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Hear from a goal-setting guru on how to fully participate in your life path …
Do you have hopes for the coming year? For your future as a whole?
Susanne Conrad, a leadership and communication advisor, would say that a hope isn’t enough … you have to put in an order.
“You wouldn’t pull up to Starbucks and say, ‘I hope I am going to have a coffee,’” she explains. “You would say what you want, like a grande green tea latte with soy milk and one pump of classic.”
Conrad is based in California, and is the founder of igolu (pronounced I-Goal-You), a body of innovative communication, vision, goal-setting and leadership training work that she certifies others to lead. She is involved with the development program at lululemon athletica as their “Director of Possibility.”
Her programs give people a clear structure for putting their visions and goals into action, which can become really boosted up and sustainable versions of your New Year’s resolutions. Here’s some tools from Conrad on how to put your orders into the universe for 2016 and beyond:
Create Clear Goals
Clarity is the foundation for turning your visions into goals, and your goals into reality.
Conrad says the “anatomy of a clear goal” is created this way:
- It’s in the first-person.
- It’s in the present tense.
- It’s in the affirmative.
- It has conditions of satisfaction.
- It has a specific by-when.
There’s a clear difference between the following statements:
“I hope I meet a cute guy in Costa Rica.” Versus: “I am in a successful, healthy and fulfilling relationship by Thanksgiving of next year.”
The goal-setting structure with igolu is founded on the language that the goal has already been achieved. You can place your goals within timelines, like goals for 10 years, 5 years, 1 year, etc., and within domains, like personal, health and career.
Know What You Want
Getting clear on what you want relates directly back to putting forth your orders — asking for what you want with intention and action.
Through igolu, Conrad leads a simple and powerful exercise, called “The Power Of Knowing What You Want.” It’s a piece of paper, with a circle on it. Everything you want goes inside the circle, like self-love, playful activities, getting work done, starting a company, etc.; everything you don’t want goes outside the circle, like procrastination, avoidance, eating too much fattening food, being lonely, wasting time, etc. To complete the exercise, Conrad recommends setting a timer for 5 to 7 minutes, and write faster than you can think.
This work is the seed of vision and goals — allowing an individual to look at the bigger picture of their life, in order to then set goals from a vision that they want to work toward creating.
Conrad says you can keep the completed (or in progress) exercise in a public place for others to see, or somewhere where you can see it often as a reminder. She keeps hers in her purse with her lip gloss — ideal for reapplication.
Embrace Personalized Structure
Conrad shares how Time is your friend, along with time’s sidekick, Structure.
She says to “seize your calendar,” and at the start of this year, get the big stuff in there. Even if (and when) you move things around, then you are choosing it, and adjusting your schedule — the time you designate for your commitments — consciously.
Other structural tools become very personalized, like when you should exercise, eat, sleep, work, play, etc., to be happy and in creation of your vision, every day.
“Go ask any great artist or author, and they will tell you what their structure is,” Conrad explains. “You have to create it so it works for you.”
Come From ‘Above’
Create your goals from a positive place — known in iglou as “above the line,” rather than “below the line.” Above the line perspective exists within wonder, choice and discernment, versus fear, worry or judgement.
As Conrad explains, when a person sets a weight-loss goal from a belief that they are not ok, or their body or self-image is flawed, they might lose the weight, but then the intention behind it will eventually harm them in some way.
“The is really why we created igolu, because I saw so many people setting goals to punish themselves, or to compensate for something that they didn’t get to be,” explains Conrad.
Choose The Process
She says we often hear a past-based voice within us that can keep our goals out of reach. It’s “the stingy voice that switches the brain to “oh, it’s too much,” or “I’m overwhelmed,” or “I’ll never get it done.”
“It’s so easy to give up, but don’t … ever,” says Conrad. “Those negative voices, you’re not born with them, somebody taught them to you, and you can just cast them out — that’s the truth.”
Real magic happens, shares Conrad, when you realize that you are living in the vision you have created for your life.
“It comes from the power of what you want,” she says. “And when a person is in connection with that, and makes a clear, specific goals from that, they are far more likely to be able to structure themselves successfully to achieve it.”
For more information on igolu, visit igolu.com. Conrad will be leading Cycle One of igolu Leadership Certification starting February 3, 2016. The application deadline for the program is January 20, 2016.
Kim Fuller is a freelance writer and yoga instructor based in the Vail Valley, Colorado.