• Unknowingly we play silly goal setting games with ourselves
Result? We're scatterbrained, procrastinating & not attaining goals
Knowing what is going on will help you achieve goals faster
• So, strap
in for a bit of goal setting motivation theory ...
• Combined with a fun,
easy to understand goal setting example
Goal Setting Games We Play with Our Subconscious
Even all the world's goal
setting experts can't help us. People set golas, but they fail to keep them.
Have you noticed? Not always, of course, and not everybody, but lots and lots of
I know it's true for me. I set lots of goals,
and even if I do succeed in achieving some of them, most of the time I sure
don't achieve all my goals.
So, what's wrong with us?
Stupid or What?
Nope, we're not stupid, just confused. Our subconscious is
playing games with us, goal setting games.
Now, I'm an entrepreneur so my
livelihood depends on my ability to achieve my goals, and I also depend on other
people being able to set and achieve the goals they say they will.
... sometimes they just don't do that. In spite of all promises. (And to be
fair, neither do I).
That's why I have given this some thought. And what
I've come up with is the idea that we are playing goal setting games with
How? And why?
Time for some goal setting motivation
theory, a powerful, fun example. In the process we can perhaps learn something
about setting and achieving goals.
We Play Goal Setting Games With
Because We Are Unconscious
As far as I can tell, we plain don't
know what we want.
We THINK we know what we want, but in fact we just
don't. We are controlled by something other than our daily, thinking
Oftentimes we actually THINK that we know what is going on
inside ourselves, and why we are doing what we are doing, but in fact we don't.
Instead, our subconscious is in the driver's seat. And we are not even aware
Introducing: An Example
instance, you might set the goal of losing 10 pounds in the next five months.
That's two pounds per month. Theoretically this should be achievable.
Consequently, you eat less and exercise more. And for a while things seem to be
But then something happens, maybe you switch jobs, maybe
your pet dies, maybe you just plain lose interest. In any case, you lose focus
on the goal.
When the five months are up, you may even find that you have
gained weight. What happened?
How to Understand Our Own Goal Setting
In my opinion your subconscious started playing goal setting games
with you. Yes, sure, you consciously decided you wanted to lose weight, so you
set the goal of losing 10 pounds in five months, but 'underneath the hood' (so
to speak) other things were going on.
To find out what is up with those
goal setting games, we should really ask your subconscious. Well, I can't do
that right now, so I'll just have go by what I think. This is not science, it is
just my inspirational thoughts about 'goal setting games' based on what I know
about what makes us tick - and how we 'tick'.
As far as I can tell our
subconscious works in a way that is both complicated and simple ...
How Our Subconscious Plays These Games
For the most part the decisions
we make seem to be primarily based on four things:
a) our free will
c) our perceived needs
d) a cost-benefit analysis
just go through each of these very quickly. It may sound a bit lofty, but it
helps expose how we humans function, so please bear with me.
Our free will is our supreme decision maker. What we decide is what we
Example: Once a very stubborn person (I bet you know one) makes
up his mind, it very nearly becomes easier to move mountains than move his
opinion or choice. He is using his free will to stick to his decision no matter
Some people will literally rather die than change their mind. And
if that is their decision there is nothing anybody else can do about it.
That is free will in play.
Our beliefs are what we
believe to be true (about ourselves, other people, the world and life in
Additionally, beliefs are mostly subconscious, and they are
most notably NOT reality, but merely what we BELIEVE is reality.
a certain light, beliefs are simply a sort of programming of the human mind).
Thus beliefs function as filters (limitations) on what we experience (and
choose), and therefore they are extremely powerful shapers of our experience.
Example: I want to become an airline pilot, but I don't believe I can, so I
don't even try.
Our perceived needs can be
anything from a cup of coffee, to becoming an airline pilot, to one of the basic
human needs (like survival).
