Excel At Life--Dedicated to the Pursuit of Excellence in Life, Relationships, Sports and Career
CBT Jealousy Depression Relationships Conflict Self-efficacy Happiness Goal-setting Motivation Wellness Sport Psych

Popular Articles

Crazy-Makers: Dealing with Passive-Aggressive People

Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

When You Have Been Betrayed

Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve

Happy Habits: 50 Suggestions

The Secret of Happiness: Let It Find You (But Make the Effort)

Excellence vs. Perfection

Depression is Not Sadness

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

7 Rules and 8 Methods for Responding to Passive-aggressive People

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Happiness is An Attitude

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?

Popular Audios

Panic Assistance

Motivational Audios

Mindfulness Training

Rational Thinking

Relaxation for Children

Loving Kindness Meditation

Self-Esteem Exercise

Lies You Were Told

Choosing Happiness

Audio Version of Article: Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

Audio Version of Article: Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

Audio Version of Article: Happiness Is An Attitude

All Audio Articles


by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.
"We tend to set goals that are unreasonable, perfectionistic, and unachievable."


Dream goal. First allow yourself to fully imagine what you would like to achieve. When you imagine your goal, try to imagine it as fully as possible. Allow yourself to picture what it would be like when you achieve it. What does it look like? What are the differences in your life? How will you feel? What will others see? In fact, write down what you imagine. If your goal is to start a business, imagine opening the door to your new business and looking around at what you see. If your goal is to perform well in a tournament, imagine your performance fully, what your body feels like, what you notice around you. Write these things down.

1) Realistic but challenging. However, even though this is your "dream" it needs to be within reason. For instance, it may be reasonable to lose weight and to feel healthier, but is it reasonable to "look like a supermodel?" Unless you already have the genetic makeup for it, you are setting yourself up for failure. Or, you might dream about developing your own business, but to expect that you should be as successful as Bill Gates within 10 years is unrealistic. Besides, from what I have read about Bill Gates, I don't think that is the sort of goal he set for himself. He focused upon the more immediate goal of developing a personal computer that was within the ability of most people to own. The business and financial success came later.

At the same time you want to make the goal challenging. If the goal is too ridiculously easy, it won't have any meaning for you. Beyond that, you may not even achieve too easy of a goal because there is no point in it. We need some challenge for us to be motivated, but the challenge can't overwhelm us, and thereby decrease ability to follow through. One mistake people frequently make when setting goals is to set too many goals at one time as a way of making the goal challenging. However, you want to be challenged by specific, manageable goals.

2) Performance goals rather than outcome goals. The most achievable goals are personal performance goals rather than outcome-oriented goals. A goal of winning a competition, for instance, is an outcome goal. One problem with an outcome-oriented goal is that we have less control over outcome than we do over performance. For instance, another competitor may have an outstanding day or you might be suffering from a virus that diminishes performance. In addition, sometimes there are outside factors that influence outcomes such as umpires or audience behavior.

Performance-oriented goals allow us to evaluate ourselves independently of these other factors. I know when I competed in martial arts, I had times when I thought I had just done my best performance in kata competition yet I didn't win, and other times I won when I thought it was a poorer performance. Therefore, I found I could maintain more consistency by evaluating myself independently of the outcome based on specific goals I set for my performance.

In the work setting, an outcome-oriented goal may be a goal of obtaining a promotion or increased salary whereas a performance-oriented goal may focus on specific activities to improve the work environment or productivity. The interesting thing about this type of goal is a person may be more likely to achieve the desired outcome as well. For instance, I once had a client who had not been promoted at work in years. He felt he did a good job but he never focused on how he could improve upon his job or performance. As we discussed the situation, he showed a great deal of insight into the problems at his place of employment. We developed the goal of being assertive and communicating about the problems he observed. Within weeks of a long discussion with his supervisor about his observations, he was promoted to a supervisory position. READ MORE: page 3


Intro--page 1

How Do You Develop Your Dream Goal?--page 2

How Do You Develop Specific Goals?--page 3

What Are Other Strategies for Goal Development?--page 4

"Intrinsic motivation...is an internal form of motivation. You strive towards a goal for personal satisfaction or accomplishment."


by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.
"I have so many great ideas, if only I could get motivated."

"I do well with deadlines, but I can't seem to motivate myself."

"I can't seem to lose weight unless I have someone constantly checking on me and I can't afford a personal trainer."

"I would perform better if I could make myself practice more."

Do any of these sound familiar? What the above statements have in common is the individual's need for extrinsic motivation for follow-through, the inability to achieve a desired goal unless someone else provides the impetus to pursue the goal. Without the development of intrinsic motivation, individuals have a great deal of difficulty achieving success in almost any area. If you examine successful people, one of the main differences is their ability to motivate themselves. They are not necessarily more intelligent, or have better ideas, or have better luck; they are just able to pursue a goal to its conclusion. READ MORE: page 2

Intro--page 1

What is the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation?--page 2

How does normal motivation develop?--page 3

What prevents the development of the proper balance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation?--page 4

How is too much need for extrinsic motivation problematic?--page 5

How do you develop more intrinsic motivation?--page 6

Kindle Books by
Dr. Monica Frank

Recent Articles

Analyzing Your Moods, Symptoms, and Events with Excel At Life's Mood Log

Why You Get Anxious When You Don't Want To

Why People Feel Grief at the Loss of an Abusive Spouse or Parent

“Are You Depressed?”: Understanding Diagnosis and Treatment

15 Coping Statements for Panic and Anxiety

Beyond Tolerating Emotions: Becoming Comfortable with Discomfort

Emotion Training: What is it and How Does it Work?

How You Can Be More Resistant to Workplace Bullying

Are You Passive Aggressive and Want to Change?

When Your Loved One Refuses Help

Newest Audios

Building Blocks Emotion Training

Hot Springs Relaxation

5 Methods to Managing Anger

Panic Assistance While Driving

Autogenic Relaxation Training

Rainbow Sandbox Mindfulness

Mindfulness Training