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How to really achieve a goal

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Ivy Lynn, a 51-year-old retired elementary school teacher, was recovering from hip-replacement surgery when she began picturing herself swimming laps.

Swimming—a sport she’d never considered previously—was part of her rehabilitation, and “I fell in love with being in the water,” she says.

She began telling people she was going to be a competitive swimmer. She created a vision board, a collage of cut-out pictures of water and famous swimmers. She could see herself with a “killer swimmer’s body,” swimming against the clock.

Sure enough, she achieved her goal and came in fourth place at her first swim meet.

With one goal achieved, she set the bar even higher: “I want to swim in waters all over the world like the Dead Sea and the Arabian Ocean. I told my husband that he should start thinking about packing for Yemen around July.”

Bottom line: Set a goal by creating an image in your mind of what the achievement would look and feel like. Make it vivid with a vision board. If you can clearly see it, you can do it.

— Adapted from Hard Goals, Mark Murphy.

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