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Thread: Goals

  1. #1

    Default Goals

    To score, keep your goals to yourself: Study

    Whether you plan to cure cancer, lose weight or be the world's best parent, results of a new study suggest you'd do well to keep your mouth shut about it. And not just to avoid annoying other people.

    Researchers report that when dealing with identity goals that is, the aspirations that define who we are sharing our intentions doesn't necessarily motivate achievement. On the contrary, a series of experiments shows that when others take notice of our plans, performance is compromised because we gain "a premature sense of completeness" about the goal...

    "(Take) a mother who talks about all the great things she's going to do for her kids help them do better in school, get better test scores, give them extra training while all the other mothers nod in approval," says Gollwitzer. "The chances are high that she won't do as much as she could to achieve those goals because she's already viewed as an ideal mother just by sharing her wonderful intentions." ...

    Sirois theorizes the study's findings also have implications for people with a more limited view of their goals and the steps required to achieve them.

    "If you're more short-term focused, (getting noticed) may decrease your commitment to follow through with those intentions; you lose sight of the larger goal because you can't see the forest for the trees," she says. "But if you're the sort of person who thinks about things in the big picture, praise will only reinforce your motivation to continue on."...

    The whole article is interesting. I have always set goals and have read a lot on the subject. I've always thought that telling people what you are going to do had this effect. Not that I haven't sometimes done it, it's an easy fix.

    The part in bold is what made me think this might be a useful article to SP especially.

    Any thoughts on goals and the article?

  2. #2
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    Wolfy, you find the most interesting shit to ponder on Bro.

    I liked this from the article:

    Ian Newby-Clark, a professor of social psychology at the University of Guelph in southern Ontario, says the research is important because it exposes the limitations of earlier research by proving public commitment might actually "backfire" where issues of identity are concerned.

    "Gollwitzer is saying that in certain conditions probably a lot people can actually become less active in their goal pursuit this way," says Newby-Clark. "And he's absolutely right."

    Fuschia Sirois, an expert on goal attainment, suspects the effect is especially strong among individuals who express high levels of goal-commitment for the same reason insecure men often buy flashy cars: overcompensation.

    "There can be a feeling that if you really express your desire strongly enough, you can get there, you can overcome the obstacles," explains Sirois, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Windsor.
    "Those intentions may be compensating for actual belief that you can do it."
    Intentions pale in comparison to actual belief! I feel this all the time in the gym. If I am going for a certain lift there is a definitive difference in how I breathe before it, how my grip feels on the bar, and the way my body uses all of its muscles together to properly pull it off when I truly BELIEVE I can do it.

    On the ocassions when I have attempted things with false belief (aka INTENTIONS) my breathing is never as deep and focused, my grip on the bar is not as sure, and my form is usually less than perfect and I end up trying to compensate with momentum.

    The difference between the two is NIGHT and DAY.

    I too have thought on goals alot over the course of my life. I sat in as an analyst during a large insurance companies senior management retreat where they had just hired a new Executive Director. He was awesome. A brilliant, ruthless businessman. He laid out his take on GOALS and OBJECTIVES.

    In his opinion, GOALS are something to strive for, they are the IDEAL, but they cannot ever be FULLY REALIZED.

    OBJECTIVES are the means by which goals are pursued. They are the living processes of the business that allow a given department to get as close as possible to achieving their goals. As better processes are developed or current processes improved performances goes up, but there is still motivation for further improvement.

    This kind of goes hand in hand with KAIZEN, the Japanese business philosophy of constant, incremental improvement. It worked quite well for this insurer. The staff was focused.

    The hardest part about implementing a system like this is defining the metrics by which you will measure the efficacy/accomplishment of your objectives.

  3. #3
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    May 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    In his opinion, GOALS are something to strive for, they are the IDEAL, but they cannot ever be FULLY REALIZED.
    Like that, and I agree with the article.

    I've definitely noticed that whenever I start sharing my goals with others, or hell, even being satisfied with where I'm at.....any success evaporates. And so I've started just keeping my future plans to myself and just doing whatever I can to get to the end point, letting my methods warp a bit as long as it'll get the same result.

    Lots of people I know are stuck on thinking/discussing what they're going to do, and then it never happens. Nothing quite like failure (not) in progress. And plus, it makes their self-identities all wacky (as mentioned in article).

    yup, good article!

  4. #4
    Senior Member FC3S's Avatar
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    May 2009


    Reminds me of monks meditating.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member riel's Avatar
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    Dec 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by shellular View Post
    Lots of people I know are stuck on thinking/discussing what they're going to do, and then it never happens. Nothing quite like failure (not) in progress. And plus, it makes their self-identities all wacky (as mentioned in article).
    I'm guilty!
    I'm a Phlegmatic-Melancholy.

  6. #6
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Aug 2008


    Very interesting.. I've never thought of it like this at ALL. I always confess my thoughts and goals..
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