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Posts Tagged ‘achieving goals’

Older Adults Are Better at Decision-Making Than Young Adults

Posted by Sun on June 15, 2012

ScienceDaily (Aug. 23, 2011) — We make decisions all our lives — so you’d think we’d get better and better at it. Yet research has shown that younger adults are better decision makers than older ones. Some Texas psychologists, puzzled by these findings, suspected the experiments were biased toward younger brains.

So, rather than testing the ability to make decisions one at a time without regard to past or future, as earlier research did, these psychologists designed a model requiring participants to evaluate each result in order to strategize the next choice, more like decision making in the real world.

The results: The older decision makers trounced their juniors. The findings will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

“We found that older adults are better at evaluating the immediate and delayed benefits of each option they choose from. They are better at creating strategies in response to the environment,” says Darrell Worthy, of Texas A&M University, who conducted the study with Marissa Gorlick, Jennifer Pacheco, David Schnyer, and Todd Maddox, all at the University of Texas at Austin.

In the first experiment, groups of older (ages 60 to early 80s) and younger (college-age) adults received points each time they chose from one of four options and tried to maximize the points they earned. In this portion, the younger adults were more efficient at selecting the options that yielded more points.

In the second experiment — the setup was a sham test of two “oxygen accumulators” on Mars — the rewards received depended on the choices made previously. The “decreasing option” gave a larger number of points on each trial, but caused rewards on future trials to be lower. The “increasing option” gave a smaller reward on each trial but caused rewards on future trials to increase. In one version of the test, the increasing option led to more points earned over the course of the experiment; in another, chasing the increasing option couldn’t make up for the points that could be accrued grabbing the bigger bite on each trial.

The older adults did better on every permutation.

“The younger adults were better when only the immediate rewards needed to be considered,” says Worthy. “But the second experiment required developing a theory about how rewards in the environment were structured. The more experience you have in this, the better you are better at it.”

The psychologists conjecture that these results are related to the ways we use our brains as we age. Younger people’s choice making relies on the ventral striatum, which is related to habitual, reflexive learning and immediate rewards: impulsivity. But as this portion of the brain declines, older adults compensate by using their pre-frontal cortices, where more rational, deliberative thinking is controlled.

“More broadly, our findings suggest that older adults have learned a number of heuristics” — reasoning methods — “from their vast decision-making experience,” says Worthy. Another word for this, which the psychologists use in their title, is wisdom. For older people, it may be nice to know that this sometimes-undervalued asset has been ratified in the lab.

The article is entitled, “With Age Comes Wisdom: Decision-Making in Younger and Older Adults.”

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Sticking to Our Goals: What’s the Best Approach for Success?

Posted by Sun on June 13, 2012

ScienceDaily (Apr. 16, 2012) — Consumers have an easier time starting toward a goal than finishing it, but according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, a shift in attention can make all the difference in reaching the finish line.

“Starting toward a goal can often feel easier than following through and reaching this goal’s end state, as individuals with good intentions often fail to invest the time, effort, or monetary resources required to bring their goals to completion,” write authors Minjung Koo (Sungkyunkwan University) and Ayelet Fishbach (Booth School, University of Chicago). For example, many consumers sign up for rewards programs without completing the steps necessary to earn their rewards.

The authors explored what they call the “small-area hypothesis,” which relates to the way people monitor their progress toward goal completion. For example, consumers in a coffee-shop rewards program can either pay attention to the number of purchases they have completed or the number of purchases they have yet to make to receive the free beverage reward. “We predict that individuals will express greater motivation to pursue actions when they focus on whichever is smaller in size — the area of their completed actions or of their remaining actions — because motivation increases with the perceived impact of each new step, and each new step will appear more impactful if compared to a smaller set of other steps toward the goal,” the authors write.

The authors conducted several experiments with loyalty programs, including a coffee shop and a bagel store. They manipulated customers’ attention by making different frequent buyer cards, some of which emphasized accumulated progress and others that showed remaining progress. “For participants who were closer to getting a reward, an emphasis on remaining progress (small area) increased motivation more than on completed purchases (large area),” the authors write. Customers who were far from the rewards said they were more motivated to finish filling the cards when the cards emphasized completed (small area) versus remaining progress (large area).

“Marketers should design or structure feedback interventions that emphasize small areas and thus increase the perceived impact of the next action,” the authors conclude.

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Thoughts That Win

Posted by Sun on June 13, 2012

ScienceDaily (May 25, 2011) — Back in high school, on the soccer field, poised to take a crucial penalty kick, “I always had a lot of thoughts going on in my head; I think most people do” says sports psychologist Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis. “I was setting the ball and planning my shot; I was the captain and never missed those types of shots; then I had that thought striking me that it was not going to be good. I knew I was going to miss,” he recalls, “and I did miss.” Even then, he could see that his mind had a big effect on his body.

From these unhappy experiences evolved Hatzigeorgiadis’ interest in the psychology of sport — the link between one’s thoughts and performance, and specifically in “self-talk” — the mental strategy that aims to improve performance through the use of self-addressed cues (words or small phrases), which trigger appropriate responses and action, mostly by focusing attention and psyching-up.

“We know this strategy works, and it works in sports,” says Hatzigeorgiadis. But what makes it work better, and in what situations? To find out, Hatzigeorgiadis and his colleagues at the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the University of Thessaly, Nikos Zourbanos, Evangelos Galanis, and Yiannis Theodorakis conducted a meta-analysis of 32 sport psychological studies on the subject with a total of 62 measured effects. Their findings will be published in an upcoming issue ofPerspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

As expected, the analysis revealed that self-talk improves sport performance.

But the researchers teased out more — different self-talk cues work differently in different situations. For tasks requiring fine skills or for improving technique “instructional self-talk,” such as a technical instruction (“elbow-up” which Hatzigeorgiadis coaches beginner freestyle swimmers to say) is more effective than ‘motivational self-talk’ (e.g., “give it all”), which seems to be more effective in tasks requiring strength or endurance, boosting confidence and psyching-up for competition. Thus, we should carefully design the self-talk athletes use according to needs.

Some other findings are that self-talk has a greater effect on tasks involving fine skills (such as sinking a golf ball) rather than gross skills (e.g., cycling); probably because self-talk is a technique which mostly improves concentration. Self-talk is more effective for novel tasks rather than well-learned tasks; because it is easier to improve at the early steps of learning. Nevertheless, both beginners and experienced athletes can benefit, especially when they practice the self-talk technique.

