Goal setting is an interesting challenge. Conventional advice tells us to make them explicit. To make SMART goals. Ones with specific measurable objectives and realistic timelines. But most of our goals aren’t about traveling to a new city – with clear outcomes and timelines.
How do you work with a goal that says “I want to feel successful”. One recommended approach is to visualize the end goal. What does it feel like? What’s in your bank account?
The idea here then is you can figure out that the end goal has you going to school for a data science degree, mastering advanced math and breaking into a new field. The visualization is a fun exercise but then you’re left with the rough taste of learning math in your mouth. So goals become nice places to visit while on a day-dream but not home.
Research however points to a new way to bridge this gap. Visualize what it feels like to be someone working towards the goal. In this scenario you imagine the pain of learning a new concept, struggling to master it and finally getting it – you know, like real life!
So how do you get to your goal? By getting there.
You aim to become the person who is trying to get there. This your brain can handle and put you on auto-pilot towards the tasks that will get you there. maybe.