When You Communicate Your Goals, Help Is On the Way!

KS113267-2By JoAnne Foist

The past few weeks we have been talking about goals. In fact, it’s the trending topic at the start of each New Year. Why? Because this is the time when most of us feel motivated to set new goals. Unfortunately, come February, most of us give up on our goals. Surprisingly, one of the reasons for this failure is lack of support.   Sometimes we simply fail to communicate our goals and thus do not have support, or worse, those around us do not understand why we’re changing and respond negatively, which can sabotage our success.

You can avoid this pitfall by simply communicating and generating support for your goals.

Tell Your Peers, Friends and Family…

Whenever you want to make changes, it’s important to let those around you know of your plans and goals. You need to communicate why you want to make this change and the importance of having your peers, friends and loved ones’ support. Otherwise, those around you will be confused and could react negatively to your new behaviors. For instance, if you are trying to lose weight, you should let your friends know this and schedule fun activities that support your new healthy lifestyle instead of the usual calorie-heavy lunches or cocktail hours. This sets you up for success and begins establishing your friends as your support group. Also, if you normally go to lunch with your team and now you’re going for walks instead, invite them to join you. Communicating your goals goes for your household too. When one person makes a change, it affects everyone in some way. This would be a good time to not only communicate your goals, but to set family/household goals. Using the example of losing weight, if you’re now coming home later in the evenings because you’re going to the gym after work and cooking lower fat meals at home, it’s important to explain this to your family. This is also a great way to bring the family in on meal preparation and perhaps group outings.   Even when we change for the positive, it can be scary for our loved ones since they love us the way we are. When you bring those around you in on your plans, they can become your biggest supporters and might even join in your goals. Now you’ve got a new lifestyle.

Tell Your Leadership, Colleagues and Employees…

Developed an amazing vision for your organization? You can’t realize it if your organization does not clearly understand it. Think about it…how can others follow you if they don’t know where you’re heading? If you find your vision and goals inspiring, you should be able to inspire your team. And if they are inspired, they are more likely to support you. You should talk about your goals for the organization all the time so they remain front and center. Also, help your team members take ownership of your vision. This constant reminder and ownership will ensure the goals remain the priority over the other day-to-day distractions. You’ll build momentum toward success and the culture will start to shift.

All this being said, in spite of your best efforts, not everyone will support your goals. In these cases it’s important to stick to what’s right for you. Hopefully, as they see your increased success and progress they will begin supporting you. And if not, it’s time to access their future role in your life and/or organization. Often times when we change, our professional and personal social circles change as well.   In both old and new circles communicating your vision and what’s important to you will be key to your success and happiness.

Are you feeling like you need a positive change? Join our FREE Fast Pass To Success. It’s a four week planning course where you’ll create your vision, set your goals, determine and work with your strengths and develop your plan for success.  Also, we have life-changing workshops that focus on helping you be your best self.   Above all, we hope that you communicate your vision and goals with confidence so that you’re getting the support you need for success.

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Want Success? You’ve Got to Visualize it!

The first step in getting what you want is knowing what you want! You’ve got to create your vision for success.

By JoAnne Foist

What do top athletes have in common, besides being top athletes?  They visualize their success.  They get a clear picture of what they want to happen and imagine it happening so when the time comes for the actual event, they feel that they’ve already been there and success comes more easily.  “The more an athlete can image the entire package, the better it’s going to be,” said Nicole Detling, a sports psychologist with the United States Olympic team” (Clarey, 2014). Michael Phelps used visualization to prepare for every race and he smashed world records. Countless top athletes, executives, celebrities, entrepreneurs, leaders and others have used visualization to achieve success and you can too!  Yes, they all still do the work required to achieve their goals, but visualization gives them that mental edge. It’s a mind-body connection that sets you up for success.

What is Visualization?

It is a mental rehearsal of what you want to have or do.  In your mind you picture (or imagine) what you want as you engage all your senses.  Essentially, you’re designing the life that you want and imagining what it feels like.

What does Visualization do?

Visualization boosts strength and confidence, reduces stress, and improves motivation and performance.  Research has shown that when you visualize doing something, you activate your brain and your muscles.  In a study with 3 groups of participants consisting of a group that exercised, a group that visualized exercising, and a control group that did neither, the results showed that the group who visualized had almost as much strength gain as those who actually did the exercises. “The mental training employed by this study enhances the cortical output signal, which drives the muscles to a higher activation level and increases strength” (Neuropsychologia, 2004). And, as we talked about last week, when you repeatably visualize doing something, you create neural pathways in your brain.

