Personal Development

12 ways to stick to your goals

Here are some things I do to ensure I stick to my goals:

  1. Think about your goals all of the time. Wake up and think about them. Think about them drinking your coffee. Think about them driving. Print out your goals on a piece of paper and take them with you wherever you go. Whenever you have a spare minute, review them and mentally imagine them being successfully completed. Dream up just how good you want it to be and then follow through.
  2. Make lists. One of the things I fill out every night is a plan for the next day which has blocks available for scheduling activities and contacts, along with the major objectives that I want to achieve.  By filling it out the night before, it both clarifies the goal and programs your brain to think about it while you are sleeping.  Once you wake up you will be ready to get into action immediately. This is a very helpful practice.
  3. Journaling. Start to use a journal on a daily basis. And have specific things that you journal about, make it structured. Most people journal like “Well I had a good day today and X Y and Z happened.” It’s better to journal in terms of your goals. Have a structure and stick to it. Ask yourself how well you’re doing on your goals, every day. Where in your time line to get your goal are you?
  4. Routines. Get in a routine of doing personal development every day. It’s the most important part of your day. Personally I prefer very early in the morning (like 6am) but some people work also well at night. If you can do it at night and stick to it, then fine. Otherwise schedule it when you know you’ll follow through.
  5. Map out your goal completely and continue to map it out as you go. Review the goal constantly and update it. This is easy for guys who for example have a weight training schedule, you’re always moving up in how much you can handle. It’s continuous. Do that with all of your goals.
  6. Time trials. Steve Pavlina recommends doing 30-day trials in which you adopt a behavior pattern for only 30 days. This is a great approach that represents chunking down and time blocking.
  7. Organize as much as you can. It’s possible that it’s just me, but I feel much more motivated when I know exactly where everything is and what is going to happen. To give you an idea, right now I have a stackable inbox in my office on 4 different shelves; I have a filing cabinet and an expandable folder. I use Appigo’s ToDo app for my iPhone to schedule everything I need to do (”next action items”) and I have a calendar on there of what I expect to have happen.

    I also have a tickler file, a bunch of virtual documents, and different notebooks filled with information and things to remember about the most important subjects. My organizational system has developed over years of practice, so you don’t have to start like I am all at once. Gradually build it up and get a workable system. That’s what you want to develop.

  8. Think long-term. Have a running list of the things you want to accomplish this week, this month, and this year. Most people only do daily planners, but how can you possibly make a plan for your day without knowing what you ultimately want to achieve? Make long-term goals and review them. Review your monthly goals once a week, and your weekly goals once a day. Make a routine out of it and you will be solid.
  9. Clean off your desk constantly and consistently. I don’t know about you but my desk is clean for about 30 minutes. Develop the habit of continuing to clean it. Before you leave the office or go to bed, clean off your tables and desks. When you return you’ll be more inclined for productivity because you can work easier.
  10. Put reminders of your goal everywhere. If you work at a computer, put a note on your computer monitor. If you have a bathroom, put your goals right where you can look at them when you have nothing else to do. Hold a copy of your goals with you at all times.
  11. Use time blocking. If you hesitate even slightly about starting on a new project, give yourself only five minutes to start it. When you know that you will only have to work for five minutes in order to make some progress, it becomes much more likely that you will follow through. It’s important to train yourself to just get started on whatever it is. Ask the question, “What is the very next physical or mental action that needs to happen on this for me to get completion?”
  12. Take action. Your subconscious mind only believes what you put into action. Conscious mind chatter is going on all the time and while you might think that your thoughts are important, there is a part of you that only believes what you actually do.  When you put your ideas into action, you make it much more likely that you will stick to them. There’s a big difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it. If you aren’t in action, you don’t know it. You might understand it, but you don’t know it.

In summary, use what works for you. I’ve found that sticking to your goals requires some discipline and stiff upper lip, but it also requires flexibility.

The main thing to remember is to persist through your hurdles and keep going even when you think it’s not working and you are getting no external rewards. Most people quit when they are right of the doorstep of achieving their goals. Persistence in the face of adversity is the sign of a master. Being persistent yet flexible is not easy but it will teach you life lessons that are as important as the goal itself. If you follow my suggestions, you’ll find that your goals are getting met faster and with more clarity.

Hypnosis and NLP

Circle of Power

Part of becoming a great hypnotist is learning how to create tools for change.

In this example, we use an imaginary circle of possibility and power. The circle doesn’t have to really exist, because we can dream it up in our minds. We can add on any abilities we want it to have an craft it any way we want.

So the key is a great imagination.

The basic steps of this technique are to:

  1. Imagine a circle on the floor. It can be like a hula hoop or it can be just a circle of energy.
  2. Visualize a person who you want to emulate, or some great skillset, inside of the circle.
  3. Step into the circle, and absorb the skills or the person that is within it. Take out or add in anything you want.
  4. Step out of the circle, taking with you the skill or ability.

Now that you’ve got that framework, you might become curious to how you can modify it. The circle is flexible so you can make it an energy cylinder; it can be wavelike, or full of energizing particles. It could also be something like Wonka’s elevator, where you click a button and you get an effect.

