One Cool Way to Achieve More of Your Goals

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions.  But I do consistently set goals and create the step by step plans to reach them.  Goal setting is an absolutely critical part of moving forward in life and in business.  So I’m always intrigued by new ways to stay focused on my goals and turn them into reality.  Today I’m sharing a guest post with you by Susan Joy Schleef that will give you a cool way to achieve more of your own goals.

I’d love your comments on whether you’ve tried this strategy, if you think you might (and check out the free webinar Susan is offering), what you have tried that’s worked or hasn’t worked for you in reaching your goals!

How Personal Slideshows Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

You’ve probably heard people talk about the 3 important keys to success:  mindset, skill set, and ‘get off your assets’!

We all know how our mind can help us succeed or throw up mental blocks to that success.  Often those blocks are happening at a deep, subconscious level where they are difficult to overcome.

Fortunately, there are tools and techniques to help you change the messages coming from your own subconscious.  Some of these are based on ancient knowledge, while others are based on the recent findings of neuroscience research.

Here are a few elements that are known to help you communicate directly with the subconscious mind, whether that’s your own subconscious or someone else’s:

  • Pictures or images
  • Emotions – the stronger, the better
  • Direct, specific, concrete ideas
  • Repetition, repetition, repetition

All four of these key elements are readily available when you create and use a Personal Slideshow!

Ford quote

What is a Personal Slideshow?

A Personal Slideshow is a type of ‘mind movie’ that you can create easily using PowerPoint or a similar slideware application.  It can be used as a visualization tool to help you improve your life.  You could also describe it as a digital vision board.

The First Step:  Writing Goals

The first step is always to get very clear about what you want to achieve.  Have you written down your goals for the coming year?

Writing down goals is different that making New Year’s resolutions.  According to a 2008 survey, 3 out of 4 people who make New Year’s resolutions do not achieve them.  No wonder many people don’t even bother to try!

But, if we have dreams of what we would like to change in our lives, we’re not likely to see those dreams come true unless we first get clear about what it is that we’d like to have happen.

Writing down our goals and desires is a powerful activating step on its own.  Committing them to paper (or to a document on your computer) brings our desires from our subconscious mind into our conscious mind.

Of course, there are many systems and methods for writing effective goals, but for the purposes of this discussion, I will just recommend that you make sure your goals are specific, concrete, and reasonable.

What’s Next?

Now you need to do 2 primary things to start taking action towards accomplishing those written goals:

One is to develop an action plan, breaking down the big goals into smaller steps, and beginning to take the smaller actions that will move you in the direction of completing your goals.

The other is to get your mindset committed to these goals.  Some people call this activating your goals or spinning them up or charging them with emotional energy – taking your goals back down to the subconscious mind which, as we know, can make or break your progress.

This is where we need to use those tools and techniques I mentioned earlier:  pictures, emotions, concrete ideas, and repetition.

Lofholm quote

We Think in Pictures

Our subconscious brain is much older than our conscious brain.  It developed back in the era when human beings had not even developed language, let alone writing.  So this part of our brain pays attention to everything that we see in the world around us and it uses all that sensory information to keep us safe.

If we want to get our subconscious mind involved in something, we need to speak to it in pictures, especially pictures that have an emotional charge or are unique and eye-catching in some way.

For each goal or affirmation that you want to put in your Personal Slideshow, select a bold, dramatic picture that will keep your subconscious mind interested in achieving that goal.

Getting Emotional

Emotions are sometimes described as ‘energy in motion’.  This is why they have such a powerful effect on our subconscious mind.

Remember how your subconscious mind is constantly scanning your environment, watching for anything that could be a threat to your safety.  (Because it is focused on survival, your subconscious also pays attention to a couple of other critical needs:  food and sex.)

To work efficiently, your subconscious mind knows how to go into ‘at ease’ mode.  When everything around you seems to be routine and unthreatening, your subconscious isn’t paying much attention.

But it is always on guard for anything that changes, especially if it is something dramatic, novel, or very emotional and exciting.  Since you want to keep rour subconscious mind actively engaged in your Personal Slideshow, I recommend you add as much novelty, emotion, and excitement as you can.

This could mean inserting unusual pictures that really grab your attention.  It could mean adding music that wakes you up and energizes you.  It might even mean that you’ll want to change your Personal Slideshow over time so that your subconscious mind doesn’t turn it into a routine and stop paying attention!

It also means that you’ll probably want to read your goals out loud every day and read them with all the enthusiasm and emotional energy that you can muster.  Adding body movements can also help to include yet another part of the brain in the whole process.

Eker quote

Let’s Do It Again

Repetition is the other major factor necessary for changing your mindset.  Most people recommend reading your goals twice a day to keep re-activating them in your subconscious.

You may have heard the expression that it takes 30 days to change a habit, but newer research estimates that 90 to 120 days is probably more realistic.

Make a commitment to yourself to watch your Personal Slideshow every morning and every evening for the first 3 months of the new year.  And, if you miss a day, don’t jump off the wagon.  Just be extra vigilant  for the next few days about re-establishing your daily practice.

