No matter what your project is, it all starts with a simple, yet complex task: goal-setting; nowadays neuroscience may prove of great help, by understanding how exactly your mind works and how you can trick it into achieving positive results. How exactly Can you set up your goal?
This is primordial, no doubt about it. Actually, there is no need for scientific studies to understand why good results are achievable only if you are positive and confident about your project and its success.
If you do not believe in your objectives, you will soon lose motivation, and we all know how that impacts any sort of activity.
Basic Goal-Setting Principles
Going back to neuroscience, here are some things to keep in mind when you set your own goal:
- Specificity. A goal should target a very specific result. If you simply decide to “make money”, your brain will not be able to focus on this goal, because it does not have a well-defined pathway to that goal. On the other hand, if you set up multiple specific goals, defining exactly how are you going to make money, you will find it much easier to stick to them.
- Perseverance. No matter what your project is, setbacks will probably occur, at one point. This obviously, causes doubts about the goal that you set. Not to mention various collateral distracting factors. All these cause an internal conflict, so you do not know if it is still worth pursuing your initial goal. This is mainly due to your body producing lots of cortisol, a stress hormone. Do not let it take over, stay focused!
- Stay positive, no matter what happens. It is not just about having a positive attitude when setting up a goal, but also about keeping it while you pursue it. Experts in neuroscience say that, as you perceive the goal as being closer, your brain secretes more dopamine, a stimulant that overpowers cortisol.
- Find allies. Share your goals with other people around you. Family, friends, coworkers, they can all help you keep the positive attitude, up to the final success.
- Balance. You should always acknowledge the importance of your goal, but it should not rule your life. Getting distracted is bad, but so is over-thinking. Over-thinking will probably make lots of doubts to appear and cause enough stress to demotivate you. Neuroscience teaches us to always find our inner balance.