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A weekly reality check on sensible investing and financial decision-making for Canadians. Hosted by Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore.

Feb 17, 2022

Goal-setting has been a divisive subject of discussion for us here on the Rational Reminder Podcast, and today we dive a bit deeper into the topic with the help of the amazing Ayelet Fishbach, author of the recent book Get It Done. Ayelet is an expert in motivation and a Professor of Behavioral Science and Marketing at the Chicago Booth School of Business. Her focus in her work is researching social psychology, management and consumer behaviour, and having her on the show to share some of this amazing insight is a real honour! In our conversation, we cover many sides of the goal-setting process, exploring the vast array of research that Ayelet has done and has examined. We talk about the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic goals, the outcomes of tracking progress, what makes an effective goal, and what is meant by a 'goal-system'. Ayelet also shares how this research can inform tasks such as retirement planning, and the work of financial advisors. So for this and a whole lot more that is bound to be illuminating, fascinating, and potentially life-altering, be sure to join us on the show.


Key Points From This Episode:


  • Using goal-setting to address our inability to predict elements of the future. [0:03:50]
  • Differentiating between intrinsic and extrinsic goals. [0:05:00]
  • Ayelet lists some examples of effective goals and their qualities. [0:06:37]
  • The dangers of avoidance and unhealthy goals and how to recognize these. [0:10:48]
  • Exploring the parts of human psychology that push us to always want more. [0:14:46]
  • How quantifiable, self-set targets for goals can aid the process of achieving them. [0:17:18]
  • Weighing the benefits of creating incentives associated with the goals you set. [0:21:45]
  • The roots of intrinsic motivation and how to foster more of these. [0:25:13]
  • Making the pursuit of a goal enjoyable and why this is so important. [0:29:21]
  • How these findings on goal-setting relate to long-term retirement planning. [0:32:10]
  • Ways for financial advisors to make certain processes and tasks more enjoyable for their clients. [0:33:36]
  • The impact of tracking and monitoring progress towards a goal. [0:35:03]
  • Learning from failure and why this can be an unreliable strategy for achievement. [0:39:36]
  • Ayelet describes a goal system and its most important components. [0:43:06]
  • Writing out goal systems and an explanation of the chart that is included in Get It Done. [0:46:17]
  • Prioritization and how to choose between conflicting goals. [0:48:02]
  • Strategies for keeping on track with resolutions; the role of intrinsic motivation and the question of temptations. [0:50:14]
  • How other people and our social environment influence our ability to reach our goals. [0:55:04]
  • Ayelet responds to Ben and Cameron's tendency to avoid setting bigger goals. [0:56:41]
  • How Ayelet goes about setting goals for herself, and how she applies her expertise to her role as a parent. [1:00:53]
  • Learning as the marker of success; why Ayelet feels that she never left school. [1:03:42]