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Faster Goal Achievement

Sunday, January 7th, 2007 by Steve Pavlina

Download MP3: goals.mp3

Faster goal achievement. Today we're going to cover exactly what the title of this podcast suggests. We're going to cover how to achieve your goals more quickly once you've set them; how to get from point A to point B faster.

So, point A is simply where you are right now. Point B is a goal you've set for yourself, whether it be to lose a certain amount of weight, make a certain amount of money, advance in your career, start a business, change your business, start a relationship, change your spiritual practice... whatever that is.

Think of A and B as two points on a line. OK, A is your starting point, B is your goal. And there's a difference between them. The difference between these two states is the distance that you need to cover to get to your goal.

Now, instead of approaching this problem as sort of a linear process of what actions you need to take and what steps you need to take to get from A to B, which has been covered to death probably elsewhere on my website, and in many other goal-achievement programs too — I'm going to take a different tack on this problem, and suggest that the real difference between A and B is not all the action steps you need to take to get there, but the shift in your identity that needs to happen.

For example, let's say your goal is to lose weight. Let's say you want to lose 20 pounds. At point A, you're a slightly different person than you are at point B. Because the person at point B, for one, they're 20 pounds lighter. But they also, hopefully, assuming you've achieved this goal in a maintainable way, they know what to do to stay at that point. They're a different person. A person who maintains their ideal weight is a different person than someone who settles to be overweight. There's some difference in their identity and how they think about themselves. It's not just a matter of taking the actions to get to your goal. There's some kind of personal inner shift in how you think about yourself.

Have you ever seen someone set a goal, or state an intention, or tell you about their plans for the future, and you just know they're not going to make it? I mean, you know, internally, OK, this person is just deluding themselves. They have no chance. They don't get it, they're not going to get there. Why won't the person get there?

When you know somebody setting a goal, and you know they're just being — you know it's just really wishful thinking, you know they're going to fail. You've probably seen this a zillion times before. Somebody swears, "OK, I'm going to quit smoking, I'm going to lose weight, I'm going to find the relationship I've always wanted. This time, it's — it's for real. This time, I'm serious about it." You know they're not going to make it.

You might define it as a lack of commitment, you might define it as their not having the skills to get there, or the competence, or the self-discipline. But really what you're saying, however you define it, is that the person doesn't have the identity shift that they need to get there. They're not that person that they're setting the goal to be. Internally, they don't, quote-unquote, "get it". They're out of harmony with their goal. They don't resonate with their goal. It hasn't been internalized yet.

Intellectually, they get it, perhaps. Maybe they even know what they need to do to get there. But, they don't get it as part of their being, they don't get it emotionally. It's not something they identify with yet.

Let me give you a simple example. Let's say a person is 100 pounds overweight. And, by the way, I should mention, one of the reasons I use physical or financial examples so often is that they're easy to measure. It's not that I'm obsessed with the physical body, or money, or anything like that. It's just that they're easy examples to measure, because you can talk in terms of pounds or dollars.

Anyhow, back to the point. Suppose a person is 100 pounds overweight. And their goal is to lose 100 pounds. And they try all these different things, and they're just not succeeding, they're not really there.

Now imagine you take a person who is at their ideal weight, somebody who has a lifelong practice of proper weight management. They pay good attention to their diet and exercise. They've figured out what they need to do to maintain their ideal weight. It's become very important to them. Perhaps this person is even an athlete or say, an aerobics instructor, something like that. Somebody, where, being at their ideal weight is an important part of their identity. It's who they are, they wouldn't even let themselves get 10 pounds overweight.

Now what would happen if you take this person's consciousness and stick it in the body of the person who's 100 pounds overweight?

Well, first of all, that person would freak out, right? They would say, "This is completely unacceptable! I've got to do something immediately!" Assuming they're stuck in this new body.

They wouldn't just settle for being 100 pounds overweight. This person would just, would be like, hitting the gym every day, probably, you know, spending hour — they would spend hours at the gym every day, they would immediately transform their diet, they would get rid of all the junk food from the house, they would prepare a bunch of healthy food for themselves, I mean, they would make massive changes immediately.

Why? Because they still identify with their thin body. I mean, they'd go and look in the mirror, and see this extra 100 pounds of fat on themselves, and they would just be shocked. They would be, "This is not me! This not who I am! This is completely unacceptable! I will not tolerate this! Not one moment more than I have to!" I mean, they would make a huge commitment.

You would know — why, because this person already gets it. This person already knows internally how to be that healthy, thin, fit person, how to not be overweight. Whereas the person who is trapped in that overweight body, who's been trying everything and not succeeding — doesn't get it.

See, when you get it, when you really make your goal a part of your identity, when you really are there in your mind before you're there physically, in the physical universe, yet? Once you have that epiphany of knowing that you're going to make it, that you're there — it's a pretty smooth ride there. Even though it may require a lot of work, a lot of effort, such as the person who has to lose 100 pounds because they found themselves suddenly in an overweight body. It's very doable. The goal will be achieved.

