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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 backfire .
Why is this? It’s because these activities require the full use of your working memory. Working memory is a psychological concept that corresponds roughly to mental bandwidth. It’s been known for several decades that the amount of things we can keep in mind at one time is limited—and often less than we think.
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For goal-setting to be life-affirming, the goals pursued have to feel deeply meaningful to you.
Much of the stress and disillusionment people experience with goals comes from setting ones that aren’t truly their own.
In addition to implementation intentions, Gollwitzer also studied the effects of telling people about the goals you want to achieve.
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