If you like to read as much as listen, you can get a transcript of the show right here.
In this week’s show we talk about the big “O” in goals and goal setting. What is that you say? Well, it refers to the “obstructions” that we can encounter on the quest to accomplish our goals. We’ve all had those high-minded ideas about what we want to accomplish and it’s as if we never think “hey, what could possibly go wrong?” Well, researcher and scientist, Dr. Gabrielle Oettingen asked this question and others to come up with the process of Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions or MCII. And specifically we talk about the II of this process which is the implementation intention part of the process. This is part of the process differentiates the traditional goal-setting format of using the SMART formula to accomplish whatever it is that we are trying to accomplish.
Here is how it works. First, we do mental contrasting which is our amazing ability to identify where we are currently at in our lives and then, where we want to be. At some point, we make an emotional decision that says, ‘this is how I will feel once I get to point B’ or once we achieve our desired state. Then we start doing the planning and this is where the implementation intentions start to show up. We make our grand plan for accomplishing our goal. Specifically, we consider what road blocks we may encounter along the way that might be obstructions to us accomplishing our goals. Once we start considering the “obstructions”, we incorporate the if…then…So, if “x” occurs, then we will do “y”. Once we have these plans in place and can anticipate the things that might get in our way, then we are prepared to overcome them. The other thing to keep in mind is that often the obstructions that we are going to encounter is not just the physical obstructions in life but also, our own mental obstructions we can encounter. And, if you wonder if any of this really work, findings from a review of 94 independent studies with implementation intentions found that including this step in the goal attainment process was effective in promoting the ignition of the goal, shielding ongoing goal pursuit from unwanted influences and prevented disengagement from failing course of action. So, there. It works. But don’t take our word for it, try it out yourself. And, you can check out Dr. Oettingen’s app too. Let us know what you think in the comments below too.