“You control your future, your destiny. What you think about comes about. . . . Put your future in good hands – your own.”
—Mark Victor Hansen
Last month, I wrote a blog about dealing with anxiety and introduced you to using your timeline. I got feedback from readers who were fascinated that they could get rid of their anxiety with such a simple process. And they were curious about other ways they could use their timeline and the Mental Emotional Release® (MER) process.
MER therapy is used in several ways: to deal with PTSD, phobias, and generally to release old baggage, those limiting beliefs and negative emotions that hold you back from being, doing and having what you want out of life. Getting to these deeper issues is simple but you need some training before you can use it effectively with yourself or others. In our Empower Your Life trainings, we give people this more extensive training.
However, even before you get this training, I can show you another powerful use of your timeline: placing your goals out into your future.
The first step is to set your goals correctly. If you haven’t learned proper goal setting, read our special report that will give you all you need to know. If you’ve had some experience with goal setting, here are a few brief reminders using the acronym SMART:
S: Specific and Simple. A good goal says, “I earn an additional $20,000 by October 15, 2017,” not “I want to be rich.”
M: Measurable and Meaningful. “Lots of money” is not measurable but $20,000 is. Also, your goal must be important and meaningful to you. If you don’t really care about making more money, don’t set a goal about it to please your spouse!
A: Achievable, All Areas of Your Life, and As If Now. An achievable goal is one you think is possible. If you have a huge goal, don’t give it up. Just set up interim goals along the way that seem more doable. Your goals also have to fit into your life as a whole. In other words, as you are working on this goal, how will you keep your other priorities in balance? The “as if now” part means that you write your goal and think about it as if it is happening in this present moment. Your goal should read, “I can bench press 80% of my body weight as of November, 2017,” not “I will be able to bench press 80% of my weight by next May.”
R: Realistic and Responsible. Given where you are and everything on your plate, is it realistic for you to achieve that goal within the timeframe you set? If you don’t think it’s realistic for you, neither will your unconscious —the powerhouse that will help you achieve your goal. The word “responsible” has to do with the sense of “ecology” Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) uses as a litmus test for goals. Your goal is ecological if it is good for your family, your community and even the planet.
T: Timed and Toward What You Want. What specific date will you achieve this goal? “Sometime” doesn’t cut it. Without a specific date, you can’t be clear about how much effort you need to put into it, right? Achieving your goal by next month is a totally different project than achieving your goal by the end of the year. Your goal should also focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. “I’m no longer fat” won’t work as well as “I’m a slim size 8 by December, 2017.”
Now let’s get your timeline involved in this process. I suggest you start with a simple goal, maybe even a goal about something you wish to accomplish by tomorrow or this week. First, write down your goal using the SMART acronym. When you have it clearly defined, find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for 10-15 minutes.
- Establish your timeline. If you didn’t try last month’s anxiety model, start by noticing where your timeline is in relation to your body. Think of an event in your past. As you remember that event, notice where it is. The past could be behind you or to your left or right. Next, think about something specific that will happen in the future. Is that upcoming event in front of you? To the left or right? You’ll notice that you can draw a line between the position of your past and your future. This is your timeline.
- Now, close your eyes and visualize the achievement of your goal. Experience this achievement as if it is happening now. For example, imagine that you are depositing a check for $20,000 in your bank account on October 15, 2017. As you picture this, be right inside of the action. Feel yourself endorsing the check. See the bank teller or ATM. Make this picture as vivid as you can.
- Next, step out of the picture of achieving your goal and make it smaller. It’s as if you step out of the movie screen so that now you’re watching it. Take that image and shrink it poster size. Hold it in your hands.
- Now simply float above your timeline over this present moment. Energize the poster of your goal with three deep breaths. It’s like placing your energy and intention into that goal with each exhale.
- Float out into the future until you’re directly above the date you set for achieving your goal. Drop the poster of your goal and let it float down into your timeline. Watch it set itself firmly in your timeline.
- Now float back to the present moment. Staying above your timeline, notice how events are lighting up and rearranging themselves toward the achievement of your goal. You might see specific activities or just have a sense of events on your timeline aligning toward your goal.
- Float back to now, open your eyes and become present in your body. Write down any insights or action steps that occurred to you during this exercise.
- Take action. You’ve given your unconscious very clear marching orders through this exercise. To lock it in, take immediate action toward your goal. It doesn’t have to be huge. But taking a step solidifies your intention.
I encourage you to experiment with placing your goals into your timeline. Don’t get uptight about whether you’re doing it exactly right. Play with it, and notice how that picture of success you’ve placed in your future draws you forward.
“When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live.” – Greg Anderson
To your TOTAL empowerment!
Byline: Matthew B. James, MA, Ph.D., is President of The Empowerment Partnership. Author of several books, Dr. Matt has trained thousands of students to be totally empowered using Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Huna, Mental Emotional Release® (MER) therapy, and Empowerment Fit, a program that incorporates targeted mind/body/spirit practices to create optimal physical fitness and health. Download his free special report, Everything You’ll Ever Need to Know to Achieve Your Goals. To reach Dr. James, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.