The Importance of Indirect Goals

One of the most immediate contributions Neuroscience makes when it comes to difficult change is in how we define goals. The very way we define goals is critical to our ability to adopt change into practice...

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Goals. It's the starting point and end point of any change effort. For better or worse the way we set goals at the onset creates the focus of what we will aim to improve. That's not new. What is new is the Neuroscience-based understanding that the very way we define goals increases or decreases our chances of achieving desired outcomes.

Traditional change models help us identify future-oriented objectives. We look at the new systems, processes, structures as well as behaviors, thinking habits, and response patterns that we need to create or adopt in order to achieve a future-state desired outcome. In addition, Neuroscience reveals a set of "indirect" goals we should most definitely focus on but often ignore.

To get an intuitive sense of what I mean, let's define 3 types or layers of goals and look at them in the context of planning to climb a mountain: