Facts from research to help you set and achieve your goals

If I tell you to list down 5 goals right now, I suppose you can quickly do so. There are so many things we wish to improve within ourselves, so we set all those highly demanding goals but rarely do we achieve them.

Don’t worry, I’m not gonna offend you for not achieving your goals.. precisely because I’m in the same boat

Soooo, I’ve searched and found some research done in this regard to help us make “our dream come true” only if we put in the efforts of course!

Okay so imagine Swati plans on completing her book by the end of the month. Her goal is to write five pages per day.

She could frame something like –

A. I want to write five pages a day because that will help me complete my book by the end of this month.

B. I have to cut off my TV time to write five pages a day.

What do you think which statement is more likely to yeild better results?

It is found that people who set approach goals (goals that talk about positive outcomes that people want to achieve) have a better chance of achieving those goals.

It talks about the stuff you want to do, in order to achieve your goal.

(As you might have guessed in this case, statement A)

Then there are avoidance goals (goals that talk about the negative outcomes that people want to avoid). Research suggests that the chance of you achieving this type of goals is low.

It talks about the stuff you want to avoid, in order to achieve your goal.

This type of goal is also linked to higher emotional distress.

For eg – instead of ‘eating healthy’ your goal is to ‘avoid gaining weight’.

To ‘avoid gaining weight’ you have to avoid temptations of junk food from everywhere.. it’s on TV, magazines, on your social media, even the billboards you see on roads. Then if you give in to the temptation, you’ll feel guilty for doing so… This all leads to failure in achieving your goal.

So step one – Set Approach Goals.

Now let’s go back to our earlier example. Swati is still waiting for the next step

Now Swati can directly move on and start implementing the next day.

If she’s like us, she will do it for a few days, maybe a week or two and then eventually give up.

Here comes a important step –

After setting your goal you need to specify when will you do your desired activity.

Here Swati needs to decide when will she write those 5 pages for her book. Maybe she will do it right after her breakfast sitting on the bench in her garden and after she finishes writing she will water the plants in her garden.

That’s it. You need to fit the activity into your daily schedule and stay consistent with it.

It seems easy to stay on track when you do so, right?

Control theory states that the rate of progress towards your goals will determine the emotions you experience during goal directed actions.

Research done by Baumeister and his colleagues show that self control in one activity reduces self control in subsequent activity.

It means that if you do something that requires self control like dieting for example, after that if you study, you’ll find it difficult to stay focused on studying.

A recent study suggests that the energy necessary for self control maybe tied to blood glucose levels.

So what can you do? Here are some of my suggestions –

– Don’t do two activities requiring self control back to back.

– In the meantime when you take a break try some stuff that leads to autonomy. (do as you please)

– If you really have to do the other activity needed, make sure it’s kinda habitual. For example, you need self control for eating healthy and after that you also need self control to go to gym. But if going to gym is more or less of a habitual thing, you won’t have much problem.

Okay so, achieving your goals also need you to be –

committed to achieve it

confident enough in your ability to achieve it

These two qualities work together to increase your persistence to achieve your goals.

So remember,

You Got This! you can do whatever you set your mind to

Andddd,

You’re a Badass. when you commit you’ll do something, you get it done


P.S – One more good news for you,

Achieving goals that express our authentic or true selves seems to contribute most to an enhanced sense of meaning and purpose in life and to greater psychological health and vitality. (McGregor & Little, 1998; Ryan & Deci, 2000)

Lots of love and best wishes to help you achieve all your goals friends!! ❤️ 🙂

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