The Magic of Structural Tension
Every super achiever will tell you that successful go-getters are committed goal setters. And hidden inside the process of goal setting is one of the most powerful secrets of success. When you write your goals down, read them and say them out-loud three times a day. Morning, mid-day and before you go to bed. It activates the powers of intention and expectation and creates what psychologists call structural tension in your brain. Your subconscious seeks to close the gap between its images of your current reality and the new images of your goal that you hold in your conscious mind.
Through the process of repeating out loud and imagining your goals as if you have already achieved them, and what it would feel like, you are increasing the structural tension. Some further side effects of increasing structural tension are increased creativity, an increased level of awareness that gives you the ability to notice resources that you otherwise would have missed, that could help you achieve your goal.
You also experience increased motivation and the Law of Attraction goes to a whole new level, people and elements seem to show up in your life that are key to reaching your goals. Remember that whatever you feed your conscious mind long enough, your sub-conscious mind will grab a hold of. Then it will work diligently for you twenty-four hours a day to bring all the elements together that are needed to construct your desired outcomes.
The Most Powerful Goal is a S.M.A.R.T Goal
An acronym that provides the framework for effective goal setting is S.M.A.R.T. Having a smart goal means that each goal is to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Result Oriented and Time Limited. If a goal meets all these requirements, then it has the elements of a powerful goal. Also a goal doesn’t become a goal until it is written down on paper and hung in a place where you will see it every day. I would even recommend putting goals on note cards and carrying them with you so you can look at them periodically throughout the day.
Specific – To be effective the goal needs to be very specific. If it’s not accurately detailed and spelled out on paper, then it cannot be accurately measured. Having a clear vision of the goal allows you to accurately determine if it is attainable. This is a crucial step because it’s the hinge upon which all the other steps will properly swing open.
Measurable – In order to track your progress, the goal will need to be accurately measured. Every goal has a starting line and a finish line. The space that in between them is your timeline. Taking frequent measurement’s is the only way to gage yourself against your timeline.
Attainable – Michelangelo said the greater danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and we miss it. But that it’s too low and we reach it. Make every goal a stretch goal. If a goal is not big enough to take you outside your comfort zone than it is not big enough to provide you with the opportunity to grow. Setting and meeting goals is not just about the accomplishment, it’s about who you become in the process. A great author by the name Oliver Wendell Holmes shared this; A mind once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. Let your goals take you outside your comfort zone and growth will be inevitable.
In regards to being attainable, the ability to measure your progress along the way will make you aware of any needs to correct or adjust. If you ever need to correct or adjust, you have four options.
Change the time limit
you can move it further out or movie it up closer depending on the feedback you get from your measurements.
Change or adjust the objectives
Alter the steps you take to achieve your goal. Upsize, downsize, add or eliminate objectives. When you use the GPS on in your car or on your mobile device it gives you the step by step instructions, but you can still run into traffic jams due to accidents, construction zones and detours that will require you to be flexible and take an alternate route. Flexibility is one of the greatest traits you can possess. When you go to the gym, you need the resistance from the weights to build muscle. Challenges build your success muscles, welcome them and be ready to correct and adjust if it makes sense.
Make sure you are measuring correctly
There is a third possibility that suggests your measurements may not be accurate. In which case you are left with two choices. You reformulate an accurate method to measure your progress or you can always lie to yourself about the measurements, sort of like cooking your own books. Although there would be absolutely no benefit to doing that. It’s much better to face the facts and act accordingly. Even if it takes a little extra work.
Redefine your goal
Sometimes goals are part of a bigger picture. They were born out of a higher vision that supports an ultimate purpose. If the goal is out of alignment with vision and purpose, then it will need to be corrected or adjusted. If it’s a small misalignment you can adjust it. If it is determined that the goal is unsuitable it must be replaced with the corrected goal. There are times when a goal starts out in alignment and then vision or purpose change and the goals need to be realigned.
Result Oriented – Being results oriented means that you are more focused on the outcome than you are the process. Even though you are aware of the process, you know that to get you through the mental ups and downs and the emotional highs and lows, your best bet is to concentrate on what you’re going too! Not what you’re going through. When you hit a touch patch in the road, you think of what is on the other side, finishing the race and crossing that finish line so you can collect your proverbial trophy.