All of these are just constructs but they help people to feel that they are in a different space – that means all of their normal filters that they place on things are not there. That’s how rapid learning takes place within hypnosis – we’re just getting rid of the interference.

Hypnosis and NLP

Where do you begin with hypnosis and nlp?

I have a friend who is very interested in hypnosis but she doesn’t know where to begin. She says she doesn’t have enough information and nobody to practice on.What is the problem here? I seem to have almost too much information. I have many books that I haven’t read, and every time I go out is an opportunity to practice. As a result, I have become one of the best hypnotists in my area.

But most people don’t know how to get there. They have no idea where to start, and they aren’t aware of how to conquer their initial anxiety.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Read as many hypnosis and NLP blogs and mailing lists as possible. This will keep you up to date. Did you know that Steve Andreas has a mailing list? Go find out who else’s mailing list you can get on. A lot of times these things are free and have incredible amounts of information in them.
  2. Go buy books on hypnosis. “Trancework” by Yapko, “Uncommon Therapy” by Jay Haley, “My Voice Will Go With You” by Sidney Rosen., “Mind Lines” by Michael Hall and “Sleight of Mouth” by Robert Dilts. I’m just reciting these off the top of my head, if you don’t know these titles then you aren’t in the game.
  3. Practice self-hypnosis. It is important that you learn what the hypnotic state feels like. Here is a secret: All good hypnotists go into trance when they are hypnotizing someone. Personally I go into a very focused, concentrated and powerful state.
  4. Once you have a routine that you can go through to hypnotize someone like the Tranced Out Modified Elman Induction, go out and practice. Hypnotize your roommate’s girlfriend. She’ll love you for it, he’ll be pissed but will be nice to you because he thinks that’s what she wants. It’s a win/win.
  5. Practice your language patterns EVERY DAY. Go get a couple decks of the Salad Ltd Hypnosis Cards. While you remember to remember what hasn’t happened with your awareness of your feet inside the shoe, you can forget to notice what could not have happened with the lint between your toes? And if you haven’t yet noticed or won’t become aware of yet the breathing pattern slowing, until I want you to, then you might not be aware of just how deep of a trance you’re developing, are you not?
  6. Become a master of influence. Pretend it so real that it becomes true for you. Open your mind to being able to practice these things effectively.
  7. Join practice groups like the Sleepwalkers organization. See if there is already a practice group in your area, and if there isn’t, start one. Find friends in your area who are interested in topics like social dynamics or hypnosis or nlp. Women tend to be more interested in hypnosis than men, so befriend one of them and she will let you practice your skills.

Have fun.


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Hypnosis and NLP

NLP Sensory Acuity number 2

One of the best tools to develop is the ability to take in a bigger chunk of data at once, and to be able to interpret this naturally. I wrote this a while ago, and I figured I’d share it with you.

There’s this thing in the brain called the corpus callosum — it’s what connects both sides of the brain. The thing is, in females, that massive information channel is about twice as big as it is in males. This is the part of the brain that all the data goes through, and it’s why a lot of guys tend to be very left-brained.

I trained myself to be able to access both sides of the brain, back when I didn’t even know I was doing it. Part of it was through becoming more aware of what was happening around me. I don’t know if you guys are aware of this, but what you are sensing right now is only a fraction of what you could be sensing. If you don’t believe me, go into a war zone. After a few days of being shot at, you’ll go into what’s called hyper acuity — which is what you do if you don’t want to die.

Another example is Milton Erickson, a very famous hypnotist who is dead now, had childhood polio. One of the side effects was that he was initially deaf — and he trained himself to figure out how a person’s voice sounded by looking at their throat.

A female’s voice tends to originate higher in the throat, whereas a male’s voice tends to originate lower. Some people speak out of their throat, so that vibrates, some people speak from the upper chest, some from the diaphragm, and some deeper down. This is actually surprisingly easy to see if you actually pay attention to how people breathe.

I talk to people about “energy”. To me this is a pretty straightforward concept, it’s something I can feel. Besides, if you know anything about how the universe works, the basic building block is energy. Somehow people have a hard time making the leap from the scientific understanding that they got with their left brain to being able to feel this energy, to project it, and to manipulate it.

So one way of increasing sensory acuity is to notice the energy in your body. How does it flow? Where does it start, and then where, and where does it end up? Where are you breathing at right now? How would a person who is happy or totally certain of an outcome be breathing? How would they be standing?

Talking about senses, most people think of the 5 senses — or VAKOG. Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Olfactory, and Gustatory. In NLP these are called representational systems or modalities. The primary ones are visual, auditory and kinesthetic. So, when someone puts their eyes up, they are accessing visually. If they put their eyes to the side they are accessing auditorally, if they go down and to the left that’s where they are talking to themselves (also auditory), and down and to the right is kinesthetic.

If you want to increase your auditory acuity, grab two friends… have them sit pretty close together, close your eyes, and have them snap their fingers in the same location and you tell them which one did the finger snap. You should get between about 30-70% of them correctly to be learning the skill efficiently.

