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Although you may already have a number of goal setting strategies in place, I'd like to share another one with you that I recently incorporated into my day. The seed for this article was planted on Oct 29, 2008 while attending the Success Blueprint Workshop put on by Master Certified Coach Andrew Barber-Starkey of the ProCoach Success System. Andrew indicated that one of the best ways to build self confidence and to reach your goals is to always look for ways to "Impress Yourself".
Impress Yourself Screen Saver
I find "Impress Yourself" to be one of the better motivational quotes I have heard and wanted to have it somewhere highly visible in my everyday life. I thought the best place to put this motto was on my computer monitor as a screen saver. With this creative idea I would be seeing the motivational quote "Impress Yourself" floating across my computer monitor many times over the day. My plan was that this visual aid would remind me of my previous goal setting activities, so I could refocus my efforts and move forward.
The Generation of an Idea
While I found the screen saver to be a powerful technique, this next idea I found to be even more so! I went to Bob Proctor's weekend seminar "Create Your Own Economy" in May 2009. Both Bob Proctor and Gerry Robert were at this seminar. I find these two entrepreneurs to be great educators and feel inspired and motivated by what they have to say. Fortunately, I was able to obtain a picture of myself with each of these men at this conference. I planned to use these pictures as one of my desktop themes. I knew seeing these pictures on a daily basis would help me in the area of self improvement and motivation.
This presented me with a dilemma. Up to this point, I had been rotating the desktop wallpaper picture on my computer screen on a semi regular basis, generally using my children individually or together at different events or phases of their lives. As I did not think my children would appreciate being displaced from my monitor, I decided to create a simple photo collage of my children and educators.
A Simple Picture Collage
In my first attempt to produce my own free desktop wallpaper featuring my children and educators, I used Microsoft Word. I added the pictures to one page of a Word document and then added the motivational quote "Impress Yourself". I copied and saved the file in Paint as a .jpg and used it as my computer wallpaper. This simple picture collage inspired me on a daily basis as I saw it every time I was working on the computer.
The Big Picture Collage Idea
Around the same time as I was working on my simple Word collage, my nine year old daughter was making a massive photo collage using PowerPoint. She was pasting numerous pictures onto the same slide and overlapping them. As I watched her create her masterpiece, my mind raced to create one of my own. It became immediately apparent that creating a picture collage in PowerPoint was much faster and easier than using Word. You can easily drag pictures around the slide, arrange their layout as you wish and overlap the pictures.
Building My First Large Photo Collage
For my first large picture collage, I added about 75 pictures to a standard PowerPoint slide, but I soon learned that unless your computer monitor is the same length and width as a standard piece of paper the photo collage will be skewed. I changed the size of my PowerPoint slide to match the exact size of my computer monitor screen, added more pictures, a couple of motivational quotes and saved this picture collage as one of my desktop backgrounds.
For a standard 19" LCD computer monitor, which has a viewing area of around 180 square inches, I estimate you could be looking at between 75 to 150 pictures instead of just one. My largest picture is about nine square inches while my smallest is about one square inch. You may think that a small picture one square inch in size is too small but I find that this is all you need to prompt yourself. For example, I have a small 1 inch square picture of a multi family house on my picture collage. As soon as I look at this picture, I immediately see and visualize a house I would like to build for low income earners. The rooms are small but it is a home which people can afford and with ownership hopefully comes the building of self esteem. While you may not totally be able to pick out the details in the photo, the purpose of the picture is to trigger your mind to remember your goals. I find pictures of this size address this concept very well.
Personal Goal Setting
I find that there are two major advantages of including your goals in your computer desktop wallpaper. First, all of your past accomplishments and future goals are right in front of you on a daily basis. Seeing what you have already accomplished assures you that you are capable of creating more for yourself. Second, the time required to review your goals in picture format is quite quick. For instance, I have a dream book which contains what I want to accomplish in the future. However, as I am generally under time constraints, I rarely look at my dream book. Yet everyday I am reminded of my goals when I am working on my computer through my computer wallpaper photo collage. In essence, my computer desktop wallpaper has become my vision board as well as my dream book.
Personal growth educators generally want you to review your goals as much as possible. By using this photo collage technique, I have my whole dream book and vision board in front of me every day. I think this is a great goal setting tip and a good self improvement and motivation technique. This simple idea is not only easy to implement but fun to put together. Additionally, it very quickly reminds me of my goals on a daily basis. This gentle reminder tends to stop me from doing things which do not advance me and focus me on what needs to get done to achieve my personal goals.
One of my main goals is to become a better stock trader. Since viewing the phrase "Impress Yourself" and looking at my photo collage on a daily basis, I have tried very hard to always use extreme discipline when trading stocks. I find I can do this best by controlling risk, always having stops in place and by generally limiting the time I am in the stock market. For me, just a slight shift in mental attitude has improved my ability to trade stocks.
What small shift in thinking do you need to dramatically change your life around? What goals are you searching for? Can you use this self improvement and motivation technique in your life?
Are you ready to start to build your first picture collage and use this simple idea to inspire you on a daily basis which hopefully will lead you to an improved life? When building your photo collage include the pictures that you think will best motivate you to succeed. You can also include inspiring, motivational quotes to further guide you.
In a picture collage, you can put a large picture on the bottom and then put a number of pictures on top of it. Simply send the large picture to the back. In this manner you can increase the number of pictures on the slide. If you are unsure about how to build a picture collage in PowerPoint or Word I have put the required information on my website.
I hope looking at this type of photo collage on a daily basis is as inspirational to you as it has been for me.