John Santangelo on Envisioning and Clarifying Your Personal Goals for 2010
Susan Bratton

Episode 133 - John Santangelo on Envisioning and Clarifying Your Personal Goals for 2010

John, one of DishyMix’s favorite guests, is back again. Just in time for 2010, John teaches you how to figure out what you REALLY WANT. What are your real desires? What do you really want your life to be like? How can you “vision” what you truly yearn for?  How can you keep from getting caught up in where you are now and clear your head to think about what you really want?

Once you have an inkling of what really makes you crazy passionate with hunger to have in your life, how do you make these outcomes clear, achievable, congruent, self-maintained and purposeful?

And then, how can you make a personal commitment to succeed in achieving those goals? Why don’t most of us succeed in accomplishing what we really want? And what distinguishes the “high achievers” who successfully realize their goals? And how can you model their behavior? What tools work best to keep your goals top of mind and focus?

John shares a free Goal Setting Worksheet with DishyMix listeners free from his powerful product, “Speak Up with Power.” Just email him [email protected] to get a copy.  And be sure to listen to the next episode where you’ll get a free audio lesson from John, “Goal Setting Success Formula: Getting What You Really Want.”



Susan Bratton: Welcome to DishyMix. I’m your host, Susan Bratton. And this is being recorded just before New Year’s Eve 2009. And a couple things; one, you know, I live in the Bay area and a lot of my friends are doing these meditative journeys for New Year’s Eve and they’re spending quiet solitude time alone to think about their goals and their strategies and what they want from their life so they can manifest their abundance. And I am going to go to a rocking party instead because I don’t need to stay home. I already know what my goals are. I have nine of them. They’re the goals for the next part of my life, and the reason I have then and the reason can go drink champagne and I don’t need to stay home and meditate is because John James Santangelo, whom I’ve had on the show before, is my goal setting guru. And I just thought it would be a really fun treat to actually bring John back on the show… You know, he came on a couple of, maybe a month or so ago, and we did a two part series on getting what you want and how the idea for getting what you want comes from two things: being really clear about what you want, and then understanding who needs to help you get where you want to go and how to ask them, how to create repertoire and articulate your needs. So you probably, if you haven’t heard it, going to want to go back and listen to that two part series. That also came with a bonus called The Stress Reduction Guide of Visualization. But on today’s show I wanted to have John back on because, you know, I published his product, it’s called Speak Up With Power. It’s a system that teaches you how to get what you want. And it’s really two parts; it’s understanding what you want and then knowing that you need the support of others and how you can ask them to support you. We kind of started out backward. We started out with the how do you ask people to support you. For New Year’s I thought it would be really good for us to talk about goal setting clarity and how you really, why most people don’t succeed and what high achievers do and how you can get these things that John calls “well formed outcomes”. And so I’ve brought John on the show today, and we’re going to talk about goal setting and the clarity of getting really dialed in. Now John, of course he wrote Speak Up With Power – that’s at And I got to put a plug in here too; if you want a discount on that product don’t forget to use promo code ‘dishy’, because you get a hundred dollars off ‘cause you know it’s our product. He’s the founder of a company called Maximum Success Empowerment. He’s a fabulous speaker. He’s an author of course. He’s a performance coach, and he leads amazing seminars on getting what you want, learning NLP, a wide range of things. So I’m going to get him on the show, and we’re going to talk for you today about how we can help you get clarity around your goals. And I’ve asked John to keep it at a personal level because you can always apply this to your business, but I want you to take this moment in time to think about what you want in your life for 2010. So lets get John on the show and get started. Welcome John.

John James Santangleo: Welcome Susan.

Susan Bratton: How are you today?

John James Santangelo: Good day dear.

Susan Bratton: Any day that I get to spend time with you is a good day John.

John James Santangelo: Thank you Susan.

Susan Bratton: Thank you for coming back on. You’re becoming a regular DishyMix guest. Soon I’m going to have to have you start hosting the show.

John James Santangelo: Ah, that’d be nice.

Susan Bratton: Like you don’t have enough to do. So lets get right to it. One of the things that you teach John is this NLP, which we talked about when we last got together. But just as a level set, explain how you married goal setting and success with NLP as the foundation for what you do to teach people how to figure out what they want and go get it.

John James Santangelo: Well the simplistic form or the (unintelligible) explanation of NLP really is how we think, how we feel and how we behave in doing the things that we do excellently every day, and so NLP really is just a model of how we do what we do. And so when you break it down to its core essence, it’s really kind of like the operating system or your brain, and if you knew how to utilize how you think and how you behave more effectively every day you’d get more of what you want; so therefore setting goals and setting direction that allows you to move towards them easily.

