One of the most interesting things that I have read about this recently is Vishen Lakhiani’s thoughts on goal setting. He says that goal setting ” is an absurd practice” that he gave up long ago. But, he goes on to explain that modern goal setting is done all wrong because the goals that we have historically set for ourselves are based on BRULE’s. Bullshit rules that came from someone else’s idea of how we should live our lives.
“The biggest of these Brules is the idea that you need to map out your life to move you toward some ridiculous idea called a career. As a result, when most people think about setting goals and their visions for the future, their dominant model focuses on career and money.”Vishen Lakhiani – Code of the Extraordinary Mind
The Four Goal Setting Camps
Views on goal setting vary greatly and can be incredibly confusing about the best way to go about setting them. I have been focused on my own personal development for many many years and have seen all of the trends come and go. The views evolving over time. One thing that really stands out to me though from all of the reading that I have done is that it doesn’t matter what your view is about goal setting. The only thing that matters is that you set them. But, first I think it’s helpful to think about the various goal setting ‘camps’ out there.
- Don’t set Goals – They never work out.
- Set very specific goals, write them down and map out every step to get there.
- Set very specific goals and visualise the detail.
- Set broad goals and let the universe provide.
Now there is likely to be a goal setting expert out there that would say that my ‘camps’ above are not the academically approved versions but you get the picture.
In the 1979 Harvard study conducted on goal setting, found that prior to graduation 84% of students had set no goals at all. But the most important thing to focus on is the balance of the study.
The study also showed that 13% of the class who had written their goals down without a plan had made twice as much money as the 84% that had no goals. The 3% remaining that had written goals and concrete plans were making ten times as much as everyone else!
Those are pretty compelling figures to coerce you into the 2nd camp! But, as with everything a word or two of caution is needed. In the past, I have written about not making a plan because it may be interferring with your manifesting magic because you are telling the universe how to create something awesome instead of being open to opportunities. But, I have since changed my mind. I think the thing to keep in mind when writing your goals is to be aware of the brules that you have picked up throughout your life so you can ignore them and plan towards the things that would make your life wonderful.
Write It Down
As much views on goal setting vary, there are a number of consistent themes. One of those themes that is consistent across camps 2, 3 and 4 is that writing them down is a must!
Patrick Grove really cemented the idea of writing our goals down for me in an interview he did with Vishen Lakhiani for Mindvalley called ‘Journal To Get Rich.’ Patrick spoke about having the big goal and basically working backwards to figure out how to get there by asking “how” questions.
For example: “How Do I Get What I Want?” instead of “Why is this happening to me?”
To me, journaling the how questions to achieve your goals is genius! Journalling is an incredibly positive tool to use in all things manifesting, so using it in this way can only have a positive impact on making your goals a reality.
Going one step further, Stephen Larson challenges everyone to publish goals as a good way of holding you accountable. So, my goal in the next 12 months is to earn $1,283,000 (don’t ask me why this number but it seemed reasonable) by August next year.
$1,283,000 broken down, looks like this.
Daily: $1,283,000 / 365 = $3,515.07 per day
Weekly: $1,000,000 / 52 = $24,673.08 per week
Monthly: $1,000,000 / 12 = $106,916.66 per month
Thinking about the goal of $1,283,000 on it’s own was way too much for my brain but breaking it down this way now seems a lot more do-able!
Setting Lofty Goals But Taking Inspired Action!
I am still a firm believer in dreaming big and to a degree leaving the ‘how’ to the Universe. Thinking about it, Patrick Grove’s ‘how’ questions probably work because he is putting it out there for the Universe to return the solutions. But, it still takes inspired action. I’m not just talking about putting one step in front of the other to get to a certain point. I mean doing the small things daily to move towards your happy end result.
Morning routines are great for this because it’s (providing you don’t have babies or you can get up before they do) when you can really focus on what it is you want. Each morning, I spend time meditating (which involves imagining my big goals), swapping between a visualisation and a hypnosis track then focusing on my business. It puts me in a good place for the day and moves me forward.
My firm belief is that manifesting what you want in life isn’t all science or maths! The spiritual laws come into it as well and I like to have all my bases covered.
Setting Goals For All Areas Of Your Life
John Assaraf of Neurogym has an excellent programme called ‘Having It All‘ for helping you to get more specific with your goals and emphasises the importance of setting goals for all areas of your life for a more abundant life. This is another really common theme that I see from the experts in all things goal setting. Jon and Missy Butcher, Vishen Lakhiani and T Harv Eker all agree on this even though the names of the areas of in each of their programmes differ.
John Assaraf’s are:
- Financial goals
- Business/career goals
- Spiritual goals
- Mental health goals
- Relationship goals
- Contribution goals
Maybe even easier to remember, Patrick Grove has the ‘6F’s’:
- Figureheads – contribution
Forget the money, because if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living – that is, to go on doing things you don’t like doing. Which is stupid. Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.Zen philosopher: Alan Watts – read in ‘Code of the Extraordinary Mind’
It doesn’t matter what you call the areas, the key thing is to make sure that when you are setting your goals you focus on the end goals in each area and that the areas you name are important to you. As long as the goals are your end goals for a happier life, you will get the help and opportunities you need when you need them most.
It Doesn’t Matter How You Do It – Just Set Some Goals!
The jury is out for me. I’m firmly in camp number 2 but with a garnish. Writing down specific goals with a plan is a must but to accelerate the manifesting of those goals, visualisation/meditation/mood boards and affirmations are all essential too. Why not get extra help from the Universe?
Our focus should be on the big end goals. Wayne Dyer summarises my whole thinking in his book ‘Wishes fulfilled’:
Be willing to change your concept of yourself, which means changing what you have believed to be true. (Brules – my add)
Recognise yourself as always connected to your Source of being
Treasure your greatest gift – your imagination
Live as if what you desire is already here
Assume the feeling of your wish fulfilled
Never let your attention be directed by anything or anyone other than your own highest self
Use the last moments of your day before sleeping to reinforce in your mind your desires as fulfilled
Have a mind that is open to all possibilities
You were born with potential.
You were born with goodness and trust.
You were born with ideals and dreams.
You were born with greatness.
You were born with wings.
You are not meant for crawling, so don’t.
You have wings.
Learn to use them and fly.
It’s time we all started to dream bigger, manifest it all and start writing!