I have been writing a series all about goal setting now that we are into the new year and resolution go time.
I have been looking into mindset and the brain and how that inhibits or allows us to achieve our goals.
The key I have discovered is that no matter the goal, the place to start is with the mindset. I discussed fear and how that can hold you back, I discussed abundance and scarcity in goal setting, and I also covered visualization and being, when it comes to your goals.
Today we are going to dive into visualization from a different angle: Impossible Goals.
I know that the conventional wisdom is to set SMART goals (an acronym) but I would challenge you that if you have big goals, not just habit change goals, but massive results goals, that require you to be a completely different person, then you should try setting one Impossible Goal.
Hear me out!
As I covered in the previous post on Mindset and Goal Setting, you have to visualize the person who you will become. You have to understand what that person thinks, feels, does each day. You then have to let go of the person who doesn’t have, do, or feel, those things and chances are that person is you right now.
When setting an Impossible Goal, you are asking your brain to believe something completely new. But remember, your brain doesn’t know the difference between fact and fiction, it only believes what you tell it.
Think about what impossible means:
Definition of impossible (Merriam Webster Dictionary)
1a: incapable of being or of occurring
b: felt to be incapable of being done, attained, or fulfilled: insuperably difficult
Now let’s really dissect this. Can we really truly know if something is IMPOSSIBLE? REALLY?
The answer is NO. We can’t. All we can know is what is in our current realm of thoughts and experiences.
Think about 100 years ago, January 1920. Imagine if you took a time machine back to January 1920 and tried to tell people that they would be able to hold a thing in their hand the size of a wallet that allowed them to communicate with anyone in the world, as well as access all of the knowledge available in the world in a matter of milliseconds.
They would tell you that is impossible. That it could never be done. And they would have been right, back then, given the technology and the knowledge of the time, but look at us now. Chances are you are reading this on a smart phone!
So I ask you: What is impossible?
Maybe it seems impossible right now for you to:
Get out of debt
Find a man/woman
Get the job you want
Get out of depression
And I would ask you: Is it really impossible?
Of course not, it is just beyond your thought capability at the moment because your brain believes what you are telling it.
So why not tell it something else?
Let’s say you are currently working on a health goal: you want to eat healthier and exercise regularly. What could be an Impossible Goal around health and exercise for you? Something that seems so unlike you but something you have always wanted? Compete in a triathlon? Climb Mt. Denali? Become a vegan?
Daydream a bit about what you could do and be if anything were possible (because remember anything is)
Now. Pick one.
Set a time in the future for this Impossible Goal. Not a strict deadline but maybe five years in the future. (It is amazing what you can do and change in five years)
Now don’t start letting the self-talk get to you. Just tell yourself that in five years, you can be/have/do/this thing because it is possible.
Now, it is time to start visualizing.
You have to get supper clear on this Impossible Goal. Get supper clear on the person who has achieved this goal. What do they do? Think? Feel? What actions do they take each day? What do they not think, do, or feel? What does their life look like?
Go back to my post on Mindset and Goal Setting to see more about how to change your mindset. And fill out the To Be or Not To Be List
One small step at a time. The first step is visualizing the person who has attained the goal. The second step is letting go of the person who doesn’t yet have the goal (you at the moment). The third step is start taking action.
Just take small steps, but move forward. The hardest part is getting started. Once you have started you have already done the hardest work.
The difference between a person with a goal and a plan to implement it, versus a person with no plan at all is so vast. The difference between you with your plan and the Impossible Goal you wish to achieve is infinitely less than the person with no plan at all.
Trust yourself. Trust that anything is possible and set about doing the HARD work of changing your mindset and the actions and results will follow!
For more on Goal Setting and achieving check out the other posts in this series
Goal Setting 101
Mindset and Goal Setting
How to Actually Achieve your New Year’s Resolutions