Have you ever seen somebody who's set a goal, and you just know, they get it, they're going to make it? You see somebody, and they set this goal, and you can just tell, that that person is committed. And even if they haven't yet manifested the complete goal yet, like, they haven't yet lost all the weight they're going to lose, or they haven't gotten their business the way they want it to be, or they haven't gotten the career promotion they're setting, or haven't gotten the relationship they want. You just can tell this person's going to make it.

Now that's kind of rare, it doesn't usually happen as often as the case where you know they're not going to make it. But when you see that happen, you know the person has had an epiphany, you know that internally, they've shifted their identity to the new end result they want to achieve.

See, this idea of making an identity shift, in terms of, say, the language of the Law of Attraction — this is what we call coming into resonance with your goal, or coming into resonance with your intention, or becoming a vibrational match for your intention. If these terms sound a little too New Agey for you, don't let that scare you, because you can just think of it in terms of having that identity shift. You know, either you're at your goal in your mind already, or you're not.

Now I want to talk about how do we actually create this identity shift? If you set a goal and you know you want to get from point A to point B, how do you actually become the person who resonates with point B?

Well, I've had a lot of experience with this myself, especially over the past couple years, and one of the things I've found that worked really well is to identify what you feel are the side effects that you'll experience when you've already reached your goal. One of the things you can do is simply brainstorm it — like, just open up a computer editor and start saying, what will be different about my life when I've reached that goal? How will I think differently, what will I do differently? Just, what will, what will be all the side effects?

Once you've identified those side effects, the next step is to start closing the distance by trying to find a way to introduce those side effects into your life.

See, the side effects of your goal that are different from the side effects you're experiencing now in your life, are incongruencies. What you ultimately need to do is to find a way to introduce those changes into your life. What this does is, it actually helps to shift your identity more toward you goal.

Let me, let me bring this down to earth a little bit with a concrete example that I've gone through myself.

So, many of you know about the Million Dollar Experiment. OK, where, a group of us, who are participating in this experiment, and this started in November 2005, we all decided to put out the intention to attract a million dollars into our lives, and into the lives of everyone else who's holding this intention. And if you don't like the word intention, just call it a goal. So our goal is to make a million dollars for everybody who's in this experiment. And people can choose to track their progress publicly or not.

Now, you might say, a million dollars is a big change, especially if you don't have anywhere close to a million dollars. 'Kay, the distance from point A to point B may be quite large.

But what are the side effects that you would experience in having a million dollars? 'Kay, let's say you actually achieved the goal, and you had a million dollars. Well, I started identifying some of these side effects, and I realized, OK, I don't have any part of this side effect in my life right now, which probably explains why I'm not a millionaire.

Now, I'm still not a millionaire yet, but, I'm getting closer to it. Last year, I had my best year ever financially, and I closed a lot of the distance to this goal. And here's what really helped me a lot.

So I thought to myself, what are the side effects if I became a millionaire, if I had a million dollars, say in cash? And I realized, OK, one of the side effects would be that if I actually was a millionaire, I'd probably carry a lot more cash in my wallet. I mean, I'd be comfortable with that, that would be a normal thing for me.

See, when I started the experiment, I would probably carry something like $50, $60, $70 typically in my wallet. But as I got to know some people who were a lot wealthier than I was, I realized they carried a lot more wallet than that in their wallet. Some of them carried even a couple thousand, at the very least several hundred dollars, they were carrying.

So, I thought, OK, well, this is something, this is a piece of the gap I can begin to close. I thought, so I went to the ATM machine, and I just took out an amount of money that made me feel a little bit uncomfortable to carry it around all the time. I took out about $200, and I just kept it in my wallet.

And whenever my cash got low, like below $100, I went back up to at least $200 again. And I started doing this for a period of weeks. And when I got comfortable with that, I went to like, I went to about $300, and then I eventually started getting more comfortable with carrying $400, $500 on me.

It wasn't that I was just going out and spending all this money, but I realized that, this was part of the gap I needed to close. It was just a very simple side effect. And the truth is, that if I couldn't get comfortable with carrying this extra money on me, it was unlikely I was going to resonate with being a millionaire, it's unlikely that that was going to be part of my identity.

And an interesting thing is that as I began getting comfortable with carrying more money around with me, the amount of money I was carrying in my wallet started to seem like it wasn't so much. Like, I remember I used to think, wow, having $200 in my wallet, that's like a lot of money. Could buy almost whatever I want for that cash.

And then I began thinking — I eventually reached the point where when I had $200 in my wallet, I would think, "oh my God! I'm almost broke! I'm running out of cash!" And I'd have to go get some more.

So that was kind of an interesting identity shift. And I'm still going through this pattern right now, but I noticed that, just making this change, and getting comfortable with it, had a huge impact on they way I started thinking about money, and the way I started thinking about financial abundance.

Let me give you a second simple example. I realized, as another side effect, if I was going to be a millionaire, certain sums of money that seemed large to me would have to seem small by comparison. I realized, how you perceive money is kind of relative to how much you have or what your income is. So, I often would think, OK, $10,000, that's a lot of money. If I have $10,000 in the bank, I'm doing great, I feel wonderful.

