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Scott H Young - Learn faster, achieve more

Scott H Young - Learn faster, achieve more


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  • Setting goals can transform your life. Goals can help you get in shape, improve your finances, learn a new language, or finally launch that business.
  • But goal-setting can also leave you miserable. Burnout, stress and disillusionment are high on the list of potential side effects.

1. Aim for Hard, but Believable

For over four decades, psychologist Edwin Locke has been central in research on goal-setting. His research has three consistent findings :

  1. Setting goals improves performance.
  2. Hard goals improve...

2. Use the 80% Rule

  • How do we build motivation to pursue our goals? Psychologist Albert Bandura developed the concept of self-efficacy to explain why some people eagerly face challenges while others shrink. If you don’t feel you’ll be successful, why bot...

3. Deadlines Are Poison for Creative Problem-Solving

A significant exception to the power of specific, challenging goals involves creative problem-solving. In tasks that require complex thinking, such as learning, problem-solving or creative work, goal-setting can back...

4. Visualize Failure

  • A common suggestion for goal-setting is to visualize success. But visualizing failure might work even better.

Psychologist Peter Gollwitzer suggests a key ingredient to the success of your goals is what he calls

5. Keep it to Yourself (At Least to Start)

In addition to implementation intentions, Gollwitzer also studied the effects of telling people about the goals you want to achieve.

Interestingly, his research found that telling people about your goals can su...

6. Break it Down and Make Yourself Accountable

  • Why do we procrastinate? The common perception is that procrastination is caused by perfectionism.
  • People who need to do everything perfectly waste time getting started.
  • One difficulty with setting goals is that our motivational hardwiring doesn’t cope well with the future.

7. Set Goals You Want to Achieve

Much of the stress and disillusionment people experience with goals comes from setting ones that aren’t truly their own.

When we work on the goals of other people, goals we feel pressure to achieve but don’t actually want, the result is often misery.

For goal-setting to be life-affirming, the goals pursued have to feel deeply meaningful to you.

  • Getting in touch with what you really want out of life, and separating out the things you merely think you “should” want, is perhaps the most essential part of goal-setting.


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