The 3 Part Power Source Behind Goal Setting

power source behind goal setting

We all know that goal setting is fundamental to the accomplishment of things large and small. Every super achiever has the ability to set and follow through on their goals. But, have you ever wondered what is actually behind the proven power of goal setting?

Whenever a success strategy like goal setting has a proven track record for producing results, it can be advantageous to understand why. By identifying the power source behind goal setting , we immediately gain much greater insight into the value of each step involved. In addition, that understanding can help us to produce our desired results more accurately and consistently.

The 3 part power source of goal setting

1. The focus factor. One of the primary reasons that goal setting work so well is because it provides a clearly defined target on which to focus our energy. With enough focus the human mind has the astounding ability to accomplish almost anything it sets out to achieve. However, without a clearly defined target to aim at, our ability to focus becomes diffused and unable to produce the desired results.

Goal setting work to focus our energies in the same way that a magnifying glass can capture sunlight and turn it into enough energy to start a fire. Anyone who has played with a magnifying glass quickly understands the principles of focused energy. When the diffused light hitting that glass is concentrated into a very small area, it generates enormous power. The same thing happens when a portion of the diffused energy you expend is concentrated toward the achievement of a clearly defined goal.

2. The visualization factor. Having crystal clear goals also allows us to utilize power of visualization and unleash significantly more energy than what is available from goal setting alone. This is because when we use visualization we are able to recruit some of the resources of our subconscious mind. You see, while our conscious mind can discern the difference between an actual experience and one that we visualize, the subconscious mind cannot.

A visualized event has the ability to program our nervous system because it is seen and felt in the subconscious as though it is actually happening. So, even though the visualized experience is imagined, neurologically there is an experiential form of seeing, feeling and knowing being created. This registers as an actual memory that fosters a sense of confidence based on the perception that we have already successfully accomplished our goal. That’s the power of visualization!

3. The belief factor. During a masters golf tournament, Phil Mickelson was trailing by three strokes with only six holes left to play. He had to sink this very difficult putt if he was going to have any chance of winning. In his own words, Phil “kept seeing and believing that things would work out for him that day.” And they did. He sank the putt, birdied another and then sank an improbable 20-footer on the 18th hole to win by one stroke.

How could he remain so confident in his ability to win?The belief that everything would work out even when he was falling behind carried him through. It’s important to note that his winning belief was not based on past performance. Mickelson had the undesirable distinction of playing in 48 major tournaments and never winning any of them.

At that time he was known for being the best golfer in the world never to have won a major golf tournament. But Mickelson had mentally rehearsed winning this tournament so many times that he came to truly believe that he would win. It was that unshakable belief coupled with his intense focus that led him to victory.

Now that you know the real power behind goal setting

It’s your turn to put this 3 part goal setting power source to work in your life. Try this: Imagine that you are achieving a goal and celebrating how wonderful it feels. Do this 30 times a day over the next seven days. To your conscious mind, you may just be imagining something that might never happen. But to the part of you that controls your astounding ability to achieve almost anything, it actually did happen. In fact, it happened over 200 times!

When the pressure is on and you really need to come through, it is your ability to use focus and visualization to reinforce the belief  that you will succeed. Your conscious mind may have doubts, but your nervous system will be preprogrammed to do what it has already done more than 200 times before and your reality will rearrange itself accordingly.

Which of these 3 goal setting factors is your favorite?
What are you programming yourself to achieve?
The lines are open!

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  1. Erfan July 19, 2011 Reply

    I’ve read this over and over again and I know it is true. The part I lacked in the past was remembering to focus on the vision on my dreams or goals DAILY. In the past couple of days I’ve read several of your articles and felt inspired to write my goals down and take action. I’ve fallen back into my habitual thinking routine but I’ve managed to bring myself to your site to help me get back on track. Its becoming more and more clear to me now. Just gotta keep working on my mind like I workout in the gym to make it believe what I want from this precious life. Thanks Jonathan!

