Have you made progress on the goals you drafted? Or have you opted out already? If so, you have plenty of company. Researchers estimate between 40-50% of those who make them, fail.
Just after my wrote my last blog post, I noticed that everyone seemed to be writing, talking,or tweeting about setting goals and resolutions.Turns out, it ain’t easy to form new habits and stick to our goals. Why?
Human nature and our brains.
I found this research so fascinating that I’ve decided to pursue my Ph.D. (Productivity and Habit Development.) During the upcoming months, I’ll be reading several books and articles on the topic of productivity, habits, and goals. Then I’ll recap my findings here just for you. I’ll try out some of the recommendations, too, and share my results.
The first book I recommend is Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals by Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson. Dr. Halvorson is a speaker, psychologist, author, and expert on motivation. She uses brain and social science to explain why some people succeed and some don’t at achieving goals in every day life. Dr. Halvorson writes in an engaging style and uses examples from her own life. She’s funny, too.
What I really liked about this book is that the author shows how conventional thinking about goals can sometimes be counterproductive. For example, we hear a lot about the importance of visualizing–think Oprah–making dream boards, thinking positively, imagining our success. The problem with this strategy, according to Dr. Halvorson, is that we don’t have a realistic picture of the steps we will take or the obstacles we’ll encounter along the way. We don’t visualize how hard achieving our goal will be!
This certainly resonates with me as I think about the unfinished draft of my new novel that I thought I’d complete last summer.
I invite you to join my in my 2013 Ph.D program. Please share your ideas, experiences and recommendations.