For all that has been written and said about goal setting, I have met very few people who are sure of what their goals are. And, with the proliferation of self improvement books and personal development websites, you could be forgiven for thinking that, with so many people wanting to change their lives, all these people are sure of where they want to go. Not so because, in all my years working with people, it strikes me that people are more focused on running away from their current troubles – or perceived troubles – than running towards a goal that they really want. Little wonder that most people still haven’t found what they’re looking for! Nor will they until they set their minds and hearts on something that excites them enough to grab their attention and focus their mind.

Do you know your goals? I bet you that you’ve a good idea what you’d like to change in your life but that’s not the same thing as having big and exciting goals. We all know that things that we want to get rid of in our lives – money worries, health worries, worries full stop! We want to get rid of stress and all its associated physical and psychological problems. Maybe we want to get over some personal problem that we think we have – like shyness, lack of self confidence or low self esteem. The point I’m making is that we’re all pretty good at knowing what we don’t want in our lives. But do we know what we do want? And, even when we think that we do know what we want, how often does it change? Because, it seems to me, that most people are as changeable as the wind – one day it’s a new car, next day it’s a new job, the following day it’s a different car because the neighbours have just got one, the day after that, it might be a holiday or a holiday home. The point is, even if you’re into setting your mind to different goals, it’s damn difficult to hit a moving target.

So, here are a couple of suggested questions that might fix your mind on the kind of life and lifestyle that you really want. First of all, consider this. If you discovered today that you’ve only got three months to life, how would you spend those three months? Now, I’m not suggesting that you answer that you’ll feel sorry for yourself for the next three months! What I am suggesting is that a question such as this can focus the mind. And, of course, you must realize that you only have a finite amount of time available to you anyway – maybe you should be thinking this way all of the time.

Secondly, who and what are the people and things that are most important to you in your life? Do you spend your time and energy on those people and things right now – and how might your life be different if you spent more time focused on these things and people than the way in which you waste your time and energy at present? How important are you to you? How much time and energy do you devote to yourself? This is not a question of selfishness – it’s a question of getting your priorities right because, until you’re at peace with yourself, you’ll be at war with everything else in the world, often including the people who are most important to you.

How would you describe your ideal life? What would it have in it – not what would it not have in it! If you could pick a moment when all is right with the world and your place in it, what would that feel like? Where would you be, who would you be with. You see, in order to captivate your attention and, as a result, focus your mind, you need to paint a picture for your mind. Your mind experiences and views the world through the only interface you have with external reality – your five senses. So, in setting your goals, there’s no point in saying things like ‘I want to have this’ or ‘I’d like to have that’ – you have to describe your objective to your subconscious mind in language that it understands – the language of the five senses.

So, having answered the above questions, what would your ideal moment look like, feel like, sound like, smell like and taste like? Forget about how you might have arrived at this point. Pay no attention to the apparent fact that your life may be very far removed from that ideal picture at this point in time. You don’t need to know the how or the when, you need to know, with certainty, what it is like to have arrived. Your subconscious mind dictates your reactions, your behaviour and, therefore, your life based on psychological ‘snapshots’. You need to captivate your subconscious mind with a new and exciting snapshot. This can only be done in a sensory way and is best embedded in the subconscious by writing down all those feelings, sights, sounds, tastes and smells, as if you’re already there.

There’s an old saying that nothing concentrates the mind like hanging! You need your mind to be concentrated and focused – because until you achieve that first objective no other objectives will become achievable. And be careful what you wish for...

Author's Bio: 

Willie Horton has been enabling his clients live their dream since he launched is now acclaimed two-day Personal Development Seminars all the way back in 1996. His clients include top leaders in major corporations such as Pfizer, Deloitte, Nestle, Merrill Lynch, KPMG, G4S and Allergan together with everyone from the stay-at-home parent to sports-people. An Irish ex-banker and published author he now lives in the French Alps from where he travels the world as a much sought after motivational speaker and mentor. All his work, his weekly Free Personal Development Ezine videos and articles, together with his highly-acclaimed Personal Development Workshops are online at Gurdy.Net