How to Achieve Stretch Goals

January 14th, 2011 by Steve Pavlina

In the previous post, I mentioned that I’d share a method for achieving goals where you aren’t already a good match for the goal. For example, how do you become a millionaire if your vibe is riddled with thoughts and feelings of scarcity? I’ll share that process with you now.

If you haven’t read the previous post yet, I suggest you read it first, so you can better understand the context of this one. I know it’s a lot of reading, but it will be worth your while.

Stretch Goals

For the sake of convenience, let’s use the term “stretch goals” to refer to the types of goals for which you aren’t already a good match.

Such goals are of course relative to the person setting them. Buying a new car wouldn’t be a stretch goal for someone who can easily afford it, but it could be a stretch goal for someone who’s broke and struggling with unemployment. The first person can simply walk into a dealership, pick a car, pay cash for it, and drive away with it. The second person may be looking at tougher challenges to overcome.

Jack Canfield likes to refer to these as breakthrough goals, perhaps because when you achieve such a goal, you’re breaking through to a whole new level of being.

Vibrational Alignment

People don’t experience the same level of difficulty in achieving similar goals because each person has a different degree of vibrational alignment (or lack of alignment) relative to the goal.

A goal is only easy or hard relative to your vibe. Some vibes are weak matches for certain goals. Other vibes are strong matches. The more strongly your vibe matches a goal, the more easily and effortlessly you can achieve that goal.

For example, if I wanted to earn an extra $10K this month, that would be a fairly easy goal for me to achieve. I could probably do something this weekend that would generate an extra $10K by the end of the month. My vibe is already a good match for receiving such sums. It feels normal to me. But since the goal wouldn’t cause me to stretch, it isn’t very inspiring either. As far as goals go, it’s a bit dull.

For someone else, earning an extra $10K this month might be a seemingly impossible fantasy. Their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors create a different vibe. Whereas I see ease and simplicity, they might see struggle, obstacles, or lack of opportunity. They might also become overly excited about the idea of earning an extra $10K (which suggests it isn’t normal for them), thereby positioning the goal in the realm of fantasy instead of possible reality.

To yet another person, the goal of earning an extra $10K this month might be right in the middle — enough of a challenge to be interesting and motivating, but not so challenging as to appear impossible. For this person it’s a stretch goal. They see it’s possible, but they aren’t sure how to make it a reality yet.

Your vibe largely determines which goals you’re even willing to set. If your vibe is too far out of alignment with a particular goal, you’ll never bring yourself to set such a goal. That would be self-delusion at best, like a scarcity-minded person setting the goal to become a billionaire. The mind won’t believe the goal, so the person won’t take the actions needed to get there.

When your vibe is a very close match for a goal, you probably won’t even think of it as a goal. It will simply be a task to do, like making dinner or taking your dog for a walk. For me, writing a new article is a basic task which I often do for the sheer enjoyment of writing. So we could say that my personal vibe is a very close match for the goal of writing an article.

When your vibe is somewhere in the middle, you have a stretch goal. Your vibe is enough of a match for the goal to enable you to set the goal and take it seriously, but not yet enough of a match to experience the achievement of the goal.

One of the best reasons to set goals and work to achieve them is the vibrational shift you must undergo in order to achieve new goals, especially stretch goals.

Matching vs. Mismatching Vibes

There are two types of vibes to think about with respect to any goal:

1) Vibes that match the goal

2) Vibes that don’t match the goal

When your vibe is in the first category, then achieving your goal is relatively easy. You will still take action, but your actions will flow easily, and they won’t feel terribly effortful. Taking action will often feel like play. The actions you choose will be the right actions that will move you closer to your goal. You’ll probably experience many synchronicities too. Great opportunities will come to you. You’ll see good evidence that real progress is happening. Other people will notice that you’ve shifted.

When your vibe is in the second category, the path to your goal will seem difficult and littered with obstacles. You’ll notice the obstacles and will probably feel a strong desire to procrastinate, and you’ll often indulge in distractions. You will identify actions to take, but they won’t be the right actions. When you take action, you’ll often feel resistance, either from inside yourself or from the external world. Getting to your goal will feel like work more than play. You may invest a lot of time and effort into your goal, but you probably won’t get there. Months or years may pass, and you’ll have little to show for it.

These are the extremes. Depending on the degree of alignment between your vibe and your goal, you’ll probably fall somewhere in the middle. Some aspects will look like the first example, while other aspects will resemble the second situation. This means that your vibe is a partial match for your goal. Some parts of your vibe are very well aligned with your goal, while other parts are opposing your goal.