What is Visualization Used For?

Visualization can be used for anything you want to manifest; the list is endless such as:

  • Goals/bucket list
  • Healing an injury
  • Acing an interview, getting the job
  • Presentations, performances
  • Auditions
  • Closing a sale
  • Difficult conversations
  • Being Successful
  • Winning an event
  • Buying a new car, home, etc.
  • Being in a profession
  • Practicing your golf swing
  • Working out, dancing, performing
  • The life you want

Practicing Visualization:

  1. Sit up straight or lie down. Take several long deep belly breaths.  Focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale.  Next pay attention to each part of your body and relax it from your head to your toes. Completely relax.
  2. Now that you’re relaxed and mentally alert to your body and breathing. Create the your mental picture (goal) in the present tense as if you’re already living this.  Engage all your senses…What are you hearing, what does the air taste like, how do you feel, who are you with, what does it smell like, what are you doing, what are you seeing, what are you wearing, and how are others reacting to you. Imagine everything in this mental picture.
  3. Make the image brighter and more intense.  Really pay attention to your feelings and sensations as you imagine having and/or doing this.
  4. Do this mental exercise in the morning, or the evening for 5 minutes a day. And, like all those great Olympians, do it right before you’re actually doing what you’ve been visualizing.
  5. Combine with your affirmations.

My Own Experience:

When I was trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon, things kept happening during my races that seemed to stop me short of my goal, even though I was doing all the training miles and my pacing was on target. I decided to give visualization a try.  For about 3 months every night before I went to bed I visualized the race: How I was feeling, how the race felt, what I was wearing, the spectators cheering, the sounds, the announcer saying my name, running toward the finish, the time on the clock and throwing up my hands as I finished.  On race day, I replayed my visualization tape in my head as I waited for the gun to go off.  As I ran the race, everything felt natural, familiar and easier.  I achieved my goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon at my exact visualized time.  Adding visualization to my existing training gave me the mental edge to finish strong; I believe it was the difference between success and failure. And, yes, I also did mantras during many of my training runs leading up to the race and they came into my head during the race which helped to keep me strong and focused.  But it was really seeing it through my visualization that made me believe it and achieve it. As we said in last week’s post, what you focus on, you become.  I hope you focus on great things.  In the Fast Track To Success, we provide a wonderful and transforming tool for creating your vision.  If you’ve not joined, be sure to signup and download this worksheet. Then you’ll be well on your way to success. And, if you want additional help in achieving success, attend our upcoming workshop, Powerful Presence.  I am already visualizing you there.

Change Your Mind, Change Your Life…The Power of Positive Affirmations

iStock_000002472713SmallThe Thoughts You Think Create Your World.

By JoAnne Foist

“If you believe it, it’s true for you!”  What we say to ourselves is what we believe.  So what are you saying to yourself right now?   Is it positive or negative?

Either way, your subconscious believes it and you’re wiring your brain accordingly.  That’s because our brain’s neuroplasticity, which is our brain’s ability to change and create new neural pathways based on our physical and mental experiences, changes based on what we repeatedly think.  Neuroscientist, Sarah McKay, explains it this way “When you repeat thoughts or perform certain behaviors over and over again, new synapses are formed, and other synapses in particular brain circuits become more efficient. As we say in neuroscience ‘when neurons to fire together they wire together’.  As the circuit becomes strengthened the thought or behavior becomes ingrained” (2015).  This is why positive affirmations are so powerful; our continuous thoughts and our behaviors have been scientifically proven to change the wiring of our brains.  Plus, what we no longer do, or think, will be taken over by our new behaviors and thoughts; this is a key element in habit change.

What is an Affirmation?

An affirmation is stating something to be true. Positive affirmations are stated in the present tense and in the positive form.   Present and positive tense includes, “I am,” “I have,” and “I attract.” A negative tense would be “I am not.” Your affirmations need to be what you do; not what you will not do. When you say affirmations, your subconscious does not hear the “not” and thus registers the sentence without it. For instance, when you say to yourself, “I will not forget my keys,” your mind hears “I will forget my keys.” In terms of affirmations, the statement should be “I am lean and strong,” instead of “I will lose weight.”

