And the Lord said, write the vision, and make it plain…because it will surely come. 

Habakkuk 2:2-3 KJV

Your goals are pipe dreams, huh? Farfetched visions of grandeur? Why do we set resolutions only to days later give up? I’ve been there. You get all geared up to accomplish the goal, but never quite get around to doing it. So frustrating. Well, this doesn’t have to be the case.

Our success in accomplishing the goal or it eluding us has to do with the stories we tell ourselves. Our story is either defeatist or optimistic in nature.

Did you feel convinced of its worth when set the goal? When later thinking about your goal, did you return to a place of encouragement or discouragement? Have you committed mind, body and soul to the objective?

Goals don’t have to be a struggle. That’s not the point of goal-setting. The point of goal-setting is to feel empowered enough to get what you want in this lifetime. It’s to set your sights on some desired outcome, savor the process getting there and then indulge in the results.

The key to goal-setting is first to set an intention, keep it at attention, and take comfortable action towards it. Let’s dive into each of these.

Goal-Setting Key #1: Intention

First setting your intention for what you want is the most important step. Intention determines you toward a desired outcome and draws your energy around luring that end to you. It’s how you make yourself magnetically attractive to that goal. And all it takes is to stay in that magnetism to see it come to pass.

To personify a magnet-like state, align your energy with what you want. Your energy sends out a vibration into the universe coloring your thoughts, your emotions and your efforts with this intention.

Your vibration—the force of your will, or the energy you put out—pulls a like vibration back to you. So wear your vibration like clothes, covering every inch of you. All that means is walk in pure conviction of your intention. Walk in constant certainty of your ability to have it all. Easier said than done? It is simple, actually, if you let it be and stop telling yourself otherwise.

Check in with yourself, what ‘suit’ are you wearing? Is it a suit of confidence or one of doubt? For some goals, the suit will slide on so naturally, fit you like a glove, and that’s when you know that goal is right on the path you destined for yourself. It just feels right. You don’t have to be happy with your circumstances right now, but rather focus on the opportunities within your current situation.

What are you able to do now to feel better about your situation? Make the time spent with your kids more quality. Spend more time on yourself in prayer or meditation. Exercise. Enroll in a Continuing Ed class on a subject you love. To prepare for all that you want in this lifetime, you have to live as though you have it all already. Live basking in the abundance of what you have now.

Takes some discipline, and to help you there’s a more in-depth guide to help you live this way. But to start, here are some pointers:

1. The Bible (as one source) says if you have a vision, make it plain. Write down your goals. We’ve all learned the SMART rule of thumb for goal-setting: to write your goals according to five checkpoints. It just means breath life into your goals. Intention underlies the SMART system. As you sit down to write your goals, come from a place of feeling like it’s only a matter of time before it’s your reality.

Say you were anticipating eating at your favorite restaurant in a few days, your mouth would already be watering today, right? You would know the time of the reservation, the ambience, the entrée you’ll order, the smell, the taste, the way the fork feels in your hands as you bring the first bite toward your lips—the mere idea of it would feel that visceral. With that same awareness, write down your goals. Put some power behind it. That said, here’s my take on the SMART system:

Make your goals specific: what do you want; how will it look; what will it taste like?

Make your goals measurable: how much of it do you want?

Make your goals aligned with your energy: do your senses scream out ‘yes’ to this goal?

Make your goals resonant: does this line up with the truth of who you are and what you believe is possible?

Make your goals time-bound: when do you want this by?

To offer a SMART example, my weight loss goal reads like this: I eat only for nourishment with the occasional decadent treat. I am fit and toned, weighing 125 lbs by July 1, 2012.

Note that it’s written in present tense. I’m serious about this goal, so I’m making it obvious! If you feel led to write it down, it might be your inner-self telling you, ‘you can do it, just give yourself a chance!’

Regardless of perceived challenge, if you believe with all your might that you can have this, there’s no stopping you. It will happen.

2. Write out your goals on an index card and keep them in your wallet to review every day. Even better, write them freshly each new day. This is what those who don’t achieve their goals aren’t doing. They’re not reviewing their goals daily.

Reading your goals aloud and with emotion every day (even up to 3x a day) keeps not only your mind focused on the goal at hand, but your body chemistry (er, vibration) and actions also serve in accomplishing that very mission. If your goals are top of mind, present in your every day, you will start to make decisions with them in mind.

If you’re not reminding yourself of what you desire, then what you desire is out of sight, out of mind…and therefore not attractive enough to happen. Directly and indirectly, the idea of achieving that goal won’t be at hand. But if you are reminded every day, you will subconsciously move toward that end, without even knowing what you’re doing. Put it out there and God, or the universe, will pull it toward you.

Don’t focus on how you’ll get it—leave this to God. Focus only on the intention. Release control and let it come to you.

3. Embody the goal now. What you’re doing with goal-setting is creating your reality. Telling the universe what you would like to have. The purpose of this life is to create your utopia, your ideal life. It’s up to you to use what you experience to determine if you want more of it or not.

Goal-Setting Key #2: Attention

Have you agreed with yourself that you will achieve this goal? That you will have the results of the goal? Your attention must be on living, to the best of your ability, as though the goal has come to pass already. Your attention must be on how it must feel to have accomplished the goal in mind, not still longing to have it happen.

If you come from a place of lack and longing, all efforts are counterproductive and you’re actually increasing the distance between you and your goal. You’re sending out signals in the form of energy all day long, so send out effective ones. Attend to your thoughts and how you feel so you stay in alignment with your true intention.

You want to feel good along the journey. You want to feel good about each step.

Focus on what you tell yourself. Your internal dialogue must support your goal, not sabotage it. Only use words of encouragement and efficacy when discussing your ability to achieve your desires.

Goal-Setting Key #3: Action

Ok, so you’ve written your goals down. Now it’s time to take action. There’s no need to chase your goals, it’s simply time to be open to receiving.

1. When you commit yourself to a task, you do what it takes to get there, don’t you? What do you feel led to do in accomplishing this goal of yours? Only if it helps, write a to-do list, or a checklist of the action you want to take.

Let the list be a compass guiding you toward your goal. Some people feel better knowing they’re being proactive and deliberate about their progress. Just be sure not to overload yourself with the mundane and trivial. How will you know if it’s trivial? You won’t be motivated to do it!

If the goal is to lose weight, have a to-do list that includes shopping at your local farmer’s market for fresh ingredients to make your favorite healthy dish.

Your gauge for whether you really want to do this is your gut reaction. Are you delighted to take daily action toward your goal? If not, return to Key #1 and start again. The concern of a to-do list is to not overwhelm you with what God can take care of on your behalf. Hand some tasks to God, and work on something else: like going shopping for groceries…you can handle that.

2. Get crafty and create a vision board. This board will be a visual reminder of what life will be like at the end of your goal. All the imagery will serve to light that fire within you to keep your passion and goals at the forefront of your life. For more information on vision boarding, download the life guide here.

3. Keep a Gratitude Log. Every day write down five things you’re grateful for. The more you do this, the easier it will be to find the many blessings in your life already. The more grateful you are, the more your energy radiates according to the purity of your intention. Both your intention and gratitude feel good, right? Be grateful for what you have now, so you get more of what’s worth being grateful for.

Feel enthusiastic about your goals—after all, you decided what you want! Goals offer a sense of direction and purpose. So set your goal as intention, keep it at attention, and take action. Get motivated by your focus and drive forward with power not angst. If your goal doesn’t make you feel good now, it won’t make you feel good later!

When you evaluate it now, how are your new year’s resolutions coming along? What would you change about them to make them more in line with what you really want?