Sunday, May 30, 2010


In drumming up ideas for this blog I decided I would try to be solution focused to show people a way of going from dreaming to doing.

I would like to recommend two techniques that work to help you create the outcome you desire. The first tactic is creative visualization: to rehearse in your mind a day when everything is going the way you want it to turn out.

In keeping with this you can create a vision board with just funky enough images to jar you into thinking about what you want to achieve. The June O magazine talks about this too.

Another tactic is to write down in detail where you see yourself on a certain date in time and to describe everything that has happened in your life by that date.

I know the tide had turned when I wrote in my notebook: The publisher will receive the final copy of my manuscript for Left of the Dial on June 15, 2011. The moment I could envision this happening is when a literary agent expressed an interest in working with me.

Along the line of these two techniques I also recommend writing down a mantra over and over. I have two running alongside each other right now: "I keep my feet on the ground" and "It's so super sunny."

First you must acknowledge where you are now and decide that you can get to where you want to be if you just believe you can. To cast off the self-doubt write such positive phrases in your journal. Write the events down as if they've already happened.

When I was 35 I wrote down that I wanted to become an expert in recovery from schizophrenia and seven years later I was offered the position as the expert blogger for the Connection.

So you see how it goes. Re-read your positive affirmations every day. Carry them on index cards and read them on the train or at the doctor's office or during your lunch hour.

The great thing about setting goals is that you can do it yourself. I was listening to Oasis on the radio with their song "Wonder Wall" and I realized that's what it's like to be your own wonder wall: you can trust you will succeed because you are your own rock.

I would tell you that nobody else can give you what you want you must go out and get it. Nobody can do this for you. It's your recovery and you own your victory.

I was able to save myself using these techniques. That's why I recommend them for other people. I started to tell myself "It's so super sunny" because I borrowed this term from the image of the taxi cab yellow leather slouch bag sold in the Sundance catalog. The sunny color inspired me greatly.

You might be a skeptic. You might not believe that by writing down what you want to happen it will actually come true. I urge you to suspend your disbelief. Try it and you might like what you discover.

Friday I bring my goals binder to Dr. Altman's office to talk to him precisely about my dream for the coming years. That's another thing: I'm sure not many people keep their goals in a binder yet I would tell you to do that and refer to it regularly. Or at least write them down in a spiral-bound notebook or a hardbound journal.

The key is to write down your goals and review them often.

I'd love to hear from readers about your take on this suggestion. What are some techniques you use to set goals?

I will use this blog entry to create a Question of the Month at the Connection so look for it in August. The June question will be about therapy and the July question will be about creativity and mental health. So surf on over to read those SharePosts and the comments people give in response to the questions.

Right now I will ask you: how can you not believe it's so super sunny if that is the energy you put out there in the world?

It begins with the words we put into our head.

You don't have to be a natural optimist either to take advantage of these techniques. The term "act as if" describes this tactic. In other words you fake it till you make it. The words you put in your head will influence your behavior. So given the choice wouldn't you rather act as if you were capable of succeeding as the precursor to achieving your goal instead of giving in to the self-doubt?

You see.

Yes indeed.

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