How To Reach Your New Year’s Goals
We all make goals, especially around the new year. When goals are very grand or very vague, they become difficult to achieve. Here are a couple of tips for achieving goals or solving problems. When a goal or problem seems too big to tackle, the advice (I’ve given and received this advice) is often, “break it down”. Well, it seems that we can go two steps further and
1. Break it down even more
2. After you have broken it down into simple components, try to generate other ideas about how to tackle it?
Tom McCaffrey, a psychologist at the University of Massachusetts calls this the “generic-parts technique”. It helps to shake us loose from looking at the goal or problem in only 1 way. For example, he gave people candles and asked, “How could you break it down into parts?”
They broke the candle into wax and wick. Then he asked if they could use the wax and wick in other ways. After doing this, the participants’ success rates with other puzzles rose from 50% to 80%.