Monday, January 25, 2016

11 Good hacks: How to achieve anything.

We are all familiar with the nuts and bolts of goal-setting. We should set specific challenging goals, use rewards, record process and make public commitments.

So how come we fail?

1. Stop fantasizing:

It's is the biggest enemy of any goal. Research shows that the positive fantasizing is associated with failure to get a job, find a partner, pass an exam or get through surgery. Those who fantasize were more negative did better.
Don't experience the future positively before you achieve it.

2. Start committing:

The number one reason we don't achieve our good is the  lack of commitment. A powerful technique is the mental contrasting. This involves entering the positive fantasy and throw a bucket of cold reality over it. It's hard but research shows people really responding to it.

 3. Start starting:

A Russian psychologist, Bluma Zeigranik, noticed that waiters only remembered the order while in progress, when completed the orders evaporated from their memory. What Zeigranik effects teaches is that the one weapon to beating procrastination is to start somewhere... Anywhere. It's the first step that could be the difference between failure and success.

4. Visualize process not outcome:

We all think that everything will go smoothly but it rarely will. Visualizing the process of reaching your goals helps focus attention on the steps you need to take. It also helps reduce anxiety.

5. Avoid the What-The-Hell-Effect:

When we miss our target we can fall foul of the What-the-hell-effect. It's known that when you go past your calories limit, and you realize that the target is gone, you start to eat all the wrong foods.
Goals that are vulnerable to the What-the-hell-effect are generally short-term. The effect can be avoided by setting long-term goals.

6. Sidestep procrastination:

When goals are difficult and we wonder if it's worth it, procrastination can creep up on us. The key here is to forget your goal and bury yourself under the details. Keep your head down and use self-imposed deadline.

7. Shifting focus:

You can't keep your head down or you'll get lost in the long-term tasks, the key is to switch focus between the ultimate goal and the task in hand. Research suggests, when evaluating process, especially on difficult task, it is best to stay task-focused. but when the task is easy, or the end is in sight, it's better to switch focus to the ultimate goal.

8. Reject robotic behavior:

Often our behavior is robotic. We do things not because we've thought about it, but because it's habit or we're unconsciously copying someone else. This type of behavior can be an enemy to goals. Ask yourself whether what you're doing is getting you closer to your goals.

9. Forget the goal, what's the aim?

Goals should always be set in the service of our overall aim. But there's a dark side to goal setting, it's easy to get stuck; when there are too many goals, unimportant, easy ones get prioritized over vital. Difficult ones; when they are short-term they encourage short-term thinking. Badly set goals reduce motivation and may increase unethical behavior. Remember to keep in mind the whole point of the goal in the first place.

10. Know when to stop:

Sometimes the problem isn't getting started, it's knowing when to stop. Psychologists have found that 'Sunk Costs' make us do weird things. 'Sunk costs' refer to the effort or money we've already expended in trying to reach our goals. So even when our plan is falling, we keep pushing on.
Research shows that the more people invest in a goal, the more they think it will succeed; irrespective of whether it actually will succeed. Know when to change tack or you'll end up flogging a dead horse.

11. If-then plans:

What all these studies show is the important of self-regulation in achieving goals. Unfortunately, as well all know to our cost, controlling the self can be hard. One strategy with plenty of research to back it up is forming "if-then"  plans. You simply work out in advance what you're going to do in a particular situation. Although it sounds simple, we often prefer to wing it, rather than plan. With a little ingenuity, though if-then plans can be used to surmount the obstacles described above.

No comments:

Post a Comment