CommLab University Blog

Personal Goal Setting: Confessions of Diehard Goal-Setter

Posted by RK Prasad On Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 08:16 AM

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I have been reading self-help books since I was 17, my first book being the age old ‘classic’, “How to Win Friends and Influence People in Business” by Dale Carnegie, way back in 1978! Even now I continue to read books in that category and get quite excited about trying out the ‘new’ concepts presented in them.

One of the most intriguing concepts is the one on “Goal Setting”. Maxwell Maltz in his ground-breaking book, “Psycho-Cybernetics”, Steven Covey in his masterpiece, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, Anthony Robbins in his bestseller, “Awaken the Giant Within” and of course, the latest entrant being Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, all propound their unique understanding on the topic. I can safely hazard a guess that any self improvement guru worth his salt would expound his wisdom on this topic.

What I understood from their teachings is that the human brain is a ‘goal-achieving mechanism’ that has to be given ‘what’ to achieve in no uncertain terms, preferably in a written down form with a time limit, and left strictly alone! By keeping ‘first things, first’, you can maximize your chances of achieving them in the shortest possible time. You may even visualize the end result as graphically as possible and your brain, which is akin to a heat-seeking missile, will go after it like a tenacious hound chasing a fox, not resting till it achieves it!

Well! As far as my experience goes, I have seen mixed results. Every year, usually in the middle of December, I sit down and spend a week trying to capture in writing all the goals I would like to achieve in the coming year (not to be confused with my new year resolutions, which are more like boons requested from gods!), in the all areas of my life – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, relationships, financial and professional. At the end of the year when I revisit them, I find that some of them became redundant in changed circumstances, some not touched at all and some achieved. I have never achieved substantial success in achieving my preset goals. I do make plans for each one of them and visit them at least once in a quarter. But it appears that ‘man proposes and God disposes’.

Thank you for reading my blog. If you are interested, please try our free online course on ‘GOAL SETTING’:

I will be grateful if you will share your experiences.



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I have had great success with goal setting. What I do to empower the process is ensure that the goals I seek to achieve are linked directly to my life’s purpose in one way to another, so as to motivate me to work toward them when I might experience an energy dip or face discouragement. When goals are linked to a purpose, they have an energizing twist to them that provides us with motivation to get them done. In addition, while goal setting is an excellent task (even the simple task of writing them down enables their energy), I think that it is not worth much without specific, conscious actions that will set them into motion. Deepak Chopra does recommend, however, that writing down goals is the only element needed to set them into motion, but this has not worked for me — I add action.

Eleni Pallas

RK Prasad

Thank you very much. I think I should focus moreon “energizing” my goals.

Best regards


I think you need to “visit” your goals twice per day, not once per quarter. Seriously.

Write your goals on a piece of paper, being very specific and including a date when you will have achieved them. Mean what you say !

Re-read your goals each morning when you get up and each evening before you go to bed. Imagine yourself achieving each goal as you re-read it. This will keep both your conscious and unconscious mind focussed on what you want to achieve.

Don’t tell anyone your goals or talk about them. This will dissipate your subconscious energy.

RK Prasad

Thank you very much. I will surely try your suggestion. Looking back, I too
feel that 3 month review is too long. It should be much shorter, even if not
daily, at least weekly.

Best regards


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