Stop Using Force

Now here’s the tricky part to understand, so please read this next bit carefully.

When your vibe is a good match for your goal, you’ll naturally have a sense of the right actions to take, and synchronicities will show up to guide you as needed. You won’t have to struggle to figure out what to do next. Most of the time, the next action to take will be fairly obvious, and it will feel good to you. It will be an action you want to take. You won’t have to force it.

However, when your vibe is a poor match for your goal, you’ll come up with some actions to take, but they’ll be the wrong actions. You won’t have a strong inner feeling of clarity about them. You’ll have a lot of doubts. It will be hard to choose a path, and even when you do choose, you won’t feel certain that it’s the right path for you. When you do take action, you’ll be acting under a cloud of doubt and uncertainty. You’ll also have a strong tendency to procrastinate and delay.

A common prescription for people in the second situation is to use force. Take more action. Fight procrastination. Push yourself harder. Eliminate distractions. Focus! Do it now! Get to work!

This doesn’t work well. It’s like trying to push two opposing magnets together. Even if you do achieve a goal this way, it will be difficult to sustain it, and a fall is inevitable. Your vibe and the goal are constantly resisting each other. As soon as you let down your guard, they repel each other.

Imagine trying to get up at 5am when your vibe isn’t a match for being an early riser. Instead of popping out of bed feeling alert and refreshed, you feel tired and sleepy and hit the snooze button. When you are a match for such a goal, however, you can arise early with ease. The goal requires no struggle at all. It’s just your normal wake-up time. No big deal.

It’s safe to say that if a goal seems like a big deal to you, this indicates that your vibe isn’t yet a match for that goal.

When you notice that you’re trying to force a goal, stop for a moment and think about it. Why is this such a struggle for you? Why are you fighting what you claim to desire? Why are you sabotaging yourself? Why do you keep procrastinating?

Ask yourself, Do I really want this goal? Is this a good goal for me at this time? It’s okay if it’s a stretch goal. Just be sure it’s something you really want. It’s perfectly okay to desire a goal that may seem like it’s beyond you right now.

If you realize that you don’t really care enough about this goal to take it seriously, then let it go. If you don’t desire to do what it takes to become a match for the goal, there’s no point in fussing over it. Drop it, and accept the consequences of that decision.

I often see this pattern with people who go to college because their parents expect them to. They pick a major that others will approve of. But they don’t enjoy the coursework, and they don’t even want to work in that field. That’s a no-brainer recipe for vibrational resistance. Then these students wonder why they procrastinate on their studies and don’t feel motivated. Sure it takes courage to choose your own path, but you aren’t here to live up to other people’s expectations.

Now if you still feel good about the goal and you still want the outcome, that’s perfectly fine too. Just because you aren’t a match for the goal doesn’t mean you should drop it. Some of the best goals will require you to shift your vibe in order to achieve them. It could be said that the vibrational shift is an even greater accomplishment than the external goal. For example, aligning your vibe with abundance can be a greater accomplishment than earning some specific sum of money. Once you’ve integrated the vibe of abundance, your whole life is transformed, not just your finances.

Orbiting vs. Achieving Your Goal

Let’s assume for now that you have a goal that you like, but you aren’t yet a vibrational match for it. What’s the next step?

Well, many people would say that the next steps are to make plans and start taking action, but for a goal of this nature, that approach doesn’t work well. It will usually cause you to run in circles.

It’s like trying to push two opposing magnets together. You can push with great force, but that isn’t a wise idea. If you want the magnets to stick, then it’s easier if you flip one of the magnets around. If you do that first, then you can pretty much let go, and the magnets will attract each other. You may give them a nudge, but forcing them together isn’t necessary.

Now this is a very simple analogy, so let’s expand it a bit. Your vibe is much more complex than a single magnet. Your vibe with respect to any single goal is like 100 pairs of magnets. Some magnets have their poles aligned to attract each other, but some are repelling each other. So when you try to achieve your goal by taking direct action, sometimes you’re in the flow, and sometimes you’re out of flow. Some parts of your vibe are pulling the goal towards you. Other parts of your vibe are pushing the goal away.

You don’t have to be in perfect 100% alignment to achieve your goal. You just have to make enough shifts such that the overwhelming force is attractive rather than repulsive. But it has to be strong enough to overcome inertia and any repelling forces.

