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Want to reach your goals faster? Create your own ritual

Have you ever noticed that authors of "how-to" best-sellers create their own rituals?

They design their own form of visualization, affirmation, or just walking outdoors. Creating a ritual adds energy and purpose to your goals far more powerfully than following someone else's.

What are the ingredients of a ritual?

1. Up to three clear goals. The clearer you can focus on your goal, the more likely you can achieve your desires.

2. Paper or word processor. Psychological studies show that writing can mold behavior. You may write something every day or just look at something you've written. One writer drew the cover of her book and posted it on the wall over her desk. Every day she focused energy on the drawing and, she says, her book seemed to write itself.

3. A frequency guideline: What will you write and how often?. You can simply see your goal statements. You can put energy into them. You can write them out. As a minimum, do this once a day, although don't beat yourself up if you miss. Just go back and keep going.

Those are the basic ingredients -- just like the basic ingredient of an omelet is eggs, milk and water. What makes your ritual unique will be the spices and fillings.

A simple ritual might be, "Write your goal out in a notebook every day." You can add, "Think about your goal as you write it," or, "Play your favorite music, full-blast, while you focus on your goal."

Another might be, "Write your three goals on a 3x5 card and carry it with you everywhere. Look at the card every time you open your wallet."

You could write about your goals at a certain time every day. Say them aloud while walking in your sacred space.

And there are different ways to record your goals. You can draw pictures, write scripts, or make collages.

One year I made up a ritual: Every morning, when I sat down at the word processor, before I began to write, I wrote a little story about moving to Philadelphia. I described the place where I would be living and what I was doing during the day.

Within three months, I had been moved there, all expenses paid. I found an apartment that was remarkably like the one I had described - including sunny windowsills for the cats to sprawl.

Luck? Coincidence? Who knows? I was astounded myself. It never happened again. I've learned that rituals don't last.

I suspect part of the "magic" comes from the act of designing a ritual or program. That is why, in my coaching, I avoid using canned programs. They seem to work best for whoever canned them!

And I encourage clients to do the same. Create your own ritual -- and realize you may need another one for your next goal. Stay flexible, stay open and create what feels right for now.

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast move to career freedom. Visit her site http://www.movinglady.com or call 505-534-4294.


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Career and life transition