When does planning interfere with achieving our goals?
May 17, 2012
It seems really simple: If you want to achieve something, set a goal and then make specific plans to implement it. But according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, consumers get overwhelmed while juggling multiple goals.
"Research has shown that forming specific plans for a single goal makes success more likely," write authors Amy Dalton (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) and Stephen Spiller (UCLA). "Most of us, however, are juggling multiple goals in our lives and jobs and managing a busy schedule is difficult. This raises the question of whether forming specific plans can help us accomplish more of the tasks we set out to do."
The authors looked at what happens when consumers make specific plans to pursue goals. For example, someone with the goal of eating a healthy meal might plan to "eat a salad with low-fat dressing at lunch tomorrow in the cafeteria." The research involved laboratory and field experiments that manipulated whether or not people plan in advance how they will implement their goals and the number of goals participants formed.
In one study, the authors provided participants with a to-do list of "virtuous activities" to complete over the course of five days; some people had one activity, but others had six. Half the participants were encouraged to plan specifically how, when, and where they would carry out the to-do list each day. "We found that specific planning helped people who had a single goal on their to-do list, but not people with multiple goals," the authors write. A second study, which involved a computer task, yielded similar results.
Why is specific planning less effective when applied to a number of goals? The authors believe that planning reminds people of all the obstacles and constraints that stand in the way of achieving goals.
But planning isn't always detrimental to achieving multiple goals. In an interesting twist, the authors found that people came to see their goals as more manageable if they thought other people were juggling more goals than they were. "These people framed their goals as relatively easy to carry out and were more likely to benefit from planning," the authors write.
University of Chicago Press Journals
Related Goals Current Events and Goals News ArticlesThe brain clock that keeps memories ticking
Just as members of an orchestra need a conductor to stay on tempo, neurons in the brain need well-timed waves of activity to organize memories across time. In the hippocampus--the brain's memory center--temporal ordering of the neural code is important for building a mental map of where you've been, where you are, and where you are going. Small offshore oil spills put seabirds at risk: Industry self-monitoring failing
Seabirds exposed to even a dime-sized amount of oil can die of hypothermia in cold-water regions, but despite repeated requests by Environment Canada, offshore oil operators are failing when it comes to self-monitoring of small oil spills, says new research out of York University.Lipid testing underutilized in adults taking antipsychotic medications
Too few adults taking antipsychotic medications are being screened for abnormalities in lipids, which include cholesterol and triglycerides, new research from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus finds.New technique controls autonomous vehicles on a dirt track
A Georgia Institute of Technology research team has devised a novel way to help keep a driverless vehicle under control as it maneuvers at the edge of its handling limits. Natural regeneration of tropical forests helps global climate mitigation and forest restoration
Climate scientists have long recognized the importance of forest conservation and forest regrowth in climate mitigation and carbon sequestration -- capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Many young adult female cancer survivors need more information and support to preserve their fertility
A new study indicates that many young adult female cancer survivors do not receive adequate information about their fertility as part of their survivorship care after completing treatment, despite having concerns about their ability to bear children in the future. Engineers take first step toward flexible, wearable, tricoder-like device
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed the first flexible wearable device capable of monitoring both biochemical and electric signals in the human body. New Berkeley Lab study tallies environmental and public health benefits of solar power
Solar power could deliver $400 billion in environmental and public health benefits throughout the United States by 2050, according to a study from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).First peek into the brain of a freely walking fruit fly
Researchers at the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind at the University of California San Diego have developed a technique for imaging brain activity in a freely walking fruit fly. York U invention promises rapid detection of E. coli in water
Tragedies like the E. coli outbreak in Ontario's Walkerton in May 2000 could be averted today with a new invention by researchers at York University that can detect the deadly contaminant in drinking water early.
More Goals Current Events and Goals News Articles
Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want -- Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible|
by Brian Tracy (Author)
NEW EDITION, REVISED AND UPDATED
Why do some people achieve all their goals while others simply dream of having a better life? Bestselling author Brian Tracy shows that the path from frustration to fulfillment has already been discovered. Hundreds of thousands—even millions—of men and women have started with nothing and achieved great success. Here Tracy presents the essential principles you need to know to make your dreams come true. Tracy presents a simple, powerful, and effective system for setting and achieving goals—a method that has been used by more than one million people to achieve extraordinary things. In this revised and expanded second edition he has added three new chapters addressing areas in which goals can be most rewarding but also the toughest to set and...
Goal Setting (Workbook Included): Goals & Motivation: Introduction To A Complete & Proven Step-By-Step Blueprint For Reaching Your Goals|
by MK Coaching
Do you want to learn how to achieve your goals but feel tired of all the over-hyped, positive thinking, self help stuff out there?
If you do, then download this FREE book today!
Only 8% of people who set goals actually achieve them. If you fall into the other 92%, you are probably familiar with the feelings of overwhelm, frustration and being stuck, that accompany the task of trying to achieve your goals.
After experiencing many common pitfalls himself, Martin Kaye set out to find what prevented him from reaching personal success, and what really works. He dove deep into the scientific research field of behavioral psychology and applied psychology, specifically the research done by world leading researchers on the topics of willpower, habits, happiness, goal...
Take Control Of Your Life: A 2 hour plan to help you set and reach your goals|
We all have dreams of things that we'd love to accomplish in our lives. But as you know, a goal without a plan is just a wish.
Take Control Of Your Life will help you take your big dreams and turn them into concrete action plans, full of bite-sized action steps that you actually believe you can achieve.
