We have more or less goals in our daily lives. However, there are few things that can be achieved. I think that I should be strongly aware not only of the goals that I explicitly gave up but also of the need to do so, but when I realized that I was doing something else, it was time, and I decided not to do it. There are quite a few cases where they are doing it. When we fail to achieve our goals in this way, we tend to blame ourselves for "insufficient ability" and "weakness of will."
But as an author, a psychologist at the forefront of research, there is almost no lack of ability to cause the goal to be missed. On top of that, we assert that anyone can improve their ability to reach their goals.
The feature of this book is that the author collects only the information that can be asserted from the researcher's point of view. Effective strategies are introduced for various situations and goals for each type, regardless of mere rules of thumb or guts theory, and it seems that they can be put into practice immediately. No matter what your goals are, you'll find the best solution using the categories in this book.
After reading this book, you will be able to review how to set goals and be convinced that you should be closer to your goals this time. If you want the power to accomplish something, I would like you to pick it up.
Main points of this book
It's often thought that innate abilities are needed to achieve a goal, which is a misunderstanding.
The self-control required to achieve the goal varies not only among individuals but also among the same person, depending on the situation.
If you want to increase motivation and self-control, it is effective to be aware of the reason of the action, “why”. On the other hand, when challenging something difficult, it is better to focus on the immediate task, “what”.
To improve your ability to achieve your goals, it is effective to know the types of goals and select the appropriate approach.
Why you can't reach your goals
Frustration is not due to your qualities
Why can't people achieve their goals? There must be one thing that everyone seriously wants to work on, such as work, health, relationships, and household budget, and even if they try it, there are few things they can achieve. Many people think that this is the cause, but that is a big mistake.
There are some very important concepts in achieving goals. Let me introduce two here. "The ability to achieve a goal cannot be explained only by the innate qualities," and "anyone can improve their ability to achieve the goal."
According to the US government website, many Americans cite "weight loss" and "no smoking" as goals for the new year. Both are potentially life-threatening, but many still fail.
A common reason for frustration is the power of will. It is generally considered essential to overcoming temptation and a natural qualification. Many people think that "there are people with strong will and weak people in the world," and assume that their frustration is due to their natural qualities.
However, the willpower is not what is generally believed. In psychology, the power of will is called "self-control," but its identity is probably different from what you might imagine.
Self-control is like a muscle
Everybody has self-control. But no matter how good a person is, even though he knows what to do, he fails. Even President Obama has repeatedly failed to quit smoking.
The reason is that the strength of self-control changes like muscles. Not only does the self-control vary among individuals, but even the same person may become stronger or weaker depending on the situation, and may be tired. Immediately after struggling to accomplish something, like just after exercising at a sports club, I'm pretty exhausted. Then it will be difficult to achieve other goals. If you think so, you can understand why President Obama fails to quit smoking.
Many other facts are known about self-control. For example, it may be possible to temporarily supplement the lack of self-control by increasing the motivation by rewards, and to exercise self-control by taking actions that require regular self-control.
[Must read points!] Know the various types of goals
"Why" and "What"
To achieve the goal, the goal to be achieved must be clearly defined. A dream on "I want to go somewhere warm" doesn't mean a vacation on a southern island.
One of the important viewpoints when thinking about a goal is to know the difference between the "what" and "why" ways of thinking. For example, "cleaning the house" is "cleaning the floor" from the perspective of "what", and "creating a comfortable home" from the perspective of "why". .. "Paying rent" is "transferring to a bank" from the perspective of "what", but "securing a place to live" from the perspective of "why".
The difference between an abstract “why” and a concrete “what” has advantages and disadvantages in motivation. Therefore, it is important to adopt the right one according to the situation.
First, the abstract “why” is easy to motivate because a small action can be associated with a large meaning or purpose. When you have to work overtime, it's easier to motivate you to think that "this hard work leads to a career advancement" rather than "thinking the key to the computer for another hour."
On the other hand, based on "what", the consciousness concentrates on specific actions. When working on complex, difficult, unfamiliar goals, or when you need to embark on specific actions, focus on what.
In summary, if you want to increase motivation and self-control, it is effective to consciously consider the reason for the action, "why". When challenging something difficult, forget about the "big picture" and focus on the task at hand.
"Determinism" and "Growth"
Whether or not we believe that human qualities cannot be changed has a major impact on goal setting. Psychology considers a person who thinks that qualities such as intelligence, personality, and athletic ability are "naturally determined and cannot be enhanced" to be "deterministic" and "improved through experience and learning." Those who are "growth theorists".
