5 scientific tips to achieve a goal

Run the following test. Give someone scissors and have them cut five shapes out of a piece of paper. Perhaps the former is too accurate, just like the latter. But in numbers two, three and four, he interrupts the subject carelessly. Corner out here, not so good along the line there.

A book on intrinsic motivation

This is exactly the experience that Ayelet Fischbach conducted with a group of people. Fischbach is a psychologist, behavioral scientist and expert in intrinsic motivation. appeared in january her Get it: Surprising lessons from the science of motivation

cutting test According to Fischbach An example of a “middle problem”. When setting a goal, people are highly motivated at first. They crossed the threshold and every step immediately represented significant progress. Even at the end, when the end flag indicates, they are pushed.

In the intervening period, enthusiasm waned. People work less, lower the level of work, and sometimes even raise them. In her book, Fischbach offers tips from behavioral science on how to stay motivated and tackle the middle problem.

Ayelet Fischbach: From Promotion to Top Scholar

Fischbach speaks from experience. During her PhD research at Tel Aviv University in the late 1990s, she noticed how easy it was to get distracted. Why didn’t she focus more on her goal?

She searched for answers in the field she was researching: social psychology. But few studies have been conducted on this topic.

“Get It Done” by Ayelet Fishbach is a book on intrinsic motivation. Photo: Hachette Book Group / University of Chicago

More than twenty years later, motivation became a burgeoning field of research in social psychology, and Fischbach was one of the first scholars. She is a professor at the University of Chicago, has over two hundred publications to her name and now her first book for the general public.

employment fast company Fischbach shares five key thoughts on motivation from her book, Get It Done. These strategies can help you fan your flames and achieve stress-free goals.

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#1 Set concrete and measurable goals

Most people have no problem setting goals. Just look at the good intentions at the start of the new year. “I want to lose weight”, “I want to stop smoking”, “I want to exercise and exercise more”.

The way you formulate this goal has a huge impact on your motivation, says Fischbach. The more specific the better. This is due to a psychological effect where we prefer not to invest in the means to achieve the goal. Another experiment by Fischbach illustrates this.

A group of MBA students bid on a book signed by a well-known economist. The average bid was $23. Then she had a similar club of students who made an offer to buy a beanbag containing the same book. That group was only willing to pay $12.

Reason? It is not right to pay such a sum for a woven bag that comes with the book free of charge. The means have a negative effect on the target.

Be aware of this when setting goals. The phrase “I will find a job” sounds more attractive than the phrase “I will apply for a job.” Do you want to exercise more? Then it is better to agree on something concrete with yourself, such as running 5 km in 30 minutes in three months, than to say: “I will run a lot.”

#2 Make it fun for more intrinsic motivation

If you want to achieve something on your own, you are more likely to achieve the goal. Whether it is about learning a new language, eating healthy food, or saving money. This is called intrinsic motivation. You do something because you want to.

Read alsoThis way you stay motivated even after achieving your goals

One way to stay motivated about a goal is to keep the road there fun. According to Fischbach, people underestimate how important this is. To this end, she did another experiment.

She made a group of people choose between listening to the Beatles song “Hey Jude” and a one-minute alarm. She also tied a sum of money to it. Most people chose the alarm clock because it was more profitable. But that group also often regretted choosing her afterward.

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Lesson: The path to the goal is important. So watch a Netflix series when you’re wearing an elliptical trainer, listen to a podcast while you’re running or do an activity that’s fun in its own right, like rock out with friends.

#3 Make decisions with a broad framework

Mars bar, beer, portion of fries: Every once in a while, right? If we look at each decision individually, we often do not see any harm in it. After all, you haven’t gotten fat after frozen pizza.

Fischbach believes that the danger lies in the accumulation of such decisions. If you keep falling into the temptation to eat fatty foods, it will eventually have consequences for your health.

Self-motivated healthy eating
Do you have an intrinsic drive to eat healthy? Photo: Karolina Kołodziejczak / Unsplash

How do you overcome this? By making broad decisions extending for longer periods. For example, decide for a month what you want to eat each day in the office instead of deciding daily in the cafeteria with the tray at hand. This way you will also notice faster if you make a mistake once.

This tactic also helps maintain your grip on the wallet. We often spend a lot on odd things like birthday gifts, hotels, or new earplugs. In a study by Fischbach, participants were asked to view these non-recurring expenditures as part of a larger amount called “extraordinary expenditures.” This helps you spend less.

#4 Make decisions early

Let’s say you need a bike and two are offered: a decent Gazelle that you can get right away or a slightly more luxurious Patavos that you have to wait for half a year. Which do you choose?

Most people will take the deer. You can use it to go to work or the supermarket tomorrow.

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But what if I also had to wait five months to get a deer? Then people often choose Patavos. If it’s still far away, you don’t care an extra month. Get a super bike that weighs more.

According to Fischbach, you can use this data to make better decisions with more patience. If you can, plan ahead to reduce the temptation for a quick reward. By working in this way, you make better decisions and increase your intrinsic motivation.

#5 Do it together for more intrinsic motivation

Anyone who works from home a lot should know that sometimes it’s not easy on your own. Team meeting in the morning and the rest of the day working through a to-do list without talking to anyone. It makes sense to reduce your motivation.

Working together helps achieve goals. We often form a natural bond with people who pursue the same goal. You inspire each other, support each other and keep each other sharp.

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Fischbach quotes from Marie and Pierre Curie. The French-Polish scientific couple won the Nobel Prize in 1903 for their research on radiological phenomena. Pierre insisted that they receive the award together.

Eight years later, Marie Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering radium and polonium. Her husband’s support pays off. In fact, in 1935 her daughter Irene also won the Nobel Prize. She also did her research with her husband.

intrinsic motivation
Pierre and Marie Curie, an example of self-motivation.

How do you solve the middle problem?

According to Fischbach, the solution is simple: keep the period between the start and end of the goal short. Do not think about what you want to do in sports next month, but plan a week in advance. Don’t set a savings goal for the whole year, but set aside a certain amount each month. This way you keep your middle period short and you stay more motivated.

This also prevents disappointments. If you’ve been sick for a week, you don’t immediately have to toss your running schedule for the next 10 weeks in the trash. The following week I just started with a new goal.

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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