Susan Bratton: So you have a little, kind of a success formula that you’ve come up with where you’ve married NLP and goal setting. So tell us about your success formula. What are the kind of five basic components of it?

John James Santangelo: Well the success formula is really based upon NLP, and I really just used it to take your performance, what you do every single day just to a higher level. And the five steps are know your outcome, take action, have sensory too to know what you’re doing, have some behavioral flexibility, and then operate from what we call a ‘physiology of excellence’, and really what this means is know what your outcome is, what specifically do you want. And I think that’s such a powerful thing because I believe in the studies that I’ve been doing over the last 20 years and researching and studying excellence in people, the biggest problems that we have – and I guess you could say in your personal life and also in how you take business – is people are not clear or don’t know what exactly they want and they don’t know how to get out of their own way. I mean it’s really kind of, in a simplistic form it sounds kind of stupid, but it really is that simple. Know what you want and then take action. But how many of us really get stuck? We get stuck in just knowing what we want. And so the first step is know your outcome, know exactly what it is that you want. I mean I can equate it to, I say to my clients “Pretend you’re a travel agent, what’s the first question I’m going to ask you, is where do you want to go?” So that’s relevant in a first step. And the second is take action. What are you doing every day that’s moving you towards or away from your clarity, your goal? Third is the awareness the awareness sensory key. Do you know what it is that you’re doing and not doing, what’s working and what’s not working? The unfortunate thing – which I deal with a lot of coaching when I coach people – is people aren’t really concerned or I guess focused on what it is that’s working. Most people focus on what’s not working enough, replicate the same behavior over again, which are mistakes, bad decisions, empowering other people to control their destiny or shape their future rather than themselves. And fourth, which I believe is one of the most important tools, is learning behavioral flexibility, is doing something different everyday. I mean again, do the same thing over and over again, as Einstein said, the definition of sanity is producing the same result. So it’s learning how to have behavioral flexibility. And that fifth step really about physiology of excellences, are you operating from your body? Are you paying attention to your breath? Are you paying attention to how you use your body language and how you move throughout the day, because feeling how you feel throughout the day helps generate decisions. And so when you’re in the negative state you produce negative decisions, when you’re in more empowering state or a feeling state you create better decisions, and that shapes what it is that you’re going to do; thus shapes the destiny or the outcome that you ultimately want to have.

Susan Bratton: One of the things that I did when I went through Speak Up With Power and I figured out what my goals were is I realized that it’s very difficult to take the time to actually do nothing but think about what you really want. And you talk a lot about clarity of outcomes and the way that you express and state it. And I want to talk about that for a second, and then I want to come back to okay, there’s this importance of being very crisp about stating a goal, but then I want to go, I want to take that one step back to how do I actually sit down and figure out what I want…

John James Santangelo: Mm hmm.

Susan Bratton: So talk about the stating with clarity first before we go to that even deeper phase.

John James Santangelo: Okay. Well, you know, let me put it in a really simple term that… I mean the more basic it is the simpler it is to understand. The challenge with life is that fear holds us back from getting what we want, and second is we don’t know what that is.

Susan Bratton: Right, the thing is I think for a lot of us, for me personally, I hadn’t even taken the time to think about what I really wanted. So it wasn’t that I was afraid of it; I didn’t even know. And the hardest part was thinking it up.

John James Santangelo: That’s a dichotomy, because they work together like a teeter tauter. You know what you want, but you’re afraid to get it. Then if you’re afraid to get it you don’t think about what you want. So you got to go at it with, what I teach my clients and students is “What’s easiest for you to discover here? Can we focus on what it is that you want or do you want to eliminate and build more competency so you can then write down your goals with more clarity?” So they work hand in hand. It’s just basically, again, it’s a two step process; knowing what you want and getting out of your own way. The one thing – and you said it perfectly – most people have a challenging time deciding what it is that they want, getting clear about their goals, because a lot of people never really thought about it in depth like that. It’s surface level stuff that we think about every day. It’s said that we have 50,000 thoughts a day, and 98 percent of them were the same as yesterday. So what are you going to get tomorrow? The same as today, and next week and next year and the decade… we replicate, kind of like the movie Groundhog Day, over and over again, the same day, so it’s stepping into that 2 percent of the unknown and risking, “Wow, I could fail at this or ridicule or people laughing at me. That’s not possible”, your own self dialogue, your own self internal thought that says that’s not possible – “I’m tool old”, “I don’t have enough money”, “I don’t have enough time”, “I don’t have the resources” – whatever that is… And I’ll tell people “Just set all that crap aside for a moment and kind of like pretend you’re Walt Disney for a moment, and just dream.” And what would that…

Susan Bratton: Exactly.

