A Powerful Way to Set Goals

“Man has his future within him, dynamically alive at this present moment.” Abraham Maslow

Remember in my last column I wrote about the importance of setting goals that are realistic and achievable. There is no point in setting yourself up for failure, and you will have no motivation to strive for something that you don’t believe is possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t dream big (and I encourage you to do so), but do it in realizable chunks.

Choose goals that are meaningful to you and in alignment with your own values. Make sure you make a distinction between your values and those of others. If a goal is not important to you personally, it won’t have any power.

Then, language the goal into a simple sentence. Make it specific and measurable. That way you know exactly what you’re going for and you’ll know whether or not you get it. For example, “I make a minimum of $1,000 a day by following my trading system.”

State it in the present tense. “Next month I turn my trading around” won’t do. Next month never comes. You could, however, use the present tense and date it in the future.”I double my trading size July 1, 2007.”

Word it so it’s towards what you want (as against away from what you don’t want).”I follow solid money management principles.” Not, “I stop over trading.”

Once you have your goal formed into a sentence, make a clear picture of your goal already realized, as if it had already happened. Step into the picture so that you’re looking out of your own eyes, and adjust the qualities of the picture so that it has a strong impact. Try making it larger, brighter, more focused. Step out of the picture, so that you see yourself in the picture as if somebody had snapped a picture of you in the future.

Now take that picture and place it into your future time line.

Because time is elusive, people often visualize time as if it were space. Picture your life as a line or a path. Where is your past? Where is your future? Some typical configurations would be your past behind you and your future in front of you, or your past to your left and your future to your right.

When you have determined where your past and future are in relationship to your present self, imagine taking the picture of your goal accomplished in your hand and float way up over your time line. Breath life into the picture and go out to the place in the future where your goal will be realized. Insert the picture into your time line.

Now notice how all the events leading up to the completion of the goal reevaluate themselves. Come back to the present and commit to the realization of your goal.

You’;ve got the goal. It’s time for action. Make a list of steps necessary to achieve it. What is the first step and the second step and so forth? Once you’ve turned the goal into tasks, begin by taking action. Each action will either further your progress toward the goal or bring you valuable feed back so you can change your course of action.

Keep stating the goal to yourself as you languaged it, see the goal accomplished, and let yourself feel the joy of it already achieved. And keep taking action. You know what you want, you know why you want it, the hows will manifest themselves as you pursue your goal with faith, courage, and diligent action.

What if you could be the successful trader you have chosen to be?