2018 Strategy for Achieving Our Goals

Working Hard?
Why do some people fail to achieve their goals despite their high motivation and passion? Are their disciplines insufficient?

Do they experience a decline in their motivation?In this article I will tell you a strategy based on evidence that can be effective in realizing your goals for 2018 and why some people’s plans just fails.

Have you ever set a goal and fail?
How many times did you promise yourself to exercise, quit smoking, eat less junk food, and you couldn’t? Most of the people setting a goal or dreaming about success is very easy, but achieving a dream is invariably difficult.This gap between intention and behavior might have many different forms. For example intention to do more exercise, eating healthier, going to bed early rather than spending time watching tv etc. The gap between intention and behavior is seen often, despite strong intention to break the habits which could lead to serious health problems.

How can you build the bridge between intention and behavior?
“If- then” planning is a simple and effective way for transforming our actions into strategy. Many studies have shown that it is a successful strategy to achieve goals such as eating more vegetables, drinking less alcohol, doing more exercise, quitting smoking, regulating emotions and making check-up more often.

The plan in this strategy is when, where and how you will be acting for this purpose. For example:“If I’m going to eat chocolate after lunch, then I’ll stop at the supermarket and buy some vegetables for dinner.” “If I haven’t returned my mother call until 8pm, then I will not turn on the TV until I call her first”If I returned home late at night and I do not have time to go to the gym, then I’ll get up early next morning and do some exercise. “The ‘if-then’ plan eliminates the need of high motivation by making time and space decisions to get the right action.

If you set your plan like “I will be exercising Sunday, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6am” and create a reward-penalty mecanism on purpose, you will no longer have questions such as “Will I have enough motivation to run after work?” or “Will I have enough strength to get up at 05.30 in the morning?”Creating routines mindfully will automate the behavior you want to acquire and offer a new life that will not easily be changed.

Wishing everyone a new year with full of joy and achievement!

Güliz Altınbaşak

Neuroscientist, Psychologist


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