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Goal Setting. Do You Move Towards or Move Away?

There are people who focus on Moving Away from something they don’t want and others who focus on Moving Towards what they do want.

Move Away

  • I don’t want to be heavy. I don’t want to be poor. I don’t want to be with someone like that.

Move Towards

  • I am going to be fit. I am focused on abundance and happiness. I will only be with someone who shares my values.

Moving Away from often creates an abrupt start and initial motivation, however, when the Move Away from gets far enough from what the person wants to avoid they think they have it under control. “Whew, I’ll never be like that again. I’m going to do that [old behavior] just once and get back on track tomorrow.”

Often paired with the success of avoidance is the mindset of riding it out while it lasts. Eventually, however, they lose momentum and motivation, and that behavior slips, creating inconsistent results. The internal language creates unconscious direction and sends people into a free fall.

We often use both strategies in different categories of life depending on importance to the individual.

The Move Towards person keeps driving towards what they want in increments. Once they achieve it or are almost there they realize they can keep going and move the stick just a little farther, continuously creating a new achievement to attain, and keeping motivation.

Again, internal language creates unconscious direction. In this case it is a focus on continual improvement and focus on maintaining the achievement goal.

The Move Towards approach helps people find new routes to reach their destination when obstacles are presented.

This Move Towards mindset is how I encourage fitness clients to look at weight loss. Instead of seeing the weight they want to lose and creating an “I am [name} who needs to lose weight,” an I AM statement that the unconscious doesn’t release, I ask that they focus on being “I am [name] who is more healthy and fit every day.” This mindset and unconscious language removes the thing they are avoiding (excess weight) and focuses decisions based on those of their achievement goal (being healthy and fit).

Where in your life can you shift your mindset and unconscious language to reflect a Move Towards approach?

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