Last week we spoke about Outcome goals and Behaviour goals. When we set goals, we need to focus on the behaviour that we can change. You can read my article on this here:

The next step in goal setting is to change “Avoid” goals into “Approach” goals. There is a tendency to set goals such as “Stop drinking soda”, “Stop snacking on junk food” and “Stop hitting the snooze button”. It seems logical to set goals that tell us what NOT to do. These are the boundaries and we will stop doing the things we don’t want to do, right?

Well, not necessarily. If we are focusing on the things that we don’t want to do, we are ultimately focused on those things. By repeating that our goal is to “stop eating chocolate”, you are continually putting the word “chocoloate” into your head! Psychologically, this is a really terrible way to stop habits. It is emotionally draining and tests our willpower to the maximum.

We also have a rebellious nature that when told NOT to do something, the desire to do it increases tenfold. This is especially true when we are tired, hungry or have had a bad day. Self-control has a limit, and when tested repeatedly throughout the day it does become fatigued and you become more vulnerable. With a goal phrase that puts “chocolate” into your head all day long, by the end of the day “chocolate” is the first thing you will seek out.

This is why the focus needs to shift to “Approach” goals. These are the goals that are centered around something you desire for yourself. They focus on what is good. They focus on why you are doing what you are doing. Let’s look at some examples:

Avoid goal: Stop drinking soda.

Approach goal: Drink more water in the day. This will boost my energy and reduce headaches.

Avoid goal: Stop snacking on junk food.

Approach goal: Take healthy snacks to work. These will make me feel healthy and well.

Avoid goal: Stop hitting the snooze button.

Approach goal: Put the alarm clock in the lounge so I have to get up. This will give me time in the morning to gather my thoughts and set my intentions for the day.

You can see that when we are focused on the positive aspects – like the idea that we want to feel healthy and well – there will be more motivation to achieve those goals.

So to start:

  1. Define the bad behavior you want to break (I want to stop eating chocolate).
  2. Write down a good behaviour that you can replace the bad behaviour with (I will eat more fruit as snacks).
  3. Write down the “approach” goal to support the good habit (I will pack an orange to eat at work tomorrow).
  4. Write down why these goals are good for you and why you want to follow through on them. This will keep you motivated when you are feeling low (eating healthy food makes me feel energetic and well).

I hope this helps when it comes to goal-setting. The last technique of goal-setting is setting “performance” goals vs “mastery” goals, which we will talk about next Set for Success Sunday.

Have a great day!

Lots of light and love xx

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: