Like most people who want to accomplish stuff in their life, INFPs have goals. However, one challenging thing about setting goals as an INFP is staying interested long enough to reach it.
I really love thinking of goal setting as like planning a trip.
When planning to visit New York City for the first time, I looked up what I wanted to see and tried to imagine what it would be like. I even wrote in my journal thoughts about the trip and what I hoped for.
I have friends who have made trips overseas, and they load up on destination brochures and travel books. Others make collages of their dream destinations, keeping in mind what they hope to see when they get there.
All of this imagining and visualizing helps with maintaining excitement for the destination.
This process helps travelers to know
- What they want to experience
- When they have arrived at their destination
However, there’s also another aspect to destination setting that I think some travelers forget. It’s also important to consider the reason for your trip–what you want to get out of it.
This is why it’s not unusual for people to say that they want to “get away and relax” but end up creating a vacation that’s packed to the brim with activities. After going on such a trip, they often return home feeling not as refreshed as they hoped. It’s pretty clear what went wrong here. Their plans didn’t match their desires.
If they really wanted a relaxing vacation, they should have planned to hang out at a beach, a coffee shop, a spa, or somewhere else instead of packing their schedule.
Taking time to vividly imagine where you want to go is important, especially since as an INFP you are probably more visual-minded.
For each major project I’ve undertaken, from creating stories and books to setting up how I sell what I create, I’ve worked hard to visualize where I want to be. Often the vision has to be revised over and over due to the impact of reality, but when I take time to compare my reality to my mind’s eye, I can see where I currently am on my journey and where I need to go.
Thinking about goal setting like going on a trip can help you to
- Avoid getting distracted from where you really want to go
- Know how to get back on track if you hit a detour
- Keep motivated
- Know what the destination looks like and when milestones are reached
So if you’re ready to purposefully visualize your goals, here’s how to do it.
1 - Imagine. From a traveling point of view, this is when you think, “I really want to visit THAT place.” Then your brain starts spinning up images of what you’re seeing and doing. You’re suddenly eating ramen in Tokyo. Don’t ignore those images. Explore them upside down and inside out.
How do you look when you reach your goal? Where are you? Who else is there? What kind of activities are you doing to get there? How do you feel while doing those activities?
Absolutely do not settle for keeping those lovely mental images in your mind. Write down what you see. Describe it all. And just like how someone with a dream destination doesn’t stop writing about where they want to go, do the same with your goal. Just don’t write about your mental images once. Write about them often.
What are your thoughts about your goal? What do you hope for?
3 - Vision Board. This is the point where would-be travelers collect the destination brochures, language learning materials, and possible prices for travel and lodging, even if they don’t have the money or a time frame. Do the same for your goals.
Collect the images of what you want to see, who you want to be, and the information you need. Pinterest works great for this, but you can also download images from the internet and store them in a folder dedicated to your goal. If images don’t exist, make sketches. Some people like to place a map, poster, or collage of where they want to go on their wall. Do the same with your goal.
Check out what you need to buy or do to make it happen. It’s okay if you don’t have the money or time now. Usually, once you know what kind of investment it may take, you can often find ways to accomplish what you need at a reduced cost with whatever time you have. Often these discoveries come via serendipity.
As you’re visualizing your goals, make sure to remember the reason for your trip. Much like misguided travelers, often when people reach their goal, it may not feel the way they expected.
If you don’t want to feel rushed, don’t imagine yourself running around doing everything. If you want to feel relaxed, imagine yourself reaching your goal in a relaxed way. What you plan to do and how you do it determines how you feel.
Some may wonder if it’s worth it to put so much effort into visualizing goals, and it is!
The key to making the first step towards any goal is to have a strong mental vision. Visualizing builds desire, and desire is the fuel for motivation. If you’re lacking motivation for a goal, it may be time to return to your vision and make some adjustments. Adjust it until it lights a fire inside of you.
As an INFP, I love visualizing my goals in detail because it makes it easier for me to know how to reach them even without an elaborate plan or a time frame. I hate to admit this, but even if I start with a time frame, I often end up throwing it out.
After so much visualizing, the fire burning within me is so intense, I reach my goals sooner than I expect because I’m absolutely driven to put in the work. In such a state, trying to stick to a time period holds me back.
Well, these are my thoughts on goal setting. I hope this post helps you to have more motivation to reach your INFP dreams!