What better way to start the new year than with clearly defined aspirations. Better yet, how about starting the new year with achievable aspirations!

We’ve all set goals that were never attained — losing weight, reducing debt, exercising… and we all know how frustrating it is to see the months of the year fly by without an inch of progress.

Have you considered what keeps you from achieving your goals year after year? You do! If you lack the will to work toward your goals you probably didn’t set achievable resolutions. Moreover, if you focus on the gap between where you are and where you want to be, then chances are you won’t ever see the success you desire.

That’s why it’s critical to think about what you really want to achieve. Set goals that you feel passionate about rather than ones that you have to force yourself to embrace. Then remember to focus on how good your success will feel rather than how far you have to go to get there.

To help you set achievable goals, I offer you these three steps:

1.  Find a quiet place and close your eyes. Breath deeply and visualize yourself in 2013. Ask your future self what three things you should focus on in the coming year. What does your future self say? Write down the guidance offered. Does it resonate? If so, you’ve got your list! If not, then take another deep breath and visualize flipping the switch to turn off your mind and imagine that you’ve turned on the switch on in your heart. Ask your heart what three things you should focus on in the 2013. What does your heart tell you? Write down the guidance offered. Now consider both lists and allow yourself to focus on the three that you have the most energy around.

2.  Now that you have your top three list, ask yourself why you want to achieve these things. It may sound silly, but it’s really important to connect with your goal and if you consider the “why” it helps connect you to the emotion behind the goal. If you don’t  know why you want something then it probably isn’t a good goal for you to work toward because the energy won’t be there for you to carry it through to completion.

It’s important to note that when considering the “why,” you focus on the positive rather than the negative aspects. For example, you want to go back to school because you’ve been passed over for promotion is focusing on the negative aspect. Focusing on becoming more competitive in the workplace provides a subtle yet powerful shift of emotional energy putting you in a much better feeling space.

3.  And that brings us to our final, important step. How do you want to feel when you’ve achieved each goal? No, this isn’t a trick question but let me suggest that the answer is much deeper than, I want to feel good! Maybe you want to buy energy efficient windows because you want to feel like you are making a difference in the environment. Maybe you want to go back to school because you want to feel like you are able to reach your full potential. If considering the “why” connects us to the emotion behind the goal, naming how we want to feel nails the emotion right on the head! So, close your eyes again and imagine you’ve achieved your goals. Now, for the next few minutes allow yourself to feel — really feel — the emotions attached to that achievement. Aaaah! Doesn’t it feel wonderful!

Following these three steps will help you set goals that are achievable. And, because they stem from your spirit and heart, they truly resonate with you and will be easier to work on throughout the year.

Here’s to a 2013 filled with every dream you ever imagined!

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