2023 February 7 Steps to starting your transformation (part 2)

Feb 07, 2023

Hi, this is Jim Cranston from 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com, the podcast and website by, for, and about Reimagine Your Life. Thanks for joining me tonight for more on recreating our own future. So let's get started. If you like what you hear tonight, please leave a like and tell your friends and send me a message at the same time.


Tonight we're going to do an overview of the whole initial goal setting process to give you an idea of what's coming in both the rest of our Lives on this particular topic, and also in the course that's coming. We started off by saying that if you want to get somewhere, you need to know where you want to go. There's no point in looking at a map if you don't have anywhere to get to in life. That means you need to define your purpose and then define the goals that are consistent with that purpose.


Hopefully you have some idea as to what your life purpose is. It can be in general terms like I want to travel and learn about different cultures, or it can be very specific. I want to help children under 10 years old learn how to read. If you don't have any sense of what you  want to accomplish, that's the first place to start, because you need some sort of framework in order to provide you guidance in life's decisions.


We didn't cover defining your life purpose yet, but we'll talk about that more in the future. It's a big topic with a simple goal: to define a framework for how you're going to live your life. The details of your life's purpose will probably change over time, but your true life purpose probably won't change in the real core beliefs.


That's why it's worth initially defining your purpose in general terms, and then specifically how you can support that purpose in your current situation. The reality is, even if you can't say out loud what your life purpose is, you really have it. It defines how you act during the day. It defines what you get accomplished and don't get accomplished.


Even though you may not be able to enumerate it and write it down on paper right now, it's probably worthwhile trying to get it out of yourself. We have some techniques to do that, but to get it out of yourself so it becomes clearer to you what it is you're trying to accomplish. There's lots more about that and we'll go through that another time.


But first we're going to start going over what we did up to this point from Thanksgiving to now. We did it in a real quick way last week, an index as to when those things happen. So this is going to be a little bit more in depth. Not a real super in depth, but if you're just joining us, this will give you some idea of what it is we're talking about and what we're planning to do for the next few weeks. 


So we started off talking about SMART goals. SMART goals are goals that are specific. They're not general goals like, Oh, I want to be in better health. I want to stop eating sugar. It's something very specific. Then they have to be measurable. If you  want to stop eating sugar, say I want to stop having sugar in my coffee because I drink a lot of coffee every day. If I put sugar in it, I get a lot of sugar that I don't need.


They have to be achievable or actionable. It has to be something that's realistic. You can't say, I'm going to start flying by flapping my wings. That’s probably not going to work. It really has to be something that's somewhat practical. I'm going to be the best tennis player in the whole world. If you're young and athletic, that's a great goal. If you're middle-aged and older, probably not a really realistic goal. You might be the best athlete in your age group. That gets back to being specific. So now you have a specific goal, measurable, it has to be achievable and actionable. It has to be something that you can really do.


You can't just say, I want to get smart. Well, define smart. You have to be specific, it has to be relevant to your own life purpose and your own personal goals. To be effective, it should be a reach goal, or a stretch goal. Something like, I'm going to skip having sugar for one meal a year - Okay. But realistically, you really want something to be a little bit more of a stretch goal. I'm going to get up and exercise every single day and walk at least five times a week. It’s not something you would normally do, and something that's a little bit more of a stretch goal than you would normally do in your life.


It has to be time-based. It has to have a deadline, because if we don't have a deadline, our natural tendency is to put it off. You'll start tomorrow. Or I'm going to lose five pounds sometime before I'm 105 years old. Well, maybe you will, maybe you won't, but unless you're 104, that's probably not a really good goal.


That's the basics of SMART goals. They're specific, measurable, achievable, and actionable, relevant and reach goals. They’re stretch goals, you have to work a little hard. Something really motivates you and pushes you along. They have to be time-based, to have a deadline.


So after defining our purpose, we did our initial discussion on SMART goals, and we also talked about how to record them in a way that you'll likely remember and internalize them. If you write them down - funny things happen when you write things versus type things. For me, I can type very fast. I can type pretty much at the rate of spoken speech unless somebody's speaking really quickly. So clearly I'm not thinking about what I'm typing, just I hear it. It goes on the keyboard. Typing well very fast and very efficiently isn't very good for getting things in your head, because they don't really ever go through your head.


They go through a little piece, and your brain has learned, Okay, just connect your ears to your arms. Then off it goes. So typing isn't a good thing. Sitting and writing everything out long hand, however, with a pen and a paper, that involves a lot of different pieces. Your motor nerves are involved, different parts of your brain are involved, and when it goes through all that processing, it's much more likely to stay with you and last a longer time.


There are other tricks as well. We'll go through that more in the coming days. But the next piece is envisionment. You really want to imagine your future in such a manner that your brain A) thinks it's the present, and B) naturally wants to help you reach your goals rather than trying to keep you stuck in your safe present.


