Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution to eat better, lose weight, get out of debt, a dream of starting your own business, or anything else you decide you want in life – the process of setting goals for ourselves is where we most often get it wrong.

One of the greatest books on how to correctly and effectively set goals is “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. It’s in the preparation for this book that Hill spent the better part of two decades studying the uber successful people of that era. Household names like Rockefeller, Ford, and Schwab. I was listening to one of my mentors, Paul Martinelli, talk about this one day and he makes the point that Hill recognized that these tycoons didn’t possess an abundance of generalized or specialized knowledge that made the super successful; instead they had perfected their ability to harness their intellectual faculties and developed the ability to create, manifest, and attract whatever it is they desired in life.

The good news for us, is that we have those same intellectual faculties and, therefore, the same ability to create, manifest, and attract whatever it is that WE desire in life. We just have to learn how to recognize those faculties, and then what to do with them.

In Maxwell Maltz’s book “Psycho-Cybernetics” (I actually have the updated version “The New Psycho-Cybernetics”) we learn that its impossible for us to outperform our own self image. Simply put, we will never do more, or be any better than that which we believe we are capable. Like Henry Ford said, “whether you think you can, or think you cannot…you’re right.”

To keep this from becoming a book in and of itself, I’ll sum it up with this and hopefully give you an actionable piece of the equation that really set things in motion for me.

One of the biggest and most effective ways to really begin setting goals that will ACTUALLY begin to create the change you’re looking for is to visualize your goals through the powers of your imagination. Paul Martinelli said it best, “our memory relies on our past experience and historical recall. However, imagination when used properly defines our future potential.”

If you’re looking to create change, but basing everything on the things you’ve been doing that have generated your current results…until you break that cycle…you’ll continue to get what you’ve always got.

Step outside your comfort zone. Picture in your mind what your life will look like when you’ve achieved the goals you’ve set for yourself. How will you feel? How will your life be different? Really get a clear mental picture of what that looks and feels like and generate your goals from that, and put it in writing.

Then, make that part of your every day routine. Spend a few minutes every day re-reading your goal and focusing on that clear picture and vision of where you’re headed…and you’ll be amazed at how things begin to fall in line for you.

Up until May 6, 1954 – a human being running a 4-minute mile was impossible. Couldn’t be done. Then Roger Bannister did it. Today, it’s a standard for most distance runners. It couldn’t be done, until it was…and now it happens all the time. Until the belief system of “impossible” was broken, the 4-minute mile was simply unattainable. This applies to the limitations you set for yourself. The moment you allow yourself to dream without limitations is the moment that you begin to attract those things into your reality.

“People dramatically overestimate what they’re capable in the short term, and dramatically underestimate what they’re capable of long term.” ~Tony Robbins

Get of your own way! Dream big and win!