Step One: See yourself how you want to be.

Riss believes the first step in getting what you want in life is to envision yourself already there. “If I can't see it, I can't create it,” she says. “If I can't see me as a writer, I can't create me getting work as a writer, because I don't really believe in it.” If you want to lose weight put up a picture in your home of a time you were skinnier and look at it every day. If you want to be in a relationship spend five minutes a day imagining what that would look like – close your eyes and see yourself walking down the street with someone holding hands or talking about your days over dinner. And don't think about these things in terms of what you want. Tell yourself you already have them, you are already there: “I am skinny,” “I am in a loving relationship” “I am a successful writer.” These thoughts, this vision of you exactly as you want to be, will serve as your compass on the road ahead.

Step Two: Start looking at ways you are already there.

Because this entire process relies on you believing you can get where you want to go – your goals have to seem inevitable – you have to boost your confidence early on. So the next step to take, says Riss, is recognizing the ways you are already on your way. As Riss says, you have to think “what are the things I already bring to the table?” Maybe I don't live in a spacious loft yet, but I live in my own apartment in a gorgeous neighborhood. I don't have a partner, but I am working on strengthening the relationships I already have with friends and family so I am learning about relating to others. If you want to be skinnier, maybe you already think more about what you eat than you used to? This is about positive thinking: You are on the path and making progress.

Step Three: Change some of your moves

The next step is to look at some of the moves you are making in life and see if they need changing. It's like applying to college. You are definitely going to college, but maybe you need a better grade in chemistry to get into the school you want or maybe you need to study for the SAT a little differently to get a higher score. So if you want to lose weight – which you are definitely going to do – maybe your diet isn't working. Try another one! Or when searching for a partner, maybe you need to change what you are looking for in a mate or put yourself out there through other venues? The idea is to measure your actions against your vision and seeing if they are helping you get there.

Step Four: Strengthen your vision every day.

Getting the life you want is hard. Really hard. We have habits and thoughts that can pull us down or prevent us from getting where we want to go. So we need to stay true to our vision and keep strengthening it over and over to keep it alive when things don't go our way. However you hold onto your dreams – by journaling or looking at a picture or spending five minutes seeing yourself as you want to be – do it every day. And then when you experience bumps, you won't lose it, knowing that you will definitely get there at the end of the day. As Riss says, “It's like ok, I'm not going to this college, but I'm going to this one. Or I didn't get this job but there is a job behind it.” And what is behind this process is believing, again and again, every day, that you are a creative being, that you can will the life you want into being and make it a reality. I'm going to repeat what Riss says: “What I think, what I say, what I do, that is my reality.” Take control!

Step Five: Be Clear Why You're Here

I believe each of us is born with a life purpose. Identifying, acknowledging and honoring this purpose is perhaps the most important action successful people take. They take the time to understand what they're here to do, and then they pursue that purpose with passion and enthusiasm. If you don't know what you're supposed to be doing, tune in to the signals around you. Looking toward others for help and guidance is helpful, but don't forget to stay tuned in to yourself—your behavior, attitude, likes and dislikes, and life experiences. Identify what's working and what isn't. If you need to, write it all down. You might be surprised by what you discover.

Step Six: Believe It Is Possible

Scientists used to believe that humans responded to information flowing into the brain from the outside world. But today, they're learning that instead we respond to what the brain, based on previous experience, expects to happen next. In fact, the mind is such a powerful instrument, it can deliver literally everything you want. But you have to believe that what you want is possible. As you commit to believing in yourself, also make a commitment to toning down the complaint department. Look at what you are complaining about: I'm fat. I'm tired. I can't get out of debt. I won't ever get a better job. I can't stand the relationship I have with my father. I'll never find a soul mate in life. Really examine your complaints. More than likely you can do something about them. They are not about other people, other things, or other events. They are about YOU.

Step Seven: If you want a different outcome, change your behavior

Making a change might be uncomfortable and overwhelming for you. It might mean you have to put in more time, money, and effort. It might mean that someone gets upset about it, or makes you feel bad about your decision. It might be difficult to change or leave a situation, but staying put is your choice so why continue to complain? You can either do something about it or not. It is your choice and you have responsibility for your choices. Bear in mind that you have to be willing to change your behaviour if you want a different outcome. You have to be willing to take the risks necessary to get what you want. If you've already taken an initial step in the right direction, now's the time to plan more steps to keep moving you forward faster.

Isn't it a great relief to know that you can make your life what you want it to be? Isn't it wonderful that your successes do not depend on someone else? So if you need just one thing to do different today than you did yesterday, make it this: Commit to taking 100% responsibility for every aspect of your life. Decide to make changes, one step at a time. Once you start the process you'll discover it is much easier to get what you want by taking control of your thoughts, your visualizations, and your actions!


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