This simple formula can help you transform intention to action.

Eleven Minutes to: Implementation Intentions

A simple formula to transform intention to action

If our future is partially made up of all our current behaviors, decisions, and actions, then goals can be viewed a way to alter that future. Yet, many goals don’t survive first contact with an obstacle. They disintegrate on impact. Thus, getting a handle on goal creation and attainment is a way to change the future. One way to do that is through the creation of implementation intentions.

Implementation intentions, as noted Gollwitzer & Oettingen, are if-then plans that spell out in advance how one wants to strive for a set goal. For the if-component (X), a situational cue is selected (e.g., a good opportunity, an anticipated obstacle) and is linked to a goal-directed response in the then-component (Y) (Gollwitzer & 0ttengen 2013:1043)

By imagining these challenges and opportunities then identifying what we might do we, we give our goals a little dose resiliency to survive the friction of contact with the world and prevent disintegration. The formula is simple:

🧪 If X then Y 🧪

There is a whole lot of thought that can go into designing an implementation intention. There can be a compulsion to perfect the design before testing it. If this is a temptation, then pick one, test it, and refine it as needed (see what I did there?).

If you tried this, then I’d love to hear more.

#11M2M #goals #implementationintentions

Gollwitzer P.M., Oettingen G. (2013) Implementation Intentions. In: Gellman M.D., Turner J.R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. Springer, New York, NY.

Eleven Minutes to Implementation Intentions




A radio signal takes 11 minutes to travel between Earth & Mars, what else is possible in that time?

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Jeanne M. Lambin

Jeanne M. Lambin

I help people imagine, create, and live better stories for themselves, their communities, and the world.

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