Archive for the ‘visualize’ Category

Are Your Goals Big Enough?

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Nolan, my youngest, was about 4 years old and playing basketball outside on one of those adjustable basketball hoops one day. He asked me to adjust the hoop so that it was all the way to the top. I told him there was no way he would be able to shoot the ball that high and maybe we should just move it up one notch. He refused, of course, and so I moved it all the way up. As I walked away and shook my head, I heard “Yes!”. I turned around and watched as Nolan made several baskets on this very tall hoop.

Who was I to tell Nolan how high (big) his goal should be? Goals are personal and need to be right for you and no one else. The question is, how do you know if a goal is big enough to get you excited, but not so big that you lose enthusiasm in trying to achieve it? Here are few simple questions you can ask yourself to ensure your goal is big enough:

  • Can you imagine yourself (your team) achieving the goal?
  • When you get out of bed in the morning and go to bed at night are you excited and motivated by the goal?
  • Do you plan your days and weeks around your goal?
  • Is your goal a priority in your life?
  • Do you think about your goal a lot? All the time?
  • If you can answer yes to these questions then your goal is big enough and you’re on your way to success!

In the late 1980’s, and before he was famous, actor and comedian Jim Carrey had a goal of making $10 million by Thanksgiving 1995 – a very big goal! Carrey wrote himself a check for $10 million and kept it in his wallet as a visible reminder of what he wanted to achieve. Every time he looked in his wallet and saw what little money he had, he’d see the check for $10 million; it was a constant visible reminder of his goal. He had a vision and a written goal that was exciting to him and he knew exactly what he wanted to do to achieve the goal: entertain people. Amazingly, Carrey did achieve his written goal by committing to the movie Mask the sequel for $10 million in March of 1995!

That’s a BIG goal, earning $10 million. And like Nolan, Carrey believed in himself and it didn’t matter what others thought, he knew he would succeed because he had a purpose which led him to be focused on his goal. What if he had written a check to himself for $200? Being focused on a goal will keep you moving toward that goal. Being passionate about a goal will give you the drive to smash through any obstacles that stand in your way.

Three tips for achieving your BIG goal;

  • Imagine what it is you want to achieve. Take the time to visualize yourself achieving the goal.
  • Inscribe your goal on paper. Studies show that a physically written goal on paper is more likely to be achieved than a goal that is recorded electronically, in your computer or on your phone.
  • Inspect your written goal daily. Seeing your written goal daily will help you subconsciously work towards achieving that goal.

Be a Leader of One, So You Can be a Leader of Many

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Effective leadership starts with leading one person…you. How can you lead people and teams successfully if you can’t lead yourself? And how do you focus on yourself in order to become a great leader? It’s actually easy to do but very few people do it. All you need is 60 minutes, pen and paper and three simple steps to guide you: Imagine your goals, Inscribe your goals and finally, Inspect your goals.

First, you need to imagine your goals; simply take time to visualize what it is you want to achieve in the next 12 months. I’m confident you spend many hours (80-100?) business planning for your companies and businesses. However, how many hours do you spend planning for YOUR next 12 months? How many hours do you think about where you’re going in life, where you want to be in 12 months, how you can make a difference in the world? I’m not just talking about business here; this should be focused on YOU and your personal goals.

Once you’ve imagined your future and set direction for your life, then inscribe your goals! Write them down. Write them on a piece of paper or a napkin. Simple, right? Research suggests that only 3% of us actually write down our goals.

Finally, inspect your goals! Look at them daily. When you see your written goals you naturally strive to achieve those goals. Your daily routine begins to incorporate actions that move you toward achieving those written and visible goals. Take heed in what The Roadrunner said in the book, Can’t Catch Me Coyote; “Keeping a written goal visible makes it come alive – it breathes life into your goal.”

Sound too simple? Many leaders, presidents, athletes and authors have done just this. They’ve spent time imagining what they want to achieve, inscribing it to form a contract with themselves, and then inspecting their written goals daily which allows them to focus on what they’ve decided was important to them, personally.

    Three tips for success:

  • Physically write your goals down somewhere, research suggests that the act of actually writing your goals on paper, versus typing them on your computer, significantly improves your success of achieving the goal.
  • Focus on one or two goals, no more.
  • Keep your inscribed goals somewhere that you’ll see them every day. The bathroom mirror is a great place: if you brush your teeth at least twice a day, then you’ll see your goals at least twice a day.

Get on the right track!

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
Track & field

Track & field (Photo credit: Boston Public Library)

Recently, our weekly Rock Report video relayed the story of Colby, a very successful high school distance runner who set some very high goals.  You can check it out here:  Rock Report

After publishing that Rock Report, I got the following email from Colby’s Dad, someone who had attended one of my workshops, years earlier.

After listening to your talk many moons ago, I took the information home and instructed Aubrey and Colby how to include it into the pursuit of their goals. I think some people have the ability to utilize certain info better than others but we obviously hit upon something that was a powerful catalyst for their eventual success.