In this book, you'll learn:
- How to take your larger-than-life dreams and whittle them down into bite-sized daily action steps that don't overwhelm you (anyone with big dreams needs this)
- An incredibly effective way to make sure that you feel great the entire time you're working on your goals -- not just after you achieve them...
- Why traditional "I'm going to lose 10 pounds in a month" type goals often set you up for...
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement|
by Eliyahu M. Goldratt (Author), Jeff Cox (Author)
30th Anniversary Edition
Written in a fast-paced thriller style, The Goal, a gripping novel, is transforming management thinking throughout the world. It is a book to recommend to your friends in industry - even to your bosses - but not to your competitors. Alex Rogo is a harried plant manager working ever more desperately to try improve performance. His factory is rapidly heading for disaster. So is his marriage. He has ninety days to save his plant - or it will be closed by corporate HQ, with hundreds of job losses. It takes a chance meeting with a professor from student days - Jonah - to help him break out of conventional ways of thinking to see what needs to be done. The story of Alex's fight to save his plant is more than compulsive reading. It contains a serious message for...
Write It Down, Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want And Getting It|
by Henriette Anne Klauser (Author)
A simple and effective guide to turning your dreams into reality by taking matters into your own hands, filled with down-to-earth tips and easy exercises.
In Write It Down, Make It Happen, Henriette Anne Klauser, PhD, explains how simply writing down your goals in life is the first step toward achieving them. Writing can even help you understand what you want. In this book, you will read stories about ordinary people who witnessed miracles large and small unfold in their lives after they performed the basic act of putting their dreams on paper. Klauser’s down-to-earth tips and easy exercises are sure to get your creative juices flowing. Before you know it, you’ll be writing your own ticket to success.
With Write It Down, Make It Happen you can find the perfect mate, buy...
Evernote: Unleashed! Remember Anything, Accomplish Any Goal, Get More Done (Evernote for Beginners - Your Complete Guide to Mastering Evernote Quickly)|
Your Definitive Evernote Guide
All You Ever Wanted to Know about The Amazing Evernote App
With Evernote Unleashed, you will learn everything you need to know to make the most of the amazing Evernote app. Learn the terminology, functions, and features of Evernote so that you can improve your life in almost every way imaginable! With Evernote, you can set goals; keep track of those goals; track your productivity; remember inspiring quotes; share ideas with others; digitize your paper documents; make audio memos; set reminders; and countless other wonderfully useful things. And you can do all of that for free!
But the first step is learning how to do all of those great things so that you can make the most of every feature available to do. And that is exactly...
How To Set Goals: Your Goal Setting Bible For Maximum Personal Achievement|
by Darrin Wiggins (Author)
How To Set Goals: Your Goal Setting Bible For Maximum Personal AchievementSetting goals gives every ordinary person the power to be extraordinary.The bad news is about 99% of the population never discover how to use the power of goal setting.The good news is this book has the proven methods of the elite 1% and all the exclusive information needed for you to join them.The Truth About Goal SettingAsk almost any successful person how they created the wealth, health and happiness they have and goal setting will be part of their formula for success. They didn't just luck into the success they have, they created it. They planned to be at the right place at the right time. People who have powerfully written goals wake up everyday ready to receive the success they are creating.They are clear on...
S.M.A.R.T. Goals Made Simple: 10 Steps to Master Your Personal and Career Goals|
by S.J. Scott (Author)
DISCOVER:: How to Set Professional and Personal Goals That You Actually Achieve
Do you often set goals that you never seem to reach? We're all filled with dreams and aspirations. Most long for fulfilling relationships. Some desire personal freedom. Others want fame and success. And some strive for profitable businesses. Wherever your ambitions may lie, goal setting can get you there.
On the other hand, the wrong goal can leave you feeling frustrated and unmotivated. When you set a goal that's too lofty, it's easy to give up when your dreams don't turn into reality.
We all have important milestones we'd like to reach. The trick is to create a plan and commit to it. Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals can help you do this.
TAKE ACTION:: Focus on S.M.A.R.T. Goals and...
Confidence: Complete Guide to Eliminating your Limiting Beliefs and Achieving your Goals - Human Behavior, Attitude, Influence, and Self Confidence|
You Can Do Anything Your Heart Desires!
This book includes special reviews of recommended products for increasing your self-esteem!
Would you like to
Maintain Positive Conversations?
Overcome Doubt with Positive Action?
and See Everything as an Opportunity?
If so, you’ve come to the right place!
Inside this Expanded 2nd Edition of Confidence: Complete Guide to Eliminating your Limiting Beliefs and Achieving your Goals – Human Behavior, Attitude, Influence, and Self Confidence, you’ll learn how to maintain your confidence levels, understand the relationships between your action and beliefs, and learn the 7 Behaviors You Need to Adopt Today!
Remember - You don’t need a Kindle device to read...
The Fitness Expert Next Door: How to Set and Reach Realistic Fitness Goals in 10 Minutes a Day (How to Change Your Life in 10 Minutes a Day)|
How I and 1539 other common folks have lost a significant amount of weight, and you can too!
Thousands of common folks lose weight every day. It's a scientifically proven fact. They succeed because it's easy when you focus on just a few core principles that really work, instead of constantly chasing the next diet fad or latest fitness research. Is this book for you?
This book is NOT for you if:
- You look for the advice of authorities - I will quote a single research study, but that's as far as expert knowledge goes
- You love to spend: money on fitness and diet programs; hours on preparing fancy diet meals and hours on physical exercise
This book IS for you if:
- You are willing to lose weight, but find excuses are weighing you down