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For a healthy mind, body and business

Why we need to set ambitious goals – and how to do it

man sitting on top of mountain
Dav Billings

On Your Mind:

Our regular column by psychologist, Dr Stephanie Fitzgerald talking about your mental health, happiness, wellbeing and resilience at work.

Setting ourselves ambitious goals can be somewhat intimidating. ‘Ambitious’ can feel synonymous with ‘unachievable’. When we feel tired, stretched or overwhelmed, we may avoid challenging goals. However, ambitious goals are essential to help us grow out of our comfort zone and they are definitely achievable. The beauty of ambitious goals is that we don’t have to have the energy, oomph and motivation to achieve the goal right now. Our goals can be high energy because they are for future us. By setting an ambitious goal, we are equipping ourselves with self-belief and motivation for the future.

We need to plan, dream and plot with the results we want to have, not our current energy levels, in mind. Research consistently shows that setting clear goals, no matter how ambitious or unlikely they seem at the time, tunes our brain into seeking opportunities to reach that goal.

If you had a goal to maintain current income, for example, you may focus on no more than maintaining existing relationships. However, with an ambitious goal to double your income, your brain will be more attuned to networking opportunities, how to manage existing contacts to grow and build demand for your services, and you may finally have the courage to implement that long overdue price increase.

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