Effective Goal Setting Move Away vs. Move Toward - Patti Keating

Goals can be seen from two different perspectives. Many times we want to change something that’s not working in our life. I want to lose some weight, I want to get out of debt, I want to move out of this house, etc. Often diets won’t work because people are focused on losing weight. Once they lost enough to satisfy themselves, they lose focus and gain the weight back.

The other type of goal focuses on the positive outcome we are seeking. Things like I want to get in the best shape of my life. I want my 3000 sq ft house on the lake. I want to be able to afford a great education for my kids.

Move Away From Versus Move Toward Goals

I call the first type of goal, a “move away from” goal. Many times people focus on the goals from which they’re actually moving away. “I don’t want to be fat and out of shape,” instead of, “I want to be healthy and fit.” When you focus on your goal, you should see that as your target. Your target has to actually exist. It must be something you can visualize and measure.

These “move away from” goals can be great starting points, but once you’ve identified what you don’t want, create your “move toward” goal. “Move toward” goals help you focus on the results that you want. Once you have identified those “move toward” goals, put all of your energy into creating that goal.

The two little words that transform a “move away from” goal to a “move toward” goal are SO THAT… When you are working towards being healthier “so that” you can take your kids to the park and go down the slide with your son, you have a “move toward” goal. In fact, you can even write that specific goal down. “I am going to play in the park with my son” if that’s something you can’t do now.

The motivation is that I want to feel that connection with my children, who are the most important people in the world. I want them to remember the times that we have together playing in the park rather than remembering Mom sitting on the couch telling them to go outside and play. This will have a bigger impact on your children’s health, and on the health of the world, because you’re modeling being healthy and fit.

The Laser Effect

This has the effect of a laser. It takes the same amount of energy to produce a laser beam as it does the light from a table lamp. It’s just specifically targeted. It’s condensed and focused. The same is true with you. When you focus with that laser intensity on your goals, you’ll reach them, and reach them quicker.

So, everything that we see in our life that we don’t like or we don’t want more of, is really a reminder of who we are and what we do want. Be sure that you focus your intentions and your actions on the things that you do want rather than staying attached to the things that you don’t want. When you can visualize a goal you’re moving towards, you can focus all of your energy on creating it.

The Numbers Tell All

Your goal should be something you can see or put a number on like a certain body fat percentage or a size 6 pair of jeans.You’ll begin to look for that. With your subconscious mind, you’ll be seeing size 6 jeans when you’re at the store. You’ll be looking for the thing you want rather than avoiding the thing you’ve rejected.

Dates are numbers, too. Think “I’m going to run a 5k and I’m going to do it by…” Now we set a target date and write that down. The dates, sizes, and percentages make our goals substantial targets we can shoot for  They are the visual aids that keep us focused and let us know when we are successful.

My Story

About 12 years ago, I was living 100 miles south of here in our dream home. I was married and I had 4 children. When my marriage ended, I made an important decision. I was not going to move away from the town and the relationship, I was going to move towards what I wanted for my children. I found the best school district in the state and I moved to that specific location. I identified exactly where I wanted them to be raised, the school they would go to, etc.

I didn’t just want to live in this location, but I wanted a nice home on the lake. It took me about 16 months going from zero to living in Lake Oswego. I had to create that with a laser focus that I had committed to. I moved them to the most affluent city in the state as a single mom with a brand new coaching business. I knew one thing: what my children’s lifestyle was going to be. I could see it in my mind, I knew exactly what I wanted for them, and it was a non-negotiable, and because of that, it became a reality.