The standard ‘SMART’ goals would be more effective & efficient if they were SMARTeR: As any self-respecting behavioral psychologist will tell you, behaviors that get Rewarded get repeated.
In practice this means rewarding efforts towards your goals will get you there faster, compared with ignoring your efforts and any associated incremental or iterative progress.
Or worse, as a perfectionist (aka fancy procrastination) you punish your efforts (it’s not good enough, it’s not perfect, I should have done more, I should have finished sooner, I should have started sooner, ad infinitum...).
And if you punish a behavior you decrease the probability of it occurring again. If you punish your efforts you make it harder to try again. Punishing your efforts is the fuel of choice for your procrastination engine.
Yet ‘beating yourself up’ is a very common and very maladaptive motivation strategy.
People use it because it works - in a really inhumane, inefficient way - and because they are unaware there is a Geneva Convention-sanctioned and more efficient way of reaching their goals.
So, yes, reward successful outcomes. But if you really want to increase your efficiency - focus on rewarding your ‘outcome-independent’ efforts.
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