Written by Tricia Molloy Wednesday, January 04 2012The next time you establish a goal – whether it’s getting out of debt or finding a job –stop and ask, “Why?” before you ask, “How?”
When you get crystal clear about the reasons behind a goal, you will be much more motivated to reach it. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and trouble by not pursuing someone else’s goals. And, knowing why will keep you going when times get tough and the inevitable obstacles get in the way.
So, think about a goal that’s important to you. It might be a personal goal like exercising more or finding your true love or a professional goal like starting a business or getting a promotion.
Make a list of all the benefits that come from accomplishing this goal. Don’t edit yourself. Just write. If it appeals to you, you can mind map it. For example, if you want to exercise more, those whys might include:
- Feel better.
- Look better.
- Be healthier.
- Live longer.
- Think clearer.
- Be happier.
- Lose weight.
- Enjoy more energy.
Perhaps you’ve decided to stop looking for a job and, instead, hire yourself. Congratulations! You’re ready to pursue your passion by starting your own business.
Make a list of the whys:
- Unlimited earning potential.
- Be in control of my future.
- Do what I love to do.
- Set my own hours. (Long ones, to be sure, but they are your own.)
- Network with other passionate entrepreneurs.
- Challenge myself, learn and grow.
- Be a good boss.
Continue to ask so what until you’ve exhausted all your benefits. Then, do some affirmative journaling. That’s where you write about the life you choose to live – the one you enjoy after achieving your goals. You might start: “Today was a very good day. After my regular morning workout at the gym, I changed into my chic, black suit with shiny red pumps. I had so much energy and clarity that I accomplished everything I needed done today at my business by 1 o’clock this afternoon. That left me plenty of time for…” You get the idea.
Our subconscious mind is a powerful goal-getting tool that believes everything we tell it and show it – and seeks out opportunities and resources to prove it. That’s why I recommend the next three steps.
Affirm. Studies show we speak to ourselves at least 10,000 times a day, and 80 percent of that tends to be negative. That’s because we are human and are programmed to protect ourselves by forecasting worst-case scenarios. “I won’t make any sales today.” “I’m going to get stuck in traffic.” Affirmations counter those negative messages with positive ones that support our success. Keep your affirmations short, positive, and always in the present. For the two goals we discussed, those affirmations might be: “I love to exercise and make wise choices today” and “I attract ideal clients and grow my business with grace and ease.” When you craft an affirmation that truly resonates with you, write it down, post it, and say it to yourself, out loud and, when appropriate, to others.
Visualize. Next, picture all those whys. Consider creating a vision board or treasure map. That’s simply a bulletin board or poster board displayed somewhere you see every day. Place images and other items that reflect the goal you are manifesting. Flip through magazines and clip pictures and words that resonate with you. A vision board is an organic entity, so it makes sense to tend to it regularly – prune it and add to it when you are so inspired.
Express Thanks. Finally, give thanks for the whys, as though they were already your reality. Since what you focus on expands and what you appreciate appreciates, gratitude serves to accelerate the process.
This why before how process, along with affirmations, visualization, and gratitude, will help turn your dreams into reality. I’ve personally used them to manifest two thriving businesses – a public relations and marketing firm, Molloy Communications, I established in 1988 and my Working with Wisdom speaking and training firm I started in 2006. I also used it to buy a family beach home, write my book (at that beach home), and lose 30 pounds.
Once the whys are clear, the hows take care of themselves. I promise you that.
Tricia Molloy loves to remind people how wise they are. She’s a professional speaker, mentor, and the author of Divine Wisdom at Work: 10 Universal Principles for Enlightened Entrepreneurs and the CRAVE Your Goals! e-book.