Q: Why Goal intentions and Goal Implementation?
A: Using “if” and then” structure for goal setting increases goal pursuit success and rewiring of the brain. Research suggests if/then goals double a person’s likelihood of achieving goal success. (Gollwitzer & Sheeran, 2006; Grant, 2014; Fogg, 2004; Nowack, 2009; 2017)
Q: Why 90 days to solicit goal progress feedback?
A: It takes about 6-8 repetitions in behavior to begin neuro wiring (Grill-Spector et al., 2005) but 60-90 days to make new behaviors automatic (Lally et al., 2009)
Q: Why use a “Readiness” or commitment question?
A: People are more successful in starting new goals when they demonstrate a readiness to change or commitment to go beyond “contemplation” to “action” (The Transtheoretical Model; Prochaska & DiClemente, 1983; Prochaska, DiClemente, & Norcross, 1992)
Q: Why do we congratulate and recognize participants after they have logged back in to Talent Accelerator to view their Goal Feedback?
A: People are more likely to repeat experiences that end on a positive note. For example, colonoscopy patients who had a longer procedure but feel the experience was pleasant were more likely to go for a subsequent exam (Redelmeier, Katz, & Kahneman, 2003). Change talk and sustain talk reflect two sides of a person's ambivalence about changing but if you want to increase motivation, encourage more of the former (Miller & Rollnick, 2012). Research shows that change talk and reflection about one’s commitment level is associated with enhanced motivation for change, and motivation is associated with increased likelihood of actual change.
Q: Why are participants sent a reminder “nudge” 30 days after they set a goal?
A: Research has found that people are more likely to slack off or behave unethically around the middle of a project (Fishbach, 2018). Example, in one study observant Jews were more likely to light a menorah on the first and last nights of Hanukkah than on the other six nights even though the religious tradition is to light candles for eight successive days (Sherman, et al. (2014).When starting a new goal, focus on completed progress in the beginning of goal pursuit and remaining progress at the end to maximize motivation (Bonezzi et al., 2011). There is greater motivation when people focus on completed (vs. lack of) progress at the beginning and lack of progress (vs. completed) toward the end of goal pursuit. This is because, people who have worked on their goal for longer are likely to evaluate their progress with respect to a target end-state, while people who have just started striving for a goal are likely to evaluate their progress with respect to the past (or starting) state. Immediate benefits and rewards are a stronger predictor of persistence than delayed benefits (e.g., next year or the future)—across a range of goals, in areas including fitness, nutrition, and education. Factor in enjoyment when choosing which activity to pursue to achieve your goals and reflect on the immediate benefits you get while working toward your goal to increase persistence (Wooley & Fishbach, 2018).
Q: Why are participants asked to think about what reward they might give themselves to celebrate success and why does it even suggest a negative and/or uncertain reward?
A: Our brains are wired to be more motivated by losses than gains --loss aversion (Thaler & Sunstein, 2008; Fishbach, 2019). In a 2016 study asked people to walk 7,000 steps a day for six months--some participants were paid $1.40 for each day they achieved their goal, while others lost $1.40/day if they failed to. The second group hit their daily target 50% more often. Uncertain rewards are more motivating because they are more challenging and exciting than certain rewards (e.g., 50% chance of getting $50 or $100 vs. 100% chance of winning $100).
Q: Why are participants asked to evaluate their own goal progress?
A: Comparing self-ratings to those of others can be useful for increasing self-insight and motivation to change (Nowack, 2017). The “gap” between self and other ratings can prompt continued commitment and action or to revise the goal.