By Gino Blefari
This week my travels find me in Northern California for meetings and video filming (you’ll be seeing what I filmed soon!) And in between my busy schedule it struck me that we are smack in the middle of 2016. Can you believe it? Half the year is already over!
Besides being a testament to how very fast time flies—especially when you’re having fun in your job—this halfway mark is also an important reminder to reflect on the goals you set for this year and to check in and see how far you’ve gotten toward accomplishing them. Are you on track? Behind? Ahead? If you gave yourself measurable ways to gauge your success, you’ll be able to easily see how close you’ve come to hitting those goals. Now, if you haven’t achieved your goals, here are two reasons why that might be:
- You don’t believe you can achieve them.
- You filled them out January 1 or just before the new year, put them away in your drawer and haven’t looked at your goals since.
For the first point, I’d say you must believe and have faith in yourself. Not faith as a religious faith but faith as in the belief that you alone contain all the necessary knowledge and know-how to accomplish your goals. You must also understand that faith comes irrespective of others’ thoughts or opinions. As Carter Chambers (played by Morgan Freeman) said in the movie, The Bucket List, “You measure yourself by the people who measure themselves by you.”
As for the second point, I’d recommend you review your goals every single day and see what a difference that makes toward you actually accomplishing them. Because the truth is that what you focus on expands and by reviewing your goals, you’re focusing on them.
It’s important to remember that there are two parts of our mind and each play a particular role when it comes to goal-setting and goal achievement.
- The conscious mind. This is what you use to define, articulate and set goals.
- The non-conscious mind. It’s this part of your mind that follows through with all the dozens, hundreds or millions of actions necessary to achieve these goals. Another good thing to remember about the non-conscious mind is that its servile; it sets no goals of its own, it only tries to carry out the orders that you’re giving it.
Your Reticular Activating System (RAS) plays a huge part in goals. As explained in The Answer: Grow Any Business, Achieve Financial Freedom and Live an Extraordinary Life by John Assaraf and Murray Smith, the RAS is the scientific term for a network of nerve pathways at the base of your brain that connects the spinal cord, cerebellum and cerebrum and acts as a filter for all the sensory input your brain draws from your external world. Reticulum is Latin for “little net” and simply means a netlike structure. Anything that you see, hear, smell, feel or taste passes through this fine network, which then relays the signal or message on to the appropriate part of your brain for processing.
Here’s how Assaraf and Smith explain the RAS as it relates to goals: Let’s say you’ve been earning about $100,000 a year for a while, so that is what seems normal to you. This translates into a belief: “I am worth $100,000/year; that’s my normal income level.” Because your non-conscious mind is holding tightly to that picture of you earning $100,000/year, even if a million dollar idea comes along, your RAS will filter it right out so that you never even become aware of it.
So what’s the message? You must first believe you can achieve your goals and then you must then make reviewing your goals part of your daily routine so your RAS can go to work. If you do these two simple things, the second half of the year will see you not only focusing on your goals but also achieving them.