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Why Focusing On Goals Is The Key to A Lasting Change

Why Focusing On Goals Is The Key to A Lasting Change

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible” Tony Robbins

I believe that life is given to us to challenge, to grow within, to step out of comfort zone and achieve the bravest dreams. To make your dream come true – make it as goal and act. Make a plan, clear steps for each day. And you will see how your life takes a new level, each day will count, you will take the best out of it and experience lasting changes.

Each goal is like a challenge, it is a chance to change within, to overcome the doubts, worries or other emotions, which don’t let you go closer to your goal. Which tells you – you can’t do it, it is impossible. It is a chance to learn something new in life and about yourself, it is an opportunity to grow.

1. Decision to pursue for the goal, helps to keep clear vision and thoughts.

If you really want to achieve something, there is no room for doubts, worries or other negative thoughts. You know what you want and go for it, with no looking right or left or back. Just straight ahead. Spending all your energy looking for solutions.

“I am always more interested in what I am about to do than what I have already done” Rachel Carson

2. To achieve your goals, you have to change your daily habits. It is a chance to discipline yourself.

You realize how many things you do in a day that take you back and away from your goal. You have to give up the things which take energy, time and opportunity to do something useful. No matter what it is — watching TV shows or go out for parties — you have a choice to do something which takes you closer to your goal or keep living as used to.

“The biggest distraction in life to one’s focus is often near locus standing people saying all hocus-pocus.”Anuj Somany

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3. The difference between dream and goal is action.

In action, you can learn something new about yourself. You open the world to you. You can receive new opportunities, experience and vision.

“A dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward its achievement.” Bo Bennett

4. By setting a goal, you take a responsibility.

You take your life in your hands and you know – everything depends on you. You stop looking at others with envy or other negative thoughts. You look only at your goal and yourself; there is no competition with others.

“If you take responsibility for yourself, you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dream.” Les Brown

5. By achieving your goals, you learn patience.

It takes time to achieve something, to see the results. No matter what it is – failure or victory. You can’t have it right away. You have to take off the pride, the rush and look at the situation realistic and do your best in it. At the end, journey itself gives you fulfillment and meaning, and the result is just a gift for your experience.

 “Don’t let fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.”

Earl Nightingale

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6. When you turn your dream into a goal, you become more faithful.

When you have a dream, you wish and hope it will become true, when you have a goal, you have faith it is possible. It gives you strength. Even when you start doubting, the goal gives you strength to renew your faith and keep going. No matter how many failures you have experienced, you keep trying and believe that it is a part of the way to goal. You become humble, learn from the mistakes, take the lesson and go further with more understanding and faith.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Martin Luther King. Jr.

7. Will power.

Focusing on your dream, you improve your will power. It gives strength not to give up. Learn from each failure, to stand up and keep going, not to look back, thinking what if…!

“To reach a port, we must sail – Sail, not tie at anchor – Sail, not drift.” Franklin Roosevelt

8. Become kind.

Not the result, but the journey counts. How you do it. You can reach your goals with aggression, in rush or you can take your time, live your life where you are, and step by step create what you want and change within. Often when you achieve something in a rush, you can lose it easily. Being kind to others and yourself makes the journey towards dream more meaningful. And it is nice to look back at your way to goal and realize, you have made this world a better place.

“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” Albert Schweitzer

9. Gratitude.

When you have reached some of your goals on your own, you can learn to appreciate it. To be grateful for all the failures, mistakes, for all the people who have helped you to come where you want to be. You take your time, sit back and feel gratefulness.

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“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie

10. You receive and learn a joy of life.

By doing what you like, what you believe for. You share, you give and you create. Your true being blossoms and you feel alive.

“Things won are done, joy’s soul lies in the doing.” William Shakespear

11. You improve your creativity.

If you want to get out of obstacles. You have to learn to look at the situation from different perspective. When you are stuck in somewhere and you can’t get out of there, you do anything, become creative and see the unusual solutions.

“Creativity is not the finding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is found.” James Russell Lowell

 

 I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. Michael Jordan

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I would like to share with you the story about Lizzie Velasquez and Nick Vujicic. They have inspired me and made me think, what do I do with my life with everything what has given to me. They have achieved so much. The have touched other people lives by their story, believes, action and honest way of living. They have made the best out of what they have and the strong will and goal has lead them to the better live. Without looking around, taking personally other people judgment. The faith, will to live as they want with no doubt that there is something they can’t do, they have reached more than they have ever dreamed.

“If I fail, I try again, and again, and again. If YOU fail, are you going to try again? The human spirit can handle much worse than we realize. It matters HOW you are going to FINISH. Are you going to finish strong?”  Nick Vujicic

What is your goal for today, for next year? Where do you want to be in 10 years? Who you are and what you do with that each day?

Featured photo credit: A new dawn/Justin Kern via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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