Posts tagged ‘new years resolutions’

March 4, 2012

A Goal Setting Activity

Now that we are starting the third month of this year, there is a chance that we may have drifted away from our “New Year’s Resolutions”. We do not need to wait for a New Year to create or re-focus on our live goals.

One exercise that can help guide you towards moving forward towards your life goals involves a folded piece of paper.

One the left side of the paper, write “old” and on the right side of the paper write “new”. Under the “old” column, write down all the things that you want to move away from or all those things you do not want to experience any more.

On the right column of the paper, write the opposite concept to the items on the left side or what you want to move towards. For example, if the left side of the column listed “debt”, the right column would read “abundance”.

After you compete this exercise, tear the paper down the middle. Take the left side of the paper, crumple it up and ceremoniously throw it away. These are the things you are DONE with! On the right side, you have a list of things that you want to focus on.

The “old” and” new list exercise can be taken further.  For each habit that you want to change, write the attribute of what you want to change as well as the feelings that you want to move away from on the left/old column. As before, for each of these items, write the opposite of each word on the right/new column.

For example, if the habit that you want to change is to stop smoking, on the left column you may list:

– Short breath

– Increase chance of heart attack and stroke

– Bad breath

– Expensive habit

– Smelly clothes

-Fear of poor health


– Low energy

The right column for this list may look like:

– Deep healthy breathes

– Decreased chance of heart attack and stroke

– Clean breath

– Money saved!

– Clean smelling clothes

-Confidence of health

– Detachment

– High energy

Once you throw the left/old column/list away, you are left with a positive image of where you want to move forward. Think of it as a map, you want to move a way to a better place in your life. To do so, you need to know exactly where you are going. By creating this list, you see everything you want and the actions are up to you. If you want to get to the proverbial town of

“Deep health breaths”, we know we cannot get there by going through “Smoke in Lungs” Avenue.

Another powerful step to this exercise is to have some form of statement of feeling or a mental image of how you will feel to change a habit or reach a certain goal. For the example above, we may write, “I feel awesome breathing deeply and healthily every day!” and imagine a satisfied smile on our face as we take deep long relaxing breaths.

It is best to think of things in the positive since it is easier to visualize. Although our thoughts are words, each word has a mental picture attached. A frequent example of this is the phrase “don’t think of a penguin. The more I say, “don’t thank of a penguin”, the more likely you will have a mental image of a penguin. Saying, “I will not smoke” will lead to a mental picture of someone smoking and therefore a greater chance that you may choose the action of smoking. It would be better to say something like “I will take healthy breaths every day”.  When you write your scripts for each goal, it is best to find words that appeal to you.

May you find the time to reflect where you want to go and create your goals as a road map to get there.