If That Makes Sense: Set, Create, Visualize

When it comes to completing tasks, and getting our goals accomplished many of us have a clear idea of what we want to do but not always a clear path to getting that executed.  It is difficult to get to where you want to go, if you do not know how to get there.  It is even more difficult if you do not know where you are.  But what if, we had a layout, directions, that could answer all the questions?  If we could see where we were going, where we currently are, and how to get there then we would control all the intangibles.  We can say how fast we want to get there and whether we want to detour off the path, knowing how to get back on.

A few months back, I found myself exploring self-improvement.  And while everything I saw and read was right and extremely helpful in getting me to improve my productivity and what I expected from myself, it was a little confusing.  They gave instructions on noting everyday what you want to get done, but it never really went further than that.  I did not want someone to hand all the information over to me without working for it, I just wanted some clearer direction.  I understood I needed to journal daily, which I did, but it still seemed like I was missing something.  In a search to find what I was missing, I stumbled upon 3 basic steps that I felt worked for me, and as such wanted to share with you.  Now these are just the 3 basic steps.  There are more details under each step that can lead to deeper and better results but by implementing just these 3 you will find yourself in a place you never thought you could be.

smart goal setting concept

STEP 1.  Set a goal.

When I say “SET A GOAL” it is very different from saying “CREATE A GOAL”.  My definition of setting a goal means:

putting a desired result or outcome in a specific position, place, or time

This means putting the outcome or result that YOU want in a very specific position or place in your life.  By doing this you are laying the groundwork for the blueprint to get there.  You have created the END of the timeline by Setting the Goal.  You know exactly what it is you are working towards.  It is very important though that this is YOUR GOAL.  It should not and cannot be someone else’s goal for you.  The reason for this is because if it is then it will not be the desired result or outcome YOU want.

You should only work towards something YOU want, otherwise when you achieve it you will realize that you never truly desired it, and as such you will not truly want it.  Imagine if you were told to take a flight to Switzerland, for your job.  If you wanted to go to Switzerland then this would be great.  You will have a certain level of joy when thinking about the trip.  But if you did not want to go to Switzerland you may still appreciate the trip, but deep down inside you will not have that joy about the trip.  Your perspective when you arrive would be different if you wanted to go there versus being told to go there and not really wanting to go.


Often in life, we CREATE goals for ourselves, based on what others around us want.  And while this would be fine, it sometimes creates a tension in the process of getting to the goal.  SET the goal for what YOU want.  This step is challenging because you must be truthful with yourself.  If you are not you will waste a lot of time and will not have much to show for it.


Step 2. Create and Follow the plan.

This is just as important as the previous step.  Creating the plan lays down the directions for you to get to that destination you are looking for.  This makes it easier for your GOAL to become realistic.  Once you create a feasible plan that can truly get you to the result then you quickly see how doable everything is.  This is very important, because most times we SETTLE for something easy because what we truly want appears to be out of reach.  While it may be out of reach now, it does not mean you cannot get yourself closer to getting it within your grasp.


Each step is difficult but this step is very tough because you need to be detailed and accurate with your plan.  If you were journeying to somewhere you have never been before you would want the most detailed set of instructions on how to get there, so if any issues arise you can face them head on.  This works the same way.  The more detailed your plan is, the more optimistic you can remain when issues arise.  In life issues will always occur, but you will not have to worry about them for too long if you already have a solution planned.  Creating the plan is only half of this step though.


Following the plan is necessary.  It seems straightforward that you should follow the plan you created but I must emphasize this.  It is very easy to deviate from plans when things appear to be going better or worse, but you should stay the course.  If you spent the time creating your plan, and you made it as detailed as possible, then you need to spend the time TRUSTING it.  TRUST what you have created and FOLLOW it.  If you are ahead of the plan, that is great, stay with the plan.

Plan, Wooden peg  and colorful words

If you are behind of the plan, remind yourself that you have the correct directions and continue following the plan.  Too often we change things, and usually this is done at the worst possible moment.  Your breakthrough may be around the corner, but if you stop and go the other direction you will never see what was waiting for you.  And if you planned for success and have not gotten to it yet, that does not mean it is not on the path you are heading on.  Your timing may have been off, but the directions might still be right.  Do not give up on your plan.  Follow it through.


Step 3. Visualize the outcome.

At first glance this, the importance of this step escapes people.  If I have my finish line and directions from where I am starting why do I need to Visualize the outcome?  Visualizing the outcome is important in ensuring that you get where you need to go.  As mentioned in the previous steps, things will happen, events will occur that can deter you and lower your motivation.  By visualizing the outcome, you WANT, you are remaining positive.  When the tribulations occur, you will be unfazed.  Instead of focusing on how bad everything is going, you will be seeing how great everything will be.  Most professional athletes do not visualize losing.  They see themselves WINNING, passing the finish line, accomplishing what they have started.  No one runs a race looking behind themselves.  The moment you look behind you allow two things to happen.

  1. You allow yourself to slow down because you cannot see where you are going anymore, this is a natural reaction we have.
  2. You allow your competition to see that you are concerned about them. This gives them the opportunity to push harder to get closer to and eventually overtake you.


This step is the fuel to keep you focused.  Remember, you have already SET your GOAL, and CREATED a PLAN to get you there, all you should do is focus on the reward that you have planned for yourself.  There is no reason to look back.  Continue looking forward and you will not be lost.

With these 3 steps, I feel you can accomplish ANYTHING that you truly WANT to.  The best part about these 3 steps is also that they can be used to accomplish ANYTHING that you NEED to as well.  Try it with something small first if you are hesitant in the results.  Once you accomplish that small goal, use it for something bigger.  Then aim bigger and bigger.  You will be surprised how well things will go, but you should not be because you expected this result when you started the first step.

If you agree or disagree with this post please leave me feedback or a comment below!  I look forward to all replies I get, and appreciate any feedback!  Please SHARE this post if you found something in it beneficial you feel someone else could use to build themselves up as well. – jae


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