You can’t expect to hit a target if you don’t have a target in the first place. You must set goals in order to effectively achieve anything. Preferably, your goals should be written down.

When framing your goals, there are five basic things to consider, as we learned in grade school, called the “5 W”s. The first to ask your self is the “what” question. “What is my goal in this situation?” and “What do I hope to gain from this goal?” for example.

The second question is the “why” question. “Why am I interested in accomplishing this goal?”

The third is the “when” question, as in, “when do you plan to meet this goal?”

You may need to ask “Who will I need to get help from?” This is a motivating question to get you to think about planning your goal. And the last of the five is the “where” question. The where question can be “Where am at right now in relation to accomplishing my goal?” But there is another important question to ask yourself in addition to aforementioned.

Once you have answer the 5W’s, the next important question in goal planning is: how. How are you going to accomplish your goal? This is where the real planning of your goal begins to shape.

Setting goals and telling your subconscious mind what you want to change does not involve magical incantations; there’s not just one right way to do it, but there are some pitfalls to avoid:

1. Avoid vague wording - One characteristic of the subconscious mind that can really be irritating is the way it takes everything so literally. That sounds Ok – maybe even obvious – until you take a look at how sloppy our language really is.

2. Be positive. Always try to use positive wording for your goals. This can be difficult, especially in those situations where you are trying to quit or get rid of something. If you absolutely have to use a negatively formulated goal, go ahead, but try for the positive approach first.

3. Use "I". In your goals, address yourself as "I," not "you". Say "I will . . ." Your aims are a conversation with yourself, your own subconscious mind. It is part of you.

4. Be visual. Your subconscious mind understands pictures more readily than words, but you have to communicate with it through words, to some extent. Therefore, the trick in getting your subconscious mind to understand what changes you are trying to affect is to build pictures. Make them as vivid and clear as possible with lots of description.

5. Make it Personal. Use language and images which reflect your own experience. We all have our own memories and experiences of the world, and speak to ourselves in our own language. Express your goals in your own words and use images you are familiar with.

Get the language right on your goal planning and you will be fired up with enthusiasm with a clear idea on how to achieve your goals.