John James Santangelo: be like if your life was just perfect and you had everything? And just forgo all the garbage that you take along with it, and just pretend. Because pretending is easy; you can play and just pretend because we’re just pretending in life anyway really. So it’s just a matter of just for a moment paint the picture of how you want your future to become, and we’ll worry about the consequences and the fear and all the confidence later on, but just go ahead and paint the picture. And even then some people still have a challenge with it, so I’ll say “Okay, great. Tell me what you don’t want to have happen”, because from there at least we have a starting point. And they say, “Okay, if that’s true, then what would be the opposite of that? What would be the flipside of that coin”, because people can always tell me what they don’t want. It’s always easy because they’ve gone through that significant pain before, and they don’t want to go through it again, so that’s what they tend to focus on most is “I don’t want that, I don’t want ever that have happen again”, like a bad relationship, a bankruptcy, an illness or whatever that is. So what would be the opposite of that, and get real clear about that. and so, and again – you’re going to lead me into this…

Susan Bratton: Oh it’s okay. We have our plan, but you know what our plan is. It’s okay, go ahead.

John James Santangelo: So what we call in NLP is the keys to achievable outcome, and we run them through these steps, we run our goals through these steps. Number one, state it in the positive. Know what you want and state it how you, not that you don’t want it – because a lot of people say “I don’t want to be fat.”

Susan Bratton: Yeah, use one of your statements as an example so when you’re going through how to set it up it’ll make more sense. Say a goal statement.

John James Santangelo: Okay, I’ll give you an example. I’ll talk about health because I think that’s one of the important issues – health, relationships and money. Health, some people are out of shape and they’ll say “I don’t want to be fat anymore. I don’t want to be lethargic.” Well the brain, because the brain only focuses on what you put in front of it, cannot think of a negation, and a negation is the word ‘don’t’, ‘shouldn’t’, ‘can’t’, things like that. So if I said to you “Don’t think of the blue tree”, what does your unconscious mind have to focus on?

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

John James Santangelo: It has to focus on the blue tree before it can’t think about thinking about the blue tree. So you can’t think about what you don’t want to think about without thinking about it. Think about it.

Susan Bratton: Smarty. Right, so you don’t say “I don’t want to be fat”; you say “I want to be 30 pounds lighter, and I want to have really good muscle tone and I want all my clothes to fit me. I want to be able to pull anything out of my closet that looks good. I want to be hot”, whatever, right?

John James Santangelo: Right…

Susan Bratton: That’s what you do right?

John James Santangelo: And so let me take that a step further, rather than saying “I want to be 30 pounds lighter”, your unconscious mind has to assume that you’re 30 pounds heavier.

Susan Bratton: Oh, so you want to say “I want to weight 120 pounds.”

John James Santangelo: Exactly.

Susan Bratton: Uh huh.

