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Our Better Health

By Anne Harding  Reviewed by Justin Laube, MD   10/2/2015

Explore the psychology behind goal setting and learn how to make it work for you.

Once you set your goal, use implementation intentions to help you grab opportunities to reach it, and overcome or sidestep obstacles that could keep you from achieving it.

Want to make big or small changes in your life?

It may seem like a simple idea, but setting goals is a great first step — and understanding the psychology behind setting and reaching goals will greatly increase your chances of achieving them.

“It’s important to know what you want to do, but it’s even more important to know how you want to get there,” says Peter Gollwitzer, PhD, a professor of psychology at New York University in New York City. Dr. Gollwitzer developed the concept of “implementation intentions,” which are “if … then …” plans designed…

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