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Mindset: The First Step in Goal Attainment
by Kim Olver

Have you ever attempted to accomplish an important goal, begun to make progress, only to taper off to nothingness after a short while? This happens to many of us. Science is only beginning to understand the how of why this happens and consequently, we are only beginning to find ways to overcome this obstacle.

Most of us begin our year with plans of what we want to accomplish. We make goals in a variety of different areas. Some of them seem to come easier than others. Science is beginning to uncover some things about our subconscious mind that seriously affect the outcomes of our goal planning sessions. It's time for you to take a close look at whatever forms of self-sabotage you engage in.

Prior to our brains getting to a certain at a certain level of processing at around age seven, we do not possess the ability to filter the truthfulness of incoming messages. There is no protection from the things we hear. We have no way to discard the information that doesn't serve us. Everything comes in at equal value and becomes part of our conscious or subconscious mind. Scientists estimate that 10 percent of our brain's functioning is conscious, leaving 90 percent of it operating subconsciously.

I have come to think of this as the marriage between myself and a computer. The conscious part of what happens is me, directing the computer to follow my commands. The subconscious part is the computer's software, of which I have limited or zero knowledge. The computer needs my conscious input to be able to produce. However, if I direct it to do something against how it's programmed, it simply won't work. In addition, I probably won't be able to understand why because I don't have conscious knowledge of the software. (I realize this may not be the perfect metaphor but work with me a while here.)

If I set a weight loss goal for 2009, while I am consciously attending to it for about the first 30 days, I will exercise most days and be vigilant about what I eat. Now suppose, I have subconscious programming that tells me, "You are a fat pig. You are lazy. Exercising sucks. Who do you think you are? You aren't 16 anymore. It's really impossible for women over 40 to lose weight." All of these tapes can be running in the background of my mind, interfering with my success with my goal.

Whenever I feel tired, stressed, anxious, angry, bored or depressed, I may stop exercising and start eating unhealthy foods. My behavior will begin to line up with the subconscious programming to prove it to be correct.

The first step to successful goal attainment is to get your subconscious programming in order. What you feed your mind will ultimately determine what you do. If you think negatively about yourself and your resolve, your potential, your skills or your intelligence, then your behaviors will line up to match your beliefs.

Instead, feed yourself only positive thoughts. Whenever you become aware of a negative thought, belief or attitude that doesn't serve you, recognize it for what it is and negate it with the opposite positive thought. I'm not talking about becoming an optimistic Pollyanna. You must be at least optimistically realistic. If you tell yourself things that are too fantastical, then your mind will have trouble believing what you say.

Write positive affirmations, develop a vision video for your mind, create a vision board to look at, and regularly meditate to center yourself and get yourself in touch with your higher power or the best of you.

Once you have your mind right, don't stop there. It is the first step but it isn't the be all and end all. You must be willing to put in the required work to make your goals a reality. Wishful thinking won't make things happen. You must get your mind right by sending it the messages that will serve you and your future and then you must take the requisite actions.

Kim Olver may be contacted at

Kim Olver is a life and relationship coach. Her mission is to help people get along better with the important people in their lives, including themselves. She teaches people how to live from the inside out by empowering them to focus on the things they can change. She in an internationally recognized speaker, having worked in Australia, Europe and Africa, as well as all over the United States and Canada. She is the creator of the new, revolutionary process called, Inside Out Empowerment based on Dr. William Glasser's Choice Theory. She is a public speaker and provides workshops in the areas of relationships, parenting, and a variety of self-growth topics. She is the author of Leveraging Diversity at Work and the forthcoming book, Secrets of Successful Relationships. She co-authored a book with Ken Blanchard, Les Brown, Mark Victor Hansen and Byron Katie, entitled 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. She works with individuals, couples, parents, social service agencies, schools, corporations and the military--anyone who will benefit from gaining more effective control over their lives. She has consulted on relationships, parenting, self-development, training, leadership development, diversity, treatment programs and management styles.



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