The Power Of Goal Setting

Success has been defined as “the progressive realization of a worthy goal”. Setting meaningful goals gives you focus and a target to aim for. Writing them down insures that you won’t lose sight of your destination.

Unable to See Her Goal

“When she looked ahead, Florence Chadwick saw nothing but a solid wall of fog. Her body was numb. She had been swimming for nearly sixteen hours.
Already she was the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions. She had managed to finish that swim in a record time, 16 hours and 22 minutes on August 8, 1950. Now, at age 34, her goal was to become the first woman to swim from Catalina Island to Palos Verde on the California coast.

“On that Fourth of July morning in 1952, the sea was like an ice bath and the fog was so dense she could hardly see her support boats. Sharks cruised toward her lone figure, only to be driven away by rifle shots. Against the frigid grip of the sea, she struggled on – hour after hour – while millions watched on national television.

“Alongside Florence in one of the boats, her mother and her trainer offered encouragement. They told her it wasn’t much farther. But all she could see was fog. They urged her not to quit. She never had . . . until then. With only a half mile to go, she asked to be pulled out.

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How To Increase Your Goal Motivation

Setting goals is a requirement for achieving your best life and living out your potential. Goals give you direction and focus. They are important for another reason as well — setting and achieving goals improves your well-being and positivity. But keep in mind that all goals are not created equal — some motivate you more than others. Choose goals that add to your positivity and keep you motivated to achieve them.

A Life Changing Gift

When I was in my early 30s, I was introduced to the man who changed my life. That man was Earl Nightingale. Of course, I didn’t literally meet Mr. Nightingale, but I received a program on audiotapes called Lead The Field as a birthday gift. In this series of audiotapes, Earl Nightingale provided numerous ideas on what it means to live a successful life. He expanded and expounded on the ideas he originally articulated in his program, “The Strangest Secret“.

I had more or less stumbled upon a career that I enjoyed but it was more by accident than by design. Through Lead The Field, I was exposed to a number of ideas that I had never been taught before. As I say, it was a life-changing experience for me. And it began my journey of learning and implementing ideas for self-growth and self-improvement. One of those ideas to which I was newly exposed was the concept of setting goals.

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Amplify Your Motivation

Motivation can be measured by this equation: “EXPECTANCY x VALUE / IMPULSIVENESS x DELAY”. Increasing either or both of the 1st two factors and / or decreasing either or both of the 2nd two, increases motivation. Motivation is higher for goals that are rewarding for the pursuit than for those where the reward comes at the completion of the goal.

A Failure At Goal Setting

Has this ever happened for you? You decide you want to make a change, so you set a goal. Perhaps you wanted to improve your diet and eat healthier. Or you wanted to lose weight. Maybe you wanted to pay down your debt and start a savings fund. Or you had some other goal that was important to you.

I have chosen those goals and others at different times. But, I’m sorry to say, things didn’t always work out the way I planned. Sometimes, I began working on a goal right away. However, in the back of my mind, I seriously doubted that I’d ever reach it.

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Make A Plan And Begin

The setting and pursuing of goals is a “happiness tool”, shown through research to increase positivity. You need only to make a plan and get started.

Flight Plan

When a pilot steps into the cockpit, she has a definite destination in mind and she has created a flight plan to get her plane and her passengers to the right location. However she never flies straight to her objective. Due to various elements beyond her control — weather patterns, cross winds, updrafts, downdrafts, storms, and the earth’s magnetism — she will be off course up to 90% of the time during the flight. Using feedback from her instruments and air traffic control, the pilot and crew make many adjustments during the course of the flight. But in the end they land at the chosen airport, usually within minutes of the scheduled arrival time. The flight plan is essential in aiding the pilot and her crew to reach their goal — the intended destination — successfully. [1]

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Positive Powerful Goal Setting

“Sometimes we may ask God for success, and [God] gives us physical and mental stamina. We might plead for prosperity, and we receive enlarged perspective and increased patience, or we petition for growth and are blessed with the gift of grace. [God] may bestow upon us conviction and confidence as we strive to achieve worthy goals.” ~ David A. Bednar

From Authentic Happiness To A Theory Of Well-Being

In 2002, Martin Seligman, the “father” of Positive Psychology, introduced the Authentic Happiness theory. The theory can be stated in this “happiness formula”: H = S + C + V where H is your level of Happiness, S is your happiness “Set point”, C represents the Circumstances of your life, and V stands for things under your Voluntary control. According to Seligman, we can influence as much as 40% of our happiness level through those things under our voluntary control. [Seligman; Authentic Happiness]

About 10 years later, in Flourish, Dr. Seligman explains how the theory of Authentic Happiness evolved into a deeper and wider Well-Being theory. Whereas the Authentic Happiness theory was concerned with happiness only, Well-Being theory is concerned with the broader concept of well-being.

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Goals Are For Losers

Do you prefer winning once in a while or winning every day? That’s a difference between having a goal and having a system.

“. . . as far as I can tell, the people who use systems do better. The systems-driven people have found a way to look at the familiar in new and more useful ways. To put it bluntly, goals are for losers.” ~ Scott Adams

Goals vs. Systems

Goals are for losers? That’s a pretty odd statement for me to endorse as someone who spends his working time helping and encouraging people to set and achieve goals. However, after reading this in How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big by Scott Adams, best-selling author and the creator of the Dilbert comic strip, I have to say he has a good point. Continue reading “Goals Are For Losers”