When setting goals, there are different approaches you can take. You can focus on what you DO want ‘Towards Goals’ or away from what you DON’T want ‘Away-From Goals’.
When someone says, ‘What I don’t want is . . . ’ or ‘I’ll never do that again’, it indicates they are focusing on ‘away-from’ goals. People who move away from what they don’t want are motivated by problems to solve or wanting to avoid something. Threats or the thought of negative consequences can energise them to achieve their goals.
If someone says, ‘What I want is …’ or ‘I can’t wait to do …..’ they are expressing a ‘towards’ goal.
People who move toward what they want focus on possibilities and visions of the future. What are my dreams? What makes me happy? Knowing what you are striving for and why can make your actions feel more meaningful.
Reflect on your own goals: are you focusing on what will be gained or what will be avoided?
Being frustrated or dissatisfied for any reason with your current situation can be a great motivator to get you focused to make a change. It can give you an initial kick in the pants and motivate you to do things differently. But unfortunately this alone isn’t sufficient motivation for sustainable change.
If you are always motivated by “away-from” goals it can become stressful and exhausting and potentially a self-fulfilling prophecy. Remember the Universal Law of Attraction: like attracts like – what you focus on expands. If you are always focusing on what you don’t want or what you are trying to avoid, you are invariably creating more of that.
Another issue with “away-from” goals is that they can lack forward direction. As the only sense of direction is away from the situation, you may end up going around in circles or moving away from what you don’t want, but not moving towards what you do want.
To create lasting change, it is more powerful to develop ‘towards’ goals, where you have a clear picture of where you want to get to and what you want to achieve.
How to develop ‘towards’ goals:
- Create a clear vision of what you want – by focusing on what you want to have happen, rather than what you want to avoid, you teach your brain to notice opportunities, and gain clarity around where you are heading.
- Write your goals down – state them as though you have already achieved them
- Reflect on why you want to achieve your goals and what difference they will make to your life
- Review them regularly by visualising yourself achieving them
- Break your goals into manageable chunks
- Develop an action plan and steadily work towards your goals.
For more information about reimagining your life and creating a compelling future, contact me at email@example.com and I would love to take you through this process in more detail.
Here’s to your success and happiness,