Most people don’t plan to fail, but they do fail to plan. Therefore, you need to plan for success. You need to set goals. And, you need to apply the seven strategies of the GRASP IT goal achievement system:
1. Specify your Goal. 2. Target a date for the goal’s Realization and identify how you’ll Reward yourself when the goal is realized. 3. Develop your Action plan. 4. Maximize your Strengths. 5. Program your belief system. 6. Identify obstacles and solutions. 7. Track your progress.
The strong will prosper!
The fourth GRASP IT strategy is maximize your Strengths. This requires three steps: 1. An attitude you’ll need to possess to realize your goal. 2. A habit you must commit to developing. 3. A skill you may need to reach your goal.
Let’s imagine your goal is to lose 15 pounds. Your target, or realization, date is exactly four months from now. Your reward for a successful realization will be a new suit, dress or wardrobe. Your mini-goals and activities could include; joining a health club, going on a diet and reorganizing your kitchen, refrigerator and pantry. Your first action or activity could be making an appointment with your doctor.
To help maximize your strengths, you need three things: The first is an attitude that will help you reach you goal. It might be, “I can and will reach my goal to lose 15 pounds and weigh my ideal weight.”
Next, you need a habit to commit to, like joining a health club and working out. The final step in maximizing your strengths is developing a skill you may need to reach your goal, perhaps learning to cook nutritious, tasty meals that are also low in fat and calories.
Again, to maximize your strengths, you need a positive attitude, a habit to commit to and a skill you can develop.
Apollo astronaut Jim Lovell knows the importance of goal setting and a positive mindset. While a guest on my TV talk-show, I asked him if the transition to post-NASA life was difficult. He said, “You know, when you move on, it’s always healthy to set new goals for yourself; don’t look back, don’t rest on your laurels or what you have done in the past; it’s what can you do now!”
What mindset does that require? Lovell says, “It requires an optimistic mindset; it requires you try to have new adventures, because you know you can’t repeat the old adventure.”
Believe in you!
The fifth strategy for GRASP IT, is Program your belief system. This requires four specific steps: 1. Affirmaions;2. Visualization;3. Graphic reinforcement; 4. A support system.
Affirmations are simply positive statements you repeatedly say to yourself; things like: “I’m a successful business professional who generates daily opportunities for myself, my people and my customers.” Or, “I’m highly organized and efficient and this leads to greater productivity.”
As you can see, each of these affirmations is positive, and that’s important because when most people they talk to themselves, they say negative things, like, “Gee, am I stupid,” or “No wonder it didn’t work, it’s always my fault.”
Affirmations, or self-talk, are positive, definitive statements that say what you want and desire are already so. They’ve already come true. Your affirmations reflect and reinforce your goals. Here’s an example. Since 1988, I’ve worked with students at one of Chicago’s medical schools, helping them with their interviewing skills for residency programs. I stress to these students that conceptually, they’re no longer students, but doctors. Therefore, they have to begin to think, walk, talk, feel, believe and behave like doctors.
These “doctors” have created some powerful affirmations, like: “I’m going to make an incredibly positive and lasting impression.” “I’m without a doubt the best candidate for this residency.” “I’m a totally confident, talented and successful doctor.”
The crucial part of affirmations or self-talk is their repeated usage. This repetition enables you to internalize these positive statements and begin to program your conscious and subconscious mind. Write down your affirmations on an index card, and then say them to yourself at least 25 to 50 times a day. You might even post them in strategic places; like inside your briefcase, on your desk, on the dashboard of your car or on your bathroom mirror.
Now remember, I won’t share with you a strategy or an idea unless I do it myself. Therefore, I can proudly tell you, I affirm and talk to myself every day. Some of my affirmations include: “This is a day of productivity.” “I am value-driven, integrity-based and non-manipulative.” “As I help others grow, I grow.” “My family is happy, healthy and wise.”
If you “see” them, they will come!
The next step in programming your belief system, visualization, is the ability or practice of figuratively seeing yourself accomplishing your desired goal or outcome. As an athlete who still plays competitive softball, I visualize. Although my knees no longer let me play shortstop, I’ve become a rather savvy and winning pitcher.
At the start of each inning, I repeatedly say to myself, “We will win this game. We will win this game,” and before every pitch is released, I visualize where the ball will land in the strike zone and if it’s hit, how I’ll respond, and to which base I’ll throw.
As a professional speaker, long before my audience arrives in a meeting room, I imagine or visualize their presence. I see them participating, laughing and learning. As a radio and TV broadcaster, I’ve interviewed many professional athletes who have performed at peak or championship levels; all of them had one thing in common. They visualized their success.
Visualization helps them create a mental rehearsal for the real thing.
Jeff Blackman is a speaker, author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” In 2008, he was one of five inductees into the National Speakers Association’s Speaker Hall of Fame. If you hire speakers, please contact Blackman at (847) 998-0688 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit jeffblackman.com to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff’s free e-letter, “The Results Report.”