If there’s too much repelling force or inertia and not enough attracting force, then you’ll fall into the trap of running in circles when you try to take action.

The Earth and the Moon attract each other gravitationally. But they don’t crash into each other. The Moon just runs in circles around the Earth. But what if we could somehow slow down or stop the Moon’s motion relative to the Earth? Then the Earth and the Moon would attract each other till they collided. This would be bad for people on Earth, but the Earth and Moon would become one. Similarly, if you wish to become one with your goals, you’ll need to work with the various forces and motions that are present until a collision course with your goals becomes inevitable. This is essentially what it means to become a vibrational match for your goal. If you’re not a match, you’ll end up orbiting your goal instead of reaching it, despite having a lot of gravity on your side.

Understanding the New Vibe

Now here’s another tricky part, so read this carefully and ponder it a bit.

The #1 reason people struggle to achieve their stretch goals is that they don’t have a solid understanding of the matching vibe.

Because they don’t understand what the new vibe looks like and feels like, they don’t understand the right actions to take. So they take the wrong actions, they struggle, and they get results they don’t want.

The most important thing you can do to achieve a stretch goal is to deepen and clarify your understanding of the matching vibe. What will your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors be like when you’ve already achieved the goal? What kind of person will you be when you’re already there?

Someone who earns $1 million per year doesn’t have the same vibe as someone who earns $50K per year. The thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of each person are very different. If you’re earning $50K per year, and you set a stretch goal to earn $1 million per year, the first thing you must do is study and understand the vibe you’d be emitting if you were already at the $1 million per year level. It will be very different than your current $50K vibe. Energetically speaking, you won’t be the same person.

Your greatest risk of failure stems from the problem of projecting your $50K vibe onto the $1 million goal. You can’t use a $50K vibe to create the action list to achieve this goal. You have to use the $1M vibe to create the action list, and you can’t do that until and unless you understand the $1M vibe well enough.

Most people don’t do what it takes to understand the new vibe. They project their old vibes forward in time, but that doesn’t work. It only keeps them orbiting the same goal, running in circles for years.

You must figure out which of your 100 internal magnets are aligned with the new goal’s magnets, and which aren’t aligned. When you dive into action without this understanding, the odds of success are very low. The opposing magnets will simply repel each other, and you’ll be kept in orbit indefinitely. The closer you get to your goal, the stronger the opposing force will be. This may look like you’re sabotaging yourself each time you get close to your goal. Forcing it won’t work. It will only frustate you. Then you’ll say to yourself things like, “Why is this taking so long? I should be much further along by now.” or “Why do I keep procrastinating?”

How to Learn the New Vibe

There are many ways to deepen your understanding of the new vibe that pairs with your goal. Here are some suggestions.

First, be humble as you enter this process. Admit that you don’t yet understand the new vibe. If you did understand it, you’d already be coasting effortlessly to your goal. Accept that if you’re struggling, it’s because you don’t understand the new vibe well enough. You might also be clinging to some false assumptions about it.

Try to set aside any preconceived notions about the new vibe. Start with a blank slate. Open your mind to new possibilities. Don’t pretend to know something you haven’t yet experienced. If you aren’t already living it, it’s safe to say that you don’t know it yet.

It may help to think about a goal you’ve already achieved. Remember your vibe before and after the goal was achieved. Think about the goal of learning to drive a car. Notice how different your vibe was before you learned. It probably seemed like a big deal. You may have put the goal on a pedestal. You may have felt a bit stressed about it. But as you got closer to achieving this goal, your vibe shifted to the point where driving seemed like no big deal. If your vibe didn’t shift, you still wouldn’t be able to drive yet. We could say that practice is what helped to shift your vibe, but we could also say that you shifted your vibe by spending time with people who already had the right vibe (i.e. experienced drivers), and you picked up the right vibe (not just the know-how) from them. Once you matched the vibe of a confident driver, you could drive confidently too.

This leads us into the next step. If possible, identify people who’ve already achieved the goal you want to achieve (or something similar). Buy their books, and read them for starters. Join clubs where these people are members. Do whatever it takes to get face time with such people. Don’t admire such people from a distance. You need to connect with them in person, and preferably one on one. This means not over the phone and not over the Internet. In person means in person. This is easier than it sounds if you make it a priority. When you hang out with such people in person, you’ll learn so much about the new vibe you wish to create. Some inner shifts will happen automatically. This is very important. Don’t blow it off unless you prefer to orbit your goals instead of experience them.