Perceived needs are very powerful
motivators, motivating us to both action and inaction. They are, to some (large)
degree controlled by our beliefs.
cost-benefit analysis is simply a weighing of pros and cons.
given decision or action we (mostly subconsciously) analyze 'What are the
costs?' versus 'What are the benefits?' and so we decide if it is worth it or
Obviously a cost-benefit analysis will often focus on our perceived
needs - we want our needs met ... but not at any price.
analysis will be doubly influenced; first, by our beliefs, then by our perceived
needs (which are themselves influenced by our beliefs).
Games: Our Beliefs Play the Biggest Part
The interesting things to note are
- our beliefs play a very big role in the goal setting games we
play with ourselves
- our beliefs are mostly subconscious
cost-benefit analysis we do when choosing goals (or anything else) is very
heavily biased by both our beliefs and by our perceived needs
the decisions we make regarding our goals will easily become goal setting games
- as our subconscious decides that we have needs which are more important than
the ones we consciously thought were important.
Yeah, yeah, all that
sounds awfully theoretical, I know. But have patience, we're getting to the
Let's look at the weight loss example again. It's an excellent
example of goal setting games.
The Example of Goal Setting Games -
As long as you keep your attention focused on your goal your
conscious use of your free will overrules any subconscious beliefs you hold.
The moment your attention slips, however, your subconscious programming
(your beliefs) takes over, and initiates a subconscious cost-benefit analysis of
your situation. One that results in ... who knows what!
Here is what
might have happened in the weight loss example ... in the form of a dialogue
between your daily consciousness, ever complying your body and your
- - - * - - -DAILY CONSCIOUSNESS:
I need to lose
weight, so now I decide to set the goal of losing 10 pounds in the next five
months. At least. I now use my free will to accomplish that.BODY:
You're the boss. Let's lose some weight. Two pounds per month it is. Maybe even
a bit more.SUBCONSCIOUS
: But ... But, you got this old programming, a
belief actually, that says that your layer of fat ... Hey, listen! Bugger,
nobody is listening to me.
[One month later the BODY
is almost 3 pounds
lighter, then this happens:]DAILY CONSCIOUSNESS
: It's terrible! My
favorite canary just died! I've had that canary for years!BODY
Something terrible has happened. I feel so sad. I am crying.DAILY
: All I can think about is that canary. It was such a beautiful
: Hey, listen, you've got this old belief which
says that when you feel sad, candy is a great relief. This goes SO well with
what I was trying to say a month ago: Your layer of fat protects you from the
evil outside world. The more fat you have, the less harm less anybody can do to
you! Okay?DAILY CONSCIOUSNESS
: [Busy mourning]
crying, because the daily consciousness is busy mourning]SUBCONSCIOUS:
All right, then. I'm just going to make this decision on my own. [Does a
cost-benefit analysis]. Right. You need to be consoled, so you go and eat a lot
of candy, now. This will also help you put back that fat you lost, so you will
: Okay. Let's eat!DAILY CONSCIOUSNESS
: No weight loss after five months. Perhaps even a
- - - * - - -
Interplay Between Conscious and
Goal Setting Games
You see how goals you set for yourself
can easily become the subject of goal setting games you play with yourself?
The Conclusion and Solution
So, then, as we are nearing the end of
this goal setting article, what is the 'cure', the solution?
though it may sound, the solution is consciousness. Awareness.
course, the use of your all-powerful free will.
In this case awareness
first and foremost means becoming aware of your old programming (your beliefs)
and understanding how they relate to your goals and those annoying goal setting
games you end up playing with yourself.
A second thing you might like to
become aware of is this: Your perceived needs. What are they? And why are they
Then, you apply liberal amounts of truth and reality (absolute
reality) to the mix.
To use the weight loss example, the truth is, a) you
don't actually get consoled by sugar, and b) you don't need those extra pounds
to protect you from the world.
When you see the truth, you can then let
go [LINK] of those old beliefs. And when you do that, you have a much better
chance of NOT ending up in goal setting games with yourself the next time you
make the decision to lose weight.
Instead you probably just lose the
weight you want to ... and think nothing of it. :-)
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