By Katryna Starks
We’re usually told to set a specific goal and then move toward it. However, if the goal has an emotional tie, then a more indirect goal is the best. Sometimes its hard to reach goals because we care too much about them. Here’s an example. A direct goal for many is to exercise more. However, if you’re exercising to lose weight because you have low self esteem, or if you feel guilty for not exercising, then the goal itself brings up negative feelings. You don’t want to exercise because it reminds you of what you are not. Now, let’s change perspective. Instead of having a goal to exercise more, make a goal to complete a 10k in 6 months. Now, you’ve removed the emotional component from exercise. You’re not exercising to lose weight (and all of the values you put on that achievement) but to train for and finish the 10k. Your actions are the same in that you exercise more, and you may even lose weight, but your goal is emotionally neutral, and so are the actions associated with it. Emotionally neutral actions create a greater likelihood of success.