Most important, says Hatzigeorgiadis, is that athletes train to self-talk — they prepare their scripts and use them consistently in training under varying conditions to better prepare themselves for competition.

The main goals behind self-talk — like other techniques such as visualization to “rehearse” a performance or meditation to improve focus and relaxation — are twofold, says Hatzigeorgiadis: “to enhance your potential; and to perform during competition in terms of your ability and not less.”

The meta-analysis can help sports psychologists and athletes refine their training. But the strategy has implications beyond the playing field. “The mind guides action. If we succeed in regulating our thoughts, then this will help our behavior,” says Hatzigeorgiadis.

“The goal of being prepared is to do the best you can do.”

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Thinking Like A President: How Power Affects Complex Decision Making

Posted by Sun on June 12, 2012

ScienceDaily (Dec. 9, 2008) — Presidential scholars have written volumes trying to understand the presidential mind. How can anyone juggle so many complicated decisions? Do those seeking office have a unique approach to decision making? Studies have suggested that power changes not only a person’s responsibilities, but also the way they think.

Now, a new study in the December issue of Psychological Science indicates that having power may lead people to automatically think in a way that makes complex decision-making easier.

Psychologists Pamela Smith, Ap Dijksterhuis and Daniël Wigboldus of Radboud University Nijmegen stimulated feelings of powerlessness or power in a group of volunteers by having some volunteers recall a situation when other people had power over them and other volunteers recall a situation when they had power over other people. Then they were given a complicated problem to solve (they had to pick among four cars, each varying on 12 different attributes). The experiment was designed so that there was a “correct” solution—that is, one of the cars had the most positive and least negative attributes, although the optimal choice was not obvious. Both the “powerful” and the “powerless” volunteers chose among the cars, but some spent time consciously thinking about the problem, while others were distracted with a word puzzle.

Previous research has shown that most people can solve complex problems better if they engage in unconscious thinking, rather than try to deliberately examine and weigh each factor. The conscious mind is not able to consider every possibility—attempts to do so bog the mind down in too much detail. Unconscious thinkers are better at solving complicated problems because they are able to think abstractly and very quickly get to the gist of the problem—they do not spend a lot of time focusing on insignificant details of the problem.

The results showed that the “powerless” volunteers performed better when they were distracted—that is, when they unconsciously thought about the problem. More interestingly, the “powerful” participants performed equally well regardless of whether they were in the conscious thinking or unconscious thinking group.

These findings indicate that powerful people’s conscious deliberation is very much like the unconscious processing of the rest of us—more abstract and better when it comes to complex decisions.

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Complex Decision? Don’t Think About It

Posted by Sun on June 12, 2012

ScienceDaily (Dec. 9, 2008) — When faced with a difficult decision, we try to come up with the best choice by carefully considering all of the options, maybe even resorting to lists and lots of sleepless nights. So it may be surprising that recent studies have suggested that the best way to deal with complex decisions is to not think about them at all—that unconscious thought will help us make the best choices.

Although this may seem like an appealing strategy, new research in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, cautions that there are limitations in the efficacy of unconscious thought making the best decisions.

Duke University researchers John W. Payne, Adriana Samper, James R. Bettman and Mary Frances Luce had volunteers participate in a lottery choice task, where they had to pick from four various options, each with a different, but close, payoff. The volunteers were divided into three groups for this task: one group was instructed to think about the task for a given amount of time, another group was told to think about the task for as long as they wanted and the last group was distracted before making their selection (thus, unconsciously thinking about the task). A second experiment was similarly set up, except that there were substantial differences in the payoffs of the different options.

The researchers found that there are situations where unconscious thought will not result in the best choice being selected. The findings showed that in some instances (when the payoffs were similar), thinking about the task for as only as long as it takes to make a decision was as effective as unconscious thought, resulting in the most profitable options being chosen. However, when there were large differences in the amount of money to be won, mulling over the decision at their own pace led the volunteers to larger payoffs than unconscious thought.

The volunteers who were told to consciously think about the decision for a specific amount of time performed poorly in both experiments. The authors explain that those volunteers had “too much time to think” about the task and suggest that their attention shifted “to information of lesser relevance,” resulting in less profitable decisions.

These results suggest that although unconscious thought may help us make the right decision in some instances, it is often better to rely on self-paced conscious thought and really focus on the problem at hand.

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Profound Impact Of Our Unconscious On Reaching Goals Revealed

Posted by Sun on June 12, 2012

ScienceDaily (Mar. 7, 2008) — Whether you are a habitual list maker, or you prefer to keep your tasks in your head, everyone pursues their goals in this ever changing, chaotic environment. We are often aware of our conscious decisions that bring us closer to reaching our goals, however to what extent can we count on our unconscious processes to pilot us toward our destined future?

People can learn rather complex structures of the environment and do so implicitly, or without intention. Could this unconscious learning be better if we really wanted it to?

Hebrew University psychologists, Baruch Eitam, Ran Hassin and Yaacov Schul, examined the benefit of non-conscious goal pursuit (moving toward a desired goal without being aware of doing so) in new environments. Existing theory suggests that non-conscious goal pursuit only reproduces formerly learned actions, therefore ineffective in mastering a new skill. Eitam and colleagues argue the opposite: that non-conscious goal pursuit can help people achieve their goals, even in a new environment, in which they have no prior experience.

In the first of two experiments, Eitam and colleagues had participants complete a word search task. One half of the participants’ puzzles included words associated with achievement (e.g. strive, succeed, first, and win), while the other half performed a motivationally neutral puzzle including words such as, carpet, diamond and hat. Then participants performed a computerized simulation of running a sugar factory.

Their goal in the simulation was to produce a specific amount of sugar. They were only told that they could change the number of employees in the factory. Although participants were not told about the complex relationship that existed between the number of employees and past production levels (and could not verbalize it after the experiment had ended); they gradually grew better in controlling the factory.

As predicted, the non-consciously motivated participants (the group that had previously found words associated with achievement) learned to control the factory better than the control group.

In a second experiment the researchers replicated the findings by having participants perform a simple task of responding to a circle that repeatedly appeared in one of four locations. They were not told that the circle (sometimes) appeared in a fixed sequence of locations. Non-consciously motivated participants had again (nonconsciously) learned the sequence better than control participants.

“Taken together, both studies suggest that the powerful, unintentional, mechanism of implicit learning is related to our non-conscious wanting and works towards attaining our non-conscious goals,” the researchers write. These results, which appear in the March issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, reveal an unconscious process that has both an advantage over conscious processing and an ability to serve a person’s current goals. Such unconscious processes may be responsible for far more of human ability than is yet recognized.

