Goal setting has become the hype of the century with shelves full of books on the topic, films like ‘the secret’ and the multitude of self development courses proclaiming ‘you can reach anything you’ve always dreamt of’…
Even though the possibility to manifest is surprisingly higher than we commonly believe the area often overlooked is our neurological programming governing those possibilities.
One of my favorite statements is ‘Your ability to change is directly proportional to your beliefs about change’ which brings this topic on the point. Whether you dream big and sometimes unrealistic or your dreams are very realistic but not stimulating enough – it all comes back to our belief system, our neurological programming.
This programming has been created throughout your upbringing through to where you are today. You might have been frustrated last year about not achieving your New Year’s resolution and therefore haven’t set any this year saying ‘It’s never going to happen anyway’. This is how easily a new limiting belief is formed, one that is not necessarily true but created through our own experience and rationalized into a rule by our thinking.
So how can we set achievable goals and fulfill our dreams without standing the chance of disappointment?
Simply put: watch your thinking! Depending on your inherent and habitual ways of goal setting you could experiment with some of the following adjustments:
Ponder the possible reasons behind setting high/low goals. It often has to do with what it means about you as a human being; how you think you might be valued, by yourself or others. Think about the patterns of goal setting and expectations around achievements in your family of origin.
Ask yourself: What is a reasonable and yet still challenging goal for me? And what would it mean to me to set that as a goal? What happens if I stand the chance to actually reach my goal? What do I think or feel about not reaching a goal?
Check with someone else whether your judgment on achievability is reasonable and yet challenging enough.
Start with one of the new ‘challenging but achievable’ goals and as you go through the process of reaching the goal and notice what is happening.
Sometimes it might be helpful to have someone to bounce your ideas and thoughts off, either a supportive friend, colleague or potentially a coach.