As we enjoy the festive season, New Year Resolution makers among us already know what they are going to do more of, less of, differently and better in the coming year.
After several years of doing so, however, we should have developed a deeper level of self-awareness. An appreciation that deciding what we want and getting what we want are two totally different matters.
If you have set resolutions every year and ended up going slow on them by March, avoided thinking of them by April and vaguely remembered them by May, this article is for you.
Before we begin to evaluate the basics of goal-setting, it is imperative that we examine our personal belief systems - our paradigms.
If by May we only vaguely remember what our resolutions for the year were, it may appear as if there are guards commissioned by a higher authority to arrest our forward progress.
These 'guards' take their orders from our paradigms such that if we attempt to accomplish something beyond our paradigms, our minds immediately create ideas or reasons justifying why it absolutely cannot be achieved. The idea that "it is impossible" will continue to flow in us until we shelve the project altogether. You see; our feet will never take us where our minds have not been.
Conversely, when we believe something can be done, our minds automatically begin creating the ideas that pave the paths towards its accomplishment. The great secret of advancement therefore lies in the belief that we are capable.
Our belief systems are based on our evaluation of something. Consider this; often times when we re-evaluate a situation, our thoughts about that situation will change. This is not because we see something in the situation that wasn't there before but because we see something in ourselves we didn't previously see.
While we are free to think anything we please, as long as we remain set in our ways, there is very little we can do to change the unpleasant experiences that keep cropping up in our lives. We will keep receiving the undesirable experiences we are sure we do not want but somehow keep plaguing.
Lately, the study of the mind, and its veritable power, is at last taking its proper place in our current and future lives. Proper use our mind and its various faculties will give us anything we choose.
The emphasis here is on the word 'proper'. To move in this direction requires study and focused, consistent effort with a good helping of creativity stirred in.
Just as trees develop from the genes that lie within their seeds and birds develop from the genes that lie asleep in eggs, so will our achievements grow from the organised plans that first begin with our imagination.
An image in our mind is the first stage of the creative process in any aspect of our career progression, success, relationships and life in its entirety. From our imagination, our visions and plans arise.
Napoleon Hill once wrote: "You will never have a definite purpose in life; you will never have self-confidence; you will never have initiative and leadership unless you first create these qualities in your imagination and see yourself in possession of them."
The ideas of moon landings, communicating by email, travelling on jets or using cellular phones were a very short time ago, sheer fantasy. In fact, those espousing these ideas were thought to be the unstable sort. Today, we cannot imagine life without these conveniences.
Our marvelous minds have factors that we can, with very little effort, develop and use to improve the quality of our careers, relationships, achievements - our lives.
Imagination is one creative intellectual faculty we all possess in equal measure.
The individuals who were responsible for the conception and creation of email and cellular communication and any of the thousands of modern conveniences we enjoy today had highly developed imaginations and we can all do this.
They held fast on their dreams and were not easily influenced by the opinions of the masses, the naysayers who characteristically criticize and ridicule anything they do not understand.
These pioneers ignored their naysayers, forged on to use their mental faculties to fantasise, build wild and wonderful pictures in their minds then, holding their thoughts steadfast with their wills, they watched their fantasy unfold into theories and then into facts.
They seemed to have an innate awareness that if they could visualise it, they could do it. We all can.
Use this power you innately possess and let your mind play. Fantasise a much better business, career, relationship, level of success than you presently enjoy.
Draft your future with imagination, ponder and calculate with intelligence and awareness, then knit it with care.
Next, devise paths and find tools to help get you there.
Commit to reach new goals.
The only barrier that separates us from our goals is ignorance - ignorance of how simply powerful, our minds really are - our capabilities and possibilities are truly infinite.
It's only when you believe that anything is possible that you will make progress in all life's areas
The writer is a Certified Life-Success Corporate Coach