Did you know that the unconscious part of your brain is a goal seeking missile? That’s the part that makes life happen.
In other words, your unconscious mind will always go with your dominant thought. So if you’re trying to eat healthily but your main thought is: “I miss chocolate,” you’re going to crave chocolate.
The unconscious mind will bring about what you’re focusing on, even if it’s not what you want. Which means that worrying is negative goal setting. Your mind treats your dominant thoughts as the goal and what you say to yourself becomes a command. e.g. Saying: “Remember to do X” rather than “Don’t forget to do X” is always more effective. That’s because the brain cannon “not” think about something, so the second phrase will become: “…forget to do X.”
Focus on phrasing your thoughts more positively – ‘remember’ instead of ‘don’t forget’.
Instant Gratification vs Long Term Reward
Sometimes, we need instant gratification. And that’s fine. On the other hand, by delaying the instant gratification, the long-term reward of your goal setting can be far more rewarding. In reality, goals that provide an instant reward are not strictly goals; more of a to-do list.
You can train yourself (create new neural pathways*) to trust that you will get that reward eventually. In fact, that is part of the discipline of successful goal setting – recognising that there is a time delay. That knowledge was demonstrated recently when a group of children were given one marshmallow and told that they could earn an extra one if they waited patiently. Watch the delightful results for yourself!
Goal = Intention + Date
Goal setting is about figuring out what you want to achieve. That could be a long-term vision or medium-term goals which all need short-term actions. Maybe it’s a ‘project’ goal, focusing on one specific area of your life. My most recent one was to get a good mark in my choral exam!
Longer term goals tend to involve life-balance, possibly to do with your health, family, career or spirituality. For example, my higher purpose goal is my on-going mission to de-stress directors, assisting them to make purposeful decisions and successfully lead high performing teams, using my knowledge and innate skills to benefit my clients. This is illustrated in my goal map:
When setting your goals, be aware of how challenging you’re being. They need to stretch you a little. If you stay in your comfort zone, your goals may be too easy to be motivating. Push yourself into the stretch zone, feel the challenge, be positive about it, and you will achieve more.
On the other hand, try not to overstretch yourself. That could lead to panic which leads on to procrastination where you will find many reasons to not take the necessary steps to achieve your goal. You may need some help here and that’s where a coach will challenge you to check what zone you’re in.
For your goals to be achievable, they need to apply to the 4 P’s:
- Possible – you need to believe in yourself and your goal. Believe that it’s possible or you won’t make a start.
- Present tense – imagine yourself at the point in the future when you have achieved it. Tell yourself, “It is <insert date> and I am/have <insert goal>.” To be effective, your goal needs a time frame, starting from now.
- Positive – it must be what you want, not what you don’t want. Try to think about the carrot, not the stick.
- Personal – this must be your goal, not imposed by someone else, e.g. a boss or your spouse. It needs to be your choice for that personal connection to drive you towards achieving it. You’ll only work on a goal imposed by someone else once you make it your own.
In conclusion, it can be difficult setting compelling goals that get you out of bed every day. It’s okay to struggle with getting crystal clear goals, especially if others are also involved. If you are finding it a challenge, that’s when working with me will help.
Goal Mapping Online and In Person
Brian Mayne’s World of Goal Mapping is a revelation in goal setting. I found Goal Mapping ten years ago, and it’s the most effective tool I’ve ever used. So much so that I trained with Brian in 2010 so that I could share it with clients – I’m a senior Certified Practitioner.
You, too, can benefit from Goal Mapping. It will help you to find and follow your life purpose, give you focus and motivation and empower you along that path. In fact, one of my clients set a 10-year goal map and achieved it in eight months!
Option 1 – Work with me using the Goal Mapping process for clarity on what actions to take. Individuals will receive guidance on career progression or life balance, for instance, and businesses can create team goal maps.
Option 2 – Alternatively, sign up for one of my full day workshops that is either a one-to-one meeting or in teams. It includes insight into the neuroscience of the brain, and how goal setting helps to renew and develop your neural pathways.
Option 3 – Give me a call on 07766 004964 or click here to email me for a friendly chat about creating successful goals.