If you want to increase visual acuity, look down at the grass. Did you know that every blade of grass is a different shade of green? It’s true. If you don’t see it yet, look closer and see what distinctions you can make. These distinctions from NLP are called submodalities… There’s a fairly good list here (although I’ve seen much more complete ones):

If you want to increase kinesthetic acuity, pay attention to your body. Put your eyes down and to the right and scan your body — what muscles are the most tense? What muscles are the most relaxed? Can you feel the weight of your body sinking down into the chair? The air on your skin? The feel of the clothes on your body? The blood moving through your left earlobe? 🙂

I could write 20 pages about this topic, but if you wanted to increase your sensory acuity you now have a good start.

Take care


Hypnosis and NLP

Increasing sensory acuity

Why more sensory acuity?

To increase your sensory acuity is to increase the number of distinctions that you can make with your senses. It also increases the amount of data that you are able to consciously focus on. As you begin to pay attention to social dynamics, you’ll discover that your ability to read people and what is going on in the situation is dramatically increased. And at this point in the journey you can start to acquire social skills at a much deeper level.

How do you do it?

Paying attention is sometimes a hard thing for people to do. They spend too much time being inwardly focused and they aren’t that aware of what is going on in the outside world.

Step 1

The first step is to reverse that pattern. Spend time being externally focused. You have to know the difference between what is inside of your head and what is the external world. That sounds easy but trust me most people do not know the difference.

To practice this, take out an object, say a deck of cards. Focus completely on the deck of cards so completely that you memorize it, and notice how that feels. Then when you’re still looking at the deck of cards, start to talk to yourself inside of your own head and think about that while you look at the deck. Notice how that is different.

Once you know what is inside of your head and what is the external world, you need to remain cognizant of that at all times. Know when you are drifting into dream land and know when you are fully wide awake. How much of your time driving is spent completely focused on the outer road? If you think about it, it’s probably not much.

Step 2

Practice hyperacuity. [tag]Hyperacuity[/tag] means that all of your senses are switched ON. Before I mentioned it, were you completely aware of all of your physical sensations? If you begin to focus on your body right now, how does that differ from what you were feeling before?

And while you’re focusing on the body, how much of the world are you taking in with your eyes? How many of the sounds around you can you track, and can you feel the general vibe of the room you are in.

The goal is to track all of those at once. You want to overwhelm your auditory.

Auditory channels move much slower than visual channels, and there is no way the audio inside of your head will ever keep up with the pictures. My personal belief is that one of the first steps in a change process is to significantly reduce or get rid of the self-talk.

So here is an exercise. Go out to somewhere where there’s a lot of activity, preferrably involving people talking. See how many of the voices you can track simultaneously. Allow your brain to become overwhelmed.

By letting go you will allow yourself to take in the extra data. People who try to remain in control at all times are expending tons of energy to try to control the data flow. Just like it’s hard to put a needle in a vein when somebody is flexing their muscle, everything in the body and mind works better when there is relaxation and acceptance present.

During this exercise keep your vision as wide (x/y axis) and as deep (z axis) as possible. See how many colors you can take in at once. Allow yourself to feel every molecule of air surrounding your skin. Notice the minute muscle movements in your body. Notice your breathing.

Basically take all of your senses as you start to perceive things much more acutely. You may become aware of a pressure.

Step 3

Amp up your [tag]intuition[/tag]. After you’ve practiced Step 2 for a while, and you’ve done it successfully, it’s time to get really easy about it and let things come to you.

This involves not blocking the intuitions. All of you would get intuitions and enlightened thoughts every moment if you weren’t constantly getting in the way of yourselves. So acceptance of the moment and letting go is a must. If you try to control the process, either through muscle tension or inside voices or ego issues, the whole thing goes kaput.

One of the things I do is I train guys on how to walk up to girls and talk to them. At first they are so frightened and pumping so much adrenaline into themselves that they can only take in a very limited amount of extra data. At that stage all of their resources are trapped. After a while though they get better and they are able to receive more data and make better decisions.

You have to give up trying to expect a response. What is the difference between expectation and anticipation? Anticipation feels very light-hearted, like there is a positive outcome there. You assume positivity. Expectation means that you are moving out into the future in order to put an outcome there that hasn’t actually happened yet.

You also have to change your beliefs regarding intuitions. If your reality is that you don’t get them, then you won’t get them. If you are open to the fact that things may turn out to be much better than you expected, then you may find that realizing itself in your life as well.

Most people have caps on just how good they can feel, or how good their life can be. They have caps on how fast it can happen, and they usually assume hard-work must be involved. Well, you could be one of those people, or you could join the more enlightened group that gets all the rewards.

Why are some people much more successful than the vast majority? I believe it’s because they allowed themselves to have it.

As has been recommended before, Eckhart Tolle’s books are good for present-focused [tag]consciousness[/tag]. Shinzen Young also has an excellent [tag]meditation[/tag] product out called “The Science of Enlightenment” – I would say it’s the best way to begin your meditation practices, bar none. And you can be in a state of meditation during hyper-acuity.

Have fun.