Positive thinking is key to achieving your goals, desires and ambitions.

  • If you want to find out about the role positive thinking plays in setting personal goals, then come to the next IMPACT Goal setting course:

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Positive thinking helps you set the best personal goals

Positive thinking is important when pursuing personal goals.

Maintaining a positive attitude is equally important.

We are all told to think positively, but how do you actually do it?

To get into the right frame of mind, it is worth understanding a little about how your mind works.

How you think

Your mind is literal: it instantly creates what you tell it to.

If I say, “Do not think of a pink tree”, you think of a pink tree even if you quickly change its colour to green.

This is because your mind takes the easiest route when processing something before then making an effort to change that.

In his book Thinking Fast and Slow, Professor Daniel Kahneman, one of the leading psychologists of past century, calls this fast, instant processing part of the mind, “System 1”, and the slow processing part, “System 2”.

He explains what he found out from his research in his book, Thinking Fast and Slow.

I usually recommend getting books in hard copy: this is one worth getting as an audio book because it is very in-depth:

System 1, or “Thinking Fast”, is unconscious and instinctual, automatic and efficient, and requires little effort.

On the face of it, you would imagine that this is a good thing, however, Thinking Fast is an emotional response and is prone to error.

For this reason, it is best suited to simple, frequent decisions.

System 2, or “Thinking Slow”, is slow and thoughtful.

It requires conscious attention, effort and energy.

Thinking slow is logical and calculating and is best for infrequent, complex decisions.

It is more reliable than Thinking Fast.

You can use this understanding to create a balance between easy, Thinking Fast, and effortful, Thinking Slow to help you set the best personal goals.

For example, use slow thinking to create steps in your goal setting in such a way as to apply fast thinking when you come to that step.

Positive thinking

The phrase “Do not think of a pink tree” highlights another interesting thing about how your mind processes commands.

Your mind does not immediately process a negative, instead leaves the negative out.

When I say, “Do not think of a pink elephant”, you end up thinking of a pink elephant.

This is important to consider when writing your IMPACT Goals: you must write them in the positive.

If your goal for a performance is “I will not mess it up”, you are more likely to end up messing up because your mind is literally translates that as “I will mess it up”.

Instead, write how you will be successful: “I will do it perfectly.”

If you want to set “perfect” personal goals, then come along to an IMPACT Goal workshop:

Join the next workshop

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