Remember we talked about how one of your brain's big purposes is to keep you safe. It knows how to automate things that work. Once you get a routine, this seems to be working. It really doesn't want to try something new. If you're trying to make a whole new change in your life, then it's really difficult to get your brain to buy into this. Hey, we're going to change everything all around, and we're going to try living life differently. I know every day we sleep till 10 minutes before I have to get up to go to work, and then I rush through the house, and I run out and I grab something at the coffee shop that's waiting for me, and that's my morning. But this morning we're going to get up at 5:30am. We're going to go to the gym and work out and we're not going to have any carbs. We're going to eat healthy once we get to work


Your brain's natural response to that is, We've been working successfully on the first plan for 15 years. Why are we going to change now? This is a whole new plan. I don’t know if it's going to work. Your brain wants to keep you safe, so it naturally doesn't want to change. So the next piece is all about envisionment. That's the power of really immersing yourself in the future success and working back to the present. 


Let's pick a tangible goal. Let's say we want to go out and teach a little course. We want to teach our friends how to use a computer. Our friends think we're very computer savvy. We don't think we're very good, but they think we're amazing.


You think, why shouldn’t I teach my friends how to use it? But you're sitting there thinking, How am I going to teach my friends how to use a computer? So then you go and you start to write down a plan, and there's all these things that could go wrong.


I don't know if I have a spare computer. What if they ruin my computer? What if they're not interested? What if I don't teach them well? What if I teach them wrong? You go back and think Well, maybe I shouldn't teach them all about computers. Maybe I should teach them how to just use an internet browser.


Then you go back, Oh, what if they have a different kind of browser than I have and I don't know how to use it? Then they’ll think I'm stupid. This is all your brain trying to keep you safe, and it's because it doesn't know how to do the whole thing at the beginning. What it tries to do is to keep you from going ahead and doing something that's going to hurt yourself.


In modern days, it's mostly from embarrassing yourself, putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation, or failing at what you're trying to do. The other way of doing this that we talked about, is starting at the end. Think about how you successfully did your course, and maybe telling your significant other or someone about how well the course went.


Then you go back and you think about all your friends saying, Hey, thank you so much. Thank you for teaching me how to do that. It allowed me to keep in touch with my grandkids who I couldn't see before, or I got ahold of my sister who I haven't really seen and talked to since she moved to Europe.


Now you envision not only that you got it done, but all the positive things that happened because you got it done. Then you go back and you think about all the things you had to learn how to do. Oh, you did learn how to use a couple browsers, and it turns out there's only two or three browsers that most people use anyway.


So it really wasn't that hard. You forgot that your friend used a Windows machine, which your friend had an Apple and they told you how to use it. Then you go back and, knowing that now I can write a pretty effective plan because I know more resources and things that are available. Now when you get back to the beginning, you and your brain have a path for how to navigate all these things, and it becomes much easier.


That's the power of envisionment. It gives your brain the time to acclimate to a new way of life, to see that it's attainable, and then step back into the present. Now it knows that solving those problems that always come up from the journey really won't be quite as hard as it first thought. That's really core to the whole way of changing our lives and moving ahead: envisioning the outcome we want, thinking about how we got there, and then solving those problems all the way back to the present. It gives your brain a big step up in how to move forward. 


The next piece is that there's a whole lot that goes on with thoughts and stimuluses and beliefs. That's the next piece we're going to cover. It’s really simple. Conceptually, what's going on behind the covers? We’re going through life and there's a stimulus of some sort. In this case, we see a little cardinal sitting in the tree. You don't know what a cardinal is. You don't know anything about it. You see that cardinal and you just register that you see it. Your brain makes some sort of acknowledgement that it's there. 


We just saw something, so there's a stimulus, and your brain kind of recognizes that. Then there's a thought that's formed. That thought is probably things like, Oh, it's red, it's in a tree, so I guess it's a bird. I've seen birds before. Then it starts going through and gathering details about what it is that you saw. The thoughts happen very quickly. There's an important distinction here. Thoughts happen all the time, but they happen at a very low level. There's an immediate filter that we'll talk about in a second that says whether that thought is something that we should care about or not care about. Is it something we've seen before or something that I've not seen before? What is the emotion that's associated with that thought?


In this case, the stimulus is the bird. We immediately form a thought. Say it's a different kind of bird we haven't seen before. First, we cover all the things we know how to do. Oh, it's a bird, it looks like this. Then we get whatever details. It doesn't match any of the birds that I've seen before.


So now it starts digging deeper. Oh, what kind of bird is it? That's all that’s going on in that thought. Then right after that thought, there's an emotion formed. The emotion is about once we see that stimulus, what do we do about it?


Is it an emotion of I see something in the tree. Oh look, it's a mountain lion? It’s a very different emotion than, Oh look, it's a cardinal. In this case, maybe we've seen cardinals many times or remember their song, and Oh, it's a cardinal and I like cardinals. So the emotion that's associated with it is a positive emotion. It's a happy thought. 