John James Santangelo: “I want to be healthy and fit. I eat only great foods. I weight 125 pounds” or if it’s a man “I weigh 185 pounds and 6 percent body fat.” You know, people, you know, we want to use all three modalities – visual, auditory and kinesthetic. So visual, “So I look good when I see myself in the mirror. Other people tell me” – that’s an auditory – “and I feel great inside”, so you want to use all sensory modalities when you’re creating your goal. And the second step is specify the present situation, where are you now? I mean so you want to be able to – again, if we go back to the travel agent, it’s “Okay, where do you want to go, but where are we starting from?” We need to know that, how to get us there. Third is be real clear, again, what it is that you want. What will you hear, what will you see, what will you feel when you paint that picture. And we call that evidence procedure, and I love this because it’s a very important step that most people have probably never heard of before when they use a goal setting formula, and the secret really is this: how are you going to know when you have your goal? What’s going to tell you in your environment that you’ve achieved it? Now that seems kind of, like, strange, but I’ll give you an example. If somebody said to me, “Well I want to go to Hawaii”, and I say “Great”, how are you going to know when you’ve gotten that goal? Well some people would say, “Well, went on my Internet and I’m giving my credit card and I’m booking the travel.” No, no, no… Other people say “No, no, no, when I’m on the plane and I’m traveling from”, lets say, “LAX to Hawaii, that’s when I know.” Somebody says, “No, no, no, that’s when I get off the plane and I smell those beautiful flowers that fill the air as soon as you open the airplane door.” Say, “No, no, no, when I’m on the beach and I’m drinking a Mai Tai”. And somebody else will say, “No, it’s when I’m home and the vacation’s over and I’m explaining it to everyone how wonderful it was and it’s logged into my memory.” That’s called evidence procedure. Until we recognize what that is the brain doesn’t understand when the goal arrives. And a lot of people – which we’ve seen this in the environment where we passed up opportunities, because you don’t recognize when they’re in front of you. So we want to build that in, and that’s part of number four. And number five, is it congruently desirable for you? Meaning is it good for you, is it good for other people and is it good for the community or the planet? Because if it’s not good for either one of those it’s not going to work, it’s going to feel out of touch. People get a sense inside their body – men call it gut instinct, women call it intuition – that it just doesn’t feel right. And if it doesn’t feel right you’re not going to move towards it. And number six, is it self initiated and maintained, and to give you a good example of that is people say “I want to quit smoking.” And, you know, your parents or your friends or your spouse, they say “You need to quit. You’ve got to quit or I’m going to leave you. You’ve got to quit or you’re going to die. The doctor’s going to tell you…” Well until it’s maintained or initiated by you, it’s not going to happen. And that’s what we call commitment. Number seven, is it appropriately contextualized, meaning is it good for you here, now, in this time, where and how are you going to have it and with whom you choose to have it with. Number eight is what resources are required? I mean a lot of people don’t even have the skills yet, if it’s going to (unintelligible) a business, maybe it’s going to lose weight and they don’t have the knowledge yet or the equipment or a gym membership or whatever that is, it’s what resources they need. And number nine, is it ecological, meaning for what purpose do you choose to have this? And what will you gain or use from having it or not having it? And does it work in your environment and in the particular environment that you’ve created for you life? If you run these goals through these nine concepts, the majority of the time it’s going to become real clear, the unconscious mind, it’ll start moving towards it. And then the next step is obviously ridding the fear, what holds you back. And that’s also a big chunk of it.

Susan Bratton: So lets come back to the fear piece in a second. What I want to do is I want to just wrap this up to go to a break and thank my sponsors.

John James Santangelo: Sure.

Susan Bratton: I want to remind you that we transcribe these shows. And so all you have to do is going to the DishyMix page at, and my wonderful transcriber will have all of these outlined in that transcript, so you have an ability to print it out and come back to it. And I want to also remind you that, so what the two things are that John talked about here are 1.) give yourself permission to dream, to have fantasies about what you want. Rather than starting from where you are now, project out what it could be like, and start writing those down, and get a pen and get a paper and brainstorm as many things as you think it would be nice to have, fun to have, you’d like to have – what is, what could your life be like, you know, in possibility. And then I think it’s helpful to start rank ordering the things that are the most important to you, because obviously you have to put your energy toward some things and you can’t do all things. There’s tons of great ideas, tons of places you can go with your life. So what are the couple of things that you’re going to really wake up every morning thinking about and putting on your calendar and scheduling time for and finding mnemonics and devices that remind you to put your energy there instead of into the stupid things your brain wants to do ‘cause they’re easy, like email or lying around watching television. And so we’ll have the keys to the achievable outcomes – that’s eight points that John just went through. But I just want to encourage you to think about it from more of a dreamy state to start, ‘cause I think that a lot of people don’t really talk about that and it’s key. So John, thank you for that. We’re going to go to a break, thank our sponsors, and we’ll be right back.

Susan Bratton: We’re back and I’m your host, Susan Bratton. We’re talking about your goals for 2010 and beyond with John James Santangelo, author of Speak Up With Power and founder of Maximum Success Empowerment. So John you have a little gift for DishyMix fans and listeners on today’s show. Tell us what you’re going to give us to help us and how we get it.

John James Santangelo: It’s a three to four page goal setting worksheet that will clarify the steps that we’re talking about, and they can just fill in the blanks and get real clear about what it is, and also help them achieve a little bit more confidence and move through some of the fear. And all they have to do is email me at [email protected].

Susan Bratton: Awesome! Just ask for the goal setting worksheet. This is exactly what I used to come up with my nine goals. And I have them all written down, and they’re all with super clarity, stated in the positive, prioritized, and I look at them…

John James Santangelo: Yeah.

Susan Bratton: once or twice a week, and I know that some of them have to wait, that they’re longer term and some of them are short term. Some of them I can shwoop them forward a little bit at a time, others I have to stop and put all my focus on it to make it happen. And it’s a lot of fun to go through the worksheets. But thank you for offering that up to people; I appreciate it. What I want to find out now is, lets just say we’ve done our dreaming, we’ve come up with our goals, we’ve rank ordered them, we’ve gotten really clear on them, we’ve set them in the positive, we’ve got them on our worksheet – why don’t most people ever succeed in achieving their goals, and how do these people who do, what is it that they do? How can we copy it?

