Trouble Achieving Goals? Why Your Brain Needs Reminders.

Many of us set goals, but sometimes we fail to achieve them. There is a way, though, to increase our chances of hitting our goals: Set reminders.

“It’s quite hard to achieve our goals,” said Sam Gilbert, professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University College London. “There are many, many reasons why we get led astray, or we don’t manage to realize our goals.”

One common, but addressable reason is that we simply forget them. Psychological studies suggest that 50 to 70 percent of our everyday memory failures involve forgetting our intentions.

Creating reminders can help address this problem. Research explains why.

Perhaps even without realizing it, many of us employ a psychological strategy called cognitive offloading, where we use a physical action to reduce demands on our brain. When we outsource our intentions from being stored just in our brains to somewhere outside our head — a notepad, Google Calendar or alerts on our smartphones — we are performing a specific kind of cognitive offloading known as intention offloading.

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top