So if you want to be a millionaire, go to places where millionaires hang out, and spend time getting to know them. Talk to them about money. Don’t worry about getting how-to tips. You won’t be able to apply them yet anyway. Instead, get a sense of the other person’s thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about money. Contrast their vibe with yours. What’s different about their vibe? Why is it that they’re a match for having lots of money, and you aren’t? The vibrational differences tell the story.

If you’re shy or socially dorky, go to a park or coffee shop in a wealthy neighborhood. Sit down, shut up, and observe. Listen to people’s conversations. Do this again and again until you start getting a clear sense of the vibe of such people. Contrast their vibe with yours. What’s different about them? Are you willing to embrace this vibe?

Notice that such people don’t usually say, “Holy frak! I can’t believe I have all this money! It’s so unreal!” Having lots of money is just normal and routine for them. It’s no big deal. That’s the vibe you want to understand. If you think having a lot of money is a big deal, that’s why you don’t have it. That’s the vibe of wanting money and not having it. The vibe of having money is totally different.

Next, spend time visualizing yourself as already having the vibe needed to achieve your goal. You’ll learn about this vibe partly from being around people who’ve already achieved your goal. Visualization can help you personalize the vibe. Other people will give you clues with respect to where you need to make shifts, but your vibe is uniquely your own. Your wealth vibe, for instance, won’t be quite the same as someone else’s. However, you’ll still have a lot in common with other wealthy people when you make the shifts that work for you.

I recommend spending about 10 minutes per day visualizing how your life will be different once you’ve achieved your goal. How will you really think, feel, and behave on the other side of that goal? Try to make as few adjustments as possible to your current vibe, just enough to realistically see yourself in that situation and having it feel normal to you. This is important. Realize that if you’re going to achieve this goal in reality, then it’s still you on the other side, with all your dorkiness coming along for the ride. It’s not your higher self or your ideal self. It’s just a slightly adjusted version of your normal, everyday self.

Try doing it like this. Imagine a scene that represents your goal. Now put your current self into that scene. This is the person you are right now, your normal self. Imagine yourself going through that scene as if it were completely real and happening right now. You just quantum leaped right into it. Do your best to imagine this not as a dream or fantasy, but as solid reality, like a real event that’s happening today, perhaps a few hours from now.

Now let your character interact with the scene. How would you realistically react to what’s happening? What you want to understand is your character’s vibrational interaction with the vibe of the scene. This will tell you where some of your magnets are pointing in the wrong directions. The more realistic you can make this scene, the more you’ll learn from it.

Daydreaming isn’t the same thing as visualizing. You can visualize yourself being in a sex scene for the purpose of taking care of yourself, but that isn’t the same thing as visualizing a sex scene that you actually want to experience in reality. Your mind can tell the difference between a fantasy visualization and a serious goal. Otherwise you’d manifest lots of sex just by imagining it. You can imagine anything you want, but it won’t become real until you match the vibe of that experience too, and that part takes a bit more work.

For example, suppose one of your goals is to live in a mansion and have a staff of servants. In most of your visualizations, you imagine how great it will be, but that doesn’t get you any closer to your goal. However, when you take the time to imagine it as 100% real, and you plop your current self into that new reality, you notice some issues coming up.

Maybe you feel nervous and anxious living in such a big place. Perhaps you feel uncomfortable telling your servants what to do — maybe you feel bad about the idea of other people cleaning your toilets and making your meals. Maybe you also feel some excitement about having such a cool place to live, but that also suggests a mismatch because if you actually lived there, it would probably feel normal to you. You might appreciate your home, but you probably wouldn’t feel excited about living there every day.

Take notes about these experiences. Write down things like: I don’t feel good about paying 20x bigger tax bills. I don’t like telling other people what to do. I’d feel stressed if I had to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per year minimum just to cover my expenses. What are the thoughts, beliefs, and feelings you have that indicate you’re still a mismatch for your goal?

Sometimes it’s the extended consequences of the goal, rather than the goal itself, that reveal a lack of alignment. For example, if you want to be a famous actor, what do you think about being in the public eye? Can you handle public criticism from people who don’t know you? Can you accept that as being a normal part of your life, or does that seem like something you’d want to avoid? If you want to achieve a goal, you must accept the logical consequences of that goal. If you resist the consequences, you resist the goal.

Now ask your mind to show you what vibrational adjustments you need to make to be congruent with your goal. Imagine that your character is downloading a new personality subroutine. Let your adjusted self interact with the scene anew. Allow your mind to keep making tweaks until your character seems to be a comfortable, natural fit for the scene. Get a sense of your character’s new vibe. What’s different about it? What had to be changed?