John James Santangelo: Well that’s truly the question of the year I guess, of the decade is what stops you? It’s really what stops you. It’s not what moves you, it’s what stops you. And the interesting thing is because I’ve done a lot of behavioral study in how, the process of how people do what they do… The funny thing is when you think about your life, lets take – I love using metaphors – lets take an example like your to-do list everyday; “I’ve got to go pick up the dry cleaning”, “I’ve got to go pick up a jar of peanut butter”, “I’ve got to pick up the kids from school”, “I’ve got to finish this”, blah, blah, blah. Why is it, the question I have is why is it those seem so easy to do and we just check them off our list, but when we put something a little bit bigger that stretches up out of our comfort zones, all of the sudden find our stagnant or debilitated or frozen in time or because of fear? Why is that? Well what I think is that because when we have much more emotions or emotionally invested in the goal, we have more to lose. Not lose physically or financially, but lose mentally and emotionally. So therefore it’s the feelings that are generated by thinking about what it is that we want. So when you think about something… I mean some of your listeners right now, let me ask you a question. What is it, what is the one thing that you’d like to accomplish in the coming year, 2010? One thing, as simple or as grand as it may be, what is that one thing just off the top of your head? Now when you think about it, what are some of the obstacles or the feelings that are generated as soon as you think about that goal, because those are the obstacles that you’re going to have to contend with in moving forward everyday. It’s those simple little things that we think, and usually it’s our internal dialogue, the self doubt, which really comes back to this one simple concept. It’s how we feel about ourselves, our self worth. It’s simply our self-esteem.

Susan Bratton: You know, when you asked that question and I answered it, it wasn’t about confidence or self-esteem, and I wonder if a lot of people listening kind of feel the same way, ‘cause I have a big kind of overachiever listener base…

John James Santangelo: Sure.

Susan Bratton: But what I was thinking about was that for some of us, we have such lofty goals. You know, my personal goal is so lofty that it’s going to take an incredible amount of work. I know that it’s about execution; yet I don’t know which of the things that I’m going to do are actually the ones that are going to result in the success that I want, because it could be the combination, it could be one or two of those five things, it could be none of those, and I still haven’t quite figured it out. So I actually get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the effort that it’s going to take to do it. That’s what overwhelms me. Is that common?

John James Santangelo: Yes because that still is the umbrella of fear.

Susan Bratton: Right, it is. It’s fear; it’s like “Oh my god, how am I going to have the energy to do everything that I think it might take to figure this out ‘cause it’s such a big audacious goal?”

John James Santangelo: And just in that statement, it’s energy, that means one thing….

Susan Bratton: What does it mean?

John James Santangelo: Time.

Susan Bratton: Right.

John James Santangelo: I’m going to delineate time in one area to put it over in another area. And so therefore something’s going to suffer over here, but I take that time and prioritize it over here. And it might be my relationship. My relationship might – and all of the sudden the wheels start turning unconsciously – “Well my relationship might suffer. My spouse or my girlfriend or my kids might not understand. My health may suffer because I’m not going to be able to work out as much.” So all this starts churning in the background and we don’t really understand that it’s fear based that holds us back. If I did…

Susan Bratton: I think it’s the fear that we do all the work and it still wouldn’t, and I still wouldn’t figure it out.

John James Santangelo: That’s the next step in – “Okay, what happens if I take my time from here and put it over there and it doesn’t work? Oh my god.”

Susan Bratton: Yeah, what happens?

John James Santangelo: And then, “Oh, I can’t have that failure right now because I’m going to spend too much money. If I spend money there I can’t put it here, and I need it here, I can’t….” So all this starts… The mind plays out the scenario like a chess game.

Susan Bratton: Yeah, right. It’s a fixed pie mentality, and your mind wants to conserve your resources.

John James Santangelo: Absolutely…

Susan Bratton: Right.

John James Santangelo: And conserve your emotions first.

Susan Bratton: Yeah, not get you bummed out, not get you overwhelmed.

John James Santangelo: Right.

Susan Bratton: Because you know how much there is to do to make the goal actually happen. You know there’s real work involved in getting a really good goal done.

John James Santangelo: Right.

Susan Bratton: So what do you do about that?

