Patti Dobrowolskiis a visual goal setter. She helps people set their own goals visually and achieve them. She received her MA in Psychology with an emphasis in Drama Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies. A member of the National Speaker’s Association, she is a TEDx featured speaker, multiple business award winner and past Broadway performer. Let's unlock your creativity with her.
-----For those who are not familiar with you, allow us to know more about you. Why goal setting is important to your life and why do you support people to set it?
Often people want to make a change in their life, but they don’t know how to do it. Perhaps they have tried to set New Year’s resolutions or goals with their diet, but weren’t able to follow through and achieve them. I wondered why? Why can some people make change easily and others not so much? So I began to study how to help people make change more easily.
-----What is the core of your goal setting method and why it works for people?
I believe when you draw a picture of your life, your current state, and where you want to be one year from today, your desired state, it makes it very clear what you need to do to help yourself make that change (the 3 bold steps). That picture is central to my goal setting process. Why? We have to deal with so much information now, that our brain doesn’t know what is important. When we draw a picture and put that picture somewhere we can see it everyday, and take small actions towards it, our vision of the future comes to be much faster.
-----How did you come up with the idea of visualising your goals? Please explain the moment you got it.
I first had an experience where I daydreamed about a goal with my imagination and 3 months came to be. So I knew there was something to the inner part of visualizing because it happened to me! Later I was in a meeting and I saw someone draw a picture of the group’s goals and for the first time, this group actually were literally “on the same page” and their vision of the future came to be right away. I wondered if you drew a picture could it help you make change more quickly? So I began to experiment with it with myself, and then with business groups and individual leaders.
-----What is the most common trap that people fall into when it comes to goal setting?
We set too many goals and expect ourselves to meet all of them. Then we become discouraged and often give up.
What was the greatest challenge you have ever had and how did you overcome it? One of the greatest challenges I had was when I realized I couldn’t perform anymore. I had an artistic break and I couldn’t perform anymore. I was scared and confused. Who would I be if I wasn’t an actor. I was sad and depressed. Then a friend came to see me and he asked me to imagine what my future could be like, not the specifics but the qualities and characteristics of what I wanted. As soon as I started to think about the future, I immediately felt better. He introduced me to a graduate program that combined my acting skills with psychology. That discussion and imagining of my goals changed everything.
-----When you facing with difficulties or failures, how do you deal with them?
I get a blank piece of paper and I draw pictures of what ever I am working with, whatever is hard or challenging, then I imagine how I want it to be 1 month, 3 months a year from today. That shifts my body chemistry. Then I go and do something, anything towards my goal. I don’t believe in failure really, I think everything is there to help me grow as a person, even when it doesn’t turn out the way I expected.
-----For many people, thinking of what they really want is one of the hardest parts regarding goal setting. How do you encourage them to find a true goal?
I actually think it is easier to imagine the qualities and characteristics you want.
-----If you can make a call to 20-year-old Patti Dobrowolski, what kind of advice you would give to her?
Learn to trust your own inner voice. People love to give you advice, but it’s your own advice that you will always need to come back to.
-----If you can leave a message to make the world better, what would be your message?
Be yourself. Love yourself. When you feel stuck, allow yourself to daydream a new reality. Then draw a picture of it and step into it through small actions everyday.