Again, take some notes that you can refer to later. You may notice things like: My new character is more confident. My new character jokes with the staff; s/he appreciates them but also retains an air of authority. My new character feels that it’s easy to earn enough to cover all the expenses; this isn’t a big deal.

A very helpful final step is to broadcast your desires. Share your goal openly with the people in your life, and talk about it seriously as if you intend to make it real ASAP. Notice how the people in your life react to your announcement. This will quickly reveal which relationships in your life are helping you become a match for your goal and which are holding you back. You’ll need to drop or transform the relationships that will otherwise hold you back. Don’t get clingy since that just holds everyone back and builds resentment. Accept that you’re here to grow. You’ll have the opportunity to connect with much more compatible partners anyway, so no worries about being alone.

Turning Repulsion Into Attraction

This process will help you create a vibrational to-do list. This is even more important than your action list. Once you take steps to adjust your vibe to be in harmony with your goal, the action steps will begin to flow rather easily.

What’s a vibrational to-do list? It’s a list of the personal development work you need to do in order to become a match for your goal.

Ultimately it will include three types of growth experiences:

  1. You’ll shed limiting beliefs and perspectives that align with the old vibe, replacing them with new truths that align with the new vibe.
  2. You’ll shed negative relationships that are bad match for your new vibe, and you’ll add positive new relationships that are well aligned with it.
  3. You’ll stop feeding your power to excuses and obstacles, and you’ll begin emitting a more powerful vibe that draws your goal increasingly near.

These personal growth experiences are the inner magnets that you must re-align. Let’s consider each category in turn.

New Truths

Suppose your goal is to earn $1M per year. That’s about $80K per month. If you currently earn $50K per year, then this may seem like a very large sum. But if you were a match for this goal, then $80K per month must look and feel like a normal sum to you. It’s just your regular paycheck. There’s nothing special about it. If you’re going to turn it into a big deal, then you’re pushing this goal away.

So your new truth might be, “Earning $80K per month is normal. It’s easy and natural for me.”

To help you align with this goal, you might go to your bank, withdraw $1000 cash, and carry it around in your wallet every day. That may feel uncomfortable at first, but keep doing it till it feels normal and natural to you. How does it feel to carry two hours’ worth of pay in your wallet? It’s no big deal. Embrace your new truth, and it will help you create a more abundant vibe. If you want to earn 20x more money, then you need to change your relationships to money by a factor of 20. A $1000 sum in your new vibe is equivalent to a $50 bill in your old vibe.

If you can’t make little adjustments like this to get started, then you aren’t yet serious about your goal, are you? Are you going to make it real or not? If you’re going to make it real, then you’d better get used to dealing with larger sums of money as if it’s a totally normal experience for you. So start building that comfort now. Otherwise you’ll repel those larger sums because you’ll freak yourself out when they start to show up.

New Connections

Suppose your goal (once again) is to go from earning $50K to $1M per year. When you imagine yourself as already there, it becomes clear that some of your current friends won’t be able to handle it. So part of your inner work will be to either (1) drop these people from your life, so they stop blocking you, or (2) have some deep conversations to transform these relationships, so these people can get behind your goal.

Build new relationships too. What kinds of people would you have in your life if you already achieved your goal? Start building those relationships now. They’ll actually help you get there. Don’t do the “I’m not worthy” thing. If you’re going to make this goal a reality, then you’re going to have to overcome those feelings of unworthiness. You might as well start now.

The same goes for family members. In my early 20s when I decided to start my own business, I distanced myself from my parents and siblings because they were so immersed in the employee mindset. I had to be around other entrepreneurs to understand the vibe of success on this path.

Don’t cling to relationships that aren’t a good match for your goal. This is an area where you may really have to do some house-cleaning. Yes, you’ll see a lot of relationships come and go. That’s part of life. You’ll get used to it. If you want to be a match for having lots of growth experiences, then you’d better embrace the idea of seeing your personal relationships shift around a lot. Otherwise, you’ll be a match for stagnation and foot-dragging. This sort of shifting is nothing to fear. It can be quite exhilarating to connect with a variety of cool people in your lifetime. Clinginess isn’t a vibrational match for growth.

Embracing Your Power

The third area for personal development work is to notice where you’re giving your power away, and begin to reclaim your power. It’s time to stop making excuses, stop blaming others, and accept the full consequences of what it will take to achieve your goal.

