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The Science Behind Goal Setting

Why should we write down our goals? I've gotten into a habit of researching the science behind the "life hacks" we're inundated with every day to become more successful, more productive, more content...etc etc... ⁠

It turns out goal-setting isn't just anecdotal. There's a wealth of scientific research to back it. By writing down goals that matter to you, it changes the way your brain functions. ⁠

Here's what I learned:⁠

When you choose a goal that is important to you, or that you are emotionally invested in (i.e. you need to care about, it doesn't work the same when your boss or someone else sets a goal for you), then your brain starts to subconsciously solve the problem keeping you focused on that goal, ignoring situations that move you away from it. ⁠

And here is what's happening in your brain: ⁠

1. The part of your brain that creates emotion (your amygdala) evaluates the degree to which the goal is important to you.⁠

2. The part of your brain that does problem-solving (your frontal lobe) defines the specifics of what the goal entails.⁠

3. The amygdala and frontal lobe work together to keep you focused on, and moving toward, situations and behaviours that lead to the achievement of that goal, while simultaneously causing you to ignore and avoid situations and behaviours that don't.⁠


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