The Science of Successful Goals #LikesUP

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Use these 4 strategies to increase the likelihood you’ll reach your goals

Do you write down your goals?

Setting goals (at any time of the year) gives you a higher chance of success. A Wiley Periodical study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that when it comes to goal setting for New Year resolutions, the goal setters are ten times more than likely to make the change that will get them closer to their desired target.

Consider trying 4 strategies

Create Alternatives before roadblocks arise


When you plan for the alternatives, you set yourself up to win. Many people worry about negative issues of a possible situation but the thing to do is to plan for a positive outcome. Yes, it means than you need to imagine yourself in the future and PLAN for decision when temptation presents itself (and it always does).
Think of it like planning a travel vacation. Your goals: (1) Stop any work related texting in my free time (2) Drop 20 pounds. Now, imagine yourself on your holiday vacation. What happens when you get a text at 7:00PM from the office? How will you deal with it? And before start, consider the results of a study from Utrecht University in the Netherlands: Researchers found that how you craft the second part of your statement can keep you on course or take you off track. For example:
If someone texts me after 5:00pm I won’t answer because I already told the office that my phone is off limits after 5:00pm while I am on vacation.
Bottom line: Instead of focusing on what’s off-limits, enjoy the things that are still fair game.

Combine Good + Guilty Pleasure

The constant push and pull between what you should do (exercise, eat healthy) and what you want to do (binge-watch TV, eat sugary snacks) can be exhausting. But researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard have devised a novel fix: Combine your “shoulds” with your “wants” to lessen regret and increase follow-through. For example, they found that subjects who were allowed only to listen to gripping novels (with earbuds) while exercising were up to 51 percent more likely to go to the gym than those who were simply encouraged to work out.

New Definition of Success

“So often, we set goals but lack a clear idea of what success should really look like,” says clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis, PhD, based in New York City. “Then when we come up short, we feel worthless.”

Rethink your strategy, says Michaelis. Before you embark on any life changes, outline a range of positive outcomes that could result, and don’t aim for perfection: “I cleave to the distinction between the pursuit of excellence and the pursuit of perfectionism. Nothing in nature is perfect, and when you try to be perfect, you’re typically operating from a place of fear.”

What Do I Want?

You can learn from almost any experience, which means nothing need be viewed as a total failure. Include with you goal: What do I want to learn? If you chunk your goals into short, actionable, achievable (small) steps, it is easier to take the first step towards achieving the big goal. Get a quick win to keep the motivation up to move towards your ultimate outcome.

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