The Art of Positive Goal Setting

With the close of the year upon us (gasp), many of us are trying to plan for the last quarter of 2014. Whether we are planning what our holiday cards might look like, what business goals still need to be achieved this year or starting to plan for 2015 we tend to sets goals this time of year. Stress levels become high when we think of all we must do!

We all know what it is like to set a New Year’s resolution only to fall flat on our faces by the first week of January. Aside from that, we also all probably know how setting a goal so high that we almost sabotage ourselves is another way to set ourselves up for failure. However, it does not have to be that way. There are more friendly and kind ways to set goals known as positive goal setting.

In positive goal setting you don’t set your sights to high and you set your goals with kindness to yourself in mind.

No more beating ourselves up for not achieving what we set out for in January. Can we agree we will not do that anymore? Negative thoughts, stress and self doubt creep in when we think of all we said we were going to do. Add to that all the things we are excited to plan for then next year and this time of year becomes very stressful! Here are some tips to help you be positive in your goal setting.

Be in the Moment
When you set a goal, make sure to state it in the present tense. For example, if you wish to return to school, state that you are already in school and doing well. By stating your goals as if they are in the present moment, you reinforce your minds belief that it is achievable and in the here and now.

State Your Goals and Write Them Down
State your goals verbally and write them down somewhere where you will see them every day. Maybe post them on a vision board with an appropriate picture next to it. For example, put a picture of a cap and gown next to your declared goal.

Write your goals in present tense as well. For example, “I am on my way to being a published author today and every day.”

When you state your goals in present tense it tells your mind that you are already achieving your goals in the now.

I wrote on my white board in my office that this was the year I was going to be a successful coach and help others feel confident tackling whatever business and career goals they had. I look at this each day and although I am far from my long term goal it is a reminder for me on where I am headed and what are my short term goals that I need to achieve to get there.

Take Action
In the example of going back to school, even if you are not ready to go back to school, you can still do the research or make a phone call or even order a catalogue. It does not have to be an all or nothing event. You can take a small action step every day and feel successful.

This is setting action steps with kindness. You don’t overwhelm your brain so that your first instinct is to quit.

Ask Yourself Some Pertinent Questions
Ask yourself what steps will? I take. Ask yourself how long will give myself to attain this goal? Who will I tell about this goal? Then write down the following items:

  • Your game plan
  • Your goals
  • The ways you will achieve them/what tactics will I use

Visualize your goals as being achieved. See yourself wearing that cap and gown. Imagine the sun shining down on your face as you walk to receive your diploma. Picture yourself as a best-selling author and how excited you feel signing your book.

When you visualize positive happenings, you bring your positive goals closer to you. However, if you focus on the negatives like I cannot or I will not, then those expand, as well. Either way it is your choice.

So, there you have it, a few simple tips to creative positive goals. As you can see, positive goal setting is a great way to set and achieve the even bigger goals.

Happy planning!

To your growth, development and amazing potential,




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