Redefining our Goals – Approach vs. Avoidance

Duration: 20-30 minutes

Approach vs. Avoidance Goals Exercise


Goals fall into two broad categories. The first kind are:

Approach goals which are goals with positive outcomes. An example of an approach goal could be to move to the countryside for the peace and quiet.

Avoidance goals, on the other hand, are goals with negative outcomes which we work to avoid. An avoidance goal could be to move out of the city because it’s noisy and busy.

Experts in goal theory suggest that approach goals can make an essential contribution to our well-being.


Find yourself a quiet place to reflect.


Think about the goals you have in your life at the moment, either at work or at home and list them down.


Are they approach or avoidance goals?

If the latter, how can you reframe them into approach goals?


Write them down in your journal.


Ask a friend or partner to help if you get stuck.