Traditional Goal Setting Theory
Traditional goal setting theory teaches the logical process often described as SMART. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time oriented. Though SMART goal setting is useful and often brings us the results we desire, it overlooks a powerful and useful methodology that is even more helpful in goal setting activities: The Law of Attraction.
Popularized by The Secret DVD and book, and by the media, including Larry King and Oprah, the Law of Attraction is often portrayed as a magical method to achieve riches and love. But the Law of Attraction isn’t something to use only for special occasions or grandiose dreams, it’s a means of achieving everything we want, including the goals we set in our personal and professional lives.
A new method of goal setting combines the traditional SMART process with the Law of Attraction; it’s called SAFE. SAFE stands for:
See your goal vividly,
Accept it on faith,
Feel it with emotion, and
Express it in pictures and words.
Which would be easier, chasing butterflies around a field trying to catch them with a net or attracting them to where you are standing with your net? SMART is like chasing butterflies, SAFE is like attracting them to you.
The SAFE Method of Goal Setting: A Summary
Pick a personal or professional goal. Accept on faith that the goal can be achieved and See the results in your imagination. Play a mental video of when your goal is achieved and Feel the emotions of your success. Express your achieved goal in many ways: view the mental video, talk about it, picture it, make a collage about it, and even write a press release about it.
Goal Setting Using SAFE
For example, if your goal is a new job, one that is more satisfying and better paying, See yourself in the new job Feeling satisfied. Watch yourself making purchases you can now afford. Feel the emotions of pleasure and satisfaction with your new job. Express it by reading the press release of your new job in your local newspaper.
If you can See this new scenario and can Feel the emotions of successful achievement, you’re on your way to achieving the goal. All you need do is continue to re-play and expand on the mental movie regularly. What about the activities to land the new job? These will come naturally as a result of your attractive powers.
You won’t have to think of all the actions required and you won’t need to establish target dates to force your attention to them. The actions and information you require will be attracted to you; all you need do is follow them.
The Importance of Accepting
What if you aren’t able to See and Feel the emotions of success at accomplishing the new job? Then have some internal resistance to Accepting the goal.
We often subtly and subconsciously sabotage our own goals. Without realizing it, we combine excitement and enthusiasm with fear and anxiety. Will others be affected? (most certainly) Will there be resistance? (probably) Will your life change? (absolutely, that’s the idea)
When we have conflicting thoughts about a change we’re simultaneously trying to achieve a goal and resist it, too; it’s no wonder so many goals go unachieved.
Since resistance is internal and subconscious, turn inward to overcome it. Declare your intention to allow yourself to achieve the goal. Breathe deeply and slowly, and focus on opening yourself to incoming energy. Think of your body as a pipe with energy flowing in and out. Mentally open the pipe wider and wider until you feel resistance and tension lighten.
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