Defining Goals

When stating your goal, you are answering the question “What exactly do I want?”

The goal is stated in positive terms and in the present or future tense. Avoid using words like wish or want. Be specific and detailed. Indicate a defined date of completion.

Example 1:
“I lose 30 pounds in six months.”
NOT:
“I wish to lose 30 pounds in six months" or "I won't be 30 pounds overweight in six months.”

Example 2:
“I break (or will break) a golf score of 80 by the end of the summer.”
NOT:
“I want to break a golf score of 80 by the end of the summer" or "I hope to improve my score in the future.”

Example 3:
“I retire from my profession with an accumulated wealth of $4,000,000 dollars at age 60.”
NOT:
“Someday I'll be able to retire in comfort" or "I want to save enough money so I won't have to rely solely on my social security in retirement.”

Example 4:
“My practice will increase profits 25% by December 30.”
NOT:
“My practice won’t show a loss this year.”

Stating a goal as a positive statement gives more focused direction to achieving it. There is a greater likelihood of completing a journey when the destination is well-defined than when the goal is to not to be in the current location. If an individual has a desire to live in a warm climate during the winter, stating the desire as “I want to live in Florida from the beginning of January to the end of March” has more focus than “I don’t want to live in New York during the winter”. The negative statement is too diffuse without focus.