What’s Your Self-Talk?

You’ve probably been hearing about affirmations for years, but are you doing anything about it? Think about your self-talk. What are you saying to yourself and would you allow your best friend to be treated the way you’re treating yourself?  If the answer is “no,” then stop beating yourself up and start pumping yourself up. It can be quite simple; you just have to change what you say to yourself.  I am amazed when people tell me that they are not willing to try positive affirmations because it’s silly when they seem to have no problem with negative ones.

 To Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Focus

You might be thinking, “Changing my thoughts is hard!”   That can be true depending on how you go about it.  If you say to yourself, “I am not going to think a certain thought;” You’ll want to think (obsess over) that thought more. So, trying to avoid the thought doesn’t work. I would call this the “hard way.” Here’s an example, if I tell you to NOT think about a yellow balloon, that’s the first thing you’ll think about. But, if I tell you to think about a pink elephant, your mind goes to the pink elephant instead. So you switched your thinking from the yellow balloon to the pink elephant, not by trying not to focus on the yellow balloon, but by focusing on the pink elephant instead.  This would be the easier way to change your thoughts; You change your focus.

Also, when you start having a negative thought, acknowledge it, don’t fight it, and instead move on to a positive thought. We can only think of one thing at a time, so when you think of something positive and keep repeating a positive mantra, you’ll start focusing more on the positive, and the negatives will lose their power. You’ll be creating new neural pathways in your brain and new thinking patterns.

 Affirmation Build Up

Also, be sure to develop positive affirmations that you believe. Meaning that you might need to build up on positive affirmations. Instead of starting with “I love my body,” when you really don’t, repeat to yourself “My body supports me,” or “I am grateful for what my body allows me to do.” These statements will start changing your views of your body in positive ways.  As your words change, your thoughts and self-beliefs change. Your affirmations can build from there.

Affirmation Examples:

Confidence

Stress

Heath

I trust myself I am calm I am healthy and strong
I make great decisions Everything is as it should be I enjoy healthy food
The solutions come to me I have all the time I need to do what I need to do I love my life
I am successful I finish my projects with ease I love my body
I am a quick learner I am focused and at peace I love my mind

Create your own affirmations that resonate with you. You can also check out Louise Hayes for tons of inspirational affirmations.

 How to Use Affirmations

Once you’ve selected your positive affirmations, you start practicing them until they feel real and true to you. Depending on how you learn best, here’s how you’d do it:

Visual Learner – Post your affirmations in places where you can see them. Keep them with you either on note cards or in your cell phone’s notes section.

Auditory Learner – Record your affirmations and listen to them when you’re driving, exercising, getting up and/or going to bed.

Kinesthetic Learner – Write your affirmations over and over again.

Combination Leaner – Practice 2, or all 3 of these methods.

Doing these when you wakeup and before you go to bed are great ways to set your mind for the day, and then for your dreaming state.  Also, every time you have a negative thought, replace it with a positive affirmation (mantra).

Positive Affirmations Really do Work

The law of attraction says that we draw to us what we give out. “Like likes like.” Positive thoughts attract positive experiences and negative thoughts attract negative experiences.   Affirmations have also been proven to reduce stress and increase your creativity and problem solving abilities. They make you happier!  Personally, I use them all the time, and have been amazed at the results. When I wanted to qualify for Boston, I repeated my time mantra and visualized it when I was training and before I went bed; It worked.  When I wanted to travel the world, I repeated the mantra “I am a world traveler” and within 3 months, I landed an international position.  The point is that positive affirmations make you feel better and they help your bring more positive things in your life.  So why not give it a try? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You can change your thoughts, and thus you can change your world.

Since we’ve been working on our goals for the new year, this topic fits in perfectly. Creating affirmations (mantras) to support your goals will help bring them to you. And hopefully you’ve already signed up for our Fast Pass to Success, a FREE four-week mini course, which will help you focus on your top goal for the year and create a communication strategy to make it happen. If not, sign up here!

10 Tips to Make Your Goals Stick

bigstockphoto_Business_Man_Success_-_Aris_Gr_161633By JoAnne Foist

You’ve determined your vision and wrote out your goals for the New Year.  Congratulations!!!  You’ve completed the first step toward goal achievement!  You might be thinking, “Ok, so what’s next?”  That’s easy, you have to stick to them!  Wondering how? Not a problem.  Now that you know what you want,  you’ve got to stick to your goals.  Below are 10 tips to increase your chance of success and make the process much more fun!

