Goal Setting Exercise: Standing Ovation

Goal Setting Exercise: Standing Ovation


Fast forward to an imaginary future. You are receiving a standing ovation. The applause does not seem to stop. People admire you and your achievement. You are the centre of attention at this moment.

Full immersion in this simple visualisation can create a wonderful and positive feeling. This exercise helps to turn this energy into something that will benefit people by getting them closer to this dream.

This technique is particularly useful for those who might be wondering what they want to do in life or thinking that what they are currently doing is not what they want to do forever. By focusing on an emotional event such as receiving a standing ovation, you can focus their thoughts towards what they truly like as opposed to getting carried away by their current limitations or past direction.


Think of an imaginary standing ovation that you are receiving in the future and work backwards to see what you need to do to realise it.

What You Need

  • Papers


  • Explain that each delegate will go through this exercise individually.
  • Ask the delegates to imagine they are receiving a standing ovation in the future. For best results, they must visualise something that is spectacular and strongly positive, their ultimate success.
  • Ask them to close their eyes and visualise the scene. Where are they standing? What are they wearing? How large is the crowd? How noisy is their applause? How does the environment look like? What have they done to deserve this much attention and praise? Who is in the audience? Why their peers think they are a head above the rest?
  • Encourage delegates to think of as many details as they can.
  • Ask the delegates to open their eyes. While still thinking about the imaginary standing ovation, ask them to right down their achievement that would have attracted this much praise.
  • Ask them to consider this as a goal and work backwards to see how they can get there. They should consider all the steps required to get them closer to their vision from where they are now. Ask them to write this down in sequence working backwards from the standing ovation event. For example, they can work backwards in 6-months steps detailing what would happen in each step and continue backwards until the present moment.
  • Allocate 10 minutes for this part.
  • Follow with a discussion.


Explaining the Exercise: 2 minutes

Activity: 5 min visualisation + 10 min reflection = 15 minutes

Group Feedback: 5 minutes


How effective was this technique? How positive did you feel after visualising your standing ovation? How did this help you to see what matters most to you in life and what you should do to direct your effort towards your desired future? What do you think of your plan? Does it feel easier now to achieve your ideal future? What should you do next?

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The Most Similar Exercises & Articles to this in Order of Similarity Are:

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The Strangest Secret: Progressive Realisation of a Worthy Ideal
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