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2. Use the 80% Rule

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 bother?

The danger is that self-efficacy can create either a vicious or a virtuous cycle. If you don’t feel you’ll be successful, you don’t put effort into your goals. This leads to failure and seemingly confirms your inability. The reverse is also true: you can pick successful goals, achieve them and steadily boost your confidence.

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

  • 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.

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

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

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

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...

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

  • 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.

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