Suppose you want to have a threesome (sexually). Obviously there are plenty of people on the planet who are willing to engage in this, so it’s certainly possible for you to have such an experience if you’re willing to do what it takes to make it a reality. It’s certainly not that difficult action-wise. Ask enough people, and you’ll get some yeses. Arrange a time to get together, and have fun.

And yet despite the simplicity of this goal, you can massively overcomplicate it if you give your power away.

Suppose you ask your current partner, and she says no. You can blame her for being a stick in the mud, or you can try to convince her (a form of force), but you’ll probably end up with a bad experience if you go that route.

You can also accept your partner’s no and learn to live without the threesome. But if this is a strong desire for you, then this will only build resentment. Settling for less than you desire certainly won’t lead to greater happiness and fulfillment. It may appear to be a more socially acceptable choice in some circumstances, but that’s just another instance of your feeding your power to something that blocks you (the delusion of being socially accepted by others in this case).

The deeper inner work is to ask, Why am I with a partner who doesn’t naturally want the same things I do? Why am I settling for less than I desire? Why am I being so clingy with someone who wants different experiences than I do?

To make the threesome real (not merely a fantasy), this inner work has to be done. These apparent conflicts need to be resolved. You have to learn to use your power to feed your desires, not obstacles.

If you were already a strong match for having threesomes, you could make one happen this week, perhaps even today. I know someone who claims to have had 500+ threesomes. For him it’s a fun but also an easy thing to experience. He can go out and make it happen with two women he just met, and he certainly doesn’t look like a swimsuit model. While most people block such an experience from happening, he directs his power to creating the experiences he wants to have.

I hope you can see that logistically, this really isn’t that difficult of a goal. The action steps are pretty basic, mostly involving some communication. But if your vibe isn’t a good match for such an experience, then it may appear to be virtually impossible for you. It will seem like the external world is opposing you, but that isn’t the case at all. Your own vibe is what’s creating the mismatch. If you adjust your vibe enough, the goal becomes easy and straightforward. It may even happen on its own without your having to ask.

Achieving stretch goals requires fixing the magnets that aren’t turned the right way. This includes dropping limiting beliefs and false assumptions, dumping disempowering relationships, and letting go of excuses and blame. If you avoid this inner growth work and try to jump ahead to cause-and-effect action steps, you’ll simply orbit your goal.

Do the Personal Growth Work

Once you’ve identified the personal growth work you must go through in order to become a match for your goal, then get busy working on it. If you’re conscious about it, you can compress lessons that would otherwise take years into a few months or weeks, creating big shifts in a short period of time.

There are tons of methods you can use to do this personal growth work. This website is filled with them. Here are some examples:

  1. Journal to gain new insights (contrast the old vibe with the new one).
  2. Have deep conversations with people who are intelligent and aware.
  3. Meditate on feelings of gratitude and appreciation.
  4. Keep visualizing yourself as already there; feel it as real.
  5. Disconnect from people who aren’t a match for your goal.
  6. Join a club that will help you align your vibe with your goal.
  7. Move to a new city that’s a better match for your goal.
  8. Replace the books on your bookshelf with books that match the new vibe.
  9. Donate possessions that aren’t a good match for the new vibe.
  10. Catch yourself giving your power away, and reclaim it by directing it back towards your desires.
  11. When someone says no to your desires, say no to that aspect of your relationship with them (or to the whole relationship, if necessary).
  12. Create new empowering belief statements to replace old limiting beliefs.
  13. Hang out regularly with people who can naturally help you align with your goal (i.e. people who inspire you in that direction).
  14. Intend and expect to reach your goal.
  15. Use the word “when” instead of “if” when talking about your goal.
  16. Blog about your goal or talk about it publicly (this will reveal mismatching relationships and help attract compatible connections too).
  17. Conduct experiments like 30-day trials to immerse yourself in the experience of a new vibe.
  18. Change your diet, clothes, etc. to eat, dress, and live as if you’re already there.
  19. Put up pictures or other inspirational messages that represent the new vibe.
  20. Read books written by others who emit a vibe that’s compatible with your goal.
  21. Go to lectures, workshops, seminars, and retreats that will help immerse you in the new vibe.
  22. Forgive people who’ve wronged you, and release the hurt and resentment.

