Motivational Speakers – Set Only Positive Goals and Achieving them will be a Cinch

Motivational Speakers

Set Only Positive Goals and Achieving them will be a Cinch

When police agents are trained to recognise counterfeit money, they are trained to focus on knowing all the characteristics of the legal currency. They are trained using real money and work with only the legal tender, until they know every counterfeiting measure printed on or in the money. They study the money on both sides, until they know every feature of the money, which makes it legal tender.

By knowing the real money so well, when they encounter any counterfeit money, they will immediately recognise it as counterfeit. Their training is very specific and focused on teaching them to know everything about the legal money. Their minds are therefore not cluttered with all the possible things, which could be wrong or the mistakes that are commonly made. They are completely focused, because they are specialists in the real thing. This way any counterfeit money is glaringly obvious to them.

The same is true for your life. When you focus your energy on the penalties of failure or you are constantly worried about all the things that could go wrong. You are far more likely to infuse your performance with those penalties and potential mistakes. One of the most crucial steps in the process of ensuring you stay focused on achieving your vision and goals is to concentrate on what you need to do. Do not allow yourself to focus any attention on the things you must not do.

Last Saturday I joined the Midrand cycle club on a 65 km ride. I did not ask what the terrain we would be riding on would be like, so at about the 30 Km mark, we got to a really steep downhill section, with massive rock outcrops, which bounced the bike all over the place. As you can imagine, I immediately saw the danger and kept telling myself not to fall. Well as you can imagine, I did fall and fortunately only injured my knee. The reality is that what you think about, you bring about. Instead of telling myself to be careful and not to fall, I should have rather focused on remaining positive and thought, smooth and confident, ride easily over all the bumps and rocks. This more positive thinking would most certainly have kept me on the bike. I was the only one out of a group of 15 riders to have fallen on the ride.

Another example, relating to “weight loss”, where you feel you are carrying a little too much weight. Most people under these circumstances set negative goals to “Lose Weight”. We are programmed to not want to lose anything, so by setting negative goals, where you are telling yourself to lose something, you are doomed to failure, before you even start. Any goals, which are framed in negative terms, yet they try to get you to move in a positive direction, are doomed to fail. Rather set a goal which creates a positive body picture in your mind, like “I am completely alive at 55

Steer Clear of Negative Goal Setting

Steer clear of negative goal setting. It is impossible for our minds to focus on a reverse idea.

For example:

  • When the tennis player focuses on the negative term, namely the double fault. He is reminding himself of the very condition he wants to avoid at all costs.
  • The person, who is constantly late for everything, by setting a negative goal about not being late, does not offer a solution, but only highlights the challenge they want to overcome.
  • When you think in terms of all the weight you have to lose, you have a negative self-image in your mind of someone who is overweight.
  • Someone who speaks to fast and loud must not set a goal to not speak fast and loud. This creates a negative picture in their mind and reinforces the exact behaviour they want to avoid.

To succeed at achieving any goal you set you must create a vivid picture in your mind of what you want to do, or achieve. Never focus on what you do not want to do, or what you do not want to achieve. In the case of losing weight we you need to create a vivid image in your mind of what you will look like when you reach your perfect weight. Using this image as your goal you have a positive picture and a solution to focus on, rather than a negative picture of being overweight and the kilograms you need to lose.

Try this little experiment:

  • Get a picture in your mind of a time you were really angry or upset. Focusing on that picture, try to concentrate on not being upset or angry. How does it make you feel?
  • Now get a vivid picture in your mind of a time you felt energised and happy. Focusing on that picture, concentrate all your energy on feeling elated and happy.

How much better do you feel using the second technique, where you focused on the positive outcome you wanted to achieve, rather than trying to overcome a negative picture or emotion?

When you understand this really important characteristic about how your mind works and you understand that your brain can’t focus on an idea in reverse, you can now appreciate why you must only set positive goals. Try to never again tell yourself not to make mistakes, rather focus on visualising a picture of a perfect or flawless performance. When you focus on the positive outcome you want to achieve, you will perform far better. Can you imagine a tight rope walker who constantly tells himself, not to fall? How long do you think he will survive as a tight rope walker?

The best way to improve performance or to set goals is as follows:

  • The tennis player, should say things like “First serve in every time
  • The person who wants to lose weight, should say “I come alive at 55
  • The person, who speaks loudly and too fast, should say “I speak, slowly, clearly and with confidence”.
  • The person, who is always late, should say “On time, all the time, every time”.

These are all examples of positive goal statements. They help you to create positive images of achievement in your mind. These positive images, then act as a strong pulling force, to pull you in the direction of the desired new behaviour you need to adopt, to achieve any goal. This small shift in the way you set goals will have a remarkable positive effect on your ability to achieve any goals in the future.

Andrew Horton

Andrew Horton

andrew horton



Sales Training



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  • Gavin Goodman /

    He who concentrates on not making a spelling mistake must instead think of how good he is at spelling….. 😉

    Seriously though, one of my positive goals is to have a good old fashioned face to face chat with you. Onwards and upwards !



  • nice work am so much pleased for the best knowledge you have offered,thanx keep it up

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