John James Santangelo: Well here’s what I found, and I do this right now weekly with a lot of different people, and I’ll say this: lets figure – and this can be done so quickly and we want to… Here’s the thing: I used to do a lot of fitness training 15 years ago and I understood that if it was easy people would do it. But people come in with “I want to work out. I’m going to work out six hours a day, I’m going to go to the gym for seven days in a row”, and they kill themselves and nothing happens after that. We made out most money for three months of the year, because when people have these resolutions it’s the same thing. Take your goal, you want to break it down into manageable chunks, and we’ve heard that saying “How do you eat an elephant? One bit at a time.” So what I’ll say to my clients is, “Write down one goal. Lets work on one because success builds on success and also builds your confidence and will alleviate fear. So lets figure out the one goal.” And this is in the goal sheet also, the goal setting worksheet, so if you want it email me at [email protected].

Susan Bratton: Thank you.

John James Santangelo: Pick the one goal – I know Susan you did it with a lot of different goals, but just for this instance we’re going to use an example of one goal – break it down into ten things that have to happen in order for that task or that goal to succeed.

Susan Bratton: Yeah, I really liked that part of your program.

John James Santangelo: Okay, now here’s the next step…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

John James Santangelo: which I don’t do in the worksheet because it’s a personal thing with me when people coach me. I’ll say now those ten things that you write down can be broken down into smaller tasks. It could be ten, could be twenty, it could be thirty things everyday. It could be as simple as mailing an envelope or picking up the phone and calling a friend. Now the goal itself may have hundreds – maybe have ten, maybe have hundreds – of different tasks. So what I’ll tell my clients when I’m coaching with them is “Every Monday morning I want a list of ten things that you’re going to do this week to move you in that direction of one of those major tasks.” So it does two things; it gets them clear about what they have to do and keeps them accountable. And then all of the sudden I find these clients are starting to move forward so fast because the manageable chunks, the small tiny tasks are easy to do everyday. They’re simple; to pick up the phone or go to the post office or go create a letter that they have to write, something that takes no effort and no brains at all to do it in a way there’s no fear involved. And all of the sudden these small manageable tasks add up to hundreds and hundreds of little things that need to happen before your goal can be achieved.

Susan Bratton: And so is this what replicating higher achievers is like? Is it the clarity and then the breaking it down into the elephant sized bites?

John James Santangelo: Absolutely. I mean, you think about…

Susan Bratton: That’s what separates us?

John James Santangelo: Yes…

Susan Bratton: That’s what separates the achiever from the…

John James Santangelo: Go to your extreme here…

Susan Bratton: Okay.

John James Santangelo: Lets think about the big picture thinkers – Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey. They don’t do everything everyday, but the things that they do they do it – and take this contextually – they do it non emotionally. They know they have to do it to get it done to where they need to be. Or they’ll have what we call ‘farming out’, we farm out our business if it’s a letter or a phone call or things like that, because we don’t have the time, to have other people do those little tasks that need to get done. That’s how high achievers get things done. Now some of you listening on this show are probably going “Yes, that’s exactly what I do”, and that’s exactly how you do it. So what I do is I teach people, if they come to me coaching for business or personal, if I step into their life and say “Lets find areas that you’re always succeeding and you’re doing it effortlessly and effectively. And all we’re going to do is model that same behavior in this other area.” And so then they’re like “Wow, that’s important. I never realized that before. I can do it in my relationship, but I have a hard time doing it at work”, or “I have an easy time doing it at work, but I have a hard time doing it in my relationship.” So we do what we call ‘cross contextualizing’ behavior. We take it in one area and put it into another and adjust it to where it fits so that the fear or the behavior or the clarity becomes a heck of a lot easier to work with.

Susan Bratton: Okay, last question. How do we keep from letting our goals fall by the wayside and our mind being usurped by the mundane tasks of picking up peanut butter? How do we commit to our vision?

John James Santangelo: Yeah. You said it so eloquently before is you have to prioritize. You know some things during the day have to get done – you have to pick up the mail, you got to go get the dry cleaning, you got to buy food, you got to do those things. That’s called maintenance. The unfortunate thing is that people spend so much time on maintenance, just maintaining their life, rather than growing their life. And that really is the distinction. What are you doing everyday that’s growing your life? Now the next step, as you were just asking, is how do you keep it in front of you? How do you keep it in front of you everyday so it’s to remind you that I’m not just…. Dwayne Dyer said this – I love this – he said, “Life is not about striving, it could be about arriving.” Stop striving every single day just to maintain our life. It’s arriving at some place that we feel good about, because in the end life is just about the memories that we create.

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

John James Santangelo: It’s all about the memories we create. And how do you create those memories? By stretching yourself, and reminding yourself everyday that you’re here for a vision, you have a purpose. And that’s the whole spiritual side of it.

