New Years Resolutions – How to Set Goals You Can Actually Reach

Do your emotions get in the way of making goals and decisions for yourself, your family, or at work? As you embark upon this New Year, check out the following article about “goal factoring,” a fascinating glimpse of how to optimize decision making and setting goals you can reach.


“Here are three exercises used at the Center for Applied Rationality’s workshops to help people be more rational with their decisions:


Goal Factoring

  • Determine whether an action is the most effective way to achieve a goal. For example, going to the gym every morning may not be a realistic way to manage stress if you’re not a morning person.


  • Use emotions to evaluate how likely you are to succeed at a goal. Imagine that, six months from now, you have not achieved your goal. The level of surprise you feel at this outcome is a good predictor of whether you will actually succeed.

Structured Procrastination

  • Acknowledge procrastination as somewhat inevitable and procrastinate by doing something else productive. For example, procrastinate on starting an assignment by going on a walk or cleaning the house.”

Full article: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303453004579290510733740616