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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.