It could be a neutral emotion. Oh, look there's a tree. It may be that it’s a tree you like or don't like, or it may just be, Oh, there's another tree. There's a dog walking by, and if it's not a dog you're concerned about, you don't think anything about it. It's just a dog walking by. There's a neutral emotion. 


It's three minutes till the food is done. Okay, there's three minutes. Nothing bad. However, the same stimulus can give different emotions depending on the circumstances. We'll talk about this another time, but if it's three minutes till the food is done, and you're supposed to be on a call for work in two minutes. Oh man, the food's not going to be done. I get on my call, so now it's going to be cold when I have time to actually eat it. So emotions can change over this, over the stimulus, but there's always an emotion that comes out of every thought. 


So we keep seeing that cardinal multiple times and we say, Oh yeah, there's a cardinal. I like cardinals. Cardinals make me smile. What comes out of that then is, with repetition, it becomes a belief that happens automatically. So now every time you see the cardinal, you think, Oh, I'm happy because I saw a cardinal, and I like cardinals. You didn't do the whole analysis. You didn't say, Oh, it's a bird. What kind of bird? You didn't say, Oh, is it a bird, not a mountain lion? All that stuff now happens in automatic, and literally the neurons in your brain get hardwired. They're reversible, but they have a tendency to automate this whole process. 


You get a stimulus from the world. You look up. You see a red bird in the tree, and you don't think anything about the red bird. You just smile. They’re only cardinals. That's it. It saves a lot of time because - remember, it's those beliefs which control our interpretation of most of the thoughts we have each day. Remember, on a typical day, most people have 20,000-50,000 thoughts throughout the day.


They can be little things like three minutes until the timer is done, but that's just something that is processed on a very subliminal level. You know what that means. You don't have to think about it. It's three minutes. Okay. It's enough time to go put a couple of dishes away. 


Your thoughts and your beliefs make it so that we can concentrate on the most important things that are happening in our life, and all those other rote things that go by, we don't have to pay attention to. There may be things that happen in your life, like go back to the cardinal.


You know, you may wonder why you smile every time you see that cardinal. It may be that something like that belief was formed in childhood when your favorite uncle would always whistle. Every time you saw a cardinal, he whistled the cardinal song, and maybe the cardinal would answer him, and then he'd tickle you, and it was just something that was fun.


So now, years and years later, you see a cardinal, and maybe it makes you smile or laugh, and it's all automatic. This is super important. We may not even know why that's happening. We pick up these beliefs throughout our lives, and they really shape our lives, both in good and sometimes unexpected and often unrealized ways.


A lot of times, they're really good, or at least harmless. You see the cardinal and you laugh, and maybe it's years later you realize, Oh, that's right. My uncle always used to tickle me. That's why I laughed. You may never remember why. It's just something that's in your personality. 


But it also can be things like why you don't like money, or why you feel that success is bad. There's all sorts of things that get programmed in there. In the full course, we’ll talk about how to go through and discover those and root out those beliefs that you've picked up over the years that may not be serving you well as an adult. You know, when you were little it may have worked really well for you. 


Don't be proud. You know, a good child is a child who isn't proud. I've often talked to people about this. There's a difference between being proud of your accomplishments as in I worked to my best ability and being filled with hubris, and I'm just so amazing because of all I did. Different kind of pride.


It's funny, English has so many words to describe things, and then sometimes we just hang so many meanings on one. When you were little, you were told you shouldn't be proud of anything you do. Now you're older and you do a really good job in something, well, there's this little voice in your mind going, don't be proud of it. Only bad kids are proud. So beliefs are really good, but they can get out of hand if you're not careful. 


This is all being assembled into an introductory course called Your Future Transform. We'll cover this in a lot greater depth. The real important point here, that we just briefly went through again tonight, is that there are a couple different really important pieces. The core piece obviously is knowing what your life’s purpose is, and we'll work through that.


But once you do that, you want to set SMART goals. That's really super important: goals that really move you towards what your life purpose fulfills. Then after that, understanding the whole process of how a stimulus creates a thought, and the thought then goes on to create an emotion, and then repeatedly that turns into a belief.


Those beliefs then automate that process, and being cognizant of the fact that sometimes those beliefs are really, really good, and sometimes they can get in the way of things you're trying to accomplish now that you're in a different phase of your life than when those beliefs were formed.


That's it for the evening. UKR7.com is still up. That's the way you can donate to support the people in Ukraine. That war is just getting worse. It's just turning into a horrible brawl with people on both sides needlessly dying. Remember, the best way to care for yourself is to care for others. So if you can, and you're able, please consider making a donation in any form. 


Thanks for stopping by. If you found something interesting and useful, please pass it along and please hit that LIKE button. If not, please send me a comment as to what you'd like to hear. Have a great week. Remember to live the life that you dreamed of, because that's the path to true contentment. Love and encouragement to everyone, and see you next week on 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com. 

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.