It's easy to figure out what we don't want in life. You can make a rather extensive list of what's wrong with your life now or what you don't want to go wrong (many of us probably have semi-conciously).
The problem with negative goals is that they're impossible to measure – you have to measure the level of not-badness which is to say the least pretty difficult ("My unhappiness level is 10% below my projected goal! Yay?"). Goal-setting is important to reaching your goals, obviously, but negative goals will drive you batty because there's no way to measure them.
THe solution I've found? Phrase negative goals as positive ones. Turn them around and phrase them in positive – measurable – ways.
Don't say "I don't want to work a boring job" say "I will find an exciting job that fits my interests" then detail those interests and traits of a job – and go looking for it.
Don't say "I don't want to be alone" say "I want to make sure I am involved with friends that like my hobbies, and will join a club or clubs involving that".
You get the idea.
This is important in our careers – and even more important in a time of economic downturn where it's way, way too easy to be negative.
Go ahead. List all the things in your life you're not happy with or your negative goals and rephrase a few as positives that you can measure.
– Steven Savage