Flow triggers explained: Clear Goals

As a reminder: Flow states have triggers we can use to make it more likely we drop into flow when desired!  Links below to the ones we’ve already covered!

Clear Goals is a flow trigger that works by reducing cognitive load.

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Clear goals, in the simplest sense, reduce cognitive load.  When the goal is clear, there’s little thinking to determine what needs to be done.  Goals are also an external focus, so recruit dopamine – the motivation and focus chemical, and also one of the first chemicals to show up in flow.  

The “clear” is in many ways more important than the “goal” in this context – with clarity, we are driven into the deep now where focus tightens, motivation increases, and irrelevant information is filtered out.    We know what to do and where to put our attention while doing it.  

Clarity also helps prevent multi-tasking – if your brain isn’t sure what to do, it might swap between multiple things.  But clear goals drive focus.  Lack of clarity can also drive procrastination as your brain will try to switch to something easier, or just get distracted.  

So how does using this trigger really work?  Well, if we’re talking action sports, it’s easy: ski the run, ride the line, etc. (you can get more clear than that!).  If it’s work or creative tasks, a really effective tool is called The Flow Block: set aside 90 minutes, eliminate all distractions, and drop into flow to execute whatever task you’ve clearly defined for yourself.  This Flow Block integrates Clear Goals and Complete Concentration, and can easily be augmented with other triggers.

Bonus points: make sure your clear goals are aligned with your high hard goals, which are derived from your massively transformative purpose.  Align those goals with intrinsic motivators – curiosity, passion, purpose, autonomy, and mastery – and now you have flow-infused momentum for the big stuff that really matters.  For the dreams you almost don’t dare to have. 

And if you want help setting some clear goals, aligned with your intrinsic motivators, let’s chat! 

Do you use this flow trigger? How is it most effective for you?!?!?
Did you miss the past descriptions?  Check them out!
FLOW TRIGGERS EXPLAINED:

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