Why Reaching a New Goal is Difficult
By Scott Smith - Motivation and Coaching
Tuesday, 4 January
It's the time of the year when it seems almost everybody is setting new goals. It's also the time of year most folks will quickly give up on those goals.
There has been a lot of research about how long New Year's Resolutions last. On the short end, most folks give up at 12 days, the most committed stay in the game for an entire month.
Now, since it takes 66 days to set a new behavior, it's no wonder people have such a difficult time changing.
Here's an exciting way to think about that problem.
Setting a goal is a conscious decision that is an executive function of your brain - which operates serially. While you may think that you can multitask, your brain processes one item at a time. That means it must prioritize what's most important so it can work on it for you.
When you set and prioritize a goal, you are essentially eliminating other alternatives that may be more important to you. When you do, your brain views taking action as a potential opportunity lost and makes any new tasks difficult.
How do you make it easier?
The answer can be found in the word ''Alternative'' because the inverse is true—
Any new goal will feel easier when it is more important to you than the alternative choice.
In other words, choose wisely.
If you want to set great goals, pursue them, make a significant change to your life, the secret is to make your goal more important than any alternative that may be lurking in the back of your mind. When you choose correctly, you'll find yourself automatically motivated to reach any goal you have successfully.
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