Everybody has something they want out of life.  Some people might even go so far as to clearly state what it is.  There is another step, however, that most people don’t take.  The secret to really making it happen is to engage in a goal planning process.

On the surface, it seems a little boring…but oh my…the magic that happens when you start to watch your dreams become the truth as a result of your own organized effort.  Here are three levels of goal engagement that work like a charm for receiving what you want:

1. Engage your Dream– Dream level goals serve as the “true north” on the compass that directs your life and can take months and years to come to fruition.  These are the answers that you quietly give yourself when you are reflecting on what you really want out of life.  The big dreams that you visualize when you are daydreaming.

The good thing about Dream Engagement:

  • Activate visualization and help you clearly and vividly see the future you want to have.
  • Jump in the driver’s seat of life where you get to be powerful and intentional about your choices and the life you can have.
  • Develops your passion, your BIG WHY… the source of motivation and gives you something to strive towards.

Although the dream level is lofty at first, the minute a practical “HOW TO” thought enters your mind, you are moving on to the THINKING level.

2. Engage Your Thoughts– The thinking level is where you start to strategize what path to take to get you were you want to go.  Thinking, assessing and planning.  “Where am I now?”   “What would it take to get me where I want to go?” The answers to these questions help you develop your plan.

The good thing about Thought Engagement:

  • Helps you to take inventory of your resources and strengths
  • Helps you identify areas where you will need connection and support
  • Forces you to really think about EXACTLY what you are aiming to do and what it will take to accomplish it.
  • Clearly identify the right opportunities when they come. This way you are not saying NO to the right things and YES to the wrong things.

By the way, staying in this level can paralyze you with overwhelm if you become overly focused on the gap between where you are and where you want to be.  That feeling of overwhelm is your signal that it is time to take it to the next level.  Avoid the overwhelm trap by hopping into ACTION.

3. Engage for Action -This is where the real work takes place.  Now it is time to actually implement the steps needed to accomplish the goals you have set.  The action level is where the magic happens.  Implementation is key!  Like a well designed domino pattern, the right actions at the right time will cause things to fall into place beautifully.  One right move can swiftly propel you towards the attainment of the dreams you once envisioned.

The good thing about the Action Engagement:

  • When you follow your plan, it will anchor your day, week and month with the right actions to keep you moving forward.
  • Taking action builds confidence. You can clearly watch yourself making progress.
  • Action signals when it is time for Celebration!!! Each day spend a few minutes reflecting on what you have accomplished. Sometimes in a flurry of activity, it is hard to gain perspective on the progress you are making. Write it down and most importantly remember to celebrate your accomplishment, big and small as you move along the way.

Great Start!  But I don’t want you thinking that the process will always be so simple.  The truth is there are a few pitfalls and snags that you are bound to encounter once you are fully engaged in making your goals happen.  In the near future, I will give some practical insights on how to navigate those pitfalls and stay focused on building the life of your dreams.

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