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.

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.

Take the Fast Track!

Slide1Supercharge your success in 2015 with a new twist on an old tool.

By JoAnne Foist

Don’t you just love the New Year? It’s a fresh start with endless possibilities…the time of year when we set our expectations high for the coming year. Which is why so many people make New Year’s resolutions. You might be thinking, “Yeah… but only 8% of people are successful in achieving their New Year’s resolutions.”

Sadly, that’s true. Yet this year you can be in the top 8%! When you combine your resolutions with tried-and-true goal setting techniques you’ll be among the successful few who stay resolved and achieve their goals. It’s a fact that if you set goals and make deliberate resolutions, you are 10 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO ACHIEVE THE SUCCESS YOU DESIRE!!!

What’s the difference between goals and resolutions? A goal is a marker of success; a destination that you reach that indicates you have accomplished what you set out to do. A resolution is a commitment to behave in a certain way in order to achieve your goals. A popular goal after the holidays is, “To lose 20 lbs.” A popular resolution is, “To go to the gym 3-5 days a week…in order to lose the 20 lbs. As you can see they work well hand-in-hand, however many people (apparently 92 percent of them) forget that and they neglect to do one or the other.

Well conceived goals create your plan for success. They keep you focused on what’s important, help you prioritize, help you make better decisions, allow you to become more effective, and they motivate you.

Achieving your goals feels great! It’s a matter of writing them down and making a plan for success and there are proven tips for making sure they work! First, keep the number of goals to 5 or less so you can focus on what’s most important to you. You don’t want to get overwhelmed by tackling too many…achieving one meaningful goal is better than starting several and not accomplishing any of them.

The process is easier than you think when you follow the GOAL SETTING STEPS below:

  1. Your Vision – Think about what you want in life. What would your ideal life look like? Write it out so you can visualize this. This big picture view can be broad such as “I want to be healthy,” or “I want to be successful.”
  2. Make each goal statement in the present tense – This helps you mentally picture the achievement of your goal and reinforces it in your subconscious
  3. Break it Down – This is where you create your SMART goals to support your vision. “SMART” is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. SMART goals are your action plans for achievement.
    • Specific – Who, what, where, when, why of the goal.  This is key, because it sets up a plan.  For instance, instead of “I will exercise more,” write, “I will go to the gym on Mon, Wed and Fridays right after work.” Or, instead of “I will spend less time on social media,” write “I will limit my time on social media to 10 minutes a day and review it right before I go to lunch.”
    • Measurable – How will you track your goal?
    • Attainable – Stretch, but be realistic on what you can accomplish.
    • Relevant – Does this fit into your vision (the big picture)?
    • Time-Bound – Have a due date with intermediate progress dates.
  4. Create activities to support the goal – These are all the steps you need to take to achieve your goal.
  5. Track your progress – Track along the way to see how you’re doing. This could be daily, weekly or monthly depending on the goal. Daily is usually the best with weekly or monthly evaluations.   But do what works for you.
  6. Create a simple Resolution or Mantra that will keep your goals in focus throughout the year. Your resolution should be meaningful yet, easy to remember. Your mantra should encapsulate the essence of your personal vision and goals and excite you to put in the effort to achieve your goals for the year.

Goal Example: Relating to Health

  1. Vision – Optimal health
  2. Goal Statement – I train for and run 10k races.
  3. Goal Breakdown:
    • Specific – I will successfully complete my city’s 10k race on April 2015.
    • Measurable – Weekly mileage goals and ultimately finishing the 10k or not.
    • Attainable – Based on my current health and the length of time to build up to this, this is an attainable goal.
    • Relevant – This goal fits in my vision of being healthier and building my endurance. This goal is motivating to me. The reward of crossing the finishing line and getting my medal is motivating to me.
    • Time-Bound – I will have completed this goal on April 2015.
  4. Incremental activities to support the goal – Buy running shoes by x date, create a training plan by x date, signup for the race by x date, start training on x date and follow the training plan daily. I will make running a priority by getting up early and running before going to work.
  5. Track your progress – I will follow the plan daily and do weekly evaluations of my progress.
  6. Annual Resolution/Mantra – Healthy and strong!

Goal Example: Relating to Career

  1. Vision – A promotable leader
  2. Goal Statement – To be the next Director of Marketing.
  3. Goal Breakdown:
    • Specific:  I will be promoted this year to a Director of Marketing position.
    • Measurable:  Landing the position or not.
    • Attainable:  Based on my current position, my past accomplishments and the upcoming opening of this job I believe this is attainable.
    • Relevant:  This goal fits in my vision of being successful. This goal is motivating to me.
    • Time-Bound:  I will have completed this goal by the end of the year.
  4. Incremental activities to support the goal – I will take on high profile projects, such as xyz, I will get assessments from my colleagues regarding my strengths and opportunities by x date, I will take a professional development course to work on my communication skills by x date, I will write and submit my application and plan for the Director position by x date.
  5. Track your progress – I will follow the plan as set and review weekly to see how I am progressing. I will make adjustments based on feedback received.
  6. Annual Resolution/Mantra – Racing to the Top!

You get the idea? Then get started! You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish. Let 2015 be your best year yet. Need help? We have expert coaches who can help you achieve incredible breakthroughs. Contact us to learn more.

And, if one of your goals includes self-development, we invite you to attend Powerful Presence, our 3-Day Intensive Workshop.  Check it out…It’s really a life-changing event.

Here’s to your success in the New Year!