Pascal Possler talks about proven behavior change techniques that can help anyone reach their goals, inside or outside of work.

One of the most popular ways to use your time more efficiently and be more productive is to set goals for yourself.

These don’t have to be about completing as much work as physically possible, but adding downtime to your schedule as well as the tasks you have to do at work.

But not all goal setting is created equal. There’s a lot of behavioral science and psychology out there that can really make a difference with really effective goal setting, but that’s where Pascal Posler comes in.

Posler is a consultant who started Posler Consulting by consulting on diversity using goal setting and building internal strategies for companies.

He then began helping successful artists and executives re-evaluate how to bring more purpose to their work.

“In my work, I use evidence-based methods in psychology and behavioral science to come up with sustainable action plans to make the desired outcome a reality,” he told

Why People Struggle With Goals

Setting goals seems like an easy way to stay focused at work, but it’s easier said than done. Posler said people struggle with setting goals at work all the time, and said it’s important to remember that work and personal life are interconnected. That is, one can influence the other.

“If you’re working on higher performance but are struggling with private things, they’ll get incentives, get another training, or be told they’ll be fired if they don’t reach last year’s performance level. “When you work on motivation, it’s about opportunity and ability, and you’re ready to fail,” he said.

Some goals are easy to implement, others are less clear, and some have competing goals that must be met. In other words, you have to sacrifice one or the other. When it comes to work priorities, having routines with short deadlines eliminates the need for long-term strategies without rigid deadlines. But all the time, I find myself consistently failing to make time for long-term strategies.

Posler added that our brains are great at finding excuses when we don’t want to achieve our goals. Conflicts can arise from many areas, but we are the best experts in ourselves. Therefore, they can be alleviated and overcome little by little.

The science of goal setting

Goal setting has been defined and studied in many different fields, but today there is no unified field.

Posler states that the essence of goal setting is to move from intention to result, and this usually requires a change in behavior, such as a one-off change in behavior, habits, or structure.

“In addition to a lot of pseudoscientific nonsense, if you dig deeper, there’s a lot of research on nudging, habit formation, incentives, social norms, training, resilience, behavioral change, effectiveness, and more,” he said.

“We are primarily focused on two models that have been very well researched and applied to behavioral change and personal goal setting. contrasts and the behavior change wheel by Susan Michie, Susan Atkins, and Robert West from University College London.

Posler explains that the MCII approach has 20 years of research and four distinct steps. It is about envisioning hopes, defining the most impactful outcomes, imagining and choosing the most probable obstacles, and making plans to overcome these obstacles.

“The data show that this combined approach is far more successful than just imagining, starting with a problem, or having a strong intention to do something. , Consequences, Obstacles, and Plans), MCII is a more pop-science name and is also used in the name of WOOP as it is easier to remember.

“The Wheel of Behavior Change integrates the framework of the most successful behavior change models to inform the intrinsic conditions of behavior (ability, opportunity, motivation), the determinants of behavior, and an evidence-based approach to change. It is the result of creating a hub of effective methods for your actions.”

While the first model provides people with steps to set and successfully achieve goals, the behavior change wheel acts like an orientation when analyzing disability, he said.

“If you don’t get the context and obstacles right when you’re planning, you might not get to the desired goal. It’s always a good idea to make sure you haven’t miscalculated what your goals are or which obstacles are your biggest obstacles.”

Posler also warned against indulging in the temptation to make big lists of goals, outcomes and plans. It’s the best way to lose and get nowhere. Pick the most promising and stick with it, and you’ll be more empirically successful.”

Advice for using goal setting in your work

For those who want a quick rethink, Possler recommends WoopMyLife, a free website by Oettinger, who developed the MCII model.

“But I recommend having someone walk you through the process and asking good questions without knowing the answers. I always tell my clients that they are their own best experts. We can tell them what they think might help, based on our experience and empirical research.”

He also said that keeping goals simple often makes them easier to achieve. , go from there,” he said.

“It’s always hard to see your blind spots when setting goals.”
– Pascal Posler

“For example, when you want to exercise, first establish a habit. Do five push-ups each time at a designated time or cue. If you can make it a small habit, it will be much easier to get out of it.”

Posler said he’s also working on a manual prototype and can ask anyone he trusts to help him set goals.

“It’s always hard to see your own blind spots when setting goals that you have to endure the trials of the confused world we call everyday life, so finding someone to talk to is the most important step if you’re struggling. It’s one of them,” he said.

In a nutshell, if you can’t afford a coach, do the following: Use implementation intent and mental contrast, find someone you trust to research your questions, and make your goals as easy as possible.

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