Creating Your Slides

Here are the basic steps for creating your Personal Slideshow:

  1. Import your goals and/or affirmations from a text document into PowerPoint
  2. Adjust spacing, fonts, and layout for the text on each slide
  3. Insert images on each slide and make them as large as possible
  4. Configure the slides to advance automatically after a certain number of seconds
  5. Set your slideshow to loop repeatedly, if desired
  6. Add transitions between slides, if desired
  7. Add your favorite music to play across all the slides
  8. Compress the slideshow to reduce the file size

Here’s to your success and happiness in the coming year!

If you would like to learn more details about creating a Personal Slideshow, go to and register for a free webinar on January 3rd.

Susan Joy Schleef is a Presentation Strategist who helps her clients get their message into their audience’s brain.  Susan is a Certified Beyond Bullet Points Presenter and is the Founder of Presentations With Results, Inc.  She writes new posts on her blog several times a week at  Susan also hosts a Facebook page at where she helps people learn new ways to use PowerPoint more creatively and efficiently.

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  1. love this idea!! love the subconscious, almost woo woo ways of manifesting!

    i have heard of mind movies before but it was in the context of a sales pitch (there’s a company that does nothing but sell them). but I hadn’t realized I could actually make my own, and I like that.

    other things I’ve tried were writing down a vision story and then recording myself say it along with some affirmations in an audio file. Then I try to listen to it every day.
    Janet recently posted… My Top 5 Transformations for the New YearMy Profile

    1. Mind movies are cool, too. I think I’ve seen that same pitch, Janet. :)

      I like the idea of having my goals in this format so I can “see” them more often.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Do You Dare Join Me for This?My Profile

    2. Janet, I too have seen pitches for “mind movies” where you essentially pay for the shortcut of using their templates and expertise. But for most people it’s not that hard to do it themselves. I like your idea of recording your own voice speaking your goals and then adding that audio track to the slides!

  2. This sounds intriguing. But, I think the critical item missing is to develop KPI (Key Performance Indicators) for your goals against which you monitor your progress. It reminds you to keep on track and affords you positive feedback as you “notch” your belt along the way.
    Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. recently posted… Got Milk (Subsidy)?My Profile

    1. Great point, Roy. I’ve learned to set goals that are within my control (not “grow my list by X” but “take 3 actions daily to grow my list” and not “sign up 10 new clients” but “call X potential clients each day” type of goals) as well as to chunk them into the steps and smaller goals that need to happen along the way. It’s a different perspective but it works amazingly well.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… One Cool Way to Achieve More of Your GoalsMy Profile

  3. Oooh I like this idea. I’ve created vision boards in the past but I love the “take it anywhere” possiblity of a digital personal slideshow. You can fit so much in a short space and period of time!
    Caylie Price recently posted… Want To Succeed? Pick A Theme For 2013My Profile

    1. Exactly! I’ve done vision boards, too, but I love that this I can put on my computers, my Kindle, my phone… :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… The #1 Question You Must Answer Before You Drive Traffic to Your BlogMy Profile

    2. I’m with you on the “take with you anywhere” kind of goal setting, mind movie or vision board. I started making mine in Animoto. This is a great reminder to update mine for the new year. Thanks! ~ Loralee
      Loralee Hutton recently posted… Permission to Make MistakesMy Profile

  4. This is interesting. I will probably do this as a flip book in a notebook or a pretty scrapbook, but I like the idea.

    (Found my way via the blog challenge and absolutely happy I did.)
    Crystal Touchton recently posted… How To Get Your Picture Next To Your Articles In Google Search And Why It’s ImportantMy Profile

    1. A pretty scrapbook is a lovely idea, Crystal.

      And glad you wandered over from the Blog Challenge!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How to Promote Your Blog Posts (Video)My Profile

  5. Thanks for this post. I’m going to make my own slideshow today :) love it!
    Suzi Shumaker recently posted… End of the World PredictionsMy Profile

    1. Great, Suzi! Glad to hear this inspired you. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… One Cool Way to Achieve More of Your GoalsMy Profile

    2. That’s what I like to hear: More people using PowerPoint in new and creative ways!

      1. PowerPoint does so much, doesn’t it? :)
        Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Do You Dare Join Me for This?My Profile

  6. Okay i’m making one and this is a great idea! I want to bust something open in 2013! I signed up for the ultimate blog challenge as well! yikes! lol
    Elizabeth L Maness recently posted… Assist Social Media Top articles 2012My Profile

    1. Welcome to the Challenge, Elizabeth! And have fun creating your slideshow. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… What is Your Big Dream?My Profile

  7. I recommend visualization to my clients, and I *really* love the idea of creating slide shows to help cook up mind movies.

