New Year’s Goal setting – select the right words for success

Posted: December 28, 2012 in Words and communications, Writing advice
Tags: , ,

I’ve given up on making “resolutions”. Why? Because a resolution is just a sentence saying what you will do with no endpoint or breaking down of how you’ll get there. It becomes simply an ongoing test of willpower, a phrase you repeat over and over to yourself. Goals, on the other hand, have a completion point. They’re also measurable, and can be divided into short-term goals, smaller, easier to accomplish chunks. However, what you write, the words you use, can impact the final outcome of your goals.

Always the positive

First and foremost refrain from using negatives. List what you want to achieve instead of what you don’t want to see happen. Focusing in on the negative, the not of a phrase makes your mind think about what you don’t have instead what you’re seeking.

Words make or break a goal

Always use words that are strong, that make you feel you can achieve that goal. Be specific. Craft each goal succinctly, in words that are easy for you to remember. Write out your goals using descriptive words in as much detail as possible. And avoid ambiguous words, because you want to state exactly what it is you wish to accomplish, to see into fruition.

Thoughts shape outcomes

Your thoughts are your unspoken words. Don’t censor yourself at first. Start out by thinking, dreaming, and planning without any limits or boundaries. However, after you have edited and written out your goals, you also have to monitor the daily conversations you have with yourself (those unwritten words!) Once words of doubt, negativity, and weakness infiltrate your consciousness, you are setting yourself up to fail in realizing that goal. Also, don’t think about your goals using flabby, tentative words such as “I would like to” or “might be able to”. Use action words that accurately describe what can you do.

When you think about a goal, think of it using verbs in the present tense. That programs your subconscious mind to accept the goal as a completed fact, not something that might happen down the road.

Finally, it’s YOUR goal, and something you must really want; NOT what’s expected from you, or what everyone else is trying to do. You must also go beyond the words, believing that you can achieve your goal, so visualize your success, and feel yourself arriving at that goal’s destination. Without that, well, the goal is just another collection of words no better than a resolution!


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