In May 2010, I was called upon to deliver a speech at a leadership convention. It was a cold autumn’s afternoon, as I drove to the venue of the convention while thinking about how to add more impact to my speech.

Although I was asked to speak about goal setting, I decided (in the last minute) to incorporate the importance of self image into my speech.

What some people do not realise is that there is a direct correlation between your self image and the goals that you set (that is if you are into the habit of goal setting).

The importance of self image has been written about, spoken about, and discussed in depth. So is the case with goal setting.

In order to be effective goal setters and goal achievers, we ought to understand the importance that self image plays in goal setting.

We mostly set goals based on our self image. If we think that we can do something, we will quite comfortably set that goal because our self image tells us that this goal is very achievable. In my experience in dealing with human behaviour, that is what I have observed and experienced.

There are a few exceptions to that rule. I have also seen people who have adjusted their self image when it came to goal setting. They are the people who ask themselves “What type of self image do I need to create in order to achieve that goal?”
So, this process can work both ways – you can set a goal and then improve your self image accordingly, or you can create a self image which will allow you to set and achieve goals that are aligned with your self image.

What I tend to do is to continually improve my self image. If I start thinking about a goal, the first question that comes to my mind is “How will my current self image serve me in achieving this goal?”

A follow up question will be “Will my current self image hold me back from achieving this goal, or will my current self image propel me forward, towards this goal?”

A very simple example that I will share with you is this – whenever I have thought about registering for a running event (or fun run), I have considered the distance of that race, and asked myself “Do I currently see myself running that distance without stopping?”

As soon as I ask myself that question, my mind starts thinking back at all the running events that I have taken part in, in the past. Then, I start calculating what I have to do in order to progress from my last race to the one that I am contemplating registering for.

Let’s just say that my last race was over a distance of 12 km, and the race that I am contemplating covers a distance of 15km. The question that I start asking is “What do I need to do to run that extra 3km?”

This is when the input goals come into the picture. An input goal is what has to be done to achieve the output goal (the goal that a person sets). In my case, the input goal would be to run an extra kilometre a week so that in three weeks time, I would be running the 15km that I need to run in my next race.

After gaining clarity on my input goal, my self image automatically tells me that the output goal can easily be achieved.

This is exactly what I encourage you to do. The next time you are thinking about setting a goal, please have a good look at what you currently have (in my case, I had the ability to run 12km without stopping). That was part of my self image.

Make a list of your achievements, skills, talents, and abilities. If none of your achievements come even close to the goal that you are thinking of setting, then please remind yourself that people build on their achievements. They go from one major accomplishment to another. That is the way progress works.

Then, bring your input goal into the equation. Get absolute clarity on your input goal, in order to improve your self image in regards to your output goal.

Finally, put a time line on your input goal and your output goal. In my case, I wished to be running 15km within three weeks (that was the time line on my input goal). As for my output goal, there was not a time line as such because there was timing instead (I wished to run the 15km race in a time of under 1 hour, 10 minutes).

Your goals do not have to define your self image. Your self image can be improved to match your goals. That would be a wise thing to do!

The direct correlation between self Image and goal setting is one that is sometimes misunderstood or even underestimated. Once you gain clarity on this correlation, it will serve you in improving your self image, and in setting and achieving bigger goals in life.

So, go ahead and use your self image to set your next goal!

Quote: "When you paint success pictures in your mind, you initiate an inner process whereby your attitudes, hopes, aspirations, and enthusiasm are elevated in response to an image of a more promising future. Every person who aspires must first sell themselves hope, the promise of a better life." U.S. Andersen

I sincerely hope that you have gained a simple insight into how your self image supports you in setting and achieving goals.

Inspiring you towards your excellence,

Ron Prasad

PS: If you are yet to order my book, please go For $19.95, you get the book, thousands of dollars in bonus gifts from some of the best personal development experts in the world (such as Bob Proctor, Marci Shimoff, Dr Joe Rubino), and you get to give back to the community by supporting my charity! I appreciate your support.

Author's Bio: 

Ronny Prasad is the author of WELCOME TO YOUR LIFE - simple insights for your inspiration & empowerment ( He is also an inspired speaker who empowers his audience with his enthusiasm and energy. His passion is inspiring and fulfilling lives, and sharing his insights with people around the world. He actively supports animal charities in many countries.