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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Casual goals

I don't know WHY this works, all I know is that it does ... create a casual goal.

Most of us have a hard time designing a goal and sticking to it because we think of it as something we have to work on all the time. Instead, I set a casual goal and let my progress be driven by my subconscious.

Step 1: Design your goal.

The goal must be realistic and be dependent on your abilities instead of luck or something out of your control. For instance, you can try the goal, "I'll win the big lottery" but I doubt it will work. Similarly a goal of "I'll inherit a million dollars" would be dependent on someone else doing something. A realistic goal would be "I'll have $5000 in my savings account".

Step 2: Set a deadline.

The deadline must be a specific, do-able date. Don't make it a moving target. For instance, "in 6 weeks" is a moving target. Every time you see that goal your subconscious will push out the deadline another 6 weeks. A specific deadline is a date as in 12/31/07.

Step 3: Write it down.

Simply write down your goal someplace where you will be able to revisit it occasionally. For instance, write down, "I will have $5000 in my savings account by 12/31/07" on the top of your budget booklet or on the top of your check register. The place doesn't have to be anyplace special but you do need to be able to find the goal again later. You do NOT have to decide HOW you're going to accomplish that goal.

Step 4: Allow the goal go into auto-drive.

Relax. Once you've written down the goal, let it be. Remind yourself of the goal periodically but don't stress over it. Don't consciously do anything to force the goal to happen. Of course, when an opportunity comes along to further your way toward the goal, take advantage of it.I believe one of the reasons this system works is because we subconsciously become aware of the opportunities that come our way. Once we start tuning in on the possibilities, we slightly change the way we operate. I liken this system to changing stations on the radio. When we turn the knob we start hearing static. Our opportunities are hidden somewhere in that static and we start to hear key phrases that encourage us to listen a little more carefully and to stop and dial in the station a little more clearly.

Step 5: Revisit the goal periodically.

We have to remind ourselves of the goal so our subconscious can work on it. If we don't other priorities and urgencies take over. This is also a good time to evaluate if this is still your goal. If it isn't, give up on it.

For instance, I once made a goal to install a hot tub in my backyard. As I progressed along, I decided, while a hot tub would be a nicety, that really wasn't something I wanted to work on at that time. Other home improvements were much more important to me and I had an alternative access to a hot tub that meant I didn't have to out-right own one.

However, I have used this technique several times to get where I wanted in life. I do recommend having only one goal at a time otherwise it gets confusing and takes too much effort.

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About Me

A little about the author ... I'm known as Cookie. I'm a long time frugal fanatic so when I shop, I prefer to save money. There is no reason to spend more than we have to! However, I also appreciate convenience and fine living. I strive to strike a balance between a nice lifestyle, simplicity and frugal living. I work hard for my money so I like to make my money work hard for me.