Away or Towards Goal Setting?


So what do you want to achieve? What is your goal? Do you know what you want?


What does your goal statement start with...I don't want to be...or...I am...? If you start your goal statements with don'ts there is an extremely high likelihood they will fail to appear, and if they do they soon disappear. This would be classed as an away goal - a goal where you do not want something. Good examples of this can be I don't want this crappy job any more, I don't want to be here...both of these statements are clear about what you do not want, they just miss what you do want.


When you create a goal at the conscious level, verbally, in thought or writing it down, your unconscious mind will seek it out to get you that. So if you don't want this crappy job, you will leave it, and who is to say you do not end up in another crappy job? So what job do you really want? What does that job look like and more importantly what will it give you?

Write down what you want - this is your towards, if you notice do nots creeping in remove them as they are negative pullers and will be embedded in the unconscious and it will find them for you.


What will your positive towards goal give you, how will you know when you are there. Here are 6 pointers taken from Mindset For Business Success - by Dr Bridget Kirsop for writing a positive goal.



  1. Is it expressed in the positive

  2. Can you describe it in sensory terms

  3. Is it under your control

  4. Is the context clear

  5. Does it maintain secondary gains

  6. Is it ecological

Expressed in the positive

a good example would be 'I want to be an energetic and happy husband and father' rather than 'I don't want to be a dull husband and father.'


Describe it in sensory terms

Can you describe how it will be in terms of what you can see, hear and feel when you reach your goal.


Under your control

It will be a well formed goal when it is solely in your hands and is not reliant on any others for its success.


Clear context

You know exactly where, when and how you want it to be, plus also know where and when you do not want it.


Secondary gains

Often there were more compelling reasons to not setting or achieving your goals - for example you do not want to lose a friendship as you become more successful. By keeping the friendship within the goal you will be keeping your secondary gains.


Is it ecological

When you achieve your goal, will there be any unwanted consequences? Make sure that these are addressed within your positive goal. For example work life balance is it what you want?


Writing down your goal has increased probability of happen than those that do not - make it a towards goal increases this even more so.

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