Goal Setting: Emotional Influence on New Years Goals and Resolutions

Welcome back,

Last week, I continued the discussion about the emotional high of setting new years goals and resolutions.

If you remember, we get a rush of feel good emotions not from taking steps toward or achieving a goal, but from merely setting a goal.

Action is not what releases the feel-good chemicals. In fact, action can replace those chemicals with feelings of stress, anxiety, and doubt.

To read the full post, click here.

It’s important to not get lost in emotions

Some of you know, the reason I got into personal development is because, at a certain point, I had severe emotional challenges. I was cycling through intense emotions, very rapidly, with fierce highs and lows.

One minute I was happy and wanted to save the world.

Another minute, the complete opposite.

One minute I was convinced a certain option was the right course of action.

The next minute, something completely different.

In the moment, that specific thought or decision “felt” so right.

Though once the emotions shifted, I was somewhere else.

There is one and only one thing that helped me get a grip on this

It’s a concept I’ve not heard talked about anywhere, but it was the most instrumental thing in managing this mayhem.

It’s the concept of the 3 Convincers.

That is, there are 3 ways we can be convinced of something.

One is with logical evidence, the other is with physical evidence, and the last is through emotions.

To illustrate, if I was holding a toy boat, how could I convince you that it floats?

1. For starters, I can use "logic" and say, the material the boat is made of is less dense than water, and less dense objects float to the top of more dense ones.

2. I could place the boat in a tank of water and you can "physically" see it float.

3. Then there is the emotional convincer. It doesn’t use logical or physical evidence, but relies solely on feelings. "Oh my god, this boat is so amazing! It does all these cool things, like float in water! I'm having hours and hours of fun with it because it never sinks!"

Such feelings by pass the logic and physical parts of the mind and influences us directly.

Emotions can convince us of all sorts of things – even things that are not true

This how advertising convinces us to buy products that are not good for us.

What are cigarette, Coca-Cola, and McDonald’s slogan? "Cool," "Open Happiness," "I’m Loving It!"

All centered around emotions.

We can logically and physically see the damaging effects of cigarettes, soft-drinks, and fast food, but through emotions, still be drawn towards them.

It’s not just advertising that uses emotions to influence our behavior, but so does our mind!

The mind will use emotions to convince us of all sorts of things.

It will convince us that someone doesn’t like us, when in fact they have no opinion.

We can be convinced that something is difficult, without ever trying.

As it relates to new goals and resolutions, it’ll convince us that something is a right choice when it’s not, that we’ll stick with a goal, when in reality, we won’t, or that we’ll easily pick up where we leave off, when we can’t.

Understanding this is how I got a grip on my emotional mayhem

I learned to be critical of my emotions.

I learned to look for the logic or physical evidence to support the emotional high I was in.

Although my emotions are saying one thing, what is the logical or physical evidence suggesting?

I made sure the emotional high didn’t persuade me to do something that wasn’t good or that I couldn’t stick with.

It curbed me from wild, erratic, and impulsive behavior, and allowed me to stick with things long enough to get things done.

More on this next week,


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