“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.”
Step 2 – Goal setting for success
Two types of goals
When you are writing your goals, make sure to use positive language. How we set goals can provide insight into our choices. According to Dr. Tsaousides*, there are two types of goals: promotion and prevention. Promotion goals are positive: I want to get a raise. Prevention goals are the opposite: I don’t want to lose my job.
People who use promotion goals are much more effective, while people who use prevention goals have more difficulty achieving their goals. Tsaousides* goes on to say, “Fear of failure leads to the creation of prevention goals, which may blur our focus, undermine our efforts, and make planning difficult. Reframing prevention goals as promotion goals is one way to take the fear of failure out of the equation.”
As you set your goals, pay attention to how you word them. Prevention goals can make it harder to move forward and make it easier to give up. Avoid words like don’t, no, not, avoid, and never, in favor of earn, achieve, create, produce, and other action words. Write down your goals and ambitions, and talk about them. The more you do this, the more likely it is you will reach them. Remember, people who use promotion (positive) goals are much more successful!
*Tsaousides, Theo. 2018. “How to Conquer Fear of Failure.” Psychology Today. 23 January. Accessed February 1, 2018. https://www.psychologytoday.
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