Your brain on goals - Deepstash

Your brain on goals

Setting a goal releases dopamine and inspires you to take action.

Dopamine is high when we set a goal and again when the end is in sight. The greater the reward, the bigger the dopamine spike. However, in the middle phase, dopamine is absent, explaining why you feel less motivated.

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MORE IDEAS FROM Why you love setting goals more than pursuing them, according to science

We like setting goals more than reaching them

We know that even the best goal in the world means little without action. Another variable that can be missed is that our minds are wired to welcome and resist change.

When we set goals, we become attached to how the path to the goal will look. Then, when we encounter obstacles, we don't feel like sticking to the goal.

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  • Steady, slow progress. Speedy progress is difficult to keep on fueling. Instead, regularly add tasks into your calendar and keep up with it.
  • Focus on behaviours first, then goals. Steady behaviours will outperform the shiniest bite-sized goals.
  • Even if you might be able to do great things by yourself, don't. Try to find people that can keep you accountable and inspired.

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The "Boxed Set Approach"

Our lives are often referred to as a stream or a journey, yet our minds more naturally divide life into episodes or seasons, like a DVD boxed set.

The Boxed Set approach helps us to think of a future self as being in a different season, separate and distinct from the person we are now. This sense of distance is energizing because it makes the future path more visible.

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Destination Goals

While we set our personal goals, we make the common mistake of setting a 'destination goal', focusing on the end result,  without considering the hardships and daily challenges.

When a few hindrances and setbacks come, we are easily abandoning the set goals too.

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The Rush of Motivation

During the first week of the new year, there is a rush of motivated people who want to achieve their respective self-improvement goals. But then all this rush always tapers off, with only about 8 % of people actually managing to achieve their goals by the end of the year.

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