Susan Bratton: I want to add something to that. I don’t know if you know this, but one of the products that we’re working on that’s like yours, like Speak Up With Power, is with Dr. Eric Maisel. She’s doing one called The Meaning Solution, and it’s about how to figure out your life purpose. And my favorite part about it – we haven’t launched this product yet, but we’re working on it now – he has created pages in one of the workbooks in the product of values…

John James Santangelo: Right.

Susan Bratton: And he asks you to rank order…

John James Santangelo: Yeah.

Susan Bratton: the things that are your values…

John James Santangelo: Yeah.

Susan Bratton: and that’s what you use as the foundation, as a part of the foundation for figuring out what’s going to create a meaningful life for you. It’s based on the things that actually are meaning making for you.

John James Santangelo: Yeah.

Susan Bratton: For example, a couple of mine are I really value traditions, like family traditions like Christmas and holidays and having certain meals and decorating and, you know, that stuff. I also value taking pictures ‘cause I’m visual, so I take a lot of pictures – you know, my Flickr page is crazy. So I’m still going through his product myself, but what you do, which is dream your goals and then clarify your goals, make them super actionable and accountable, break them down into manageable chunks and figure out how to keep them in front of you – which I want to come back to – what he does is kind of come in at a different level, equally valuable, which is it’s great to have goals but don’t forget to have the ones that create meaning, what’s your purpose, what are you here on earth to do.

John James Santangelo: Right.

Susan Bratton: And I think that has to be a part of the conversation. So when we’re talking about, when you and I, John, are talking about our goals, I think you and I are thinking about it not as “I’m going to get a Jaguar and I’m going to get this new title and I’m going to earn $400,000 dollars a year” and that kind of stuff. I think, one of the things I wanted to clarify about our conversation is that you and I know each other so well that it’s almost inherent in our conversation, that a part of that is about creating meaning and living your purpose…

John James Santangelo: Absolutely.

Susan Bratton: But I wanted to state that in the show because it’s important.

John James Santangelo: Well I can tell you this Susan, that’s going to be a great product because, for this reason: that chunk is part of the fear, part of what I teach. Because what we call in NLP, they’re meta programs. They’re content free filters, there’s value. As you just said, lets just take a certain area of your life – lets say health. You prioritize what’s most important to you, that’s the question we ask. I would ask you, “Susan, what’s most important about your health?” You’re going to give me a list, a criteria of what it is, a list of certain things that are important to you regarding your health. And again, it’s different in every area. So then we prioritize those values. I can tell you this; the top three values, what’s most important to you - whether it be your work, your relationship, your health - you’re not going to pass your, you’re going to pass your decisions through those criteria or values, and you’re not going to make the decision based upon what’s most important inherent in the priority of that list. So if lets say tradition was important to you and you’re living your life and expanding your growth, and something came along that really didn’t push and wasn’t a priority for traditions for you, you’re not going to exclude that decision, and that all is unconscious. And so he’s right. And so what I do when I coach with people is I simply ask them this – which conceptualizes in a bucket… It’s “Give me…” – and a lot of people go “I’m not doing that work” – I’ll say “Give me 100 reasons why you’re so committed to having this goal”, because a lot of their values are going to come up at that point.

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

John James Santangelo: And it’s going to tell me something else about them; are they willing to do whatever it takes to get the goal? And very few people are. Because most of them will go “I can’t do 100. I could do 50”, and I’ll say “Great, do 50.” But… I had a client come back and go “Okay great, I wrote two things 50 times.” And I went “Great! I never said how to do it. I just wanted you to do it.”

Susan Bratton: Cheater.

John James Santangelo: ‘Cause that’s going to tell me you’re not willing to do what it takes and I’m not going to work with you if you’re going to waste my time and yours.

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

John James Santangelo: So they ‘whys’, they ‘whys’ are the reasons why we move towards them, and that creates purpose and drives your result.

Susan Bratton: And John end the show with what we can do to keep it in front of us. How can we keep our goals top of mind?

John James Santangelo: This is so dorky.

Susan Bratton: I like dorky. Dorky we can do.

John James Santangelo: I have, I have 50 Post-It notes in front of me on my desk, and I write at the top of every little Post-It note “December Goals”, “January Goals”, and I’ll write five or ten of them down or tasks that I need to create this month. Again, it’s breaking the big goals down to manageable chunks, and I write them there. And so I just cross them off every week or every month, and then I’ll take the Post-It down, I’ll put a new one up next month and carry over December’s into January, so I know exactly where I’m at. And like, I have a big flip chart, you know, paste it flip chart up on my closet door and it has the bigger picture of the overview of what I’m supposed to do and I cross stuff off. So that’s, but I’m, again, like you, I’m a very visual person. I need to see that, you know. Other people, if they’re very auditory, is maybe they can leave themselves a cell phone note on their phone or a voicemail to themselves or have somebody accountable to them every week; you know, their parent or their spouse call them up and say “How you doing? What’s going on? How’s your goal coming? Did you finish that task?” Whatever you need to do, think in creative ways to keep it in front of you and be held accountable. That’s the whole point. Guilt can be used in a very great way to move you at times.

