How the Psychology of Habit-Formation Affects Your Goals and Productivity

Here’s research on staying productive and sustaining the pursuit of your goals

We all have dreams and goals for which many of us requires changing or developing new habits. Either way, the process of achieving those goals involves behavior change. 

Some of us like a challenge. There is a huge sense of accomplishment in breaking down a problem, planning a solution, and achieving your goal or objective. 

However, some of us also prefer taking the easy road. We love the benefits of making lots of money or the benefits of sculpting a great physique but we’d only take action if the achievement was easy. An there’s nothing wrong with that.

That’s why changing your behavior and developing new habits in order to achieve your goals requires sufficient motivation. This motivation kickstarts and sustains behavior change.

Define your goals with this free worksheet!

Know exactly what you’re aiming towards.

What Motivates You?

Your motivation requires thoughtful consideration. Many times we are motivated by what we can achieve or gain. That’s why you hear or see about the benefits in many sales pitches or ads.

We’re also influenced by what we can lose. Research on the framing of messaging shows that people are more apt to change behavior when presented with a losing proposition. 

When people were presented with messaging that conveyed the increased risk of skin cancer and prematurely aged skin without sunscreen, they sought to take action to avoid those risks. More so than those presented with gain-framing messaging on how sunscreen decreases those risks.

Choose Your Destiny

It may sound obvious but it’s important for you to identify your own goals. Clarify whether year actually pursuing your own dreams and goals or if you’re feeling someone else’s. 

Research on habit formation notes that self-selection of a goal supports independence and helps to sustain interest in the goal. 

You select a goal because you found personal value in it. A doctor may recommend losing weight but if your motivation is to satisfy your doctor’s suggestion, that may not be strong enough. 

If you compare that to taking ownership of the recommendation and finding value in the achievement, you’re more likely to change your behavior. You’re more likely to take the path towards your goals.

Create an Action Plan for Your Goals

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