The Importance of Reminders in Achieving Goals – a Psychological Perspective

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Generally, goals are described as the object of your ambitions or efforts. Goals are the aim or desire you feel whenever you want to achieve a good result. You can always appreciate the importance of setting goals because they are the measure of achieving success in your life.

Setting goals trigger new behaviors in you; they also guide your overall purpose and allow you to sustain an essential momentum in your life. Your goals promote a sense of mystery and help you focus on the crucial things in your life. One of the significant ways you can achieve your goals is by setting reminders.

Reminders play an important role because they will keep you on track and focus on what’s essential; they will keep you organized in your daily life activities and provide valuable support. Aside from this, are you aware that setting reminders even have psychological principles?

When you set goals you want to achieve and you have effective reminders, the goals will always stick in your mind. You are indirectly increasing your self-confidence and self-esteem. Once you set reminders to achieve your goals, you will likely reach the goal quicker because you are focused.

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The Role of Reminders in Goal Setting

Helping to maintain motivation and focus

Setting reminders about your goals helps keep you motivated and focused on critical tasks. Regardless of the kind of life hassle you experience, whether it’s crisis, stress, or distractions, reminders will constantly help you visualize the big picture rather than the problems surrounding you.

Enhancing self-discipline and self-control

Once you set reminders about your goals, they also increase your self-discipline and self-control. You will have control over your entire life and time. Knowing that you are moving forward will boost your confidence and give you peace.

Increasing accountability and commitment

When you know you have an essential task, you will be committed to it. No matter the challenges life brings, you will want to achieve the success you crave. The feeling of accountability and commitment will serve as a motivator to help you maintain the right path even when things do not go according to your plans.

The Psychological Principles

The Zeigarnik Effect – unfinished tasks stick in our mind

The Ziegarnik theory is based on the belief that the chances of remembering incomplete tasks are higher than remembering complete tasks. Unfinished tasks always stick in your mind. It’s always positive to have essential things stick in your mind. The problem arises when you want to focus on other things. That unfinished task is likely to split your attention. To avoid this distraction:

  1. Write down important tasks and schedule the time you want to do them.
  2. Prepare a system to help you organize and review the tasks.
  3. Find a way to start and remember to look back to check your progress.

The Self-regulation theory – reminders help to regulate our behavior

If you set reminders about achieving your goals, you indirectly control your entire life and progress. Once your mind reminds you about the vital task, you can manage stress, deal with conflicts, and focus on achieving the goals.

The Time-based prospective memory – how reminders help us to remember to do something at a specific time

The time-based prospective memory helps you to execute every task at the right time. It also enables you to instantly perform a future task you want to do or are supposed to do.

Types of Reminders

Electronic reminders

Today, most people possess gadgets that they use for their daily activities. Electronic reminders are your smartphone apps or calendar notifications that you can set to remind you about important tasks. Since you are always with your phone, you have a higher chance of remembering your goals.

Physical reminders

Physical reminders are items you can put inside your bag or at your bedside. e.g., post-it notes and whiteboards that help motivate you and remind you about the essential things you should do.

Social reminders

Social reminders come mainly from humans or systems, e.g., accountability partners and reminder systems that will also remind and help you strive for success and reach your goals.

How to Create Effective Reminders

Be specific.

When setting effective reminders, those that are realistic have the best result. Set reminders you can easily use rather than those you know are hard or impossible to achieve.

Make them actionable.

It takes time before you make some a behavior become a habit. Make behaviors actionable and stick to them. This way, you will find it easy, and your brain will slowly get used to them. 

Make them visible.

You should constantly repeat your goals and make them visible every morning. Say your goals out loud. Program them into your smartphone app or write them down  in a journal or on a whiteboard, so you can see them. Place them where you will always see them to make your mind remember them.

Schedule a regular check-in.

Go back and look at your goals from time to time. Which ones have you achieved? Which goals still need work? Try to understand where the bottleneck is and find a way forward. Remember to reward yourself with something good for your persistence whenever you achieve a goal.

Setting reminders to achieve goals your goals have excellent benefits. In addition to keeping you on track with essential things, they will keep you organized and motivate you to achieve your goals. Implementing a reminder system with your smartphone, post-it notes, journals, accountability partners, and more is easy. You will have not just a reminder system but also an endless source of motivation. Carefully determine your goals and record them. Set up effective reminders and track your progress. Many theories, such as The Zeigarnik Effect and Self-Regulation, prove how reminders psychologically play a critical role in keeping moving continuously toward achieving your goals.

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