Positive Path to Goal-Setting – THE DOMINO EFFECT

dominosThe year has begun. Goal setting processes have started and maybe still in progress. However why not try it out in a new fashion to make it more effective by utilizing the Domino Effect.

In basic terms the Domino Effect is when one event causes another similar event to happen, which again in turn causes another event to take place and so on ………… The Domino effect not only takes advantage of some of the core principles of human behaviour ie commitment levels and consistency but also enforces the fact that if a person commits to a goal or proposal, than they will focus on achieving that goal as they link it to their own self esteem to do so.

On the other hand, traditional process of goal setting focuses on linking a long term goal to a related primary objective in the present. The Domino Effect plays a vital role here. In 1983,  Lorne Whitehead a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of British Columbia and also a Professional Engineer, with a career involving sustained innovation in technology, business, and administration discovered how a single domino is capable of bringing down another domino that is actually 50% larger. Keep this theory in mind and reap greater results by applying it.

Start by thinking of a domino as a goal : We can then set up our dominos ( goals) with the final domino being defined as our ultimate goal. We can define and determine the way to reach our final goal. Keep in mind that all the defined and placed dominoes are also sub-goals that may have been set up to support our reaching the final goal.


  • It is process driven : As written by Harvard Professor, Dr. Ellen Langer, one of the characteristics of being mindfulis focusing on process over outcome. By acknowledging the fact that only you can set up your dominoes, you are the one who has the choice of where you would like to place your dominos and in which sequence. You also have ongoing choices of whether you want to knock each one over to continue on a particular path or rearrange your dominoes to establish a new path if you think it is required. Sometimes starting a new journey midway can be more effective in reaching your final goal. Dominoes can always be moved—they are never set in stone.  Since each domino represents a goal, knocking over each domino provides a sense of accomplishment; a step in the direction of your achievement and empowerment. Even if you do not reach your final domino, you will still have benefited by achieving some of your goals and with that, growing and attaining knowledge that may be used in the future along other paths. There is no wasted time.
  • There is a Positive Focus: Again this is all about your own choices. It is for you to establish where to place your dominoes as you see your process of goal achievement moving forward. Further, whether you would like to pursue knocking down each domino is also your choice. As such, you must acknowledge that you have to accept ownership, focus on setting up your dominoes as you foresee the process of achievement will move forward. So, the way forward is yours alone to envision, establish and for you to decide to follow or to not follow. This journey as it progresses with time and each of the dominoes which fall along the way are “wantto’s” and “get to’s“. Nobody is making you do these things as it is you who have the freedom to choose and thus there is no pressure on you to “have to dos” or “got to dos“. No one is doing this to you, you yourself are responsible. You have chosen the paths defined for your dominoes. Simply by acknowledging this fact and accepting ownership will lead you to an empowering enlightenment.  The result of this is an infectious and positive spiral which will become apparent to others as well and they will also be inspired and motivated by how much control you have over your life.
  • Cultivate a Mindful Approach:When we involve ourselves and we are able to maintain a spotlight on the dominoes we have at hand or coming up at present, we are better prepared to spend our time in the “now” rather than the future. Being focused in the present is a mindful technique in which we approach each of our goals along our path with openness and interest. Simultaneously we keep in mind our final goal and it remains in the background for the future, as something that keeps us directed and centered, it does not involve our primary attention. We will do a better job at the task at hand and greatly improve both our chance of success and our satisfaction if we are living fully in the present moment.
  • Develop an Attitude of Gratitude Being appreciative and changing our thought processes from  have to’s and got to’s into want to’s and get to’s we immediately exchange our blaming behavior into one of gratitude and appreciation. The focus is turned on our acceptance of personal responsibility for how we choose to set up our dominoes. By accepting responsibility we become more appreciate of the journey we are about to commence, the process and of the other people involved.


Extraordinary success is always sequential, never simultaneous. What starts out in a linear fashion becomes geometric. You may do the first right thing and then you do the next right thing. Over time it adds up, and the geometric potential of success is unleashed.

The domino effect applies to the big picture, like your work or your personal life, and it applies to the smallest moment in each day, when you’re trying to decide what to do next. Success builds on success, and as this happens, over and over, you move toward the highest success possible.

Apply the Domino Effect in your life and business

Take a closer look at any aspect of your life or work. Assess what is the first domino you need to topple for gaining an extraordinary result? In other words, what is the most important thing that will bring the best results in this particular area of life or work and make other things easier to do or even redundant. Define this one thing and focus on that until it is done.

Incremental improvements each day will bring amazing results over time.


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