A goal is broken down into objectives, steps that become your map that guides you from point A to the winners circle at point B. For the overall goal to be clear, the steps also must be clear. With clear steps come clear results that are in alignment. Know your steps and celebrate every success along the way. Celebrating the smaller results will validate your efforts and boost your energy between steps.
Time Limited – Any goal without an end-point or a deadline is just a fantasy. Being able to measure progress requires you to know two things. Where your starting point is and where your end-point is. Being able to measure will allow you to adjust the date if you need to. Also, knowing where the finish line is, provides an incentive because everyone loves to cross the finish line. It’s the landmark that provides you that feeling of accomplishment when you reach it. The brain is a goal seeking mechanism that is constantly using energy. This process gives the brain a guide and therefore helps it make the most efficient use of its energy. The brain uses the extra energy that you are saving to increase inner-drive when there is an established point of victory.
In regards to this process It’s impossible to have a strong finish without a strong beginning. Being very specific about your goals, gives the brain a working map to navigate from. Your thoughts are the energy of your mind and energy is in motion. Your thoughts transmit your intentions out to the ethers and the universe responds through its alignment of the corresponding elements needed to fulfill your intentions. In other words, creation is always in process, and you guide the manifestations of from that process with the power of your thought’s. That is why being very specific about your goals is the most important step in the Smart Goal framework. The following story illustrates just how important it is to be crystal clear on the specifics of your goal.
Mirror Mirror on the Wall
On a warm sun shinny afternoon, in a small Colorado town. A happy middle aged woman named Tiffany decided to go into town and visit some of the village antique shops. As she strolled from one shop to the next she noticed a beautiful mirror in the showroom window. She entered and inquired about the price. When the proprietor told her, the price was $6000.00 Tiffany nearly lost her breath. How could this mirror, lovely as it is, be worth $6000.00?
The mirror is worthy of the asking price because it is filled with magic. If you purchase this mirror and hang it proudly on your wall, guess what you can do. You stand in front of the mirror, loot into the mirror and make a wish. The wish you make is the wish you will awake. It will come true in the blink of an eye. Visions of all the things Tiffany would ask for began running through her mind. With the swipe of her credit card she was on her way home with the beautiful mirror. Filled with enthusiasm she told her husband about the magic mirror.
He was furious. He started yelling things such as, money doesn’t grow on trees! You spent a ridiculous amount of money and a stupid mirror! Why would you spend $6000.00 on a mirror! You must be out of your mind. He paused for a second to regain his composure and calmly said; If this mirror so magical like you say it is than I want you to prove it to me right now. Let me see the magic. Tiffany took a deep breath and stood in front of the mirror.
Following the shop owner’s instructions, she gazed into the mirror and said; mirror mirror on my wall, I wish for a gorgeous mink coat and can you please make it the full-length style that I have always imagined. The one made by Oscar de la Renta. Made from the soft fur of minks and the shaw collar with butterfly insets. Instantly a beautiful full length mink coat with ivory buttons appeared on Tiffany’s shoulders. She turned here brazen eyes to her husband and with an arrogant look of superiority she pranced across the room and out the front door.
Alone in the house, the husband shook off the grimacing look on his face and stepped in front of the mirror. He thought to himself, if it works for her-it will work for me. He gazed at himself in the mirror with excitement and anticipation. Then with his pompous look and his flirtatious mind he began to utter his own variation of those magical words.
Mirror mirror on my wall, make me truly irresistible to women.
Suddenly there was a loud noise…kaboom! Leaving behind a cloud of smoke so think, you couldn’t even see the mirror. When the smoke cleared, the man was gone. All that was left was a small white envelope on the floor in front of the mirror.
When the wife came back looking for her husband he was nowhere to be found, but on the floor in front of the mirror was this white envelope and on the front of the envelope it said, I am irresistible to woman. She opened the envelope and inside, was $2000.00-dollar gift card to Nordstrom’s.
I would say that a $2000.00 gift card is certainly irresistible to women but that was not the outcome the man was asking for. His goal was so vague it was obviously lost in translation by the magic mirror. The moral of the story is that goals must be very specific.
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Daniel Gleed is a Success Coach to the International community. He is the founder of Success YOUniversity and the Author of Success Leaves Clues. He is a leading authority on Leadership strategies, reaching pinnacles of performance, and tactics for super success in business and in life. If you're ready to take success to a whole new level. Further enrich your life, make more money, and experience more fun on the outside as well as more joy on the inside. Go to DanielGleed.com