3 Ways To Train Your Brain To Pursue Goals

You aren’t going to get a nice parking spot because you wished for one. That’s ridiculous.

So what makes you think that you can start your business, get financing or sell your company because of a distant dream?

You need to mentally create these outcomes, and ultimately achieve your own happiness and become a good person.

Why? Simple biology. The laws of attraction state that humans attract circumstances based on their thoughts and emotions. DNA may predispose people, but environment and thoughts can change cell behaviour.

“People are successful in life to the degree to which they can organise their world in such a way that they are genuinely happy. The only difference between people in this area is that some people are better at achieving their own happiness and others are not particularly successful.” – Brian Tracy

Yes, folks – you heard that right. You can architect your own happiness and success.

Make 2013 your best year yet – begin with the end in mind and, become 100% accountable for your life.

1. Set Three Goals And Get Stuff Done

Ever read the book Getting Things Done? Before putting your new knowledge into practice (and starting to actually get shit done), you probably set some goals – I’m guessing about 10 to 20 of them.

Unfortunately, you just set yourself up for failure.

Why? You did not set s.m.a.r.t. goals: Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Realistic. Timely.

The problem with goals is that people set too many of them and it gets real overwhelming, real fast. That’s why nobody seems to follow through. You only really need three goals, no more. And these goals focus around your health, wealth and relationships. To live a happy life, that’s all you really need.

If you create simple, straightforward, actionable goals, you’ll stay focused. Your mind will be drawn towards what matters most. Anything associated with those goals will stand out above everything else. The extraneous crap? That will get filtered out —  no matter how much is happening around you.

By nature, we’re goal-seeking creatures. So what’s a life without goals? Not much of a life at all.

2. Execute With The End In Mind

Alright, so you have goals. Awesome! But don’t celebrate just yet. You gotta make ’em happen.

You need to specifically outline the steps that you’re going to take to get there. It doesn’t matter whether you try, try again, succeed, fail, or fall short. No excuses —  you need to reach your targets, and there’s no way that you’re gonna do it unless you’re actionable about it.

Pro tip: don’t get fixated on the minutiae. You need to remember that everything that you do is in pursuit of a bigger picture.

You’ve got to think beyond numbers. Otherwise, you’ll be fixated on false objectives. Map out exactly what you want your life to look like. Map out the how and why of your personal growth. Quit chasing numbers like weight loss goals and annual bonuses — that shit will drive you crazy.

Keep yourself on track daily. Create a mental map of your day before you wake up. Relive your day and visualise what you could do better tomorrow as you fall asleep each night. This is is exactly how you’ll improve and advance.

3. This Is Your Brain On Goals

If you think you’re gonna find success by following a recipe in a book, you’re headed down the completely wrong path. You’re an entrepreneur. You need to form your own opinions, go your own way, and stop listening to what you’re ‘supposed’ to do.

We’re not talking willpower —  we know you’ve got that in spades. What you need is an understanding of how your brain works so that you know when to cut out the BS. Luckily, humans are extremely predictable, so you’re in a good position to outsmart yourself to get ahead.

Pay attention to your RAS filter,  an automatic mechanism inside your brain that brings relevant information to your attention. It looks for the things that you want, zeroes in, and filters out the rest (awesome, right?). The secret is no secret —  your goals give instruction to your RAS filter.

Now think about what your RAS filter is doing if you don’t have goals. It’ll be lost, and you won’t know what you should be seeking out. If you don’t know what to look for, you’ll be wandering aimlessly.

It really is that simple — instruct your brain to pursue exactly what you want. Be focused. Challenge yourself.

“Expertise is the enemy of innovation. We build neural pathways to known solutions. What we know best (or in some cases have heard most recently) becomes our default answer. Unfortunately, once we find an answer to a problem, we stop looking for other possible solutions. As a result, the tried and true wins out and we get more of the same” – Steve Shapiro

Goal setters change the world. Be one. Be awesome.

What are your plans to make 2013 your best year yet?

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.