I think you get the idea. The exact processes you use here aren’t that important. Last year I went to a talk where Joe Vitale asked everyone in the room (a room full of professional speakers and authors) to shout out their favorite personal growth processes. He had two people writing them down on a large white board. Within 10 minutes the board was completely filled, and they still kept going by writing over the previous items. This drove home the point that there are countless ways to do inner work.

Use your favorite three-letter acronym process. Get therapy. Poke yourself with your finger a few times. Go to Sedona and consult with the vortex aliens. Whatever. The specific process doesn’t matter. What works best for me may not work at all for you, and vice versa. The important thing is that the processes you use are helping you become a match for your goal. Don’t stick with a process that isn’t giving you results.

Results in this area may involve a lot of inner processing, but they should still create tangible effects. For many years I’ve wanted to travel a lot more. But I didn’t have the right vibe for a travel-rich lifestyle. I had limiting beliefs about how difficult it would be to make travel a regular part of my life. I had home-centric relationships that didn’t support a travel-rich lifestyle. I gave my power away to reasons (i.e. excuses) for why I couldn’t travel as much as I wanted to. I did some serious inner work to resolve those blocks, and as I did this, travel began showing up in my life very easily. Now it seems normal and natural to travel often. Two weeks ago I was in Canada. This week I spent a couple days in Sedona (consulting with the vortex aliens, no less). And next week I’ll be in New Orleans. Travel has become an easy and natural part of my life. It took some inner work to integrate the frequent traveler vibe, but I’d say it’s pretty well integrated now. I like being a travel slut.

When you’ve integrated the new vibe well enough (perfection isn’t necessary), you’ll find that the right actions begin to flow with ease. It feels natural and casual. There’s little or no resistance. When you want to experience something that’s aligned with your vibe, you just create it. It’s no more difficult than making a meal.

Now here’s the rub. The personal growth work will not be easy. It may be very challenging. But this is the area where you’ll make the fastest progress when working towards goals that you aren’t already a good match for experiencing. Once you resolve the alignment issues, the goal almost takes care of itself. You won’t have to worry so much about problems like procrastination and self-sabotage.

If you want to get through this part faster, read my book Personal Development for Smart People. It covers the 7 fundamentals of personal growth and how to speed up the process, regardless of what type of goal you’re trying to achieve. I’ve alluded to 3 of those 7 principles in this article. For the others I have to refer you to the book because it would take way too long to explain them properly in an article (and this one is already pushing 8000 words). A full book was necessary to do this topic justice.

Avoid Delusional Role Models

I feel very fortunate because I have a privileged perspective that isn’t available to most people. I get to observe lots of people going after different goals, and I get to see who succeeds and who flounders. And because I’m exposed to all this raw data, I’m able to learn patterns that most people don’t have the opportunity to learn within their lifetimes.

One thing that’s become very clear is that when people succeed, they tend to get there by taking actions that are easy and natural for them. Force doesn’t work well. Force can sometimes get you to a goal, but the form of the goal will be a bit off from what you wanted, and it will be hard to hold onto it. When you achieve a stretch goal using this vibrational alignment process, however, it’s easier to hang onto it afterwards — and to further build upon it. And you’ll enjoy the process of getting there so much more.

This is a very personal process, however. You have to keep coming back to what works for you. You have to stop projecting false imaginings onto other people, especially people you’ve never met. That’s delusional thinking that will only push your goal further away.

For example, if you set a goal to become a millionaire, search your thoughts for the kinds of images that come up. What associations do you already have in your memory? Where did you learn them? Are they accurate? Do they apply to you? Did you pick up fictional characters from TV or film for your role models in this area? When you think of millionaires, do you imagine Ebeneezer Scrooge or Gordon Gecko? Do you imagine millionaires that you’ve only seen on TV but which you’ve never met face to face? Such mental clutter will screw up your vibe in this area.

Go back to basics and re-learn the right vibe from scratch. Admit that you don’t really understand the true vibe of what it’s like to be an actual millionaire in the real world. I have many millionaire friends, and none are anything like the way I’ve seen wealthy people portrayed in fictional books, TV shows, or movies. Their real vibes are totally different than the fictional versions. Their vibes are also quite different than what I’d have expected based on interviews I’ve seen with other millionaires, or from what I’ve read in books written by millionaires.

When you only experience certain people through indirect media, don’t pretend that you know the person being represented. It’s too easy to project false assumptions and beliefs onto someone else when you only connect from a distance. If you later interact with such people one-on-one and face-to-face, those interactions will often throw you for a loop. The other person’s vibe won’t be what you expected.