Well, I realized that if I was a millionaire, I would have to think having $10,000 was like nothing, it meant I was broke. It meant, $10,000 had to become in my mind, a small amount of money, like not very much at all. Realize $10,000 is only 1% of a million. It would mean I had lost 99% of my money if I had only $10,000.

Even though at the time I started this experiment, I thought $10,000 was a lot of money, I started telling myself, you know, $10,000 is not a lot of money. It's a small amount. It's just a little bit.

And as I began to just try to tell myself this, just saying, you know, $10,000 is not a lot of money, and I began to get uncomfortable with the idea of having only $10,000. And also I began to see $10,000 sums or even $20,000 sums or $30,000 sums as not very much.

Now you might think, $30,000, oh my gosh, that's a lot of money, that's... but the truth is, is that if you think that $30,000 is a lot of money, you're nowhere close to resonating with having a million dollars, because if you had a million dollars, you would think, $30,000? Jeez, that's just 3% interest from having my million dollars sit there in a bank account. It's nothing.

So as I practiced this, mentally, what was really fascinating is that I started having $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 sums come into my life, far more easily. Like, last month, one of the commission checks I got was just under $17,000. And I really knew I got it when I looked at the check, and it felt small. It almost felt like a check for $17. I was, I was really beginning to get it, I was really beginning to resonate with having a million dollars.

Now, I'm not there, but, I was able, over the last year, able to stockpile an extra $100,000 in cash. That's not bad at all, at least, as far as where my starting point was, and how I've been continuing along with this experiment. So I am definitely seeing this have an impact.

And now, the next step for me is to start thinking, OK, maybe $50,000 is a small amount. See, I still see $50,000, wow, if I got a check for $50,000, that's a lot of money.

But see, as long as I keep thinking that, I'm not going to be able to make $50,000 in a single lump sum, or $100,000, because I'm going to see it, because I'll see it as too large, too much. I won't be resonating with it. This make sense?

So, those are a couple of longwinded examples, but I really wanted to explain that level of detail, and show how when you can identify some of these side effects that you'll experience as part of your identity when you reach your goal, and start finding ways to close the gap to these side effects, by practicing them in a safe way, then, you can implement them fairly easily.

And what I mean by safe way is, you don't want to say, "OK, if I was a millionaire, well, gosh, I would go out and buy whatever I wanted to. I would — a $1,000 shopping spree would be nothing to me."

And then you go and — you know, of course, if you go and do a $1,000 shopping spree, where, if $1,000 really is a lot of your bank account, or if you have to go into credit card debt to do that, that's a very bad idea.

But see, then, you're really not resonating with the way the millionaire persona would think, because the millionaire persona would not go into debt, they would not spend money they don't have.

So, if a thought feels really truly uncomfortable with you, there's a good chance it's not in resonance with where you're going to end up. You're just heading off in a different direction that's still incongruent with where you want to go.

So try to find the thoughts, and the actions, and the habits that are most congruent with where you want to end up, and that feel — and that don't take you too far out of your comfort zone. You want to go a little bit out of your comfort zone, where you need to stretch a little bit, but you can make this gradual progression. For example, the amount of money you carry in your wallet and you feel comfortable with.

The feeling part is very important, because that's where you finally get it. It's one thing to know where you want to go intellectually, it's one thing to know what it'll be like to be a millionaire intellectually, it's another to really get it. The same applies with physical fitness, the same applies with attracting a relationship.

What will you be like when you're there? What kind of person will you be when you truly get it? What kind of things will you do, what kind of thoughts will you think, how are you going to feel about the situation you're in, and how can you begin to introduce those feelings into your life right now?

You're going to feel differently when you get there. That's the truth. You're going to feel very differently. Something is going to be different about the way you perceive reality.

So how can you start introducing those changes? So again, the process is really, brainstorm what those changes will be, and if you get stuck on the brainstorming process of what some of those side effects would be, then ask somebody who's already achieved your goal, and you'll start seeing the differences. Contrast yourself with that person. How are your thoughts and feelings different from what that person is thinking and feeling? How are your habits different? How are your beliefs different? And try to identify the beliefs that are most relevant to achieving that goal, and then begin to introduce some of those into your life in a gradual way.

And the more you can cause this shift to occur, where you're getting your identity to resonate, to be in harmony with, the goal persona you eventually want to adopt — the faster you'll actually achieve the goal.

See, the truth is, that if you already identified with the person you'll be when you'll achieve your goal, you would get there very, very quickly. The actions would just flow. It might still be a lot of hard work to get there, but you would flow through the actions very easily. Just like the example of the person who finds — who, who's a very healthy person and finds himself suddenly 100 pounds overweight. They would make monstrous changes immediately to get there, because their identity already holds them at their ideal weight.

So I hope you find this idea of coming into resonance, or coming into vibrational harmony with your goals, helpful.

Again, the idea is to achieve your goals faster by changing your identity, by shifting it gradually, to match the persona you'll eventually adopt when you achieve your goal.

So, really, it's an example of: as within, so without. Change yourself internally, and you'll find yourself accelerating rapidly through the physical changes you need to make.

So until next time, live consciously.