The skill of mental contrasting requires a person to not only identify the benefits of reaching their goal but to also acknowledge the obstacles they will face during their pursuit. People are more likely to accomplish their goals when they not only can envision those goals but a...lso when they develop a clear image of the challenges. This has been proven in multiple studies including those focused on weight loss, academic performance, and injury recovery.
People who recognize that goal pursuit will be difficult plan more and put more effort into success than those who believe it will be easy. They plant the seeds for a growth mindset and develop action steps to counteract negative emotions like fear, anxiety, and doubt.
There is one prerequisite to performing mental contrasting. In order for it to be successful you have to believe the goal you are pursuing is actually achievable. If you have an achievable proceed to step 2 below.
Step 1.) On a piece of paper create two columns labeling one benefits and the other obstacles.
Step 2.) Write down one benefit to accomplishing this goal in the benefits column.
Step 3.) Write down one obstacle that stands in the way of you reaching this goal below obstacles.
Step 4.) Write down another benefit.
Step 5.) Write down another obstacle.
Step 6.) Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have exhausted both lists.
When your lists are complete decide whether this goal is achievable and worth your best effort. If it is begin to think about how you can plan and overcome your obstacles.