Studying with Marc Lebert at the CanFitPro conference this summer I learned a new way to set goals. Marc's lecture was titled "flex your mental muscles" and I found it very interesting.
The conscious minds drive the unconscious, and we live mostly in our unconscious mind. Think about brushing your teeth, driving your car, and other daily tasks that we do on automatic without conscious coordination. It's how we learn and function. It has a place, but we live too much in our unconscious mind.
Let's analyze a goal such as "I want to lose weight". The only word that we can visualize is "weight". You cannot visualize "want" and "lose" is a negative thing. This encourages the conscious mind to drive the unconscious with images of "weight" and most likely, that weight you want to lose. This will create a mental image of an overweight self, accompanied by all the feelings surrounding that image. Because the unconscious is now driven by that conscious image, the reinforcement of that self image is on a loop.
The conscious mind is driven by our senses. Marc suggests that when visualizing goals incorporating sensory suggestions will better reinforce the message. Most of us focus on visualizing the path to success rather than the experience of the success itself. Marc discussed flooding the mind with the sensory imagery of the experience of the success, in order to achieve the goal. I have to admit it inspired a shift of thinking for me.
Marc referenced "The Secret" and anyone who knows me knows that I think that video was a crock of hokey pokey. Marc pointed out that what "The Secret" glaringly omitted was the emphasis on the fact that it requires work to achieve any goal. You can't just lose weight by visualizing yourself as a thin person. However, the idea of using sensory information to visualize goals will bring the conscious mind into the decision making process, and drive us to achieve our goals. That is pretty cool.