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We often fail to achieve the goals we set ourselves because they are not really ‘goals’ at all. More likely they are aspirations, hopes, dreams, wishes of just half-baked ideas. There is nothing wrong with any of these, each has its place. It can become a problem though when we confuse them with goals, a) because we miss our targets, and b) because it can reinforce a sense of personal failure or even impossibility.

Properly formed goals are those which are in reach and which, in their description, are clear enough to be made real. Remember that the unconscious mind doesn’t like vague or abstracts concepts. Keep it simple and distinct, “good” or “bad” rather than “OK” or “not quite right”; “Yes” or “No” rather than “perhaps”.

Also, beware of preceding your ‘goals’ with get-out clauses like “I’ll try…”; “If I get time…”; or even “I think I’ll...”.

Specific descriptions are more likely to bring specific results. Frame your goals in concrete terms using action-verbs; “I will complete the construction of my new house by September”, “I am going to spend one week thinking about this and then I’ll prepare my action-plan which I’ll finish writing by the 31st”; “Next time I feel like shouting at my partner I’ll stop, kiss them, and leave the room.” (Explain this to your significant other beforehand during a moment of harmony so they don’t think you are just walking off).

This was going to be a short post. Missed my goal again! Here’s my download, Resource sheet, Goal Exercises, for practice. Good luck, you know you can do it!

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