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What Is The Science of Setting Goals?

There is a science behind setting goals that many aren't aware of or don't remember when the thought of setting goals crosses our minds. If we do write goals, often times it's common to make the following mistakes that hamper our achievement of these goals.

We have all heard about goal setting and the importance of setting goals to help us get to our desired dream. Often times this ends up as an after thought filed away in our brains to get covered with dust as we forge forward through our busy lives. 

I’d like to discuss the absolute scientific MAGIC of goal setting. It isn’t simply writing something down to dream about achieving in the future. Goal setting can be a very real way to guarantee yourself actual achievement of your dreams!

There is a science behind setting goals that many aren’t aware of or don’t remember when the thought of setting goals crosses our minds. If we do write goals, often times it’s common to make the following mistakes that hamper our achievement of these goals. 


Research in psychology and neurology has shown that writing goals down actually tunes our brain to the belief that we are alreadyinvested in the target as if we’ve already accomplished it! (Hint: this is also how the law of attraction works!)

Part of our brain believes that the desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards our goals in the most efficient way possible.

Neurologically, writing things down also activates the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine creates a sensation of pleasure when the brain gets stimulated by achievement, it acts as a motivator!

Aside from the help of dopamine, the act of writing the goals down also creates a sense of ownership. When we feel we have ownership over something, it actually becomes somewhat of an extension of ourselves, and we then invest a part of ourselves into it. All it takes is an expectation of future achievement of said goal for our brains to begin thinking of it as a part of us. 

 Your goals don’t need to be all about one specific outcome, however it’s writing down what step by step actions you could accomplish along the way to smaller goals that will take you in the direction of the larger desired outcome. The most efficient way of achieving you’re overarching dream is to write down the smaller goals that will lead the way for you to the end. It is what you do NOW along the way that will get you there in the future.

The best and most efficient way to go about it is to use the SMART method of setting goals.The goals need to be: 

S – specific – be sure it’s a very specific goal – try not to generalize. Really get into the who, what, where, when and why of each goal. Specific goals become the stepping stones of your path.

M – measurable – measuring your progress is one of the absolute keys to staying on track. Ask yourself “how much/how many”? How would you be able to tell that you have met this goal?

A – attainable – ensuring that your goal is attainable means that you have or can develop the abilities, skills, attitude and financial capacity to achieve it. Focusing on this shows you opportunities that will present themselves to help you achieve your over arching dream.

R – relevant – relevancy means making sure that your smaller goals are directly inline with the larger desired outcome. Understand the link between the smaller goals you are setting and your final goal of ultimate outcome. 

T – time bound – attaching a time frame to each goal creates a sense of urgency, thus providing you with more motivation to have that goal completed. It assists with organizing the manner of attaining the smaller goals, ensuring the most efficient path and quickest route to your achievement of the ultimate outcome. 

What you need to do is break down the eventual outcome goal into smaller parts. Get out a journal or some paper and a pen and write down your smaller, step by step goals in the following way:

  1. 3 months from now. Where would you like to be in relation to your eventual outcome in three months from now? Write down 3 things you can do do get you to this first goal. 
  2. 6 months from now. Write down 3 more things you can do to get you to this next step you’d like to be at 6 months from now along your path.
  3. 12 months from now. In one year, where do you hope to stand in relation to your final outcome goal? What are 3 more things you can do to get you there?
  4. 5 years from now (this step is optional but sets your mindset to your eventual outcome goal)

Is it a business you’d like to build? An over all health and wellness achievement? A book you’d like to write? No matter what your ambitions are, no matter how big or small, this formula will set in motion for you the most efficient steps to get to where you’d like to be.