243. Motivation to Get it Done with Ayelet Fishbach

Ralph Waldo Emerson is famously quoted as having said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” Some interpret this quote as meaning that we should focus on the process rather than the outcomes of life. Dr. Ayelet Fishbach has dedicated her career to studying motivation and discovering how individuals best achieve their goals. Her compelling research adds important nuances to Emerson’s statement, suggesting that in order to feel truly fulfilled, it might sometimes be beneficial (if not necessary) to focus on life’s outcomes. In this episode of POTC, Jill and Dr. Fishbach discuss motivation, goal-setting, and so much more. Listen in for some practical strategies you can use to increase your motivation today!

Listen and Learn:

  • Jill and Debbie discuss how they immediately applied some of Dr. Fishbach’s strategies in their personal and professional lives
  • The importance of good goal setting 
  • The Dead Person Rule and how it might interfere with your goal-setting
  • Evidence-based strategies for flexibly sticking to your goals
  • Three traps to avoid when you’re setting goals
  • What science says about intrinsic motivation and desired outcomes
  • Practical advice for building intrinsic motivation (in fun, values-based reinforcing ways!)
  • How to optimize motivation by working with your expectations
  • Dr. Fishbach’s expert opinion on why abstract goals are better than specific ones
  • Important differences between goals and targets
  • Best practices of target-setting
  • The evidence-based reasons you should set deadlines and provide yourself with incentives
  • Expert advice for balancing multiple goals, targets, tasks, and roles


About Ayelet Fishbach:

Ayelet Fishbach, PhD, is the Jeffrey Breakenridge Keller Professor of BehavioralScience and Marketing at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and the past president of the Society for the Study of Motivation. Dr. Fishbach has been published in many psychology and business journals, including Psychological Review and Psychological Science, and served as an Associate Editor of several journals, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Psychological Science. Her research is regularly featured in the media, including The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Chicago Tribune, NPR, and was selected to be featured in the New York Times’ “Annual Year in Ideas.” Dr. Fishbach has received several international awards, including the Society of Experimental Social Psychology’s Best Dissertation Award and Career Trajectory Award, and the Fulbright Educational Foundation Award, and in 2006, she received the Provost’s Teaching Award from the University of Chicago. Pick up your copy of her book, Get It Done: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation

Related Episodes:

Join the discussion

Instagram feed @offtheclockpsych

Instagram has returned empty data. Please authorize your Instagram account in the plugin settings .


Episode 243