Design Better Habits, Routines, and Rituals with the Intentionality Curve

Making your bed in the morning, that first cup of coffee, grabbing a croissant on your way to work, listening to your favorite podcast on the train… As much as we wish for each day to be different, repeating some of the same actions is an important part of our lives. Researchers have found that … Read More

From Default Definitions to Deliberate Questions

Since we are born, a set of defaults influences our goals, our relationships, our tastes. From fashion to friendship, many of the choices we make in life are imperceptibly constrained by default definitions. For example, the default definition of education is formal schooling. The default definition of love is monogamy. The default definition of success … Read More

Purpose Anxiety: The Fear of not Knowing your Purpose in Life

“What am I here for?” is one of the oldest questions humans have been grappling with. For millennia, religion has provided for many a source of meaning — the comforting idea that someone was in control and that, even if we didn’t have the ability to comprehend it all, the world ultimately made sense. With … Read More

The Paradox of Goals

Success is commonly defined as reaching one’s goals. Getting accepted into a prestigious program, building a profitable business, becoming a doctor, completing an online course… Whatever the goal may be, success is simply bridging the gap between where we are and where we want to go. The Internet and our bookshelves are filled with exhortations … Read More

Everything is aiming: forget the target and focus on your aim

We live in a world obsessed with outcomes. At school, we’re encouraged to climb an artificial leaderboard that reflects our test scores. At work, performance is based on reaching specific targets, sometimes known as OKRs for “Objectives and Key Results.” In this goal-based society, success is defined by how our peers evaluate our track record. … Read More

Habit trackers: does tracking your habits actually work?

We rarely lack good intentions. We want to drink more water, exercise regularly, or meditate every morning. Establishing habits, however, can feel like a struggle, and there’s often a gap between intention and execution. This is why habit trackers are such popular tools to help us stick to our goals. But do they work, and … Read More

The arrival fallacy: why we should decouple our happiness from our goals

“When I achieve this goal, then I will be happy.” If you’ve ever experienced such a when/then thought pattern, you’re not alone. Whether you’re aiming to run a marathon, get a promotion at work or buy your first house, having a goal in mind can increase your motivation. However, we often mistakenly believe that achieving … Read More