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Wanna Save? Keep It Simple, Says New Research

Posted by Sun on May 24, 2012

ScienceDaily (Sep. 26, 2011) — If one savings goal is a good thing, two or more should be great, right? Not really. Those who want to save are more apt to keep socking money away and more of it too, if they have just one goal in mind, shows work done in multiple countries by two researchers at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

“If you have only one goal it puts you in a more action-oriented mindset and helps you save more,” says Min Zhao, an assistant professor of marketing who co-authored the study with marketing professor Dilip Soman. “Too much thinking about which goal is more important keeps people from acting.”

The study looked at a range of different research subjects, including modest households in rural India, middle-income Canadian dads, and working professionals living in Hong Kong.

Results consistently showed that a single savings goal worked better than multiple goals. Individual studies also found single goals worked particularly well when it was harder to save. Having multiple goals resulted in people thinking about trade-offs between goals, rather than focusing on implementing their savings plan.

The findings suggest that financial or savings advisors may want to take a different tack with their clients. Banks sometimes advertise a list of reasons to save, but such a message could “backfire” says the study, because that introduces multiple goals, leading to eventual failure in clients’ savings plans.

“The most common mistake is to emphasize numerous reasons to save,” says Prof. Zhao. “They should revise their approach.”

Of course most of us have more than one thing we need to save for, such as retirement, a child’s education and funds for a rainy day. In that case, Prof. Zhao suggests finding a way to integrate seemingly competing goals into a single more abstract goal, such as achieving financial independence or flexibility.

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When It Comes to Pursuing Your Goals, Let Your Unconscious Be Your Guide

Posted by Sun on May 24, 2012

ScienceDaily (Aug. 26, 2011) — A new University of Alberta study says when it comes to goal setting, your unconscious mind can be a great motivator.

Alberta School of Business researcher Sarah Moore and colleagues from Duke and Cornell universities say that unconscious feelings about objects in the environment influence the pursuit of long-term goals. Their study explores how the unconscious mind responds to objects in relation to an individual’s goals — and how the unconscious continues to influence feelings about these objects once the goals are reached — whether or not the outcome has been successful.

In Freud we should trust?

“In the past few years, we recognized that some of [Sigmund] Freud’s ideas on the unconscious mind were, in fact, correct and that a lot of our decision-making and a lot of our feelings are based on things that we’re not really aware of,” said Moore, who is an assistant professor in the Alberta School of Business. “In our study, we looked at how our unconscious feelings about objects in the environment influence how we pursue goals.”

Moore notes that previous studies have shown that when it comes to short-term, finite goals, such as responding to basic needs (for example, thirst or hunger), the unconscious will evaluate objects and form preferences based on whether the object will help an individual achieve the goal. She says that in the case of thirst, items such as a water fountain or a bottle of Coke will be seen favourably, while a chocolate bar or KFC sign would not. However, she explains that, once the goal is reached, those same objects will be evaluated differently.

“Once your thirst is quenched, you don’t evaluate the water fountain positively anymore because you’ve accomplished the goal,” she said, ” but there are differences when we look at long-term goals.”

Win some, lose some — but goal still important

Moore’s research focused on longer-term goals, such as getting in shape or undertaking educational pursuits. For both types of goals, she says, the process is similar in that the unconscious identifies and responds to positively to objects and triggers in the environment that support the goal. However, the unconscious deals differently with these objects during progress towards long-term goals. Moore says that, unlike with short-term finite goals, the unconscious will continue to positively value objects related to the long-term goals even after a level of success has been achieved. She says this phenomenon points to the indeterminate nature of the goal.

“In some sense, we’re never ‘finished’ long-term goals,” said Moore. “If we successfully finish the small steps toward our long-term goals, it becomes a cycle: we take a small step, we succeed, we feel good about it; therefore, we continue to feel good about the long-term goal. This process makes us more likely to take the next small step toward achieving that goal.”

What was surprising for the researchers was how participants in their study reacted to objects after a failure. While the researchers expected the participants who failed to react negatively or express dislike for objects related to their test goal, Moore and her colleagues found that failure resulted in a neutral view of the objects.

“You don’t hate the objects related to the goal because that goal is very important to you in the long run,” said Moore. “Your unconscious is telling you ‘now is not the time to pursue the goal. You just failed, let’s leave it alone for awhile. We’re not going to pursue these objects in the environment; we’re going to switch to some other goal.'”

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Goal Setting – Powerful Written Goals In 7 Easy Steps!

Posted by Sun on February 24, 2012

by Gene Donohue
The car is packed and you’re ready to go, your first ever cross-country trip. From the White Mountains of New Hampshire to the rolling hills of San Francisco, you’re going to see it all.

You put the car in gear and off you go. First stop, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

A little while into the trip you need to check the map because you’ve reached an intersection you’re not familiar with. You panic for a moment because you realize you’ve forgotten your map.

But you say the heck with it because you know where you’re going. You take a right, change the radio station and keep on going. Unfortunately, you never reach your destination.

Too many of us treat goal setting the same way. We dream about where we want to go,
but we don’t have a map to get there.

What is a map? In essence, the written word.

What is the difference between a dream and a goal? Once again, the written word.

But we need to do more then simply scribble down some ideas on a piece of paper. Our
goals need to be complete and focused, much like a road map, and that is the purpose
behind the rest of this article.

If you follow the 7 steps I’ve outlined below you will be well on your way to becoming an
expert in building the road maps to your goals.

1. Make sure the goal you are working for is something you really want, not just something that sounds good.

I remember when I started taking baseball umpiring more seriously. I began to set my sites on the NCAA Division 1 level. Why? I new there was no way I could get onto the road to the major leagues, so the next best thing was the highest college level. Pretty cool, right. Wrong.

Sure, when I was talking to people about my umpiring goals it sounded pretty good, and many people where quite impressed. Fortunately I began to see through my own charade.

I have been involved in youth sports for a long time. I’ve coached, I’ve been the President of leagues, I’ve been a treasurer and I’m currently a District Commissioner for Cal Ripken Baseball. Youth sports is where I belong, it is where my heart belongs, not on some college diamond where the only thing at stake is a high draft spot.

When setting goals it is very important to remember that your goals must be consistent with your values.
2. A goal can not contradict any of your other goals.

