Add some science to your goal setting

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Happy New Year, Happy New Decade! It seems to have become an annual tradition that I write something about goal setting and goal achievement to kick start the year. For 2020, here is an overview on what the current science says about goal setting. What is a goal? Quite simply, a goal is a target, an aim, or an objective. It is something you want to do. It is not a wish or a need, but rather a more concrete entity that results from the conscious consideration of wishes and needs. Often the goal is articulated or written, but it can also be kept in mind without being externalized. Just having a goal is believed to impact our actions. We become energized and motivated, and we focus more on activities that are relevant to the goal. Does goal setting work? […]

Beyond setting goals…

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Ah, the New Year, and its barrage of advice on resolutions, self-improvement, and goals… I apologize for jumping on the New Year’s goal-setting bandwagon, but it is as good a time as any to get some things off my chest on this subject, particularly about some the more nuanced concepts of mastery goals versus performance goals (aka ego goals), and a perhaps more important piece about using metacognition (planning, monitoring, and evaluating) to ensure you actually attain your goals. Mastery versus performance goals An example of a performance goal or an ego goal is “I want to be the fastest rider at our club” or “I want to win this race” or “I want to get an A in calculus”. By contrast, mastery goals would be “I want to ride the Rosseau Lake loop 5 minutes faster this week” or […]