Visualization Superior to Goal Setting? Your Path to Success

Visualization Superior to Goal Setting? Finding Your Path to Success

I have another great question from a brother in the Porn Addiction Recovery – Reboot group for you today. He asks:

“Hey, J.K. Does it make sense to set goals that don’t satisfy one or more components of the SMART system? My experience in the past shows me it’s possible to achieve goals using only visualization. In high school, I consumed a lot of Law of Attraction material that worked well and provided me with some crazy results. 

“Since I started following you, I’ve adopted your approach with the RES system. It’s nice to finally have a scientific explanation for my positive experiences with the Law of Attraction. So I’m wondering, do you believe visualization is superior to goal-setting?”

First off, this brother mentioned the SMART system for goal-setting. You’ve probably heard of some form of it before. It outlines a clear set of aspects that your goals should adhere to if you want them to be successful. A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Based.

Using these parameters to set goals is one of the most effective approaches. Too many people set arbitrary or subjective goals which leave them spinning in circles for months or weeks. However, using a SMART system to set goals ensures you can track your progress and determine precisely when you’ve accomplished them.

I’ve talked about the differences between goals, visualization, and fantasy in the past. It shows the clear distinction between each and helps you understand where you’re at in your approach to setting goals.

In my experience, though, I don’t use visualization when setting goals. I’m familiar with the concept of it and understand that it works for people, but it’s not something I use myself. I don’t use the SMART system to set goals, either. It was a primary approach for the sales organization I worked for before becoming a reboot coach, but it wasn’t something I used.

Instead, I look at goals in a very objective, realistic way. I break large goals down into smaller, actionable steps. I have 90-day goals, one-year goals, three-year goals, and five-year goals. I have a rough sketch of what I want the next few decades to look like and I have an outline of what I need to do to ensure that becomes a reality.

That doesn’t mean I’m married to my plans. I understand that life happens and things out of my control will always come up. I’m able and willing to adapt my goals and actions as needed to meet the demands of my current situation or circumstances. But using the unpredictable nature of life as an excuse not to set goals is a poor way to reject your personal responsibility.

While I don’t use visualization when setting my goals, I believe that it can be successful for others. I don’t believe it’s a superior approach, though; I simply believe that it’s one of many alternatives. There is no single path to setting goals or achieving them. There are many different approaches to the process and you need to determine which works best for you.

This brother prefers visualization but you may prefer the SMART system. You might find that my simple, realistic approach is a better fit for you. No matter which approach you choose, though, you must choose one. You’re not in a position to live a half-lived life. You were freed from the bondage of your out-of-control behavior and have the opportunity to rebuild your life into something incredible.

Take time using each approach to setting goals before deciding which is right for you. You may also find that one approach works in certain situations while a different is more effective in other circumstances. Whatever you do, don’t give up on setting goals. Don’t let yourself settle for a life void of progress and development. You’ve come too far to lose yourself to mediocrity, brother.


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