For example, you can’t buy a $750,000 house if your income goal is only $50,000 per year. This is called non-integrated thinking and will sabotage all of the hard work you put into your goals. Non-integrated thinking can also hamper your everyday thoughts as well. We should continually strive to eliminate contradictory ideas from our thinking.
3. Develop goals in the 6 areas of life:

Family and Home

Financial and Career

Spiritual and Ethical

Physical and Health

Social and Cultural
Mental and Educational

Setting goals in each area of life will ensure a more balanced life as you begin to examine and change the fundamentals of everyday living. Setting goals in each area of live also helps in eliminating the non-integrated thinking we talked about in the 2nd step.
4. Write your goal in the positive instead of the negative.

Work for what you want, not for what you want to leave behind. Part of the reason why we write down and examine our goals is to create a set of instructions for our subconscious mind to carry out. Your subconscious mind is a very efficient tool, it can not determine right from wrong and it does not judge. It’s only function is to carry out its instructions. The more positive instructions you give it, the more positive results you will get.

Thinking positively in everyday life will also help in your growth as a human being. Don’t limit it to goal setting.
5. Write your goal out in complete detail.

Instead of writing “A new home,” write “A 4,000 square foot contemporary with 4 bedrooms and 3 baths and a view of the mountain on 20 acres of land.

Once again we are giving the subconscious mind a detailed set of instructions to work on. The more information you give it, the more clearer the final outcome becomes. The more precise the outcome, the more efficient the subconscious mind can become.

Can you close your eyes and visualize the home I described above? Walk around the house. Stand on the porch off the master bedroom and see the fog lifting off the mountain. Look down at the garden full of tomatoes, green beans and cucumbers. And off to the right is the other garden full of a mums, carnations and roses. Can you see it? So can your subconscious mind.
6. By all means, make sure your goal is high enough.

Shoot for the moon, if you miss you’ll still be in the stars. Earlier I talked about my umpiring goals and how making it to the top level of college umpiring did not mix with my values. Some of you might be saying that I’m not setting my goals high enough. Not so. I still have very high goals for my umpiring career at the youth level. My ultimate goal is to be chosen to umpire a Babe Ruth World Series and to do so as a crew chief. If I never make it, everything I do to reach that goal will make me a better umpire and a better person. If I make it, but don’t go as a crew chief, then I am still among the top youth umpires in the nation. Shoot for the moon!
7. This is the most important, write down your goals.

Writing down your goals creates the roadmap to your success. Although just the act of writing them down can set the process in motion, it is also extremely important to review your goals frequently. Remember, the more focused you are on your goals the more likely you are to accomplish them.

Sometimes we realize we have to revise a goal as circumstances and other goals change, much like I did with my umpiring. If you need to change a goal do not consider it a failure, consider it a victory as you had the insight to realize something was different.

So your goals are written down.

Now what?

First of all, unless someone is critical to helping you achieve your goal(s), do not freely share your goals with others. The negative attitude from friends, family and neighbors can drag you down quickly. It’s very important that your self-talk (the thoughts in your head) are positive.

Reviewing your goals daily is a crucial part of your success and must become part of your routine. Each morning when you wake up read your list of goals that are written in the positive. Visualize the completed goal, see the new home, smell the leather seats in your new car, feel the cold hard cash in your hands. Then each night, right before you go to bed, repeat the process. This process will start both your subconscious and conscious mind on working towards the goal. This will also begin to replace any of the negative self-talk you may have and replace it with positive self-talk.

Every time you make a decision during the day, ask yourself this question, “Does it take me closer to, or further from my goal.” If the answer is “closer to,” then you’ve made the right decision. If the answer is “further from,” well, you know what to do.

If you follow this process everyday you will be on your way to achieving unlimited success in every aspect of your life.

Source: http://topachievement.com

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SMART Goal Setting: A Surefire Way To Achieve Your Goals

Posted by Sun on February 24, 2012

I encourage you to pick up a pen and a piece of paper and jot down the goals you want to reach. Look at each goal and evaluate it. Make any changes necessary to ensure it meets the criteria for a SMART goals:

  • S = Specific
  • M = Measurable
  • A = Attainable
  • R = Realistic
  • T = Timely

Specific

Goals should be straightforward and emphasize what you want to happen. Specifics help us to focus our efforts and clearly define what we are going to do.

Specific is the What, Why, and How of the SMART model.

  • WHAT are you going to do? Use action words such as direct, organize, coordinate, lead, develop, plan, build etc.
  • WHY is this important to do at this time? What do you want to ultimately accomplish?
  • HOW are you going to do it? (By…)

Ensure the goals you set is very specific, clear and easy. Instead of setting a goal to lose weight or be healthier, set a specific goal to lose 2cm off your waistline or to walk 5 miles at an aerobically challenging pace.

Measurable

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. In the broadest sense, the whole goal statement is a measure for the project; if the goal is accomplished, the is a success. However, there are usually several short-term or small measurements that can be built into the goal.

Choose a goal with measurable progress, so you can see the change occur. How will you see when you reach your goal? Be specific! “I want to read 3 chapter books of 100 pages on my own before my birthday” shows the specific target to be measure. “I want to be a good reader” is not as measurable.

Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goals.

Attainable

When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop that attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. Your begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.

Goals you set which are too far out of your reach, you probably won’t commit to doing. Although you may start with the best of intentions, the knowledge that it’s too much for you means your subconscious will keep reminding you of this fact and will stop you from even giving it your best.

A goal needs to stretch you slightly so you feel you can do it and it will need a real commitment from you. For instance, if you aim to lose 20lbs in one week, we all know that isn’t achievable. But setting a goal to loose 1lb and when you’ve achieved that, aiming to lose a further 1lb, will keep it achievable for you.

The feeling of success which this brings helps you to remain motivated.

Realistic

This is not a synonym for “easy.” Realistic, in this case, means “do-able.” It means that the learning curve is not a vertical slope; that the skills needed to do the work are available; that the project fits with the overall strategy and goals of the organization. A realistic project may push the skills and knowledge of the people working on it but it shouldn’t break them.

Devise a plan or a way of getting there which makes the goal realistic. The goal needs to be realistic for you and where you are at the moment. A goal of never again eating sweets, cakes, crisps and chocolate may not be realistic for someone who really enjoys these foods.

For instance, it may be more realistic to set a goal of eating a piece of fruit each day instead of one sweet item. You can then choose to work towards reducing the amount of sweet products gradually as and when this feels realistic for you.

Be sure to set goals that you can attain with some effort! Too difficult and you set the stage for failure, but too low sends the message that you aren’t very capable. Set the bar high enough for a satisfying achievement!

