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By Connie Butler

We are well into this new year and perhaps it is time to review where you are in terms of your intentions and goals for the year. By this time many of you may have drifted off course, if even slightly or even worse may have totally lost track of your true direction. So the question becomes how can you regain that fresh new start, energy and enthusiasm that can come in the first flush of setting an intention?

One of the primary reasons people fail in their intentions or don t see them through is that they have not developed the emotional component of their direction or their dream sufficiently. Often people set goals that are more cerebral and not tied deeply enough to their natures and their true emotional satisfaction. For instance, setting a goal to reach a certain financial benchmark in a year, change a particular habit or reach another level of personal or professional development while being valid may not consistently engage you emotionally. The challenges of daily life, the unforeseen turbulence of events may derail your intentions however good they may be. But if you can easily return to the REAL goal, the emotional goal you have a better chance of re-energizing your efforts.

Clarity in this realm is essential and is the greatest course correction you can use. For instance, if you want to increase your income to a certain level this year my question would be how will you feel when you reach that? What will it give you emotionally, who will you BE then? This is a very personal question it is not the same for everyone. When I lead my clients through an exercise to get at this each of them has a very distinct answer and experience. You have to discover what the juice is for you. So there are two parts to this question: 'What will it feel like?' and also 'Who will you be?' Let's look at both of these.

I will need to digress a tad here to start your inquiry into both of them. Human beings are the only species we are aware of who have the capacity to imagine. It is a magnificent faculty and one that is not only underused but also usually used wrongly. When you can harness it as a support for yourself and your life you not only have a treasure trove of inspiration and energy you also can develop more clarity about what you are really trying to accomplish. Many people habitually use their precious imagination to either subtly or blatantly undermine themselves. Every time you envision or expect the worst or even a negative outcome you are energetically and actually creating a block to your progress. Take the next week and notice what happens when your efforts get derailed or you find yourself missing the mark. I would suspect that most often, if only for a millisecond, you envision a negative outcome to the scenario. If these milliseconds accumulate you will find yourself heading in a direction completely opposed to your initial intent and often end up abandoning what it is that you want. Your emotional energy is drained.

So I propose harnessing that magnificent and creative quality of imagination! Take a few moments and review what your intention is for the year, for the week or even for the day. Use your imagination in whatever way feels appropriate for you - visualize, sense, know, feel yourself in the place where that is accomplished and working well. You've attained that financial benchmark, your business has grown to the level you want, your personal life is humming along, you have created what it is that you wish to contribute to life. As you imagine that, allow yourself to feel what it feels like - what are the emotions present? Is it power, safety, contentment, peace, joy? Be curious about what is really there for you (as I said this is very personal to you) and then let yourself taste that as deeply as you can. That is your emotional goal. That is the juice, the energy you need to keep yourself inspired and moving in concert with your life. When this is done fully and repeatedly you will be able to come back easily to your intention and it will also open up your own creativity.

I am thinking now of a client recently who was working with this. She found herself in a situation with her children and others at an event. A very familiar chaos was ensuing and she was alert enough to notice she was falling into an old pattern of Oh here we go again . But in the moment she caught herself imagining again the intention she had for the event and was able to find a fresh solution to the problem. She was truly amazed with the in the moment power of this.

Another client who began a new business and was hitting a rough patch in its development kept going back to this to refresh his clarity about what he was really trying to accomplish. As he was able to bring the emotional component forward and feel it on a daily basis both his commitment and his focus returned. He stayed the course and is thriving.

Don't underestimate the power and the elegance of this as an ongoing practice. When you are able to feel into the power of the emotional goal you will find that it is more deeply tied to who you are and where your satisfaction lies. The use of your imagination in this way becomes very inspiring and opens a place in you that finds new solution, makes new connections and helps you sustain the creative energy you need to keep focused.

The other question is 'Who will you be?' If you can take your imagination another step and see or sense who you will be when your goal is accomplished you have a clear view into what you may need to develop in yourself to get there. For instance if you imagine the goal in its accomplished form - notice who you have become. Perhaps you are more confident, more patient, more trusting, more in charge of the decisions you make. What qualities do you need to develop in order to become that person? See if you can discover this and then go to work in bringing those qualities forward in yourself. Notice them in other, read about them, and find ways to practice them. Who we become as people is the basis of any of the success that we create in life. The growth in your professional life is truly your own individual and remarkable personal growth path. When you take this last step you begin to embody the success you want to achieve. You become more agile in your responses to situations and more able to see opportunities that may be right there staring you in the face.

Here is the definition of work: an opportunity for discovering and shaping; the place where the self meets the world.

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle" --Albert Einstein
Copyright 2005 All rights reserved.
Connie Butler is a personal and professional coach working with individuals and groups to clarify their greatest vision and cultivate its successful realization moving them past their growth frontier into new territory.

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