A FAB way to make your goals TOTALLY more achievable

Written by  //  August 26, 2013  //  Daily Juice  //  No comments

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206947_499522270114824_1151164942_nI’ve been reading a terribly scientific book about reaching goals and have found a very fabulous way of making them TOTALLY more achievable.

The book I’m reading is called Succeed: How we can reach our goals . It’s by Dr Heidi Grant Halvoroson a Professor of psychology. It’s not your normal kind of “How to reach your goal’ book as it contains plenty of details of psychological experiments etc. But I’m a bit of a nerd at times and quite like all that stuff.

Anyway I found this FAB little trick which helps people achieve goals. YAY! It’s called “Mental Contrasting” and it turns out that people who use it are heaps better at achieving their goals than people who don’t.

Mental contrasting works by giving your dreamy goal a reality check. It helps you think about what you really need to get over to make that goal happen (Yup – all the stuff that usually derails you) and then it kinda helps you decide whether you really want to do it.

If you decide NOT to bother going after your goal, well that’s ok. GOOD even. Much better to DECIDE not to do something than to just feeling guilty about doing it with half a heart.

On the other hand if you DO decide to go ahead with your goal, mental contrasting actually makes it feel much more doable. Weird but true. I think it’s something to do with the fact that articulating problems (either by speaking or writing them down) makes them seem much more manageable. Whatever it is, it works.

Fancy giving mental contrasting a go? This is what you do.

1. Get a piece of paper and at the top write down your goal. This works best if your goal is very specific – like ‘lose 5kg by Christmas’ or ‘sell 20 celebration cakes in the next 6 months”.

2. Next, imagine you’ve reached your goal. Write down one benefit of achieving it (“look better in jeans” or “Have built my cake portfolio”).

3. Then on the next line write down one thing that’s going to make it hard for you to achieve it (“I can’t resist ice cream” or “I don’t know how to find new customers”).

4. Go back to imagining you’ve reached your goal. Write down another benefit (“have more energy” or ”Made some money!”)

5. And then write down another obstacle (“I’ll can’t stop snacking on the kids’ food” or “It’s not a good time of the year for celebration cakes”)

6. And then another benefit….

7. And then another obstacle…

And keep going until you’ve totally exhausted all the benefits and obstacles. Try to get to ten of each if you can. If that’s a bit ambitious do at least five.

When you’ve finished ask yourself these questions:

  • 1. On a scale of 0 to 10 what do you think your chance of success is?
  • 2. Do you think you should pursue your goal?
  • 3. Do you feel committed to your goal?

If you think you’ve got a good chance of success, and you feel committed to it, write your goal on a piece of paper. That writing bit helps to stick that committed feeling in your brain!

And finally take a few minutes to look through your list of obstacles. Think of ONE thing you can do to make each obstacle just a wee bit smaller. That alone will make you feel a TON better.

And then that’s it. Simple, easy and it seems to work.

I did this exercise with a goal that I’d been feeling a bit crappy about. It’s a project I need to finish by Christmas and I was feeling overwhelmed by it. After the mental contrasting I felt heaps better, more energized and really believed I could do it! YAY!

Are you going to give it a go?!


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