Timely

Set a timeframe for the goal: for next week, in three months, by fifth grade. Putting an end point on your goal gives you a clear target to work towards.

If you don’t set a time, the commitment is too vague. It tends not to happen because you feel you can start at any time. Without a time limit, there’s no urgency to start taking action now.

Time must be measurable, attainable and realistic.

Everyone will benefit from goals and objectives if they are SMART. SMART, is the instrument to apply in setting your goals and objectives.

Source: http://www.goal-setting-guide.com

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SMART Goals

Posted by Sun on February 24, 2012

A useful way of making goals more powerful is to use the SMART mnemonic. While there are plenty of variants (some of which we’ve included in parenthesis), SMART usually stands for:

  • S – Specific (or Significant).
  • M – Measurable (or Meaningful).
  • A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
  • R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
  • T – Time-bound (or Trackable).

For example, instead of having “To sail around the world” as a goal, it’s more powerful to say “To have completed my trip around the world by December 31, 2015.” Obviously, this will only be attainable if a lot of preparation has been completed beforehand!

Further Goal Setting Tips

The following broad guidelines will help you to set effective, achievable goals:

  • State each goal as a positive statement – Express your goals positively – “Execute this technique well” is a much better goal than “Don’t make this stupid mistake.”
  • Be precise: Set precise goals, putting in dates, times and amounts so that you can measure achievement. If you do this, you’ll know exactly when you have achieved the goal, and can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it.
  • Set priorities – When you have several goals, give each a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by having too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones.
  • Write goals down – This crystallizes them and gives them more force.
  • Keep operational goals small – Keep the low-level goals that you’re working towards small and achievable. If a goal is too large, then it can seem that you are not making progress towards it. Keeping goals small and incremental gives more opportunities for reward.
  • Set performance goals, not outcome goals – You should take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible. It can be quite dispiriting to fail to achieve a personal goal for reasons beyond your control!
  • In business, these reasons could be bad business environments or unexpected effects of government policy. In sport, they could include poor judging, bad weather, injury, or just plain bad luck.
  • If you base your goals on personal performance, then you can keep control over the achievement of your goals, and draw satisfaction from them.
  • Set realistic goals – It’s important to set goals that you can achieve. All sorts of people (for example, employers, parents, media, or society) can set unrealistic goals for you. They will often do this in ignorance of your own desires and ambitions.
  • It’s also possible to set goals that are too difficult because you might not appreciate either the obstacles in the way, or understand quite how much skill you need to develop to achieve a particular level of performance.

Achieving Goals

When you’ve achieved a goal, take the time to enjoy the satisfaction of having done so. Absorb the implications of the goal achievement, and observe the progress that you’ve made towards other goals.

If the goal was a significant one, reward yourself appropriately. All of this helps you build the self-confidence you deserve.

With the experience of having achieved this goal, review the rest of your goal plans:

  • If you achieved the goal too easily, make your next goal harder.
  • If the goal took a dispiriting length of time to achieve, make the next goal a little easier.
  • If you learned something that would lead you to change other goals, do so.
  • If you noticed a deficit in your skills despite achieving the goal, decide whether to set goals to fix this.

Feed lessons learned back into your goal setting. Remember too that your goals will change as time goes on. Adjust them regularly to reflect growth in your knowledge and experience, and if goals do not hold any attraction any longer, consider letting them go.

Goal Setting Example

For her New Year’s Resolution, Susan has decided to think about what she really wants to do with her life.

Her lifetime goals are as follows:

  • Career – “To be managing editor of the magazine that I work for.”
  • Artistic – “To keep working on my illustration skills. Ultimately I want to have my own show in our downtown gallery.”
  • Physical – “To run a marathon.”

Now that Susan has listed her lifetime goals, she then breaks down each one into smaller, more manageable goals.

Let’s take a closer look at how she might break down her lifetime career goal – becoming managing editor of her magazine:

  • Five-year goal: “Become deputy editor.”
  • One-year goal: “Volunteer for projects that the current Managing Editor is heading up.”
  • Six-month goal: “Go back to school and finish my journalism degree.”
  • One-month goal: “Talk to the current managing editor to determine what skills are needed to do the job.”
  • One-week goal: “Book the meeting with the Managing Editor.”

As you can see from this example, breaking big goals down into smaller, more manageable goals makes it far easier to see how the goal will get accomplished.

Key Points

Goal setting is an important method of:

  • Deciding what you want to achieve in your life.
  • Separating what’s important from what’s irrelevant, or a distraction.
  • Motivating yourself.
  • Building your self-confidence, based on successful achievement of goals.

Set your lifetime goals first. Then, set a five-year plan of smaller goals that you need to complete if you are to reach your lifetime plan. Keep the process going by regularly reviewing and updating your goals. And remember to take time to enjoy the satisfaction of achieving your goals when you do so.

If you don’t already set goals, do so, starting now. As you make this technique part of your life, you’ll find your career accelerating, and you’ll wonder how you did without it!

Source: http://www.mindtools.com

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Autopilot Achievement: How to Turn Your Goals Into Habits

Posted by Sun on August 24, 2011

“First we make our habits, then our habits make us.” – Charles C. Noble

It’s such a simple concept, yet it’s something we don’t always do. It’s not exceedingly difficult to do, and yet I think it’s something that would make a world of difference in anyone’s life.

Break your goals into habits, and focus on putting those habits into autopilot.

Last week when I wrote my Ultimate Guide to Motivation, there were a number of questions about my belief that having One Goal to focus on is much more powerful than having many goals. There were questions about my personal goals (such as running a marathon, eliminating debt, and so on) and how I was able to achieve them while working on different projects, and so forth. How can you have one goal that takes a long time, and still work on smaller projects at the same time?

These are excellent questions, and my answer takes a little explaining: I try to turn my goals into habits, and in doing so, I put my goals on autopilot. Turning a goal into a habit means really focusing on it, intensely, for at least a month, to the exclusion of all else. The more you can focus on it, the more it’ll be on autopilot.

But once you put it on autopilot, once a habit is firmly established, you don’t really have to focus on it much. You’ll still do it, but because it’s a habit, you only have to use minimal focus to maintain that habit. The goal becomes on autopilot, and you can focus on your next goal or project or habit.

My Marathon Example

Let’s look at my marathon goal as an example. I was just starting out in running, and I had the brilliant idea to run a marathon within a year. (Btw, that’s not the brightest idea — you should run for a couple years before attempting marathon training, or it’ll be much, much more difficult for you.) So that was my goal, and it was my main focus for awhile.

