SAFE Goals


SAFE Goals

One of the most common goal setting techniques is termed SMART.  SMART is an acronym which encourages individuals to set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Rewarding or Realistic, and Time bound.  This advice for setting your goals usually works well, but it may not be the best process for you to use.



Right Brained Goal Setting

If you are more right-brain, creatively oriented you may want to try utilizing the SAFE method.  SAFE is an acronym for a creative goal setting process especially useful for right-brain-oriented people.

SAFE stands for:

  • See it -See the end result
  • Accept it – Accept the end result
  • Feel it – Feel the end result
  • Express it – Express the end result


The Right Brain

The right side of your brain is more visual and focuses on the big picture.  Your right brain helps you think holistic, grasp total situations, gain insights, and be creative.  These aspects of right brained people are very powerful, so it makes sense that if you are right brained you use these attributes to set goals. If you are left-brained and you use this attributes, you will achieve more when you utilize your whole brain.


SAFE Goals


SAFE Goals


Start by creating a mental picture of the future as it will be when your goal is achieved. See it in great detail and full color.  Use all of your senses to become aware of the details.  See the colors, sights, sounds, and emotions of having achieved the desired goal.  See the results in your mind of having attained the goal.



Accept it means that you are opening yourself up to possibility and accepting that you can achieve the goal. You may not know all the details of how you will achieve your goal, but you are confident about achieving it.  You may have doubts and concerns, but focus on remaining open and accepting the potential.



Feel it has you to feel the emotions associated with attaining your desired goals. It is about mentally placing yourself to that time and place in the future and sensing those feelings associated with achieving your goals. The stronger the emotion, the stronger the desire to achieve the goal.

As you visualize yourself having achieved the goal, allow yourself to feel the accompanying emotions. Adding emotion to your visualization can be extremely powerful.  You should feel good about your accomplishment.



Use your powers of expression to create your end result.   Capture your feelings in words or visual expressions.  Write about it.  Describe in vivid detail every aspect of how your life will be after the goal is achieved.  Draw it or paint it so that it describes and depicts what you want to achieve.  Place your writing and pictures where you will see them every day.

You can write about it, draw, or paint. This is particularly useful if you find it difficult to mentally visualize your goal.  Try to visualize yourself telling others about the accomplishment or giving a presentation.  Whatever creative action you take, include as much detail as possible about your goal.



SAFE Goals Summary






The SAFE Goals method is especially good for those individuals who need to have the big picture. You may not need to use SAFE Goals for every goal you have, but it may help if you doubt your ability to achieve your goals.


Related Links

Types of Goals

Goal Setting

Goal Setting Overview

Goal Setting 10-steps

Setting Goals


SMART Goals Worksheet




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