Don’t Bother Setting Goals

by Michael Beck on March 10, 2010 | Articles

Self motivation is powerful but often elusive.  The challenge with becoming motivated is moving from the “logical” to the “emotional”.  For example, logically it makes sense to lose weight and get fit, but the  reason most folks struggle with their weight and their fitness is that  they’re not emotionally motivated for self improvement.

Someone who’s emotionally self motivated won’t let distractions and interruptions knock them off course.  When we’re self motivated, we’re driven to achieve our goals.  We’re enthusiastic about them.  Putting in action to achieve goals we’re motivated to achieve energizes us.  In contrast, putting in activity to work on something we’re not motivated to do is draining. (Hence we tend to avoid doing it.)

Then we come to the issue of “conflicting intentions”.  The concept of “conflicting intentions and beliefs” is important to understand.  This is one of the main reasons – if not THE main reason – that people don’t succeed in reaching their goals.  Let me explain more about this concept.  A person has a conflicting intention when they say or want one thing, but in their head or their heart, they want or believe something else.  For example, they might declare that their goal is to make $250,000, but  secretly they don’t really believe they could ever make that amount of  money.  Or they believe they’re not “worthy” of making that kind of money.  Or they believe that the effort to have the level of success would overwhelm them.  Or they believe that people who make a lot of money are superficial and materialistic.

The consequence of harboring conflicting intentions is that every action, every activity, and every effort is  “energetically” counteracted.  In other words, the positive gains from one’s efforts are canceled out by the conflicting or  negative energy, resulting in an outcome that is “OK”, but not nearly  what it could or should have been.  This principle affects everything in our life – money, relationships, success, you name it…

The bottom line is that setting goals and working  towards them often will be a frustrating exercise until one is truly  motivated for self improvement and has cleared out any major conflicting intentions and beliefs.  When you’re self motivated and not in conflict, you’ll reach your goals faster and easier than you ever thought possible.

Michael Beck is a Business Philosopher & Strategist. For more articles on leadership, personal effectiveness and personal productivity, please visit to subscribe to his free monthly newsletter, "Full Potential."

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Auth September 16, 2012

In NLP, we’d remind peploe to focus on an outcome/intention/goal that describes the FEELINGS, i.e. physical sensations, we want to have, rather than the specific path (process) to get to those feelings, or specific material things we might find while taking that path. These feelings/sensations outcomes are the most important things to keep in mind, since they allow us to more easily be open to all the good, true, beautiful, and inspiring opportunities that happen to present themselves in life which we may not be expecting. Because, if we are focusing too much on specific paths or material things, such as “writing a book”, we might miss out on some other opportunities we have that would lead us to even more of these feelings we want to have, because “writing” is just one paths we might take and “a book” is just one of the material things we might find on our way to our intended sensational goal. The purpose of doing things this way, – of setting the goal/outcome/intention to be feelings – is to let each part of our self do what it does best. The conscious mind is great at looking at the past and future and deciding what might be best for the future, in this case sorting though all the different sensations that it’s had in the past and would love to have again, and the unconscious body~mind is best at navigating and noticing details about possible hidden gems in our environment. For me, my goal/intention/outcome is something like: The feelings of having enough whole food, pure water, fresh air, warmth, light, and the freedom to express myself physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. The short version of this goal is to continue to love the world and myself even more every day. For you, Brain, what feelings do you get when you give your greatest gifts, and greatest services to the world, inspiring as many peploe as you can, as you have fun studying, embodying, and sharing your favorite wisdom? What does it feel like when you do this? What sensations do you experience as these things happen?


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