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Helping you achieve your Personal Best

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The Psychology behind Setting Personal Goals

Setting Personal Goals - Why? - Because you have ‘gone public’ and you do not want to lose face or have to answer questions about what happened to that lofty goal of becoming first in your graduating class.  Studies prove that public goals create more positive forward pressure. Having said that, there are times when you might NOT want to announce your goals to the world.  Choose whom you tell, when you tell, IF you tell!  And do so, consciously!

Why? Because there are certain goals you may wish to keep private and goals you may want to tell only CERTAIN people. Consider these examples: Your goal is a competitive goal and your don’t want your business competitors to know what you are planning Your goal is in conflict with what your parents want for you and you don’t want to have to face their arguments every time you talk about what you are trying to achieve (they want you to be a doctor and you want to become an actor) Your goal is supposed to be a surprise (like a cruise for a 25th wedding anniversary second honeymoon celebration).

“Your personal goals are all inclusive, they hold within them your life, family, career and anything else you will through in there.”

You can probably think of other examples. You SHOULD share your goals with those who will support and encourage you.   Whether your goal is long-term, extremely challenging, or you just feel you may need more of a cheering section, you can use the help! IF you must share information with ‘naysayers’, try to avoid talking about your goals with them on a frequent basis. They will only upset you and discourage you and you don’t need that.  Limit your discussion to facts and stay away from the dreamy-eyed discussions. 

Tell them what you HAVE accomplished so far to get to where you want to go. Sometimes that will quiet their arguments for a while! And remember that some people just like to downgrade or belittle the goals of others (especially if they feel inferior because they are not getting much done in their own life). Other people will take pride in being devil’s advocate, and arguing with your plans even if they secretly think you are doing the right thing. Don’t take it personally.  Stay focused! If the person with whom you are arguing about your goals is your spouse or someone who lives in the same house with you, you have a different problem.

You need to figure out whether this person has goals that may conflict with yours and is therefore frightened of the prospect of your achieving your goal at their expense.If you are THIS close to the person who is giving you problem you should already have included them in your goal planning sessions anyway to be sure that you don’t have a conflict. If there is no conflicting goal, perhaps the person is just feeling a bit left out and you can help THEM figure out their goals as well, and give them encouragement as the two of you work toward your goals side-by-side.  You may even discover common goals you can both work to achieve and two heads are always better than one!, this is the power of Setting Personal Goals.

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