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The Power of Goal Setting

By Fitness Pro Advantage

Do you have personal dreams that have yet to be fulfilled?

Are looking to enhance the quality of your life dramatically?

Then this article is for you!

The process of goal setting is a powerful tool to help you achieve anything that you desire in life. Napoleon Hill, author of the best-selling Think and Grow Rich, revealed decades ago the success strategies of some of the most influential people of our time -- including Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, and many others. These success strategies centered on goal setting as a foundation.

So what is the process of goal setting and how can we use it to our advantage? Many books and articles have been written about the subject, some better than others. In reviewing the goal setting strategies of the world's most successful people there are four points that reveal themselves again and again:

1.)  Passion
2.)  Clarity
3.)  Focus
4.)  Commitment

Passion

In order to successfully achieve what it is that you desire, you must have a burning passion for what you seek. Passion will become the driving force that propels you to action and attracts the necessary resources to bring your dream alive!

When we are passionate about something, it is a natural attracting force. The necessary people and resources will naturally come to your aid when you are passionate about a goal.

This is something that is very powerful and must not be taken for granted. If you are not passionate about your desired outcome then perhaps you need to shift your focus to something else. Without passion reaching your goal will be much more difficult.

Passion is something that can be developed. There is a simple process to achieve this.

Let's say your goal is to lose 10 pounds of unwanted fat, to get more toned and defined, and to increase your energy levels. Begin by listing all of the benefits of achieving your goal. Your list may include:

To become more attractive, to feel more confident and secure about myself, to have the energy to enjoy life to its fullest, etc.

Other than containing positive benefits, it doesn't matter what the specifics of your list include. These are the benefits that are important to YOU.

The point here is to list as many positive benefits as you can think of. The goal is to shoot for at least 50 to 100 benefits. Once you have a benefits list this large associated with your desired outcome you will definitely become inspired infused with the passion necessary to achieve your goal!

Don't worry if you can't think of 50-100 benefits right away. Each day add a few more to your list as you think of them. Then when you get up to 50-100, review your list and see what happens! It is a very powerful process.

Clarity

Clarity is absolutely necessary to achieve any goal efficiently. You must have a very clear picture in your mind of what it is that you seek. A clear picture allows you to define your target so that you are more likely to hit it!

Some people use a "Vision Journal" to help them in this area. A Vision Journal is simply a notebook containing images representing the goals that you seek. You may also develop a Vision Statement, which is a written description of the outcome you desire.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words so the Vision Journal may be your most effective tool. However some people can relate better to words than images -- it's a matter of personal preference. Or better yet, combine the two for the best effect!

As an example of a Vision Journal let's say you see someone in the gym with a pleasing physique that you would like to emulate (ex. "Wow, I would like to have a set of arms like THAT guy!" or "Her abs are amazingly defined. I want abs like that!"). You would create your Journal by placing pictures and images representing the physique that you desire in a notebook. Then, review this Journal daily. This will quickly implant an image in your mind of what you seek. You will then follow through naturally to create the physique you desire.

You may be skeptical of this at first but try it. It really does work!

Focus

The purpose of Clarity was to form a clear image or "target" to effectively move toward. The next step is Focus.

Focus keeps the image you created in the Clarity phase in your mind as often as possible. The more you can remain focused on what it is that you desire, the more likely that you will create it in your life.

To maintain your focus it is important to review your Visualization Journal at least twice a day -- preferably as soon as you wake and just before going to bed. These are the most effective times of the day to utilize the power of your subconscious mind to program you for success.

It is also important to visualize the achievement of your goal periodically throughout the day -- actually see yourself having achieved what it is that you desire. It is also very powerful if you can do this while undertaking any activity that moves you closer to the achievement of your goal.

A good example of this would be visualizing the great set of arms you want while pumping out your bicep curls, or seeing yourself with the awesome abs you want as you do your crunches.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has said that he visualized creating mountains as high as the Swiss Alps when training his arms. It obviously worked for him!

Commitment

In order to realize the goal you have set forth, you must be totally committed to its achievement. True commitment means doing whatever it takes to make your dream come alive.

There will most likely be challenges you face along the way as you strive to achieve your goals. You may face challenges of getting to the gym after working long hours. You may find that you are juggling family commitments and the commitment to your goal. Whatever the challenge you can be certain that there are others who were challenged in the very same way.

What is encouraging to know is that some of the people who were challenged as you are now were able to face that challenge and make their dream happen anyway. There is no difference between you and them. You can face your challenges and achieve your goals if you are COMMITTED.

What one finds is that commitment is simply a state of mind. If you feel that the obstacles are too great, that there is no way to achieve what you want, then that is what you will create in your life.

If you believe that there is a solution to any problem and that you can overcome any obstacle, you will be unstoppable! It's that simple. Some people may think that this is just an idealistic view of life (these are the very same naysayers who always seem to whine and complain about not getting what they want and can easily rattle off a hundred excuses why that is so), but there are simply too many examples of people who have triumphed in spite of their struggles! If you believe it, you can achieve it!

The key here is to keep an open mind and KNOW that you can make it happen. You will find a way!

The Power of Goal Setting Copyright 2003 by Fitness Pro Advantage. Used by permission.

The above article appeared in the August 7, 2003 issue of the free FitTips for One and All newsletter.

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