It’s December, which means that in addition to hot cocoa, gingerbread cookies and generous servings of eggnog, it’s time to reflect on the past year and set goals for the new one.
But setting goals can often be a challenge. We’ve all been there: you shoot for the stars and set your goals so high that soon, you realize they’re unachievable, become demotivated and finally give up…
Well, we’ve got news for you: there’s a science to goal setting that would ensure you always achieve your goals, if you set them right. We’ve been doing some research and dug up three resources to help you do just that.
The Science of Setting and Achieving Goals by Huberman Lab
Stanford neuroscience professor Andrew Huberman is one to share cutting edge neuroscience research that’s applicable to everyday life. This episode of his podcast is no exception. In it, he goes deep into how to set ambitious goals and get your dopamine system to work in order to achieve them every time.
Goal Setting: A Scientific Guide to Setting and Achieving Goals by James Clear
Bestselling author James Clear knows a thing or two about setting and crushing goals. In this article he breaks down the science behind it in an understandable and applicable way, and gives you a framework that you can use to never miss a goal again.
Your Brain on Dopamine: the Science of Motivation by Kevan Lee
Whenever you’ve felt a lack of desire to do something, did you ever stop and think that there’s a little molecule in your brain that’s to blame? Contrary to popular belief, dopamine is not the chemical of happiness. It’s the chemical of motivation. And there are ways to increase its concentration in your brain to ensure you’re getting maximum pleasure from pursuing your goals…which increases your chance of achieving them. This article shows you how.
Bonus: advice from the trenches
We know that scientific protocols can sometimes take a while to implement. That’s why we went out and asked some of our favorite techies what their frameworks for staying motivated and achieving their goals are. The results didn’t disappoint.
If you need a dose of inspiration, look no further.
“Set goals for each dimension: what do you want to stop / start / continue doing?
On top of that, pick 2-3 goals to set as your big bets. These are the meaty goals—ones that usually involve the more significant dimensions of your life: your job, partner, or environment.”
- Andrew Yeung - Global Product Lead at Google
“Instead of only focusing on goals, create a system that helps you learn, grow, and connect with others.”
- David Nebinski - Community Operations Manager at Chief of Staff Network
“One of the most impactful books I've read this year is Time Management for Mortals. It's caused me to think a lot about how to spend time - not necessarily from a productivity standpoint (there's Atomic Habits for that) but more from an impact POV (my impact on my team, my company's impact on our ecosystem, etc).”
- Steph Mui - Founder and CEO at PIN
“We're using OKRs — one top level key result & a few strategies, hypotheses, and metrics to hit in order to achieve those numbers.”
- Andrew Zhou - Co-founder at Kona
Now, let’s get out there and crush those goals in the New Year. Cheers!