I don’t thank you often enough for your role in the success they both achieved on the track. Your advice was instrumental in them achieving their goals.

For Colby’s senior outdoor track season, his goal became more time oriented, rather than record oriented. He wanted to run 4:08.00. So he wrote down 4:08 in black magic marker on a big piece of athletic tape. He stuck it on the dashboard of his car. Every time he drove that car, you couldn’t help but see it. He drove it to school every day. He also posted the goal all around the house. Then as you said, the week after he won the Ohio outdoor State mile championship, he travelled to NYC to run the Jim Ryun Dream Mile in NYC against America’s top milers. The top 12 milers in America were invited to participate. Jim Ryun was the starter!

When the time flashed on the huge scoreboard at the Randall Island Stadium, I could not believe my eyes. He had run 4:07.9. As with the indoor season, it looked as if he was going to run out of opportunities to accomplish this goal.  But in the end he wasn’t going to be denied. It surely wasn’t coincidence. His success was attributable to talent, hard work and without a doubt employing the concepts and techniques he learned about from you.

He was also aware of how successful his older sister, Aubrey, was utilizing your techniques. That was a powerful motivator for him seeing how it worked like magic for her.

Running for the University of Oregon was his goal since junior high. He was not aware, however how fast you really needed to be to be recruited by the Ducks. By the end of his Junior year, he was fast but not even close to the Oregon standard. He has a naive confidence that worked well in this situation because he wasn’t concerned. He did know what it was going to take. 1) He would need to not only qualify for indoor nationals in the mile, but he would need to make All-American (top 6 in USA). 2) He would need to run under 4:10 indoors (hence, he needed to break the All-Time Ohio record to do that).   A Tall Order but he wrote it all down, posted it everywhere, wrote it on every page in his school assignment book as he considered these his most important assignments!

Amazingly, he then did make All-American by placing 3rd at the Indoor National Meet. That earned him All-American. He ran under 4:10 and broke the All-Time indoor record a week later. He caught Oregon’s eye and they began the recruiting process. Outdoors he almost won the National Mile Title (lost by a second), earning All-American again and then coupled with the 4:07.9 in NYC and an All-American USATF Jr National 1500 finish in Des Moines, was offered a scholarship to run for his dream school.

All those things I just listed were on signs all around our house. But the cool thing is that a year before this all happened, those goals that were posted in cars, on refrigerators, on bathroom sink mirrors and all around the house were initially such stretch goals that many people upon seeing them, believed them to be unrealistic.

Thanks for being such an integral part in our children’s success.

Please do as Colby did: Visualize your goals, Write them down, and keep them visible.   You will achieve unimaginable results!   Next time we will examine the tremendous results achieved by big sister, Aubrey, by utilizing these same techniques.

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Victorious warriors win first, then go to war.

Monday, March 26th, 2012
Cover of "Art of War"

Cover of The Art of War

In a quote that supports my principle for life, Sun Tzu wrote, “Victorious warriors win first then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war then seek to win.”  This is from the book The Art of War by Sun Tzu and was written two and a half thousand years ago. Sun Tzu’s thirteen chapters, specifically written about success on the battlefield, caught the eye of Ho Lu, King of Wu, who successfully used these strategies to win in war. Since then, Tzu’s work has become required reading for militaries worldwide. Granted, this quote is from a different time period and was used by the military, so the question becomes, “How can this 2,500 year old quote help me in my life today, in 2012?”

Let me translate: Win first then go to war = imagine your success, then go get it. See what it is you want first and then proceed to accomplish it. Plan your success and then succeed. Visualize what it is you want to accomplish and then go accomplish it. By “winning first” you’ve set the table for success by creating a blueprint in your mind that will lead you to your goal and see your success materialize. The “defeated warriors” didn’t have a plan, map or direction–they just went to war. In life we need to live by the same principle that was taught 25,000 years ago: Successful people win first then go to work, while unsuccessful people go to work then seek to win (the word “work” referring to working towards any goal and not specifically “work”, meaning your job).

We too must plan our success just as warriors were taught centuries ago. In our jobs, at home with our families, in our finances, etc. it’s necessary to have a plan for what it is you want to accomplish in the critical six areas of life; family, finances, personal, health & fitness, career/school, and spiritual. Know where you’re going and what it is you’re working toward. Make sure you have plenty of good reasons for accomplishing your goals so when you hit obstacles, you continue toward the target without hesitation. Without a will to succeed, you become unfocused, lazy and have a lack direction which could lead to challenges that become hard to overcome. Having goals and a direction builds discipline every day as you become more aware that everything you do is critical to your chosen goal.

Sun Tzu was a brilliant war strategist that wrote about how to be successful on the battlefield. He knew every situation that an army could be in and how to prepare for success. Use his brilliance as a guide for your life. Have a life you’ve always imagined, but first, imagine it!

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