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Goal-setting is required to decide what you want and planning how to get there. Just having an idea of what you want to achieve is usually not enough. Setting a goal needs to be paired with plans, systems, or habits to make it achievable.
Goal-setting should be SMART (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.) However, some people argue for being completely process-oriented and ignoring outcomes.
Systems organize your behavior and decisions with formal rules. They are often built off of concepts of scientific management and organizational theory, but it is applied to your personal life.
A productivity system is one type of system that is aimed at helping you get work done by organizing the things that need doing and telling you when to do them.
Much of self-improvement has to do with managing or listening to our emotions.
Emotional self-regulation includes overcoming fears and anxieties or dealing with motivation and willpower even if they are separate from subjective feelings. The way you think about things affects how you feel, which affects what you do. How you feel affects your thoughts and actions. Your actions affect your feelings.
A core concept of self-improvement is considering the purposes themselves.
Thoughts are the things you say to yourself in your mind. It is an important part of the quality of life and as a way to achieve something. Thoughts can create emotional feelings.
Beliefs are sometimes classified as a propositional statement in your head. Others see it as a probability. Still, others might say beliefs don't really exist in our heads at all. Yet it is a central part of self-improvement.
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It’s your ability to resolve conflicts between your short-term desires and your long-term goals.
For example, successful self-control means sacrificing immediate pleasure (cookies a...
People who have high self-control aren’t missing out on enjoyment. Not being able to resist temptation and enjoying life are not the same things.
They tend to eat in a healthily way, exercise more, sleep better, drink less alcohol, smoke fewer cigarettes, achieve higher grades at university, have more peaceful relationships, and are more financially secure.
Research showed that self-control is ultimately limited by our biology. We can’t exercise effortful self-control indefinitely – the brain has to do regular maintenance to remain functional.
When Ivan Pavlov and his dogs led to the discovery of learned behaviour through repeated exposure, and Edward Thorndike discovered the Law of Effect that stated that rewarded behaviours tended to increase, many psychologists were impelled to separate psychology from armchair introspection and formulated their theories as mathematical formulas.
Donald Hebb realised that existing theories were too focused on reacting to the immediate environment. Thoughts, ideas and goals could be just as strong for triggering action as sights and sounds.
Together with John Atkinson, they noted that the study of motivation had undergone a "paradigm shift", where motivation couldn't be seen as how actions get started, but how the organism decides to change its behaviour from one thing to another.
“It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
The most useful learning isn’t usually a strict addition of new knowledge, but first unlearning something false or unhelpful.