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Set SMART Goals for Success in the New Year

Hypnotic Focus ART

by Jason Linett, BCH, CI

Are you ready to set some big goals for 2013? Or are you ready to address the goals you previously set in 2012 and never got around to achieving?
As a Board Certified Hypnotist, I help people take control of their lives. My job is to help my clients get from where they are in life to where they want to be. We help people lose weight, quit smoking, overcome fears, improve confidence, and much more. In this column, I’ll share with you some tips I’ve found to be helpful in setting goals and actually reaching them.
You may have heard of SMART goals. SMART is a helpful acronym to guide people setting goals. When you arrange the following themes in order, they spell the word “Smart:”

What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to lose weight, or do you want to lose 20 pounds of unnecessary fat and fit into that suit you haven’t worn in five years? Do you want to feel more comfortable speaking in public, or do you want to receive five new testimonial letters from business groups for whom you’ve spoken?
The more specific you make your goals, the better odds you’ll have of achieving greatness.

How are you going to track your goals? How do you know when you’ll be done? This may be just an extension of having truly specific goals, but it opens up the pathway to breaking a larger goal down into smaller ones.
I once had an airline pilot as a client who described the task of flying a plane as starting out with a perfect plan, and then constantly trying to get back on course. He shared that the moment the plane leaves the gate, it is as if it was already off course. The role of the pilot is then to adjust for wind, communicate with the ground, and safely land the plane at its destination. How will you track your progress even in moments if you get off track?

Is your goal realistic? Reaching a new goal may require some creativity, passion, and work. Is it something you can actually do?
How will you go about doing it? For example, if you want to lose weight, you’re going to have to change some of your behaviors.
Do you have the skills necessary to reach the goal? I often give my clients the metaphor that I can help an opera singer remove her stage fright, but her skill at hitting specific notes comes down to practice. I can help the golfer remove negative thoughts and performance anxiety, but it’s up to him to pick the right club.

It needs to be YOUR goal. Can a real estate agent set the goal to make the world’s biggest pancake? Sure she can … but why?
We work with teenage athletes frequently in the office. They respond very well to hypnosis. I recently had a gymnast who absolutely loved the sport and wanted to overcome a fear of jumping and flying through the air, and a baseball player who told me he hated baseball and only played because it was what his dad wanted. Which client do you think was the easiest to motivate?
When a client shares a goal or a benefit they’d like to achieve through our process, I’ll often ask, “What is it going to feel like once you’ve done that?” We call this Emotional Identification, the naming of an emotion that’s either driving or will drive the behavior. If you can connect with the positive feeling associated with receiving the benefits of your goal, it is meaningful to you.

What is it going to be like a month from now, a year from now, or even five years from now? Perhaps this is a goal that may take some time. Perhaps a bit of urgency is really what you need to stop procrastinating.
Keep track of your process, consider finding an accountability buddy, or seek the help of a professional who can help guide you efficiently to your result.
As a final thought, well-formed goals should always be positive. Give yourself positive incentive to achieve those goals, and strive toward what you want – not what you don’t want.

Jason Linett is a Board Certified Hypnotist and the Director of Virginia Hypnosis, a solution-oriented hypnosis practice in Alexandria, Virginia. For more information, visit www.VirginiaHypnosis.com or call (703) 341-6655 for a free confidential consultation.

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