for more articles
Why You Must Stop Setting Goals
Maya Talisman Frost
My goal in life is to have no goals. They get in the way
of true progress.
Plenty of successful people swear by goal setting.
They're praising the wrong behavior. Brain research
tells us that the goals don't matter--it's the intention
that gets us where we want to go.
Intentions and goals are not the same. Goals tend to
be arbitrary and number-oriented, such as the number
of pounds lost, amount of money earned, number of
hours spent in the gym, number of new clients
introduced or new products developed. Intentions are
big-picture statements about what fulfills you. It's a
little harder to measure an intention, but the results are
Let's say you want to lose 20 pounds. How will you
feel when you do that? What will your life be like if you
are 20 pounds lighter? Establishing an intention
requires recognizing what will satisfy you.
You want to lose weight so that you will feel healthy,
strong, fit, confident, attractive, and sexy. The
number on the scale isn't what matters most--it's how
you feel each day.
Here's a weight loss goal: I will lose 20 pounds in five
Here's an intention: I feel strong, healthy, fit,
confident, attractive and sexy.
The problem with typical goals is that we tend to get
bogged down by our "even though" statements. We
tell ourselves that we are going to lose 20 pounds EVEN
THOUGH we failed last time, EVEN THOUGH we question our ability to do so, EVEN THOUGH we don't think we'll be able to maintain it. Our minds go directly to the negative images and we sabotage our efforts before we
Here's a thought: Why not create an intention that will
get your brain to work for you instead of against you?
Intentions allow us to picture ourselves--and how we'll
feel--when we are successful. There's no room for
failure in the picture. We focus on the positive and
powerful feelings we'll have.
Intentions are always stated in present tense, as
though you are already where you want to be. Instead
of saying, "I will be strong, fit, healthy, etc.", you
say, "I feel strong, fit, healthy, etc." What seems like
a small semantic difference is a huge shift in our brains.
The latest brain studies suggest that the most
effective way to change our beliefs is to create a
mental story of success. We need to picture ourselves
as we want to be, and we need to talk about it. Here's
the basic formula: See it, say it, hear it.
Our unconscious brain sees everything in pictures. It
does not filter images based on what our conscious
mind considers true, likely or possible. It literally does
not distinguish between reality and fantasy. Think of
the nonsensical dreams you've had!
Language is most fully processed in the brain when
there is a visualized image to go along with it. These
images and words become linked to create our "truth"--
at least, according to our brains. And that's where it
Say it out loud, and you're engaging your aural learning
skills as well.
By intentionally creating new images through
visualization, we literally create our own version of
reality, and as you've probably learned by now, we
tend to live in whatever reality we construct. Our
potential is limited only by the mental images we
choose to develop and store. It's that simple--and that
Stop setting goals, and start creating intentions.
The secret is to include ALL of these steps:
*SEE yourself in the circumstances you desire. Picture it perfectly.
*Craft a one-paragraph story that you would like to be
true, and SAY it in present tense, as though you are
describing your life right now.
*Repeat, repeat, repeat. Demand to HEAR that
same story every night before you go to sleep.
What's your intention? Focus on feelings, not numbers.
Picture it, and write it down. Repeat it to yourself
until it becomes familiar and beloved--complete with
favorite parts, great pictures, and a happy ending.
Stop pushing toward goals and start being pulled by
your intentions. Let your brain go to work for you.
See it, say it, hear it. You'll never need another goal!
About the Author
Maya Talisman Frost is a mind masseuse. Her work has inspired thinkers in over 80 countries. She serves up a satisfying blend of clarity, comfort and comic relief in her free weekly ezine, the Friday Mind Massage. To subscribe, visit http://www.massageyourmind.com.