There are four basic steps that will help you make the most of your goal setting. First, choose a goal, next, see yourself succeeding at your goal, after that, choose a quality that will help you achieve your goal, and finally, create a new habit that will help you achieve your goal.

What changes would you like to make in your life that excite you just by thinking about them? What would you love to do? Where do you want to be 10 years from now? What is your dream? But just thinking about your goal is not enough. If you want to reach your goal, you need to make it real – write it down! Don’t worry how you will make your dream come true at first. Magic happens when you put your goals down on paper. Writing it down is the first step in turning a dream you might achieve into a goal you’ll achieve.

Several times a day close your eyes and for a couple of minutes vividly imagine what it’s going to feel like when you achieve your goal. Really get into it. Feel it as if it were really happening – right now! Get excited! Your subconscious does not know the difference between imagining it and it really happening. By doing this, you become passionate about your desire, your belief becomes unshakeable and you become unstoppable. You mentally go from “wishful thinking” to “belief.”

To see for yourself an example of me going through this visualization exercise, visit TheLugeMan.com and watch the demo video. You’ll see how I visualized myself walking into the Olympic stadium during the Opening Ceremony.

The third step in reaching your goal is to choose the main quality you think you will need to reach your goal. Is it Boldness? Creativity? Enthusiasm? Patience? Leadership? In my case it was Perseverance. To get good at the luge, I knew I was going to have to endure many crashes and injuries and simply refuse to give up. So I made a decision to become perseverant.

Someone has said, “The main difference between a successful person and a failure is that the successful person tried one more time.” I decided to persevere by always trying one more time.

Finally, you need to create a new habit that will help you achieve your goal. Good habits usually don’t just happen. You need to develop a specific plan for creating a new habit. It’s simply a matter of choosing an action that helps develop your quality, deciding when to practice that habit, knowing that you are going to have to repeat it many times and then give yourself a reminder.

Since perseverance was the most important quality I needed to have to reach my goal, I needed to find ways to develop my perseverance. I had to get good at “not quitting.” So I decided to become an expert on perseverance. I read books about people who had faced great challenges and refused to give up. I got inspired that if they could – I could! I made a decision that no matter how bad a crash I had, I would get back on my sled. I had a picture of a luge athlete riding a sled. I used that picture to remind me to get back on my sled.

By following these four steps I was able to turn my goals into habits that ultimately helped me realize my dream. If you will commit to these four steps and you will be able to realize your dreams and goals as well.

Put it into action:

What’s your goal? Close your eyes and vividly imagine what it will feel like, taste like, smell like, look like when you realize your goal. DO IT…

NOW! What quality do you need to develop to realize your goal? What new habit will you develop to reach your goal? Now persistently and consistently take the actions that will get you to your destination.

People tend to overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can accomplish in five years. When you set your five year goals you need to make sure they are huge goals. Goals that will take your breath away.