Why do we fail to achieve objectives? Our minds start with one direction, then conclude the deal requires a different analysis.

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We all begin with an energy and motivating goal, so why don’t we hit the target so often?   A new study at the intersection between neuroscience and behavioral science provides a simple yet useful insight into the lack of achievement. This focuses on disconnecting our policy attention before we begin to follow a target and after we begin to focus.

This theory began with the study:

  • Our focus is on the prize when we set out to achieve a goal.   We plan to receive the prize and what we feel when we do, which drives us to action. 
  • But when we start, we face what is really needed to achieve this goal and change our attention from love to effort.
  • This is the kicker: Instead of concentrating again on the money, we concentrate on effort and the more effort we focus on the more likely that we lose.

The researchers then undertook two studies to measure physical and intellectual effort to pursue incentives (financial rewards in this case).   Participants were given options in both experiments for balancing high or low effort with high or low financial rewards. The choice allowed participants to live up to their expectations (high efforts to increase rewards, less effort to reduce rewards, etc.).

For both physical and psychological effort, the findings of the experiments were consistent: the financial premiums influenced, as anticipated, how participants selected their effort-reward combinations. As they started the study, however, their success relied on the amount of effort needed to reach the prize, regardless of the amount of money involved.

In other words, the focus on awards encouraged the search, but when the work began, a focus on effort took over.

“The amount of compensation and effort that people actually put into it has not been directly related to us,” said Dr. Agata Ludwiczak, a senior research writer and fellow at Queen Mary University of London. “It is because we are inspired by the incentives that we intend to get back while deciding what we need to put in. But, as we come to do what we said we would, we concentrate on the level of effort that we have to make rather than the rewards that we expected to earn.”

The concern is that we do not refocus on the award–not only once, but as many times as necessary to ensure our actions are put into perspective as the path to our desired end.

An even more fundamental problem is not to think realistically by making the effort needed from the start to achieve an end. 

Dr Magda Osman, the co author of the study and a professor for experimental psychology in Queen Mary University, added in a press statement, “Then when we face the reality of our choices, it is too painful and we give up the fight.” “For instance, getting up early to follow a new and healthy lifestyle may seem like a good choice, but once you get frightened on the cold morning of January, the rewards are not enough to get you out and up.”

Fairness, however, does not always show you how much work is needed, especially if it is a goal that we haven’t previously pursued. Better decision-making has much to do with knowing this, not forgetting the lesson.

Such findings are backup to previous neuroscience and behavioral science research, which tell us how our brain’s evaluation of rewards varies from the realities of’ get it done’ which influence our behaviour. Our brains are reward-driven organs that are filled with neurotransmitters and that power our drives and desires, in particular dopamine. Even if we have plenty of experience to guide us, it happens to us often, whether we think about it or not.

The quest consists of two parts. First of all, we must begin our efforts by identifying our efforts as logically as possible, regardless of how hard the chemical surge affects us. Afterwards, once we continue, we must re-orientate ourselves to the prize.

It offers us at least a competitive opportunity to achieve the goal, knowing that any other factors can still alter the game.

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