Visualizing a goal is more important than knowing every detail or even any details of how you will achieve it. The first step for a painter is to visualize the end result, at least in concept; the means of achieving that result are extremely variable - different materials and styles, for example - and some of the steps may require learning new skills or may depend on ideas and inspiration that the artist knows will arrive at the appropriate time - he doesn't worry about them not being there at the beginning. However it turns out, it will express his feelings and spirit, and that is more than good enough.
Seeking visualized goals is a powerful, natural tendency - like the tendency of plants to seek the light - an insistent drive that can crack the hardest granite. If you don't have a clear image of where you want to go, this creative urge will be frustrated and you may experience your life as meaningless or directionless. Then you may visualize negative goals for yourself - you may see yourself as incompetent, ill, in pain, a failure, and your creative power will tend to make these a reality.
The first step in goal setting is to get in touch with what you really want in life. Something that is truly inspiring for you, so you know it is "right." It should be what you really, really want, regardless of "what it takes." Not what other people want or what they expect of you, and not something to please others - to inspire you it must be true to your self, something that will really motivate you.
It may be a lifetime goal or one for a year, month or week ahead. Keep it clear and simple but don't set out your goal in terms of generalities like "some" or "more" - be specific! Include tangible details of time, place, facts, figures, persons. Clarify exactly what the goal means in terms of specific changes in your life and a specific deadline for its achievement.
The goal should be achievable - maybe out of reach, for the moment, but not out of sight! It should also be something you believe in, which you feel is right, which is consistent with your values.
Then envision that situation in your mind as actually happening now. Express it as a statement of fact in the present tense, see yourself with the goal already accomplished. What are you doing? What are your surroundings? What are people saying to you? How are you feeling now that you have accomplished it? Get the feeling of that achievement in your heart and celebrate! That feeling will then stay with you and energize all your actions toward manifesting the goal.
Here are some examples of well expressed accomplishments: "I am going on a singles club outing once a week and meeting new people I get on really well with [the goal to make 5 new genuine friends]." "I am swimming a mile three times a week and I feel stronger and more alive [the goal to get fit by swimming a mile three times a week]." "I am living comfortably within my budget for food, clothing and entertainment; now I feel financially secure and in control of my spending [the goal to live within my budget by three months time]." "Bob and I are understanding each other and really loving and trusting one another and we are having beautiful sex [the goal to improve the communication in our relationship so that our sex life is great again]."
Don't use negatives such as "I am not over-eating." Think positive! Also negative goals, or not being able to see yourself actually achieving the goal, strongly indicate the likelihood of internal conflict taking place, in which case you need to handle this, to identify the limiting beliefs and revise them.
For example, you might learn that you are afraid of how others will respond if you achieve your goal, or that you are unable or unwilling at this time to perform the necessary steps to proceed, or that the goal is really meant to please another or match somebody else. In these cases, you first need to thoroughly grasp and accept the conflicting viewpoints and feelings involved and compare them to the current reality, your actual needs, and to realize any distorted thinking taking place. Then either the goal will be clarified and the problems drop away, or you will see that the goal is not genuine and choose another goal.
You then also need to work out an action plan, covering the steps you need to take in sequence to manifest your goal. What do you need to do, change, learn, or implement, to move your life from where it is now to where you want it to be?
To plot out your path, it is best to work backward from your vision of an accomplished goal - that way you ensure you stay on track, that what you plan leads to the goal and not some place else. What has to be done to enable you to finally achieve the goal? What has to be in place? Then you just proceed backward: what needed to be done one step earlier? Work back to the first steps you need to take. The first steps need to be things that you know you can do, so you can get going. Put this in writing and share your goal with those who will support you.
As you begin to act, identify your fears, accept and release them. Identify other things you are doing, perhaps habitually, which in fact make it difficult or even impossible to eventually achieve your goal, and stop doing those things. Identify and revise your limiting beliefs (including beliefs that you have been suppressing), and shift that energy into the love you have for your vision.
As you put your first steps into reality you will find yourself acting in ways compatible with creating your vision; ideas and resources will fall into place. Setbacks are inevitable but you can learn from them, then re-establish your vision and move on with greater confidence than before. Use all that you have learned to establish and boost your self esteem - be your own greatest supporter. With self-confidence you'll want to stretch yourself and try new things. And remember the reasons why you are doing what you are doing - this will help you do whatever it takes to reach your goal, to be patient when necessary, and to be persistent with your efforts.
It is equally important to focus also as ruthlessly and honestly as possible on the current reality. And this is key: measure your progress from where you started, not against how far you have to go. Each action in which you demonstrate your competence boosts your self-esteem; each development that you make happen boosts your morale.
By comparing your progress with the point at which you started out, you will be encouraged to continue. Goals are achieved step by step and each step needs to be validated - otherwise the goal may seem far away and it may feel you are making little progress, when really you are.
Then compare your current reality and state of progress with the final vision - the next steps will be clarified and you will be motivated to continue. This is an improvisatory process and cannot be entirely predicted at the outset. Since creating is improvisatory, the steps you planned to take and even the goal itself may be revised. Now you know yourself better you may discover that you actually want something very different from what you originally set out to get.
FIRST IN IMAGINATION
THEN IN WILL
THEN IN REALITY
Have a great time (setting and achieving goals is the game of life).
With the spotlight being placed on the subject of manifestation in many forums, I thought it would be a good idea to expand a little on my understanding of the subject and be specific about how to go about it.
I believe in a multi-domain approach. We are not just one with God; nor just angelic beings; nor just a witnessing consciousness; nor just a creative mind; nor just a scheming ego; nor just a social being struggling to survive; nor just a lover, parent or friend; nor just a creature programmed by genes; nor just one with the super energies of the planet and the Universe. We are all of these things at the same time. A unified field.
Manifestation, as described in "The Secret," is a spiritually powered process. With the right spiritual, mental and emotion preparation, things seem to "just happen" or fall into our lap. While this may sometimes be the apparency, in practice it's not the whole picture. The other domains of our being play at least an equal part. Although opportunities may arise that seem magical - synchronicities, because we are connected beings, the unified field again - and like-minded people will naturally identify with our desire (law of attraction) and share their resources, the primary channel of achievement of what we desire is provided by ourselves, our own actions and communications and mental resources, such as intellect, creativity and intuition.
Good old "goal setting and getting" (as described above) is as important as ever. That's practical, "get down to it" psychology. Our knowledge base and mind development and social skills (concentration, study, communication, memory, creativity, intuition, leadership, etc) are important as ever. These are our cognitive contribution. Vital if we want to make a difference: to think and live outside of the box of our cultural norm.
In addition, to achieve anything meaningful we need to put our heart and soul into the mix too. The following manifestion process complements nicely the information above about making your vision a reality...
Creation occurs when we have a clear image of a desired state and trust that we can make it happen. If we can make it happen subjectively then we can make it happen in the physical world too. Motivation and the energy to create comes from this desire: the structural tension between the current reality and the desired achievable reality.
With the Manifestation Process you create the best spiritual, mental and emotional way of being, which will empower you to achieve your desires and attract the resources you need. These are the steps:
Expose resistances (irrational fears and limiting beliefs) - experience them to the degree that you realize that you create these; you can then change them or just let them go.
Describe the scenario in detail
What does that feel like....? (all senses and emotions, World of Inspiration)