it will feel to buy “skinny clothes”, how easy it will be to climb stairs or work in your garden, and how great it will be to notice the admiring glances from your spouse. Make this a part of your 15 minutes of intentional concentration and reflection, and think about it throughout the day.
It has been my experience that more than 90% of the time, people give up on their dreams far too soon. I think this is partly because they never allowed themselves to believe, to have faith that they could do what they set out to accomplish.
Good Thoughts and Good Words Help You Grow
When the right things happen, it’s often because you have helped – even unconsciously – make them happen. So what you think and speak about is incredibly important.
That’s because the mind is like a garden. Your thoughts are like seeds. As the farmer plants seeds in the garden, the garden doesn’t care what’s planted. It will produce what is planted. You can plant corn or a deadly poison. The garden will give back exactly what’s planted. You can plant good thoughts in your mind, or thoughts of poison, and your life will reflect what you have planted. You’ve probably heard the statement from the Bible, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” It is true on many levels.
The seven steps I recommend:
- Take time to think about and set goals
- Write them down! Pick your primary goal
- Post your goals where you will see them and think about them every day
- Spend at least 15 minutes a day thinking about your goals and getting in touch with your spirit
- Visualize in great detail how you will achieve your goals throughout the day
- Say powerful and uplifting words (plant good seeds!) every day
- Have faith—always!
My life has been centered with God and with making – and keeping – my goals. Stay with your dreams. You can have whatever you focus on. Nothing is impossible. Let your mind be your guide. Throughout this next year, my greatest wish for you is that you accomplish all that God wants for you and you make your goals a reality. You can do it. You are capable of more than you could ever imagine!
Set your goals now. Make them happen. And watch 2014 become an incredible year.