But in order to achieve that goal, I broke it down into two habits:

  1. I had to make running a daily habit (while following a training plan I found online).
  2. I had to report to people in order to have accountability — I did this through family, friends and coworkers, through a blog, and through a column in my local newspaper every two weeks. With this accountability, there’s no way I would stop running.

The daily running habit took about a month to form. I focused on this exclusively for about a month, and didn’t have any other goals, projects or habits that were my main focuses. I did other work projects, but they kinda took a backburner to running.

The accountability habit took a couple months, mainly because I didn’t focus on it too much while I was building the running habit. But it stuck, and for that first year of running, I would report to people I knew and blog about my running every day (this was in Blogger blog that has since been deleted), and I would write a column every two weeks for my local paper.

Once those two habits were firmly entrenched, my marathon goal was pretty much on autopilot. I could focus on my debt reduction goal (as an example) without having to worry too much about the marathon. I still had to do the work, of course, but it didn’t require constant focus.

And eventually, I ran the marathon. I was able to achieve this because, all year long, I had the daily running habit and daily accountability habit. I put my marathon goal into autopilot, and that made it much easier — instead of struggling with it daily for an entire year, I focused on it for one month (well, actually two) and was able to accomplish it while focusing on new habits and goals.

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Ryun

Other Applications

This works for many other types of goals, of course. For example:

  • Debt reduction: I turned this goal into a few different habits, including creating a monthly spending plan, learning to stick to the spending plan, and making automatic debt and savings payments. Once these habits were on autopilot, debt elimination was a sure bet.
  • Weight loss: The daily exercise habit was an important first step. Then I got into healthier eating habits, one at a time. Recently I added the habit of tracking my calories, and that’s helped a lot.
  • Writing a book: This was simply setting a time to write, and making myself write during that time, no matter what. Once you have that habit, the book will come.
  • Getting organized: This is three main habits — designating a spot for everything I own, putting things in their designated spots immediately, and doing a daily processing of your inbox(es).

As you can see, just about any goal can be turned into habits if you think it through. Let’s look more into how to do that.

How to Turn A Goal Into Habits

It’s a pretty simple process, but let’s go over it step-by-step:

  1. You goal should be written out very clearly. The better you can visualize your goal, the easier this will be.
  2. Think about the steps needed to get to your goal. There may be many.
  3. Can the goal be accomplished with a series (2-4) of daily or weekly actions? For example, to save money, you will need to make a savings deposit every payday, before you pay your bills. Through that regular action, the goal will eventually be accomplished. Figure this out, and that’s your habit or series of habits.
  4. Figure out the amount of the habit will need to be done to get you to your goal by your timeline. By “amount”, I mean that you have to figure out quantity times frequency to get your desired result. For example, I can run every single day but not be prepared to run a marathon if I don’t do enough miles or long runs. So if I’m going to run every day, I have to also know how far (and any other things such as different workouts on different days). If I’m going to have a savings deposit every week, I need to know how much is necessary for each deposit in order to reach my goal. Figure out this “amount” for your habit and make a schedule.
  5. Focus on the first habit for at least one month, to the exclusion of all else. Don’t worry about the other two habits (for example) while you’re trying to form the first habit. For more on forming habits, this article is good place to start.
  6. If more than one habit is necessary, start on the second habit after a month or so, then on the third, and so on, focusing on one habit at a time until each is firmly ingrained.
  7. After all the necessary habits are ingrained, your goal is on autopilot. You will still need to focus on them somewhat, but to a lesser extent. If any of the habit gets derailed, you’ll have to focus on that habit again for one month.
  8. After you’re on autopilot, you can focus on a new goal and set of habits.

“Habits are at first cobwebs, then cables.” – Spanish proverb

Source: http://zenhabits.net

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Turn Your Dream Into Reality in 5 Minutes a Day:Tips for Time-Stressed Dreamers

Posted by Sun on August 19, 2011

Want a Livelihood — and a Life — You Can Love?
How to Turn Your Dream Into Reality in Five Minutes a Day and Other Tips for Time-Stressed Dreamers
by Valerie Young

You’ve already made up your mind that there has to be more to life than careers, cubicles, and commuting. Yet, the prospect of making a major life change when you’re already feeling caught between a “clock and a hard place,” feels overwhelming.

On the off-chance you don’t win the lottery, your great aunt doesn’t leave you a fortune, or the Publishers Clearing House prize van doesn’t surprise you as you’re getting out of the shower, there’s only one thing that’s going to help you realize your dream of more rewarding work – YOU.

Here are five steps even the busiest person seeking a major work and life change can take to get the process rolling:

1. Turn griping time into planning time.

How much time do you spend complaining about your high-stress job? Instead of dwelling on what’s wrong with the current picture, use your limited time to mentally map out a new one. Visualization is most effective with your eyes closed. But, if you’re really crunched for time, existing day-dream moments – while showering, commuting, waiting at the photocopier, and so on – will suffice. Devoting five minutes a day to imagining your ideal work/life and making a plan to get there will move you far closer to your goal than fifty minutes spent complaining about unrealistic deadlines or a difficult coworker. And, you’ll also tap into a great source of energy you can draw on when you are ready to act.

2. Keep your goal front and center.

First, set a target date for when you want your “new life” to begin. Then write it on the calendar. Besides being a great source of motivation, knowing how much time you have until “D-Day” lets you create a realistic plan for hitting it. Next, find creative ways to keep your dream literally, in your face. A computer analyst who wants to someday open a catering business reinforced her goal by programming her computer’s screen saver to read, “cater to your dreams and they will come true.” She also chose as her e-mail password “Nov99,” her projected departure date. As you come across images or quotes that reflect your dream, place them around your workspace, in your daily planner, on the refrigerator – any place you’re sure to regularly “see” your destination.

3. Buy with an eye to the future.

If your dream is to escape the professional scene altogether, you probably won’t need all those business suits overrunning your closet. Resolve now to make do with the work wardrobe you already have. When you do take the leap, you can donate your business attire to an organization like Dress for Success that assists people just entering the job market. Spend the money you’ve saved instead on things you’ll need for your new career or venture – classes, buying or upgrading a home office computer, equipment, inventory, and so on.

