We've all hear this saying before, but what does it really mean and can it be done? There's a guy named John Socrates who's an Internet Marketer and Researcher. He strongly believes that the difference between 'failure' and 'success' depends on an individuals habits. I couldn't agree more! My husband, Chris, and I are starting our 21 day fix exercise and meal plan tomorrow (December 1-21, 2015). Will you have made progress or excuses in your life based on your dreams in 21 days from now? We are so passionate about our wellness journey and love sharing it with others. So here are some ways to help you follow your passions and live your life by design.

     Start with identifying your bad habits. Now break them! The first step to brea old habits is determining what new habits you want to create with your life energy. Start by asking yourself these questions:

  1. How do you envision the life of your dreams?

  2. What habits do you need to eliminate?

  3. What positive habits do you need to develop to create your dream life?

  4. What does your intuition tell you about what you should be doing?

     Listening to your intuition is one of the most intelligent things you can do with your life energy. Never underestimate it. Your intuition always guides you in the direction that is perfect for you. Trust it- trust yourself. It is that small voice that is not affected by egos, past failures, or other opinions. It is your inner guiding light. I like to keep a gratitude journal and suggest it to everyone! It is exactly what it sounds like. Write down 3 things you're grateful for each day. In your journal, keep notes on what your intuition tells you about the strategies and the resources that might empower you.

     The next thing you want to do is to crystallize your thinking. Determine what specific goals you want to achieve and really visualize them- in great attention to detail. Your goals need to be specific, and measurable so that you can achieve goals along the way and your action is recognizable. Progress is what keeps our spirit fulfilled.

  1. What habits are you letting go? 

  2. What habits are you creating in place of the old ones?

     Avoid negative thinking, such as "I want to lose weight." Why? What does that really mean? Your subconscious mind will serve you explicitly, but it must receive very specific directions. Instead think "I want to be my most healthy and physically fit", and see the way your mindset shift from negative to a more positive light.

     You'll need a sincere desire for the things you want. It may sound silly to even mention, but your urge to proceed will have to outweigh your urge to quit. There will definitely be times you'll want to quit, so be prepared to dig deep.

     Desire is the starting point for all achievement. It's the greatest motivator of every human action. Frequently, your mind is more motivated by pictures and visualization than it is with words and written exercises. The right side of your brain is where your creativity comes from, and it thrives on pictures. Many times the right side of your brain takes precedence over the left side, which thrives on words. In the past, you may have just written words down to reach your goals. Add this new dimension to your process and create a vision board.

  1. Draw, cut out pictures, or take photographs of what you want in life. 

  2. Put pictures up on your refrigerator, your bathroom mirror, or any place that will remind your subconscious mind of your desires to reinforce your goal.

  3. To be even more focused with your visualization- create a vision board. See my post in the Spirit section of this blog for more details on how.

     Changing the way you think will significantly impact many areas of your life. Every thought you have sends electrical energy to imprint a new picture in your subconscious mind. The efforts of your subconscious mind are to match the pictures in your mind with reality. It's the way of the universe. The more you deliberately plant vivid pictures and ideas of what you want, the faster you will attract these things into your life. It's very important that you allow yourself to fantasize about what you want in your life - let your imagination run wild! 

     To achieve what it is you want in life, you must think about it. There are no limits in life except those we put on ourselves. This is your life and you will be cheating yourself if you don't go for what you want! Live by design. You must feel your success before you can manifest it in reality.

     The next step in making or breaking habits is to develop a plan for achieving your goal, and a deadline for its attainment. The difference between a "wish" and a "goal" is that the goal is written down and often has a time table attached. Once you have a clear picture of what you want in life, your subconscious and conscious mind can work together to achieve it. When you prioritize and focus you can literally see what you want; this gives you the power of concentration. Focus goes where intention flows! Deliberate concentration is like a laser beam - it can cut through any obstacles in your path if your intention is focused.

     Distinguish between goals and activities. A goal is the specific end result you want to manifest in your life. Activities are those things you do to achieve your goals. Use the skill of awareness, and remember the goal. Don't get stuck in the activities. Create deadlines for your goals. It's important. Without deadlines your brain doesn't have a clear picture of what you want created. Deadlines have a magical way of motivating us to produce results.

     Give this a try: First write your *one-year* goals on paper, then write down all the activities you will have to do to reach each goal. Don't over complicate it. Start by asking yourself what is the very first activity I must do to get started on this goal? Then write down each following activity that will take you closer to the one year goal. Sometimes reverse engineering helps too. 

     Now, break down the activities for each goal into 3 month groups. Ask yourself "What are the activities I must do in the first three months to achieve my goal?" Write those down...and so on. Breaking down the goals into manageable, bite-size pieces, you'll feel more in control. The secret is that this divide-and-conquer approach keeps achieving your goals from becoming overwhelmingly complicated. I read a time management book that helped me tremendously in this area.

     Make YOUR goals YOURS. Be you...get personal and raw. Time for a reality check. Don't set a goal for yourself that your spouse (or anyone else for that matter) wants for you. It's gotta be done for you and only you. You're not useful to anyone if you don't take care of yourself first. It's a necessity- not selfish. I use the example of an airliner to explain this point effectively to people. When you fly- the attendant goes over safety in case of emergency and always says to fasten your oxygen mask first. YOU..not even your small child..you. If you pass out while trying to get theirs on- you've become ineffective and potentially counterproductive; however, if you secure yourself first...you can effectively help all of the people around you safely. Likewise, you will never be successful achieving goals that are not motivated by your own desires.

     Develop confidence in yourself and your abilities. This is so much easier said then done, but it's well worth the effort. INVEST in yourself and the reward will surpass your expectations. Stay "sold on yourself". Here are some techniques you can use...

  1. Listen to motivational CDs and tapes or read personal development books daily in your car or while commuting.

  2. Say your affirmations daily, and control your self-talk.

  3. Tackle every activity without giving any recognition to the possibility of defeat. Just go for it!

  4. Focus on your strengths instead of your weaknesses. Positive reinforcement is a game changer.

  5. Recognize and honor your personal point of view, and the power found in each moment.

  6. Develop a determination to follow through on your goals regardless of obstacles, circumstances, or criticism. There will be plenty of negativity. Be so positive- you change their heart.

     Review your goals daily/weekly/monthly. Small actions get you to your dreams quicker by achieving goals continuously. Set a time that you can be honest with yourself on what goals you are really committed to and how you can improve your strategies. You must also be honest with yourself on what goals are only paper dreams if you aren't really going to pay the price to achieve them. Don't lie to yourself.

     Have PERSISTENCE. Persistence is the real key to successful goal achievement. You can't give up- EVER! Don't allow yourself to become distracted with excuses about why things can't be done. Excuses are the enemies of goal achievement. You're only in competition with yourself. Work on being the best version of you every day. When you set your goals, go beyond merely writing them down or making affirmations. Visualize experiencing being surrounded by the reality you want to achieve, as though you are "here" now. 

     Get to work on designing the life of your dreams, creating and living it. Let me know if you want more info on joining my team Motivational Mindset...I'd love to tell you more about it.