Plan your path, the power of clearly defined goals; Paul J. Meyer stated “If you are not making the progress you would like to make it is simply because your goals are not clearly defined.”

The computer is very good at following instructions and as long as it is programmed with the right instructions all is well with the world.  Good stuff in, good stuff out. Your brain works a little like a computer, and you are the programmer. One part of your brains function deals with conscious thinking, planning, goal setting and decision making, the other portion, a much larger portion is absorbed in automatically carrying out what your conscious mind has programmed it to do. This function is called the psycho-cybernetic force. Dr Maxwell Maltz wrote the original Psycho-Cybernetics book back in 1960 which in its various editions has subsequently sold over 30 million copies. The book is regarded by many as the original science of self improvement. Sports coaches around the world have used the techniques shared in his work to great effect to improve the performance of both individuals and teams alike.

The psycho-cybernetic force is unbelievably good at carrying out the instructions you give it, both positive and negative. If you programme it to believe you can you are correct , similarly if you programme it to believe you can’t you are also correct. If you experience a lower degree of success than you planned it is because you have not properly identified and planned your goal, in other words your computer, your brain, has not been properly programmed. The only part of the process that requires conscious thought on your part is the selection and the planning of your goal. The more clearly defined your goal the more successful your psycho-cybernetic force will be able to subconsciously go to work on that goal.

You as a human being are responsible for programming your psycho-cybernetic machine, your goal seeking mechanism. Definite plans produce definite results, indefinite plans do not produce indefinite results, typically they produce no results at all. The best way to create definite plans is to write them down, indeed just the physical act of writing them down solidifies your desire to achieve them.

Consider these important reasons why the power of written goals can never be underestimated:

  1. Written goals keep you focused. Unless you write them down they can get lost amongst the noise of day to day activity and the excitement of new challenges and issues.
  2. Written goals help you track your progress, they serve as a yardstick against which to measure accomplishment.
  3. Written goals drive motivation. Writing crytsallises thought and crystallised thought motivates action.
  4. Written goals act as a reminder. When you write out a shopping list you tend to buy what you intended to buy. When you don’t you tend to spend more time and energy buying things you didn’t actually want or need. Your written goals are your life’s shopping list.
  5. Written goals save time. (see above)
  6. Written goals help you avoid procrastination, when you have a clearly defined objective with action steps, dates and deadlines you know exactly what to do next.
  7. Committing to a written goals programme helps you see more clearly, visualise things better which adds further to your motivation.
  8. The universal law of reciprocity suggests you tend to draw yourself to that which you set out for yourself. When you act on your goals they act on you.

So if you are not making the progress you would like to make and are capable of making it is simply because you have not programmed your mind, your psycho-cybernetic force to subconsciously go to work on your goals, the goals are not clearly defined or planned out in enough detail.

Here’s how you do that; Clearly defined and written down goals with identifiable benefits to be gained or losses to avoid, combined with detailed steps aligned to specific dates & deadlines, pre planned solutions to anticipated obstacles, supporting affirmations and visualisations, well communicated to those who can help or hinder your progress as well as some internal dialogue making sure what you say you want is supported by your own values and beliefs. Only then can you truly claim to have have planned your path.

I will be sharing more about this process in future posts, identifying additional success factors such as passion and positive expectancy, both crucial to the process of personal leadership and personal success.