4. Avoid the nay-seers.

Other people’s skepticism, like the flu, tends to be contagious. And, unless you’ve built up your immune system, these dream killers can knock you for a loop. A few years ago I shared with a coworker my own dream of a lifestyle where I could spend the spring and fall in the beautiful hills of Western Massachusetts, summers by the ocean on Cape Cod, and winters on a tropical island. “Yeah, right,” she quipped, “how old will you be when that happens?” I, 40 at the time, estimated with some confidence that I’d be 43 or 44. My coworker laughed nervously, not quite sure whether to believe me or feel sorry for me. I knew she’d settled on pity when she patted me on the back and said, “dream on.” I never spoke to her of my dream again. A year and half later, I left my full-time job.

The very next day I left for a month long stay on the Cape where I relaxed and worked on my new and – portable venture – a newsletter. I haven’t entirely reached my four-season goal, but then again, I’m only 42!

5. Do what you can – but DO SOMETHING.

As one Chinese proverb reminds us, moving a mountain begins by lifting one stone. To keep from being overwhelmed – yet still make headway – break your larger goal down into more manageable steps. Then, no matter how hectic your day, pledge to take at least action. Even if all you can handle on a given day is to jot down one new idea, read a single page, or make one phone call – you’ve still made progress. But that’s not all. You’re also generating the enthusiasm and momentum to take another step and another. And, before you know it, what was once the stuff of dreams, you will have made your reality.

About the Author

Self-described Dreamer-in-Residence, Valerie Young abandoned her corporate cubicle to launch www.changingcourse.com, an on-line resource to help others discover their life mission and live it. Her career change tips have been cited in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today Weekend, The Guardian (London), The Edmonton Sun, the Chicago Sun Times, The Dallas Morning News, The Boston Globe, The Oregonian, Redbook, Reader’s Digest, and Entrepreneur’s Business Start-Ups and she is a featured columnist for Careerbuilder.com on MSN.com. An internationally known speaker and workshop leader, Dr. Young has addressed over 20,000 people in such diverse organizations as CIGNA, American Women in Radio and Television and MIT

Source: http://www.4hb.com

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The Process of Turning your Dreams into Reality

Posted by Sun on August 19, 2011

Children have always been labeled as natural day-dreamers. Caught up in a world of make-believe, they spend countless hours dreaming of far-away places and exciting adventures. As they get older, the make-believe seems to end. Or does it? Adults, unbeknownst to them, live as much in a world of make-believe as children.

How many times have you wanted to do, have, or achieve something but never do? Probably often. So many of us are “day-dreamers” — we wish for something but, because we don’t know how to make it a reality, it remains make-believe. In this post, I will share with you the process of turning your dreams into reality.

Can everyone learn this? Absolutely. But first, let’s visit the model that most people experience:

Dream—|    |—Reality

What people most often see, is a gap between the two. This is something that few manage to cross. They don’t, not because they’re not as skilled or blessed with opportunities as others, instead the reason lies with the fact that the majority do not know how to cross it. In order to make any dream become a reality in your life, there is a specific continuum that must be followed and understood which will bridge the gap between the two. And here it is:

Dream –> Goal –> Intention –> A Plan –> Action –> Attention –> Reality

Let’s visit each one:

Goal

Once we have a dream, the first step in bridging the gap is setting a date to achieve that dream. We’ve all heard that a goal is a dream with a deadline. When you have a desire to achieve or have something and you set a date for that desire to be manifested in your life, as soon as that deadline is set, your dream moves along the continuum and becomes a goal.

The SMaRTer the the goal, better. That is, it must be Specific (you know exactly what you want or where you want to be), Measurable (How much of that do you want? or What exactly is your intended outcome?), Realistic (something that you are willing and able to achieve), and Tangible (something you can experience with one of your senses – this makes it all the more measurable and attainable).

Intention

Intention is the natural outflow of a firmly stated and desired goal. The very fact that we have created a goal does not necesarily imply that we have also created intent. You could set a goal, as is the case with many new-years resolutions, without any intent on achieving it. It is only when you link a strong desire to achieving a specific goal that you reach the level of Intention on the continuum. Intention is the driving force behind turning one’s dream into reality.

Intention is also what allows the Law of attraction to work in our lives.

When you reach the level of Intention, something interesting begins to happen in your life. Thoughts, ideas and opportunities seem to come together in such a way that you begin to see how you will achieve your desired reality. It was Maxwell Maltz that said,

“Your automatic creative mechanism is teleological. That is, it operates in terms of goals and end results. Once you give it a definite goal to achieve, you can depend upon its automatic guidance system to take you to that goal much better than “you” ever could buy conscious thought. “You” supplied a goal by thinking in terms of end results. Your automatic mechanism then supplies the means whereby.”

A Plan

Now that you understand how you can achieve you desired result (you have the means whereby) in order to progress further along the continuum you must plan to use those means.

Everything that you see in the physical world has been previously created already in the non-physical world of someone’s thoughts. For example, something as simple as the chair upon which you are sitting was formed in someone’s mind long before you sat on it. Planning, in many ways, does this same type of “non-physical” creation for your desires. And by planning your course, you see (and thereby create) in your mind your intended result before it happens.

Action

Although planning is a crucial step, unless you implement that plan, it will forever remain in your non-physical mind. The next stage then, in the continuum of turning your dreams into reality, is to take action. This step is fairly self-explanatory.

Attention

Action alone, does not have the power to take your desire and turn it into its physical manifestation. Unless it is supported by your Intention, you will not continue to act on your plan. As I previously stated, Intention is the driving force behind turning one’s dream into reality. Unfortunately, Intention is not self-perpetuating. It requires a fuel to keep it alive — and that fuel is Attention.

If you’ve read my post on The Secret you would have learned that what we pay attention to expands. In other words, we attract into our lives what we dominantly think about. The key then to Attention is our mental focus. Is what you are focusing on right now contributing to your desire? If you can answer yes, then Attention is fueling Intention to achieve that desire.

As you hold your focus on your desire (through thoughts, affirmations, visualization etc.) it will continually stoke the fire of Intention which supports the whole continuum.

Reality

When enough attention is focused on your desire, and you’re acting on the plans that you’ve made, eventually a tipping point is reached and your dream becomes your reality.

Having finally reached your intended destination, what you may have noticed is that it did not come as such a big surprise as you might have imagined. The reason can be found in understanding that as you are moving along this continuum, your desire becomes so real in your mind during the process, that the physical manifestation of it seems rather anti-climactic. In many ways you have already achieved and experienced it many times over in your head.

Personal Experience

I’m currently seeing this process actively work in my life. An example of this is with this website.

