Greg Wells has already pointed out, expertly, that Olympians don’t goal set, they “Dream Set”. I agree. The difference? Goal setting, from what I’ve been taught, is supposed to be realistic and achievable, as well as set in accordance with all other aspects of the acronym “SMART”. See Greg Wells’s TedTalks here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPKcUBaO_pY (and his website here: http://www.drgregwells.com/speaking).
I had taught my little sister about the stress relieving properties of day-dreaming, and encouraged her to do it more often when she was stressed out, either when she was in middle school or high school. This I regretted telling her a few years later because too much of a good thing can be A) distracting; B) an inappropriate behavior when people around you need your attention.
She took it to heart and being a naturally much more alert individual, I noticed a major shift in her behavior. She began zoning out and day-dreaming a lot, all of a sudden.
Years later, in Jan 2013, she won the 1st round of bowling against me. The 2nd round however not only did I start concentrating and doing better, she started slipping up. I observed her behavior to find the cause and caught her doing this: prior to a spare/strike she’d been sitting there smiling to herself, looking at the floor but when she was paying more attention to the game she got the gutter-balls.. [What I had actually been looking for was her form and technique to suggest some adjustments].
After I shared my observations, she observed her behaviors too, then experimented with the day-dreaming, and told me she found I was right!
Visualizing is key. Sometimes, for me, goal setting cuts out so much passion, so in that state of boredom my mind forgets to visualize the end result. Goal setting is a turn off, up until goals are achieved and progress is observed towards a dream.
Another example: while playing Carrom-board, visualizing the coins going in the hole – every time I struggled to visualize, it would never go in. But whenever I subconsciously did, it was a hole-in-one. I noticed that the reason wasn’t that I didn’t activate my neural centers to imagine the outcome; it was that my body knew my skill level, the ways the goats were positioned and was able to assess the likely chances of winning the shot; this took care of the “realistic” part of goal setting mix. It was an intuitive assessment, regardless of whether this mini “day-dream” was realistic or not.
Goals can be set, I believe, towards a dream just like targets but with the added passion:
Day dreaming at its best.. ( paintings in progress… coming soon!)