    I’m going to be encouraging people to read this post!
    Mary C. Weaver, CSCS recently posted… The virtue of tiny, unglamorous goalsMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Mary, I appreciate you sharing the post. :)

  8. Some great ideas here and I’d never thought of making a slideshow to represent my goals. Time to get creating and then keep reminding myself of those goals. Thank you

  9. Now that’s something nobody else has brought up, that I’ve seen at least. I’m definitely signing up for the webinar, and I’m sure I can find a couple of uses for it :)
    Linda Ursin recently posted… Runes and ProritiesMy Profile

    1. I hadn’t seen this idea before either, Linda. Susan is very creative. :) Enjoy the webinar!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… What is Your Big Dream?My Profile

    2. Linda, I’ll look forward to “seeing” you tomorrow night!

  10. I forgot that I made a slideshow last year when I finally decided to make the move from Kaua`i to Colorado. I sent it to friends as I way to let them know I had reached a decision.

    I’m in the process of gathering images and words to create a vision board. After reading this, I am reminded that a slide show is another effective and creative way to start the new year.

    Thanks Susan & Michelle. Here’s to a stellar 2013. ~Debra
    Debra Jason recently posted… 24 Things You Don’t Know About Me After 24 Years in BusinessMy Profile

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience with this, Debra! If you’d like to share either of those slideshows on my Facebook page, let me know. It would be fun to see your examples!

    2. What a fun way to share the news, Debra! :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… The #1 Question You Must Answer Before You Drive Traffic to Your BlogMy Profile

  11. What a great idea for using PowerPoint. We are visual creatures, so if we can see it, we can believe it, and we can achieve it.
    Joanne recently posted… It all Starts with the Right Reading Assessments Part IIMy Profile

    1. Joanne, you’re absolutely right – we are visual creatures! It is true that if we see it, we can believe it. But the opposite is also true and that’s where the goals/affirmations slideshow comes in. Thanks for your comments!

  12. I’m already picking out images for my slideshow.

    Great idea.

  13. What a fantastic idea, Michelle. I’ve been toying with doing a video – but don’t really know how. This sounds like a great start towards that! Thank you.
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted… Taking Responsibility For EnergyMy Profile

    1. Oooooh you could totally create the slides then use something like to turn it into a video. Or a fancier tool like Camtasia to do sound and effects. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Ways You Might Be Driving Your Readers Crazy (Without Realizing It!)My Profile

  14. Really interesting, a deeper version of a vision board that has movement very cool project!
    Debbie Deupree recently posted… 10 quick ways to pamper yourself at homeMy Profile

  15. Getting organized is something I’m not very good at. Michelle, I’ll tell you what: if the strategy you provided works for me, I’m sending you a present!

    1. LOL Well, how about that present goes to Susan since this is her great idea. ;) Hope this works well for you, Silas.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Ways You Might Be Driving Your Readers Crazy (Without Realizing It!)My Profile

  16. I find that visual reminders keep me on track. I have the tendency to do things abruptly. I could never get the results I want. So I started taking things step by step and this has kept me motivated until I get to the end.
    Connor Harley recently posted… 7 Hot Businesses TodayMy Profile

    1. Step by step helps a lot when trying to reach a goal, Connor. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Do You Dare Join Me for This?My Profile

  17. This is a great idea! I’ve not tried it, but will definitely be playing with it over the weekend. Thanks!
    Helena Bowers recently posted… Confidence, Personality, SuccessMy Profile

    1. Hey Helena, have fun playing with your slideshow! :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Ways You Might Be Driving Your Readers Crazy (Without Realizing It!)My Profile

  18. This is just such a great idea! thanks for sharing the guest post with your readers, Michelle! I love power point and have been working more with it lately. I have added this project to my list! Looking forward to sharing it on my blog when it’s finished!
    Kimberly ~ Gypsy recently posted… Thank You 2012My Profile

    1. Guest posts are so much fun — I love learning new things and sharing them this way. :)

      Looking forward to seeing your slideshow!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Ways You Might Be Driving Your Readers Crazy (Without Realizing It!)My Profile

  19. I have to try your ideas.
    I learned to do nursing care plans wheich many young nurse hated to do.
    I uindentifiying the problem and how I will will empletment the problem solving skills inot gaols. It is not hard.I have used nursing care plans as my way to set goals and it has worked.
    M-m-m I think it is time to update . thanks.
    Malika Bourne recently posted… 10 Things You Don’t Know About Me.My Profile

    1. Hey Malika, it’s really interesting how many goal setting/achievement strategies are out there, isn’t it? It’s great because we can all find what works for us if we experiment a bit. Very cool that you’ve adapted other strategies.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Ways You Might Be Driving Your Readers Crazy (Without Realizing It!)My Profile

  20. What an awesome way to create the life of your dreams! I am a big believer in the power of positive affirmations. Thanks for sharing this incredibly cool idea Michelle.
    Neil Butterfield recently posted… How to manage urinary incontinence effectivelyMy Profile

  21. Another brilliant post Michelle. I recently heard a sermon on TBN by Joel Oesteen. He told a story about his mother who had cancer of the liver some 30 years ago. She was told that she would not survive the cancer as it had spread throughout her body. Apart from praying, she put up photos of herself when she was healthy all over her home. These visuals helped take her to the place when she was healthy. Today, 30 years later she is alive and well and sits in the front row of Joel’s sermons every week. It makes a powerful case for expressing your goals all over the place.
    Wade Balsdon recently posted… Men’s Health: Superfoods for guysMy Profile

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