This is how to word your goals:
RULE 1: For goals concerning personal improvement; write your goal as though it were happening already.
• "I am becoming more positive in every area of my life; I am eliminating negative thoughts and feelings."
• "Every day I am becoming less selfish. I feel more generous towards others and wish to share my good fortune with them."
• "I am becoming less irritable. Things do not annoy me as much as they used to."
• "I am becoming less dogmatic. I try to see the other person's point of view."
• "I used to think that I couldn't learn languages. That is changing, and every day I find it easier to study and understand the German language."
• "I used to believe that I was useless at sport. That attitude is now behind me and I am more than willing to participate in any sport which comes my way. I like sport; it is exciting and healthy."
The WRONG way to formulate a personal improvement goal is as follows:
• "I will become more positive in my outlook on life."
This is WRONG because it is always at some undefined future
time that this will happen. The subconscious is lazy and answers
such an assertion with: "Will you? How interesting. O.K., wake
me up when it happens!"
Another WRONG way to formulate such a goal is as follows:
• "By December 31st 1990, I will be more positive in my attitude towards life."
This is WRONG because personality changes are gradual and do not happen suddenly at midnight on December 30th. It is because personality changes are gradual that you can get away with saying: "Every day I am becoming a more positive," without the subconscious calling you a liar!
The other reason why this example is WRONG is because there is no end to how much you can improve your personality; therefore there is no cut-off point. You can't say: "By December 31st I will be generous." How generous? There is really no limit to the amount of generosity which you could display. That is why it is better to say: "Every day I am becoming more generous," this way you can stop using the formula when you feel that you are generous enough!
You CAN say: "By December 31st I will have changed jobs," because that is a definite, realisable goal with a distinct cut-off point. By that date, you either have, or haven't changed jobs, there is no argument about it.
This leads directly onto:
RULE 2: For all goals other than personal improvement, specify the EXACT nature of the goal and state a DEADLINE by which the goal WILL have been achieved.
• "By February 10th, 1990 I will own a brand-new Porsche 911, bright red with leather seats."
• "Starting with £1000, I will make £50,000 net profit within two years."
• "By June 1st this year, we will have moved into a four bedroom detached house with large garden. This house will be located in the Richly area of Westerham."
• "By next Friday I will have asked the boss for a rise."
• "On Sunday I will take the kids on a fishing trip."
• "By December 31st, 1992, my net assets will be in excess of one million pounds."
The WRONG way to formulate such a goal is as follows:
• "I own a brand new Porsche 911, bright red, with leather seats."
The subconscious will be most intrigued by this blatant lie and say: "No you don't!" before it goes back to sleep!
Several books which I have read recommend this method of stating a goal AS THOUGH IT HAD ACTUALLY HAPPENED. They explain that it makes the event more real. I disagree. It is such a blatant lie to say that you already own something which you do not, that the subconscious will either refuse to believe it, or it may even answer: "You do? O.k. Well done! You won't be needing me then, will you?!!"
To summarise this important rule:
For personal improvement, write the goal as though it were actually happening.
For all other goals, describe the goal exactly, and set a deadline by which the goal will be fulfilled.