Susan Bratton: Those are all kind of good coping mechanisms. And anybody who knows me knows I’m a Post-It note maven, so…

John James Santangelo: Yeah.

Susan Bratton: The big ones, the small ones. That’s awesome. Thank you. Whatever you need to do, just keep it in front of you….

John James Santangelo: Absolutely, whatever it takes.

Susan Bratton: and ten or fifteen ways to do it. Have you read – and we’ve got to close this show, but have you read that book Get Out Of Your Own Way by Robert K. Cooper?

John James Santangelo: No, I haven’t.

Susan Bratton: Okay. I’m in love with this book. I bought it on my Kindle and it was so good I had to have the hardcopy so I could read it and scribble all over it and stuff. I tried to get him on the show. He was very kind; he was like “I’m kind of busy in 2010. Can you check back with me?”

John James Santangelo: Oh jeez.

Susan Bratton: I was like, “Well damn you Robert K. Cooper. You know I will. ‘Cause I’ve got a Post-It note to follow up on your ass.”

John James Santangelo: Yeah, really.

Susan Bratton: But anyways, so what’s cool about him is that he essentially uses the way our brain works – which I know you love….

John James Santangelo: Mm hmm.

Susan Bratton: It’s the way our brain works and how our brain wants to do the easy simple stuff, like get the peanut butter and do email…

John James Santangelo: Yeah.

Susan Bratton: instead of stopping and forcing our brain out of the deep safe rut we live in and popping up. And what he does, he says goes out and he steps out onto his front porch in his underwear with his coffee in his hand every morning, and he looks out at the horizon – because he’s got a view out the front of his house – he looks out at the horizon and thinks about what he wants in his life. And I think if you get your coffee and you stand out there in your underwear every morning and you think about that, there’s a good chance you’re going to accomplish something, you know. I’ll send you a copy of the book. That’s my present for you is that.

John James Santangelo: Yeah.

Susan Bratton: And you have one more present in addition to the goal setting worksheet that anyone who’s listening can have, which is part of Speak Up With Power. All you have to do is send John an email, [email protected]. But we also have next week a special treat for everyone. The next episode of DishyMix you’re going to allow me to run your goal setting success formula audio that teaches us about how to get what we really want. Do you want to give us just a little preamble about what that is?

John James Santangelo: It’s really about what we were just talking about, it just gives it a little bit more clarity. And for the auditory people, because they’re listening to it, they’re going to see just a little bit more definition in it. The visual people need to see something, so the handout will be great for you too.

Susan Bratton: They can get the handout and read the transcript, right?

John James Santangelo: Right, yeah.

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

John James Santangelo: Yeah, but it’s the same thing we’ve been talking about; just clarifying your goals and then teaching people – because behavior is based upon simply this; it’s the unconscious mind, it’s the pain or pleasure principle. We move away from pain and towards pleasure. And where you’re going to get out of your way is finding a way when you’re setting your goals to create more pleasure for having the goals than pain of not having it.

Susan Bratton: Nice! So in this week what John and I hope that you’ll do is dream big about what you could possibly create in your life. And then next week, come back to DishyMix and listen to John talking about his goal setting success formula. And then let us know how you do. You can send John an email to [email protected]. You know, we love to hear, we love to hear. Or you can go to, which is the Facebook fanpage, and you can post there, ‘cause everybody likes to read it there too, so… I hope that you’ll take this opportunity to really spend some time thinking about what you might want in your life in the coming six months, a year, a couple of years. And John, thank you for coming back on to DishyMix again and going through another aspect of Speak Up With Power. It’s a rich fertile ground for me to mine. I love so much about it. I already want to have you back on again.

John James Santangelo: Thank you Susan.

Susan Bratton: My pleasure. All right. Well, you got to meet John James Santangelo, author of Speak Up With Power and the found of the Maximum Success Empowerment Company. You can find him at And I think that’s it. Well let you go. Start to envision your possibilities.

John James Santangelo: Make it a great day.

Susan Bratton: Thank you and thanks John. I hope I’ll talk to you next week for the guided visualization. Take care. Bye-bye.