5 Elements of Goals to Make You Come Alive –
and the goals stick!
Positive psychology “pioneer,” Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania shares how to develop five different elements of wellbeing from positive emotions to a sense of meaning. The more elements a person experiences while pursuing his/her goal, the more likely he/she is to be consistent with it long term (regardless of the goal itself).
- Positive Emotions
Positive emotions can help turn threat-related thoughts (‘There’s no way I can do this’) into optimistic thoughts (‘I have the resources to do this’).
— Christian Waugh, Wake Forest University
Engagement is a state of flow. When a person is completely absorbed in an experience and time appears to stand still or pass by in a flash. Flow improves a person’s performance by helping his/her ability to focus on the task at hand for an extended period.
When the activity is difficult and takes a long time to achieve the goal, it helps to experience flow.
— Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow
There is a good deal of research that social support (the tangible, informational, or emotional help) we receive from others is an integral part of reaching one’s goals.
— Shelly Gable, U.C. Santa Barbara
Meaning is to belong, and serve, to something that you believe is bigger than the self. Reflect on whether your goal serves a larger purpose.
Research in psychology shows that meaning is a strong motivating factor.
— Evgeny Osin, Russia’s National Research University, Higher School of Economics
When you think about why you are pursuing a goal, is your first thought of an intrinsic reward (for the self) or an extrinsic reward (for others or an outside entity)?
People who have intrinsic motivation, who pursue a goal for its own sake, tend to exhibit more perseverance and resilience
— Patty O’Grady, University of Tampa
People are most likely to be effective when they pursue goals that either engage their natural interests or express their authentic personal values.
— Kennon Sheldon, University of Missouri
Benner, C. (2017). How to choose goals that make you come alive. Greater good magazine: Science-based insights for a meaningful life. doi: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_choose_goals_that_make_you_come_aliveutm_source=Greater+Good+Science+Center&utm_campaign=ec5d8c29b9EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_GG_Newsletter_Jan+3+2018&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5ae73e326e-ec5d8c29b9-51254447 Accessed on January 6, 2017.