Obviously I’ve shared many details about my life via my blog, but it’s safe to say that someone who spends 30 minutes chatting with me one-on-one in person will know me significantly better than someone who’s read all of my articles but has never met me in person. The second person will have a lot more information about me, but the first person will have a much better understanding of my actual vibe. I feel the same about others. If I haven’t met you in person, then I don’t claim to know you at all.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met someone in person who’s clearly shy and introverted, but from their blog postings, you’d think they were a social butterfly. In most cases, they didn’t intentionally create a false image to deceive people. It’s just that their real vibe doesn’t get transmitted over the Internet. This leads people to project all sorts of false assumptions onto them, making it hard to use such people as good role models.

One of the reasons it’s so important to favor in-person communication (especially when you want to understand a new vibe) is that your skin cells are covered with tiny antennae that pick up electro-magnetic fields emitted by other people (such as their heart waves and brain waves). Every human being is like a walking transmitter and receiver. This aspect of our biology, however, is essentially a local phenomenon. It drops off massively if you’re more than a meter or two away from someone. Even watching someone from a stage is too far. You really want to be no farther than the distance of sharing a meal together. That’s when you’ll learn the most about someone else’s vibe. Of course you’ll learn even more about someone’s vibe if you sleep with them, but you don’t have to take things that far.

Consequently, if you’ve never spent any real time with me in person, then it’s not such a good idea to use me as a role model for any goals I might have achieved that you also want to achieve. If you only know me from my blog posts or podcasts or from watching me give a speech, you don’t really know what my normal daily vibe is like. You’re better off finding someone local who can serve as a role model, someone you can hang out with in person, if only for a short time. If you use primarily Internet-based role models, you’re probably going to spend a lot of time running in circles instead of achieving your goals because it will be very hard for you to lock onto the right vibe. You’ll merely be creating a false projection that doesn’t much resemble the real vibe that matches the goal.

The Process in Review

Here’s what our overall process looks like step by step:

  1. Define your outcome.
  2. Develop a deeper understanding of the new vibe that matches the goal (get face time with people who’ve achieved it, visualize yourself as already there).
  3. Contrast your current vibe with the new vibe to see where you’re out of alignment (use contrasting visualizations, broadcast your desires).
  4. Identify the personal growth work necessary to adjust your vibe (new truths, new connections, smarter application of your power).
  5. Use your favorite processes to do the personal growth work until you achieve enough alignment to experience the flow of inspired action.
  6. Allow the flow of inspired action (not force) to guide you to your goal.
  7. Enjoy the harmonious manifestation of your goal.

It’s a simple process in essence, and it works amazingly well.

No goal is out of reach with this process. But what if you can’t find any role models for a particular goal?

Then you’ll have to rely more heavily on visualization. This may require more experimentation to find the right vibe. It’s one reason that new goals that have never been accomplished before by anyone usually take longer to achieve. It takes a while to figure out the right vibe that aligns with the goal. For example, human beings are always building faster computers than the ones that exist today because the vibe of “building a slightly faster computer” is already known and understood by enough people to make that possible. However, the vibe of “building a sentient android” is not yet understood and integrated, so we don’t have a Mr. Data yet.

Some fun areas for vibrational “play” involve exploring spaces with stretch goals that no one has ever achieved before. Can you figure out the vibe that aligns with the goal? Can you do the personal growth work to become a match for that vibe? Or will you stick to the vibes that represent a “been there, done that” experience for someone else?

What about the action steps? When your vibe becomes a strong match for your goal, you don’t even have to think about the action steps. That would be like telling you how to make dinner. There are countless resources to inform you about the action steps to take. When your vibe is a match for your goal, those action-step resources will tend to effortlessly flow to you. If it seems like the action steps are unknown or a struggle, then you need to do more work on aligning your vibe with your goal.

Now if I could only figure out the vibe of writing a typo-free article on the first try. ;)



Steve Recommends
Here are my recommendations for products and services I've reviewed that can improve your results. This is a short list since it only includes my top picks.

Lefkoe Method - Permanently eliminate a limiting belief in 20 minutes
Site Build It! - Use SBI to start your own money-making website
Getting Rich with Ebooks - Earn passive income from ebooks
PhotoReading - Read books 3 times faster
Paraliminals - Condition your mind for positive thinking and success
The Journal - Record your life lessons in a secure private journal
Sedona Method (FREE audios) - Release your blocks in a few minutes
Life on Purpose - A step-by-step process to discover your life purpose

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