setting rigid vs flexible goals

The Reason Rigid Goals Help You Accomplish More

Adopting a somewhat elastic approach to setting goals allows us some future wiggle room. But this same logic doesn’t apply when it comes to pursuing goals once we have set them.

When to Set Rigid Goals, and When to Be Flexible
by Steve Martin (@scienceofyes) and Helen Mankin (@helenmankin)

Tips & Tricks:

  • Research shows that people generally have a strong preference for flexibility when it comes to choosing their goals. Flexibility encourages buy-in.
  • However, people are much more likely to accomplish difficult goals when the steps to their achievement are set out in a rigid, more restrictive way. This structure encourages follow-through.

Why set rigid processes to achieve difficult goals?

By setting a predetermined sequence of steps for the achievement of a goal, the number of unnecessary “decision points” that arise when people pursue a plan is reduced or perhaps eliminated completely. As a result, a goal both becomes easier and more likely and easier to be achieved in the process.

Need some solid research to help you set your goals? Here’s the science of setting goals.