One of my dreams is to one day be able to live off of passive income so that I can better serve others and follow my interests and passions. Last year,I decided in my mind that I would be living off of passive income alone by the year 2010. I set a clear goal backed by a strong desire and as a result created Intention.

As always is the case, as Intention is formed, opportunities to achieve one’s desire begin to present themselves.

Last year, in the summertime, I started blogging about my experience with the lemonade diet. Not long after I journaled that experience, I began writing other articles realated to personal development and as a result, Life Training – Online was born.

As I started getting into the blogging community, I began to realize that there were a lot of people who were making good money just from blogging alone. I saw that some bloggers were able to make a living entirely from Google Adsense ad revenues alone. This knowledge became part of my plan to achieving my dream. And since September of last year (when I started implementing Adsense on this blog) I’ve built up this site to where it averages around $30 – $40 a day ($900+) a month in revenues. Ok, so it’s not quite to the point where I can retire, however I’m beginning to see how my dream will become a reality.

In the process, I’m discovering other ways one can make a lot of passive income online.

Conclusion

Understanding the process of how to turn your dreams into reality is of utmost importance if you don’t want to be stuck in make-believe. It is through firmly stating a desired goal that you’ll spark within you the intention that provides the means whereby you can achieve your dream. And if you create a plan around those means, take action and provide attention to fuel your intention, your dream will become a reality.

Source: http://www.lifetrainingonline.com

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How To Climb The Mountain Of Your Dreams By Paulo Coelho

Posted by Sun on August 13, 2011

A) Choose the mountain you want to climb: don’t pay attention to what other people say, such as “that one’s more beautiful” or “this one’s easier”. You’ll be spending lots of energy and enthusiasm to reach your objective, so you’re the only one responsible and you should be sure of what you’re doing.

B) Know how to get close to it: mountains are often seen from far off – beautiful, interesting, full of challenges. But what happens when we try to draw closer? Roads run all around them, flowers grow between you and your objective, what seemed so clear on the map is tough in real life. So try all the paths and all the tracks until eventually one day you’re standing in front of the top that you yearn to reach.

C) Learn from someone who has already been up there: 
no matter how unique you feel, there is always someone who has had the same dream before you and ended up leaving marks that can make your journey easier; places to hang the rope, trails, broken branches to make the walking easier. The climb is yours, so is the responsibility, but don’t forget that the experience of others can help a lot.

D) When seen up close, dangers are controllable
: when you begin to climb the mountain of your dreams, pay attention to the surroundings. There are cliffs, of course. There are almost imperceptible cracks in the mountain rock. There are stones so polished by storms that they have become as slippery as ice. But if you know where you are placing each footstep, you will notice the traps and how to get around them.

E) The landscape changes, so enjoy it:
 of course, you have to have an objective in mind – to reach the top. But as you are going up, more things can be seen, and it’s no bother to stop now and again and enjoy the panorama around you. At every meter conquered, you can see a little further, so use this to discover things that you still had not noticed.

F) Respect your body: you can only climb a mountain if you give your body the attention it deserves. You have all the time that life grants you, as long as you walk without demanding what can’t be granted. If you go too fast you will grow tired and give up half way there. If you go too slow, night will fall and you will be lost. Enjoy the scenery, take delight in the cool spring water and the fruit that nature generously offers you, but keep on walking.

G) Respect your soul: 
don’t keep repeating “I’m going to make it”. Your soul already knows that, what it needs is to use the long journey to be able to grow, stretch along the horizon, touch the sky. An obsession does not help you at all to reach your objective, and even ends up taking the pleasure out of the climb. But pay attention: also, don’t keep saying “it’s harder than I thought”, because that will make you lose your inner strength.

H) Be prepared to climb one kilometer more: the way up to the top of the mountain is always longer than you think. Don’t fool yourself, the moment will arrive when what seemed so near is still very far. But since you were prepared to go beyond, this is not really a problem.

I) Be happy when you reach the top
: cry, clap your hands, shout to the four winds that you did it, let the wind – the wind is always blowing up there – purify your mind, refresh your tired and sweaty feet, open your eyes, clean the dust from your heart. It feels so good, what was just a dream before, a distant vision, is now part of your life, you did it!

J) Make a promise: now that you have discovered a force that you were not even aware of, tell yourself that from now on you will use this force for the rest of your days. Preferably, also promise to discover another mountain, and set off on another adventure.

L) Tell your story: yes, tell your story! Give your example. Tell everyone that it’s possible, and other people will then have the courage to face their own mountains.

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Challenging goals and Hopeful

Posted by Sun on July 13, 2011

The challenging goals challenge our current abilities and to achieve these goals requires more creativity and effort than other goals. The challenging goal has two great advantages for individual and organizations.
The first advantage, the challenging goal creates our motivation and the second advantage that unlocks our potential.
Motivation
When you set challenging goals it brings out the enthusiasm from your within. Edwin Locke that put forward the Goal-setting theory of motivation, said: Goals should be realistic and challenging. This gives a feeling of pride and triumph when he or she attains his or her goals, and it sets him or her up for attainment of next goal.

The more challenging the goal, the greater is the reward generally and the more is the passion for achieving it.
Different studies show that two types of goals don’t create enthusiasm and motivation in us.

First category is the simple goals that access to them is easy. These goals create reluctance and crazy. The second category is the difficult goals that access to them is very difficult , this group is cause of hopelessness.

Both categories have a common feature that is not associated with hopeful state. Because hope and fear are inseparable. The easy goal hasn’t fear and the difficult goal hasn’t hope.

Rumi believe although fear and hope are opposite in appearance, but both have a duty that is to create motivation. He said “fear and hope like board in sea will be used by sailor for reaching to his lover.”
Actualizing potentials
The challenging goals push you beyond the thresholds of mediocrity. A challenging goal helps you to develop your talents and ability and you become a new person in the process. This is a form of personal development.

The most important your need is actualizing potential. And a challenging goal setting is the best response to this need. The truth is that you are a potential genius and these challenges unlock your inner genius.

Many challenges and obstacles remain on the way of your goal, when you overcome any obstacle, a part of your talent will reveal. Arnold Toynbee, British historian who examined the rise and fall of 26 civilizations in the course of human history, and he concluded that they rose by responding successfully to challenges under the leadership of creative minorities composed of elite leaders.

Civilizations declined when their leaders stopped responding creatively. Challenging goals are not only the main factor for creating civilizations, but also are the key factor to unlocking your full potential.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask

Source: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/challenging-goals-and-hopeful

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