Set Appropriate Goals
Part 2: The Motivation-Guilt Cycle
Even though we said we were going to talk about behavioral goals last week, we’re going to take a short detour to examine the Motivation-Guilt Cycle. Because it’s such a common phenomenon, I’m going to use an example of someone who wants to lose weight (although it not hard to recognize the pattern in other areas: career improvement, skill development, etc).
I think this phenomenon is appropriately labeled as a cycle. Chances are, you have experienced multiple rounds of this cycle in several different areas of your life. And unfortunately, setting an achievement goal can be part of the set up (a goal is often set somewhere between “desire to change” and “initial enthusiasm). After all, you applied firmer rules with your SMART goal, right? You did all of the “correct” steps. It’s a formula for crying out loud!
UP NEXT: break the cycle by changing your expectations of what goals, progress, and achievement look like to begin with.