If you’re like many in my social media feeds, you’ve picked your word for the year or even three words. A well-chosen word acts like a guide.
Why not take it further and try a picture?
We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. It crystalizes everything. A picture can represent an accomplishment and embody a feeling. It can transport you to another time. When I look at a picture, my mind adds sound and makes it come alive.
If a word exercise is powerful, try an image. Make your chosen words its caption.
“I believe that visualization is one of the most powerful means of achieving personal goals.” -Harvey Mackay
I know someone who swears that goals are more achievable if they are visualized.
Put up a picture on your refrigerator of your dream home. Years ago, when I was a child, I had a vision of my future home and sketched it out on paper. Once, when my parents came to visit us, my mom stepped back and couldn’t believe it. “I’ve seen this house!” she said, “You drew this as a kid!”
The other day I posted the best book covers. The artists and designers who create book jackets deserve recognition for the outstanding job they do. Whether we realize it or not, the cover is often responsible for drawing us in.
Kicking off this year, I am thinking about the goals I have for the year. The book covers offer a metaphor for our goal-setting process.
Glancing at a book cover, we judge the content and the author. When strangers look at us, like it or not, they often judge us in the same way. They take a look, and judge on our appearance. Unfortunately, this is common before anyone even understands our story.
MOST NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOCUS ON THE COVER
Is your goal this year to lose weight? Stay on that diet? Exercise more? Eat healthier? Like a book cover, we often focus on how the world sees us by focusing on our physical appearance. We don’t stop there. We also think about our reputation. Reputation defender services now help combat unwanted or unfair reviews online.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Lao Tzu
I can hear some of you saying, “Wait. Skip, it’s the inside that matters!” Some of you may be thinking about the verse in Samuel: “Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
I love what Jim Rohn said about that thought. He said, “Work on the outside for people. Work on the inside for God.”
NEW YEAR GOALS
If your life was a book, you would want the cover to be an award winner, and you would want the narrative to be superbly written. Design your goals the same way.
Keep your external goals. Losing weight may be just what you need. Regular exercise may just save your life. Eating more vegetables is always a good idea. But make sure to add internal goals to your list.
1. Divide your goals into two lists: the cover and the story.
A COVER goal is anything that is visible. This list could include such things as quitting smoking, getting a better job or obtaining your ideal weight. Anything that is seen by other people and the outside world goes in this column.
A STORY goal is what’s on the inside and goes into the second column. Do you want to be a better friend? How about being less critical and more positive? What are your spiritual goals?
Of all the rooms in our home, the one that accumulates clutter the fastest seems to be the garage. Maybe it’s because we pull the car in quickly. We’re only in the space for a few seconds. Maybe it’s because it’s not air-conditioned or heated, making it a real chore to clean in most months. Or maybe it’s because the items that are placed there are the ones in limbo. You know what I mean. You can’t throw them out easily or you would. That piece of furniture that holds some memories but doesn’t fit the décor of the home. The box of old magazines holding some articles you marked for some reason or another. A nice shelf lined with old shoes that may still fit but have long passed the glory days. Of course, you knew at the time you dropped these items in this state of limbo that they would never return to inside the house.
The clutter built up so slowly that it was unnoticed. We didn’t talk about it like we would if something inside needed to be cleaned up.
I’m guessing that most everyone has a space like this. Last weekend, I spent a marathon cleaning session in the garage. The shoes ended up donated to Soles4Souls. The clothes went to Goodwill. Other items were sent for recycling or to the trash.
I worked non-stop with my characteristic obsession. When I have a goal in mind, I can’t seem to stop. I don’t want to stop. I even worked through most of the night in order to get it all done.