From the book, “The Energy of Money,” by Maria Nemeth, Ph.D.

In this chapter, Dr Nemeth makes a clear distinction between goals and tasks.  Tasks are things you need to do, but don’t pull you out of bed in the morning.  They don’t give you a feeling of enthusiasm and glee.  She uses the Webster definition of goal: “an area or object toward which play is directed in order to score.”  Now that’s a goal I’m game to go after!  Tasks, she says, clear the field so you can “play for your goals.”  Another way she distinguishes goals from tasks is to ask if you will feel relieved when it’s done. If so, that’s a task.  A goal makes you feel joy, she says. That wonderful feeling of accomplishment and success, not just, “Whew, glad that’s done!” Goals, too, Dr. Nemeth suggests, are within a time frame.  “Your hero’s journey is enhanced by your ability to create and sustain interest in a genuine goal that takes time to achieve.”

Goals that are not connected to your Life’s Intentions take on what she refers to as the “whim factor.”  Goals you’re not entirely sure why you’ve chosen.  Dr. Nemeth states that intentions “anchor your goals and provide conduits for energy that bring these goals into physical reality.”

The acronym SMART is often used for creating real and lasting goals. S is for Specific.  You have to know what you’re going after.  M is for Measurable, so you know when you get there.  A stands for Attainable.  Dr. Nemeth says it should not be “dependent on luck or chance.”  It has to be something you can attain.  Your goal should be outside your reach, otherwise you’d already  have it.  It is a game we’re playing here.  There’s no fun playing the game if you’re certain you cannot win or if there’s no chance you will lose.

R is for Relevant.  This deals with that whim factor. “Is it relevant to who you are and what you want to be?”  It also helps to connect it to your Standards of Integrity. Will you have to side step what you believe in order to have this goal?  Sounds like you’re setting yourself up to fail.  Dr. Nemeth also ask us to be sure we really want this goal.  On a scale of 1 to 10.  You’re unlikely to stay with if you’re not juiced about it. 

The final piece is Time based.  This makes the goal more concrete.  Based in reality instead of just bouncing around in your head.  Having it time based also keeps you moving forward – a time when you will complete this goal and move onto the next.

I like the final point she makes about goals.  They need to be positive, not negative. My coach, Lauren Graham, the Coach by the Lake, keeps reminding me that you need to phrase it as a Want, not a Don’t-Want.  Losing or stopping something doesn’t have the same pitch behind it as a positive statement.  Instead of saying, “I want to lose weight,” (which says, I don’t want to be over weight) you say, I want to wear fabulous clothes or I want to be physically fit, or I want to be a mountain climber. These goals hold a lot more momentum.

Next comes a series of “Exercises for Creating Your Goals.”  Dr. Nemeth describes it this way, “Like a Magician’s Notebook, it’s precisely crafted to help you engage your dream more quicky than you’ve ever imagined.” That sound pretty cool to me!

Part One: How do you Feel About Goals?  You are to quickly write everything you think and feel about the word goal.  This keeps it flowing without a censor or judge.  Just spill it all out.  She suggests noting how your body feels.  After that, list 10 goals that would take “time and money to accomplish.”

I have done this work for a long time and the word goal produces a good reaction in me.  There are 6 goals posted on my desk that fill me with energy and enthusiasm.  Dr. Nemeth says many people feel heavy about goals, though.  Perhaps that comes from mixing goals and tasks. I have to admit though that coming up with four more goals was not so easy.  I needed more time and space to make them SMART. I really enjoy doing these kinds of lists.  I think it’s helpful, every once in a while, to write down what you want.  If this is difficult for you, Dr. Nemeth provides some help.

Part Two: Opening the Door to Your Dreams.  This is a guided meditation.  I will give the gist of it.  First of all, before you do any kind of guided meditation, you need to sit comfortably and relax your body.  Feet flat on the floor.  Close your eyes and notice your breath. Release any tension in your body.  Do I need to say: give yourself a chunk of quiet and undisturbed time.

Take a long, slow breath.  Then, imagine you are 10 years old and think about what you wanted then.  Imagine it in as much detail as you can and try to capture the feelings.  Take another deep breath and come back to the present day.  Imagine you are in a seat of power – however that may look to you.  I used my desk chair.  “In this seat,” she says, “anything you truly want to have, do or be can be made real. All you need to do is let yourself know what it is.  What brings you joy?  You only have to ask for what you want and you will receive it.”

After the meditation you are to write down any goals you can think of.  Don’t stop yourself because of any reality-based objections.  If it feels good, write it down.  She says, “Let the goals come from the top of your head and the bottom of your heart.”  Dr. Nemeth suggests digging until you come up with some that make your heart sing. If you can’t come up with anything, she says to let it simmer for a few days and see if any day or night dreams deliver any ideas.

Part Three: Refine Your List. This is the same process I’ve been using in Creating Space in my life.  Deciding what’s really important.  “Thus you cultivate the ability to generate energy by letting go of insignificant elements that dissipate it,” Dr. Nemeth tells us.  It really is freeing to say you may have thought you wanted something, but really, there are other things you would really rather have.  There are better places to put your time and energy.

Part Four : Be Sure that Your Goal Is Powerful.  Run your goals through the distinctions:
 1) Is it SMART?
 2) Is it positive?
 3) Does it make you feel joyful?
 4) Is it connected to your Life’s Intentions?
 5) Will it help you to live more aligned with your Standards of Integrity?

Treasure Map Exercise: Mapping Your Goal
I’ve seen and done a number of these collages.  Some are called Vision Boards or Focus Boards.  Dr. Nemeth’s Treasure Map is a little more complicated than the boards.  She defines the treasure map as ”your best effort to create a comprehensive, mental visualization of how your life will look when you have attained your goal.”

It’s really a lot of fun to do. Dr. Nemeth says to select on goal. These are the tools she wants you to gather:
* Scissors and two glue sticks.
* Poster board around 18 x 24.  White is best.
* Colored construction paper (about 5 pieces).
* Magazines, brochures and catalogues to cut out colorful pictures that might be connected to your goal.  Publications, too, that might have inspirational phrases.
* Calenders with dates at least 1″ high that you can cut out.  (I managed to cut dates out of the magazines.)
* A recent photograph of yourself and whoever will be in this goal with you.  (She wants you to be sure to get permission to include anyone else.)

Like I said, it’s a bit more formal than some of the other collages: She wants you to come up with a phrase that describes your goal, in the present tense, with a date.  Such as, I am signing a publishing deal by October 10, 2010. Next, you need to put your picture on the board.

Now comes the fun part: perusing the magazines for phrases and pictures that speak to you of your goal.  Dr. Nemeth says you must not draw anything or write on your Treasure Map.  (I have to admit, I made a few things on the computer that I just couldn’t find.)  This was a big process and I went about finding travel brochures and looking for a Borders publication so I could have their logo on my Treasure Map. It took me several weeks to gather all the pieces. 

She wants you to fill the entire map.  And says you can use the colored construction paper to glue your words on so that they stick out. See if you can find feeling words.  Some of her suggestions are admiring, adoring, amused, appreciative, cheerful, ecstatic, glad, joyful, playful, thrilled, zealous. Put on your map a date by which you hope to have this.  And try to piece together words that tell of the intention that it is linked to.

An interesting alternative to this is to get another person, tell them what you want and let them make it for you, while you make one for them. She suggests having others around to bounce ideas off and find things you hadn’t thought of.  It is a fun afternoon’s (or so) project that can really help you create something. 

The idea is to hang it on your wall and look at it every day to remind you what you are after and place your request in the Universal flow.  Have fun!