Tag: goals

“I want to lose 10 pounds,” or “I want to lose 8 to 10 pounds.” Is there a difference? According to research from Olin’s Steve Nowlis and a colleague at Florida State the way you frame a goal does influence how you approach the challenge and the outcome.

olin in the mediaLance Bettencourt who writes the Fit by Choice blog has a goal to run 1000 miles this year and discusses the research in relation to his goals and how everyone can learn from taking “A Healthy Look at the Highs and Lows of Healthy Goal Setting.”

Related post on Olin Blog.

Image: ewiemann, Soccer goal, Flickr Creative Commons

In my first weeks at the Olin Business School, I received an e-mail from Real Simple, one of the many daily updates I receive, alongside WSJ, the Skimm, and other e-mails that keep me up to-date on current events, news, and general happenings. The Real Simple quotes or sayings are more aspirational and generally make me feel better whereas the news updates aren’t always as cheerful. And, it’s surprising how often these quotes really apply to what is happening in my daily life, at least most of the time.

I was (and still am) neck-deep in my work projects, school assignments and reading, scheduling activities for my family, working on some house projects, and generally thinking “I am sooo tired.” And, there it was, the quote of the day:

“There’s a lot of good waiting for you on the other side of tired. Get yourself tired.”  Andre Agassi

OK, not an earth-shattering quote, but it made me stop, something I’m not doing often, and I laughed to myself about the truth of this statement. It made me realize again how badly I want my MBA and that goals we work toward are never easy. Anyone who has achieved a large goal knows that being tired comes with the territory, but the focus is the end goal, because the more tired you are, the better the success, whether that’s in tennis or other fitness achievement, or the next step in your career, like achieving an MBA.

So, that’s what I’m going to continue to do. I’m going to keep going. I’m going to get more tired. Because I want to look back and say I invested all of my time, focus, and sleep on something that would make me proud. I’ve only just begun, but I can’t wait to get to the other side.

Image: Eugene Wei, Agassi at US Open 2005, Flickr, Creative Commons

New research from Olin suggests it might be easier to lose weight if your goal is 2-4 pounds instead of 3 pounds. Sound crazy? Read on.

Consumers are more likely to pursue goals when they are ambitious yet flexible, according to a new study co-authored by Stephen M. Knowlis, the August A. Busch Jr. Distinguished Professor of Marketing at Olin Business School.

“Whether a goal is a high-low range goal (lose two to four pounds this week) or a single number goal (lose three pounds this week) has a systematic effect on goal reengagement,” writes Knowlis.

Steve Nowlis

“High-low range goals influence consumer goal reengagement through feelings of accomplishment, which itself is driven by the attainability and challenge of the goal,” Knowlis explains.

The study, ”The Effect of Goal Specificity on Consumer Goal Reengagement,” written with Maura Scott, PhD, of Florida State University, appears in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Consumers often have a choice about the types of goals they want to set for themselves, and they may want to repeat various goals over time. For example, consumers often re-engage goals such as losing weight, saving money, or improving their exercise or sports performance.

In one study conducted by the authors, consumers in a weight loss program set either high-low range goals or single number goals. At the end of the program, consumers with high-low range goals re-enrolled in the program at higher rates even though there was no difference in actual average weight loss across the two groups.

In other studies, consumers exhibited similar behaviors with other goals such as resisting tempting foods, solving puzzles or playing a grocery shopping game.

A high-low range goal can offer “the best of both worlds” compared to a single number goal due to its flexibility: the high end of the goal (lose four pounds) increases the challenge of the goal, while the low end (lose two pounds) increases its attainability.

On the other hand, a single number goal (lose three pounds) may be perceived as a compromise and therefore both less challenging and less attainable.

“Consumers are more likely to pursue a goal when they set a high-low range goal instead of a single number goal. Consumers experience a greater sense of accomplishment when a goal is both attainable and challenging, and this makes them want to continue to pursue or reengage their goal,” the authors conclude.

– Neil Schoenherr wrote this news release for WUSTL Newsroom

Scale photo credit: davidd puuikibeach, flickr