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The strategy that turns daydreams into reality

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200821-the-strategy-that-turns-daydreams-into-reality

bbc.com

The strategy that turns daydreams into reality
Psychologists have found a single habit that sabotages most goals – and the way to correct it.

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Daydreaming about goals

Daydreaming about goals

It is natural to daydream about the things we want - how wonderful it would be if you learned a new language or wrote a novel. But, merely visualising a brighter future won't make it more likely.

Research shows that we should make pragmatic plans to accomplish our goals. To prevent our good intentions from remaining wishful thinking, we should compare our vision with our current circumstance, identify the obstacles, and find the best way to overcome them.

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The "Fantasy Realisation Theory"

It is speculated that people confuse daydreams for reality. The warm emotions from the fantasies lead them to feel as if they'd already met their goals. It results in not putting in the hard work needed for success.

Positive thinking on its own could be counter-productive. Research shows that dieters who fantasized about weight loss are less likely to lose weight. Students who dream of academic success tend to get worse grades than those who don't.

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Mental contrasting intervention

Mental contrasting is engaging in a positive fantasy, followed by thinking about the obstacles that might stop you from achieving that goal.

Mental contrasting is a versatile and valuable tool. It is particularly effective when it is combined with implementation intentions ("if-then" plans).

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The 'WOOP' technique for mental constraints

If you would like to try mental contrasting yourself, remember the acronym 'WOOP.'

  • Consider your Wish
  • Imagine the Outcome
  • Identify the Obstacle
  • Then make a Plan

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Go from Dreamer to Do-er

Use the WOOP strategy for achieving goals:

  • Wish: What do you dream of achieving in the future?
  • Outcome: What form will that result take?

Wish (But Don’t Stop There)

Everything starts with a wish. But don't transform that into fantasy.

When you fantasize, your brain thinks you’ve actually achieved your goal. So rather than ramping up, motivation dials back.

See A Specific Outcome

Be specific about the form your wish should take.

For example: If a "better work-life balance" is your wish, your outcome  could be “No work on weekends."

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Mental attainment

There is a correlation between positive thinking and ineffective performance, because expectations of a successful outcome demonstrably relaxes a person so much that they lack the energy to achi...

Mental contrasting

It involves attaching positive thinking to realistic goals

This approach also connects positive thinking to a realistic assessment of one’s possibilities, an awareness of obstacles is inevitable, and that leads to a second aspect of successful mental contrasting.

Implementation intentions

It involves developing if-then strategies for things that may not go as well as hoped as you work to achieve your goals. 

With these in place, you’re ready to “improvise” — in quotes because you’ve actually planned out your response in advance — as need be and keep moving forward.

SMART Resolutions

SMART Resolutions

Pick a goal that is meaningful and doable, making sure it's coming from inside you, not imposed by others.

Make specific, realistic plans for your New Year Goal using the time-tested SM...

Creating a Plan

Chances are you won't just wake up one day and suddenly change your life. To go where you want to go, you have to chart out a plan.

Quitting Bad Habits

If you want to quit a bad habit, start by identifying its 3 main parts: the cue, the routine, and the reward. After you check the cue and your routine that follows it, you can swap the routine with something good (or less bad) to do.

For example: If you feel the cue of smoking, replace the smoking with some other activity like having a cup of coffee.