⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄

This Is What Happens When People Are Questioned About Their Life Plans For More Than 25 Seconds

⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
This Is What Happens When People Are Questioned About Their Life Plans For More Than 25 Seconds

Have you ever been asked what your life plans are? It is somewhat of a daunting question. You may find yourself stumped. You might begin ok but after a while you may lose momentum and trail off. If this sounds familiar you are not alone.

25 seconds is the limit when talking about life plans

A recent study conducted by Theresa Colmaryk, published in the American Journal of Psychology, found that when asked about their plans for life the average person was only able to sustain their line of thought for 25 seconds.

Colmaryk noted, “While most individuals’ plans for the future hold together for the first few moments of explanation, we found that by the 20- or 30-second mark, people typically begin trailing off into ambiguity, equivocation, or flat-out silence”.

The majority of people did not seem to have thought extensively about their plans and as a result they were not able to explain their ideas.
“In about 38 percent of cases, it appeared participants’ aspirations had been subject to so little critical inquiry that the simple exercise of explaining the first step of their plan aloud—be it to purchase a home, to travel extensively, or simply to learn a new skill, like cooking—caused the entire thing to unravel right before their eyes in a period of no more than six or eight seconds.” Said Colmaryk.
What is surprising, however, is that although they could not explain their plans everyone remained confident that they would achieve their goals.

⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄

⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄

Confusing goals with strategies

Many of us have a tendency to confuse goals with strategies. Once we have set goals we often believe we can achieve them without thinking about a strategy. It is important to know the difference between a goal and a strategy when thinking about one’s life plans.

Freek Vermeulen writes in his article What Strategy Is Not:

“…there is nothing wrong with having an aspiring goal, but strategy is how you endeavour to accomplish it. Strategy involves making choices; genuine choices.”

Often we shy away from thinking about stagey as making decisions and choices can often be difficult. Sometimes we need to make tough decisions like ending a relationship or looking for a new career path; and this can be demanding.

⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄

⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄

Vermeulen explains strategy as “Your route towards the goal”. In this way the goal can be seen as the destination and the strategy is the path you need to travel to get there. It is essential that we consider the route if we wish to achieve our goals.

Vermeulen gives the example of a goal as follows. He says that a goal may be striving to win the 400 meter Olympic race by aiming to run fast. He notes that this is a valid goal but it does not reveal anything about how one intends to achieve this goal.

Strategy is not the same as goal setting

In the article titled Strategy Is Not the Same as Goal Setting Peter Winick defines strategy as follows:

“Strategy is an exercise in problem solving. While the problem may be as varied as the development of your platform, the launching of your book, the way you will gain market share or the way you will differentiate yourself and your content in the market place, these are all problems that a well thought out strategy is focused on solving.”

⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄
⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄

So according to Winick we can view a strategy as something that leads to the solving of a problem. We are faced with many problems in life and it makes sense that we need strategies when addressing these problems. Strategies can be tuned when they are not effective. It is important to set a strategy and really focus on it so that even if you are far away from your goal you can reflect on your strategy and change it as needed.

“Goals that support the strategy are critical, but goals do not solve problems. Goals are a measure of progress. Goals support the strategy.”

Says Winick.

It is thus important to have a goal and a supporting strategy; but not to get the two confused.

⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄
⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄

Summation

When considering your life plans give a thought to both your goals and your strategies. Know the difference and consider both as equally important. If you give serious thought to what you plan to do in life, chances are you will be able to answer questions about your plans for more than 25 seconds.

It’s often uneasy to start. An organized program or guide would help a lot. Lifehack Goal Setting System is here for you! 

What is that?

A hearty system that makes every small progress counts.

How would it help?

For every goal you add, you will receive practical and useful articles that guide you through the process and achieve remarkable outcomes.

⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄
⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄

Without health, it’s really hard for us to achieve anything, so why not start from some tiny healthy habits?

Check the below six common goals and click into it to add to your goal.

More by this author

Rebecca Beris

Rebecca is a wellness and lifestyle writer at Lifehack.

Which Is Better: Morning Workout Or Evening Workout?
Which Is Better: Morning Workout Or Evening Workout?
Why Your Habits Hinder You From Reaching Your Goals
Why Your Habits Hinder You From Reaching Your Goals
Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think
Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think
16 Unhealthy Habits You Should Get Rid Of By 35 Years Old
16 Unhealthy Habits You Should Get Rid Of By 35 Years Old
How To Get Rid Of A Headache Without Medicine
How To Get Rid Of A Headache Without Medicine

Trending in Communication

1 Why Some People Have a Lack of Empathy (And How to Deal with Them) 2 10 Great Ways to Deal with Selfish People 3 What to Do If You Find Yourself in an Unhappy Marriage 4 How To Be Happy: 16 Scientifically Proven Ways To Stay Happy 5 How To Live a Happy Life No Matter How Old You Are

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Explore the Full Life Framework

Advertising
Advertising