Follow these Ten Tips to stay on track with your goals:

  1. Visualize and Document! Really crystallize what you want to achieve in life and then write it out as if you already achieved it. (See Fast Pass To Success). Make sure your goals are meaningful to you. They should cause excitement when you think about them. It has been proven that people who write out their goals are 10 more likely to achieve them than those who didn’t.  Once you write them out, keep them out where you can see them so they stay top of mind.
  2. Anticipate Obstacles and Plan to Overcome Them – Think about the obstacles you will face and write out plans for overcoming them. Studies have shown that preparing and planning for challenges, what researchers call creating “implementation intentions” will increase your ability to stick to your goals. Then, when you hit the bumps in the road, you’ll know exactly what to do and you wont be derailed.
  3. Develop Positive Thinking and Feelings – Think about how you will feel when you accomplish your goals. Your goals need to be “wants” and not “shoulds.” Shoulds make you feel bad and it’s a chore to do them. Wants are something you desire. These are your goals, not somebody else’s.
  4. Envision Success – Keep your eye on the prize and repeat your goal mantra such as “I am determined, healthy and strong,” every time you feel discouraged. When I was first trying to qualify for the Boston marathon, I kept visualizing my finish and my mantra was “I run a 3:38 marathon.” It worked!
  5. Vision Board Creation – Create a vision board of what your goal looks like so you can be reminded of how great your goals are. I use my computer screen as a vision board and have images that inspire me toward my goals.
  6. Get Support – Join a support group, create a group, and/or enlist others to help you and report your progress. Reporting your progress to friends increases your odds of accomplishing your goal. In a goal research study, it was proven that sharing goals with friends (support group/coach/other) had the greatest impact on success.
  7. Forgive and Forget – If you slip, forgive yourself and get back on track. It’s bound to happen from time to time. One off day, or off week, is not going ruin your success unless you let it. I’ve seen this all to often where a friend will eat too much one day and use it as an excuse to can the whole diet and all the progress made. Researchers call it the “What the Hell” effect. You should plan for derailments and how you’ll get back on track as part of your “overcoming obstacles” plan.
  8. Track Your Progress – Keep track of how you are doing, plain and simple.
  9. Develop Routines and Set Yourself Up for Success– Try to be consistent with doing activities toward your goal. It is best to schedule them the first part of your day to ensure they get done. For instance, I run early in the morning before my workday. To help get me out the door in the mornings, I set out my workout clothes and fill my water bottles in the evening. This way I can easily get dressed and out the door. And by doing my workouts before my workday starts, if I get unexpected projects and have to work late, it doesn’t affect my training.   I’ve developed a habit of working out first thing in the morning.
  10. Celebrate Little Successes Along the Way – Reward yourself for wins along the way.   Big goals can have mini-goals or activities along the way and you should celebrate their accomplishment. Remember, you are working toward your goals to make your life better, and hopefully more amazing. That’s cause for celebration!

We know you can be abundantly successful in 2015 and we want to support you with A FREE GIFT!!!!  As our gift to you, we created Fast Pass to Success, a 4-week mini course that will have you speeding toward success with ease and enjoyment.  The Fast-Track Pass is a four-week mini course, which will help you focus on your top goal for the year and create a communication strategy to make it happen!

Your Fast- Pass includes each of the following once a week for the next four weeks:

  • A short educational video
  • A simple exercise that you will complete
  • Office hours to interact with experts who will help you complete your plan and motivate your success
  • Access to a community of supporters
  • Access to tools and techniques to super-charge all of your efforts

In addition, our President and CEO of Excelerate, Kimberly Gerber, will have weekly office house so that you can access her directly to ask questions and brainstorm tough situations.  The value of this offer is upwards of $1,500, however, she’s giving it to you, our readers, as a gift. All you have to do is click here and sign up to get your Fast Pass to Success.  There’s no cost, and no risk – only great rewards! So why not do it?

Don’t wait! Join today and you will receive a download of the goal-setting template we created to help you manifest you’re your destiny for 2105.

Here’s to an amazing year. I have a feeling it’s going to be great.