“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” — Michelangelo
Goal Setting 101 Rule 5. Progress-Crafted Goals Are Positively Worded.
Words hold great power. They have since “the beginning.” Crafted goals should focus our conscious and subconscious minds on future progress, not past problems and limitations. Therefore, we should craft goals that focus on what we want, not on what we don’t.
Any words or phrases that have negative connotations perpetuate frustration, worry, and regret because they remind us of past weaknesses or failures. In turn, this can create a mental block that limits our pattern of thought and behavior. It is helpful to become aware of when we’re using defeatist words like can not, do not, will not, never. We need to rephrase our goal statements, eliminating any negative words and using believable, positive words.
Instead of writing, “I don’t eat junk food,” write, “I am a healthy eater. I eat foods that are good for me.” Then list healthy foods and why healthy choices are good for you.
Instead of writing, “I will not stay up late, oversleep, and be late to work,” write, “I go to bed by 10:30 p.m. each night and am on time for work each day.” Then list five ways in which early to bed, early to rise, makes you healthy, wealthy, and wise. There are three ways right there. Thanks, Ben Franklin!
Crafting goals from a positive perspective raises our expectations and encourages empowering thought processes. We get our subconscious to work for us, opening up our options and making things seem possible and more doable.
The subconscious mind does not judge or argue; it only carries out instructions. The more positive the imagery we sow in our conscious and subconscious minds, the more positive results we will reap.
Goal Setting 101 Rule 6. Progress-Crafted Goals Have an Achievement Date.
Achievement dates are vital for measuring and tracking our progress. Many of us waste a great deal of time talking about what we want to do, or to have, or to become, someday. Someday is not a day of the week.*
Without an end date there is no strong reason to take strong action today. Having a specific time frame gives us the push, the prod, the sense of urgency to get moving. Achievement date or procrastinate? Set one and get moving before it’s too late. (Hey, that rhymes.)
Without a date for accomplishment, we have only crafted a wishy-washy wish which floats around. We never get moving because we feel we can start at any time. A realistic time frame helps reel the goal in and make it real. Grounding our goals within a realistic time frame gets the fire burning and sets our subconscious mind in motion.
Many of us have so many goals that we end up pursuing two dozen of them poorly, rather than three or four with laser-like focus and unflagging effort. Establishing achievement dates for our goals helps us decide which ones warrant the majority of today’s time and energy.
Often it turns out that we have underestimated the true time, effort, and knowledge required to accomplish our goals. We run out of patience and passion, or lose sight of the goal’s purpose. Most of our goals can be met if they have realistic achievement dates and we work to stay committed to them.
If we don’t achieve our goal within our time frame, we can always set a new achievement date.
Craft and commit to progress-based goals.
* Someday Is Not a Day of the Week is the title of an insightful, motivating, and eye-opening children’s book by Denise Brennan-Nelson. I recommend it highly.