How to Commit to a Target

Monday 26 May 2014 0 comments

All people set targets and resolutions, and easily slip back into old habits. We are all haunted by the excuses and “yeah buts” that have cost us countless opportunities for growth and expansion.

Commit to a Target

 One major reason we don’t achieve our life’s targets is a lack of commitment. This article describes psychology experiments that suggest how we can encourage ourselves to commit to beneficial targets that could change our lives.

Reality check

The researchers divided 136 participants into three groups and gave them each a different way of thinking about how they wanted to solve a problem, in this case it was an interpersonal one.

Indulge: imagine a positive vision of the problem solved.

Dwell: think about the negative aspects of the current situation.

Contrast: first imagine a positive vision of the problem solved then think about the negative aspects of reality. With both in mind, participants were asked to carry out a ‘reality check’, comparing their fantasy with reality.

Crucially, participants were also asked about their expectations of success in reaching their target.

Below are 6 ways you can get your commitment level back up to 100%:

Define your why:

Many of us have very fuzzy ideas of where we are headed and what we want. How can you be committed to something you’re not clear about? So take the time to get clear about what you want – your vision for the future. Make it as real and 3 dimensional as possible in your imagination. Operate “as if” you are already where you want to be. Once you have clarity of intention you will boost motivation significantly because you know where you are headed and the future looks bright.

Transform your thinking:

 Rid yourself of negative thoughts and self-criticism by practicing being present.  Once you can identify your patterns you can substitute positive self-talk.

Be honest with yourself:

Be honest with yourself about where you’re at now – strengths and weakness. This will give you a solid foundation from which to build.

Prepare to let go:

Prepare to let go of anything getting in the way of your desired outcome. This may require getting the emotional healing you need.

Think of yourself as a success already:

Whenever you have an important decision to make, ask yourself “will this take me closer to my targets?”. If not, don’t move in that direction.

Hearts and minds:

When done right, the strength of this technique is it forces us to decide. People have a natural tendency to avoid decisions, preferring to stay in a fantasy land where the chance of failure is zero.

Mental contrasting makes us ask ourselves if this is really a target we want to pursue. If not we should forget about it and move on to something else. If we expect to succeed then it forces us to commit our hearts and minds to it, making us act now with energy and focus.
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