Creative Goal Setting – The Sky is the Limit!
From Career Services - July 27, 2012
Goal setting. It seems our entire lives we have heard about it how important goal setting is supposed to be if we want to be successful. Yet it seems to be one of those things like physical exercise – even though we know it is good for us, we don’t always do it. My theory is that if people enjoyed doing it, whether we are talking about exercising or goal setting, they would do it more consistently, and thus, reap the rewards it brings. One person I know took up flamenco dancing as her way of working out – she loves doing it, it is a great workout, and she met a whole new network of friends through her classes.
How can you make goal setting fun? Here are two ways that you might find not only enjoyable, but powerful. The first is called treasure mapping – a process by which you represent your goals in words and pictures in a collage-type format. Similar to the concept of a vision board, it is somewhat more involved, with five distinct steps to follow in order for it to be most effective. The five steps are:
1) Release items and thoughts that might be blocking you from your goal
2) Appreciate the present circumstances of your life
3) Specify the goal by creating the treasure map
4) Affirm that the desired goal is possible for you to achieve
5) Be willing to receive your goal
Sound simple? It is! But it is not necessarily easy – the process does take some reflection and perhaps a shift in attitude. Nevertheless, it IS fun – not unlike the adventure of going on a quest to discover, and find, a hidden treasure. To read about treasure mapping, check out “Goal Achievement through Treasure Mapping” by Barbara Laporte.
Another fun way to set a goal is to use the website www.futureme.org. This site allows you to write an email message to yourself anytime in the future, from tomorrow to 50 years from now. Say you are on a diet and have a goal of losing ten pounds in six months. You can write yourself a message that you will get every month between now and then to re-motivate yourself. And you could send yourself a message to be delivered after the six months to congratulate yourself on your success! One public health alumni is planning to use this method to keep track of the goals she has for a two-year fellowship she is just starting.
So, think about the goals you would like to set for yourself, and then consider making a treasure map or sending yourself an email to be delivered in the future as a couple of fun ways to stay on track toward accomplishing your goals. Chances are, when you realize the rewards of successful goal achievement, it will be something you choose to practice more consistently. And the sky is the limit!