Goal Priming

When we’re reminded of our aims, we're more motivated to reach them

Subtle, well-timed cues that surface our long-term goals improve the immediate decisions required to get us there.

Papies & Veling (2013). Healthy dining. Subtle diet reminders at the point of purchase increase low-calorie food choices among dieters. Appetite, 61, 1-7.

The study

Setup

The food choices of 89 people both dieting and not dieting were analyzed in a cafe. Diners were given a menu with either information highlighting low-calorie options or not (the control).

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Results

Results showed that dieters primed with the reminder of their future goal consistently made healthier food choices than unprimed dieters.

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In detail

Key Takeaways

Who is the target group?

They could be people who are motivated to protect the environment, improve productivity at work or improve the quality of their lives. Note: they must have already stated a desire for this goal. Your prime will merely aim to nudge their existing Commitment to meeting their own aspirations.

Where can you trigger these long-term motivations?

As well as environment, timing also matters, so make sure that you do so very close to the actual decision point, i.e. at the start of a meeting, at the ordering counter or on the inside of a restroom door.

Boost with the Spacing Effect.

What's the specific behaviour that you're allowing them to perform to help move them towards their long term goal?

It has to be obvious and easy to do, such as clearly identifying an eco-friendly substitute, bolting on a salad or opting for an equally-priced, dairy-free option.

Goal Priming

When we’re reminded of our aims, we're more motivated to reach them

Subtle, well-timed cues that surface our long-term goals improve the immediate decisions required to get us there.

Papies & Veling (2013). Healthy dining. Subtle diet reminders at the point of purchase increase low-calorie food choices among dieters. Appetite, 61, 1-7.

The study

Setup

The food choices of 89 people both dieting and not dieting were analyzed in a cafe. Diners were given a menu with either information highlighting low-calorie options or not (the control).

Results

Results showed that dieters primed with the reminder of their future goal consistently made healthier food choices than unprimed dieters.

Key Takeaways

Who is the target group?

They could be people who are motivated to protect the environment, improve productivity at work or improve the quality of their lives. Note: they must have already stated a desire for this goal. Your prime will merely aim to nudge their existing Commitment to meeting their own aspirations.

Where can you trigger these long-term motivations?

As well as environment, timing also matters, so make sure that you do so very close to the actual decision point, i.e. at the start of a meeting, at the ordering counter or on the inside of a restroom door.

Boost with the Spacing Effect.

What's the specific behaviour that you're allowing them to perform to help move them towards their long term goal?

It has to be obvious and easy to do, such as clearly identifying an eco-friendly substitute, bolting on a salad or opting for an equally-priced, dairy-free option.

Goal Priming

When we’re reminded of our aims, we're more motivated to reach them

Subtle, well-timed cues that surface our long-term goals improve the immediate decisions required to get us there.

The study

Setup

The food choices of 89 people both dieting and not dieting were analyzed in a cafe. Diners were given a menu with either information highlighting low-calorie options or not (the control).

Results

Results showed that dieters primed with the reminder of their future goal consistently made healthier food choices than unprimed dieters.

np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

Pairings

Experience

Provide aspirational, future-focused reminders to overcome short-termism

Our disposition to focus on the near term can cause us all sorts of problems: over-spending because we feel low, making poor diet decisions because we're tired, not going for that run today because it might rain...

Banks, supermarkets, health apps, you can all help here. Consider including reference somewhere in your digital experiences to our own aspirational goals.

For instance, UK supermarket Waitrose might recommend us healthy options if it knows a little of our goals. The shopping experience could change, surfacing our goals at key decision points, or offering a basket-specific 'healthier substitutes' page prior to checkout with accompanying copy like "Be more you with the following healthy substitutes".

Importantly, such goals should be explicitly chosen by the user. But, once defined, timely nudges to remind and steer better behaviour become possible.

What are users' high level goals in your product?

In what situations are users most likely to deviate away from them?

Where therefore can you help them make better decisions by gently reminding them of their own future aspirations?

They will thank you for doing so.

Conversion

Remind of the bigger goal when completing smaller tasks

Sometimes we can get lost in a long series of tasks and forget the ultimate aim of what we're trying to do. As a result, we may become demotivated and be less likely to complete the task.

However, being very clear and consistent about the aspirational outcomes that will be unlocked at the end will help remind people as to what's in it for them.

For instance, a pet insurance company that has a long form to fill in would do well to remind the user that they're "Only 5 minutes way from safety and comfort", supporting the message with an appropriate image.

What are the ultimate goals of your customers? How and where can you highlight these as they move though your processes? How can you make them feel great and help them imagine their exciting future in order to counterbalance any 'boring' steps they need to take now.

Product Development

Provide a means to share goals and reach them together

Goals shared can act as a powerful collective motivator. New accountability apps like FocusMate provide a service to connect two people, share goals up front on video and spend the next hour working towards them.

How can you being people together to share their goals and reach them together?

Reframe past losses as part of a bigger future gain

We're disproportionately averse to losing our efforts. Offering a perspective of higher level goals or mission can help reduce our attachment to wasted effort along the way.

Where can you remind people of their ultimate dreams?

How can you package the loss as part of a necessary sacrifice towards a bigger gain?

Connected to

Running workshops?

Goal Priming

is included in Box One of our physical workshop tool.
is included in Box Two of our physical workshop tool.
Box Two