Determinists try to prove their high abilities. I can't improve my qualifications, so I don't want my current ability to be high.
Growthists, on the other hand, believe that they can improve their abilities if they make an effort, so they are not particular about demonstrating their abilities at this point. You can try and acquire new skills, and even if you fail, you can use it as a spring to challenge.
This tendency also appears in partner selection. Determinists want to choose someone who they think is perfect now and, in a collision, want to escape from that relationship. Growthists can choose people who can help each other and see problems as opportunities.
Many studies have already pointed out that determinism is incorrect. If there's a field that you've never given up on before, I would like you to think again and take on the challenge.
"Proof type" and "learning type"
There are two types of goals: "proof type", which emphasizes proving one's ability, and "learning type", which emphasizes growing oneself. In the case of studying, the "proof type" is to prove your ability in a visible form such as grade, and the "learning type" is to deeply learn to acquire knowledge through the lessons.
When it is easy to achieve, proof-type goals are effective. You can motivate and show high performance. However, once things go wrong, they feel helpless and easily give up.
People with learning goals continue to work to overcome and grow in difficult times. We believe we can get good results if we continue to work, and we believe that learning and growth can continue even if the chances of success are low.
"Acquired" and "Defensive"
The focus of the goal is also classified into "acquisition type" and "defense type". The acquisition type focuses on what you can get, while the defense type emphasizes not losing.
Let's express this difference with students who are aiming to advance to medical school. Many students have a dream of becoming a doctor (acquisition: focus on acquisition) and a concern that they will disappoint their parents if they do not enter medical school (defense: focus on defense). Can be classified. Acquired students and defensive students have different approaches to effort and different types of vulnerable failures.
Acquired motivation increases praise and tends to give up when faced with difficulties. On the other hand, the defensive type raises the motivation by criticism, and does not easily give up when faced with difficulties. Acquired people are reluctant to miss the opportunity and dare to challenge, but defensive people fear mistakes and do not act unless they can expect a certain success.
Most people are either acquisition-type or defense-type, but the focus can change depending on the situation and the type of goal. It is necessary to understand the state of focus and change the approach as necessary.
The goal can be achieved
Capture goals by type
So far we have seen different types of goals. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all way to set goals. It is important to understand the characteristics of each goal and select the appropriate one for each situation. Here, we will look at the optimal goal setting for each scene.
When doing something simple or good at something, the "proof type" that emphasizes concrete results is effective. A simple goal is a great opportunity to show your talents and abilities to others, which leads to high motivation. Motivation is further enhanced when rewards are involved. When you feel that good performance rewards you, you will be more motivated and focused, and your performance will improve.
An "acquisition-type" goal that focuses on what can be achieved is also effective. Knowing that you can do the task easily will give you confidence and be optimistic about your chances of success. For acquired goals, this optimistic prospect motivates. Make a concrete image of what you will get and tie it to your goals.
If you are motivated but want to start, consider why. Thinking about why you have to reach your goals can help you do the little things in front of you. For example, if you want to work out on a regular basis, think of it as "healthy and attractive." It is also effective to imagine what you lose in the case of failure with "defensive" thinking.
Whenever you try a difficult task, such as raising a child for the first time or working inexperienced, you will almost always hit the wall. In such a case, it becomes easier to steadily move forward by setting a specific goal with what you think and focusing only on what you should do next.
A "learning" approach that emphasizes long-term growth and improvement is also effective. You will be able to learn from your mistakes, regardless of the immediate consequences.
When you are about to lose temptation, think about why you want to achieve your goal with "why" thinking. If you capture the action in front of you in a large picture, you will not be tempted to resist it. If you want to drink a milkshake, think of the health and attractive body that you can endure.
Also, with a “defensive” mindset that focuses on what you lose, temptation can even be a source of motivation. In defensive thinking, a delicious pile of desserts should look as dangerous as a grenade coated with sugar or chocolate.
If you need to get the job right in front of you anyway, act promptly, without fear of risk, by being aware of what you can get. On the other hand, when accuracy is required, a “defensive” goal that focuses on what you lose by failure is good. Even if it takes time, you can proceed carefully.
Recommendation of reading
In this book, authors whose goals and motivation research is their life work guide the strategies for achieving goals that are both easy-to-use and supported by effects.
This book also touches on motivational tips for others, situations in which optimistic thinking is effective and not, and methods for judging whether to give up or stick, which could not be covered in the abstract. It is guaranteed to be useful not only for those who want to achieve their goals, but also for those who want to motivate someone. Reading this book should give you a multi-faceted perspective on how to achieve your goals.