    • Jonathan October 5, 2011 Reply

      Hi Erfan, don’t despair, it takes time and some determination to develop a new habit (just like going to the gym). Sounds like you are getting a handle on it. You did the right thing by coming back to get inspired because the more you are around people who are making things happen the easier it will be for you.

  2. marc October 4, 2011 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,

    In my experience this manifestation formula works very well. If I can focus on seeing my goal and I actually can see it internally, I start believing it and it eventually will manifest. However, the problem I still face, is the time factor: the moment of achieving I cannot control … yet.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Jonathan October 5, 2011 Reply

      Hi Marc, we can never know exactly how long it will take to achieve a goal because unexpected things have a way popping up. Although, I have found that setting a deadline has a powerful influence on controlling that aspect.

    • michaela October 12, 2011 Reply

      Hi Marc, Hi Jonathan,
      I’m facing the time factor “problem” too. Now and then I can observe myself fighting off doubts and disappointment wondering if I will ever and at all achieve my goals etc… Thx Jonathan for your deadline suggestion, I’ll give it a go! Thx again for a great article! Michaela

      • Jonathan October 12, 2011 Reply

        Hi Michaela, having a deadline can be very helpful, but it can also create anxiety if not structured correctly. The purpose of a deadline is create enough pressure so that you must focus your energies, but not so much pressure as to stress yourself out. So, give yourself just enough time to complete your goal without turning your world upside down in the process.

  3. Ken Wert October 5, 2011 Reply

    I love the way you broke the goal process down into three easily understood steps, Jonathan. I think another reason visualization can be of such value is it actually helps achieve the first step of focus. If you can’t visualize it, then the goal just may be too vague to focus on anyway. The better and more precisely you can visualize the goal, the more focus you will likely be able to generate.

    Great post, Jonathan!

  4. Jonathan October 5, 2011 Reply

    Excellent point Ken, I totally agree that The better and more precisely you can visualize the goal, the more focus you will likely be able to generate. I appreciate you bringing that point to our attention!

  5. Galen Pearl October 5, 2011 Reply

    I am testing for my black belt in taekwondo in a few weeks. I am very focused and I have seen how visualization helps. I go through all the forms I need to remember in my mind every day, often just before I go to sleep. I know during class, my performance is much better if I have been using the visualization. And yes, I believe that my goal of getting my black belt before I turn 60 (in January) will be achieved!

    Now if I can just use this technique as successfully in getting my book written. I’m bogged down on the first step–focus!!

    • Jonathan October 12, 2011 Reply

      Hi Galen, I have some unconventional little tricks that might help you with the book writing challenge. When you think about the whole project it can be difficult to know exactly where to put your focus. My suggestion is that whenever you are thinking of a related topic that you sit down and write an article about that. Soon you will have a collection of articles that you can organize in some logical progression. Some will combine to form chapters. Others will become the basis for new chapters. Once you have some content to organize it will be very apparent where the holes are and you’ll know how to fill them.

  6. Rob October 5, 2011 Reply

    I hate to disagree with such a great post, but I think you’ve forgotten emphasis somewhere very important.

    It’s not enough just to visualize and focus on a goal. It’s extremely important, but there’s an important gap between success and your focus areas in this post.

    Hard work. I know that you need to be focused to do it, but no amount of good intentions and visualizing will accomplish your goals unless you invest time and energy into them as well.

    Definitely a great post, though. Especially because most people’s biggest obstacle in getting great things done is the belief that it’s possible.

    • Jonathan October 12, 2011 Reply

      Hi Rob, I totally agree that without decisive action the rest will never amount to anything. Interestingly, I purposely left that vital step out to see if anyone would bring it up – thanks for doing that. If you read any of the related articles you will quickly realize that I am a proponent of TAKING ACTION. But I also feel that, in most cases anyway, the preliminary mental and emotional preparation will make the action phase mush more targeted. Although, I also don’t like to see people getting too bogged down in the prep stage. So when all else fails or you are feeling stuck, take action and let the rest unfold during the process.

  7. Navin June 14, 2012 Reply

    I must say I feel like a better person today after reading this article and the views of so many different people from different walks of life.

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