Dr Raymond Prior: Science Based Strategies

Science Based Strategies for Setting and Achieving Goals in 2024 with Dr Raymond Prior

Dr Raymond Prior: Science Based Strategies

Science Based Strategies for Setting and Achieving Goals in 2024 with Dr Raymond Prior

Why do most goals fail and what can you do moving forward to actually set meaningful goals and make lasting change in your life? 

Those are two of the questions we set out to answer in todays podcast. 

Dr Raymond Prior, PHD, covers a wide range of topics when it comes to setting and achieving goals and gives you strategies backed by science. In this episode we cover: 

  • Why change is hard for human beings and how to make it easier and sustainable
  • Where people go wrong when setting goals 
  • How to plan for set backs 
  • The role dopamine plays in achieving goals and how to use it to your advantage
  • The process for effective goal setting 
  • Systems vs goals 
  • Intrinsic and intrinsic motivation 
  • How managers, coaches and leaders can motivate their team to achieve goals 

If you are looking to perform at a high level or get your team to perform at a high level this episode is for you. 

Dr Raymond Prior  holds a PHD and is one of the most sought after names in performance psychology. 

His clients include Major Champions, Olympic Gold Medalists, National Champions, National Coach of the Year Award winners, Grammy Winners, Emmy winners, the list goes on and on. 

He is also the author of the book Golf Beneath the Surface and has contributed chapters to several performance psychology textbooks and published research in the Journal of Applied Sports Psychology. 

Milwaukee Uncut is produced by Story Mark Studios: https://storymarkstudios.com/
In partnership with OnMilwaukee: https://onmilwaukee.com/
Sponsored by Central Standard: https://thecentralstandard.com/

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[00:00:00] Raymond Prior: If you’re going to set a meaningful goal, oftentimes the failure rate might be higher than the success rate. What we do know for sure about goal setting is that if you have these future outcome based goals, it’s really important to reel back to, well, what are the behaviors that I’m going to need to engage in or not engage in to move me toward that?

[00:00:15] Raymond Prior: So it becomes more action oriented than just outcome oriented. And also what are the things. That I’m going to have to plan for when things get really difficult. Hey everyone, 

[00:00:25] Richie Burke: happy new year and welcome back to Milwaukee Uncut sponsored by Central Standard Distillery produced by Storymark Studios and in partnership with ON Milwaukee.

[00:00:34] Richie Burke: I’m excited to bring you today’s episode on goal setting with Dr. Raymond Pryor. Some of you may know that only 9 percent of Americans who set resolutions actually complete them. And 23 percent give up within the first week. In this episode, you’re going to learn how to set meaningful goals that you’ll actually be motivated to achieve throughout the year.

[00:00:52] Richie Burke: This is different from most quote unquote goal setting podcasts. We get deep into the psychology and science behind goal setting the right and wrong ways to go about it, how to actually create lasting change so you can set yourself up to live a better, more fulfilling life long term. Also, if you’re a manager in the business world or a coach.

[00:01:12] Richie Burke: We get into team goal setting and motivation at the end. Whether you’re listening to this episode in January, or you’ve stumbled upon this episode well into the future, there are a lot of great takeaways for you individually, or if you’re looking to lead a team and get them to perform at the highest level possible.

[00:01:29] Richie Burke: For those of you who don’t know, Dr. Raymond Pryor, he holds a PhD and is one of the most sought after names in performance psychology. His clients include major champions, Olympic gold medalists, national champions, coaches of the year. Grammy, Grammy winners, Emmy winners, the list goes on and on. He’s also the author of the book, All Beneath the Surface, and has contributed chapters to several performance psychology textbooks.

[00:01:53] Richie Burke: Basically, this guy’s the real deal. He was nice enough to drive up to the studio from Chicago and record three episodes. So if you like this one, make sure to subscribe. If you have not already, we’ve got two more coming your way in the next month. All right, let’s dive in with Dr. Raymond Pryor. Why, why do most goals fail?

[00:02:14] Raymond Prior: Well, for a lot of reasons. There’s some context. That’s a nuanced question. One of them is that change is hard for us as human beings. Like, meaningful change can be really difficult. It doesn’t have to be, but it often is. The second part is most of the time we set goals for things that are meaningful for us and would be really beneficial in our lives or things that we want to either experience and accomplish and life doesn’t provide any guarantees.

[00:02:43] Raymond Prior: So there’s no goal out there that you can create that is really meaningful in your life that is going to either stretch your capacities. Build a kind of life that you want or maybe even improve your health where there isn’t some failure to a degree baked in or there aren’t some challenges baked in.

[00:03:00] Raymond Prior: And so if you’re going to set a meaningful goal, oftentimes the failure rate might be higher than the success rate. Which doesn’t mean we have to look at things as it is a success or it is a failure, which is part of why those stats look that way. But if we’re going to really try for something, oftentimes many other people are competing for the same things.

[00:03:18] Raymond Prior: Um, there are a variety of different, um, timetables for things. So just saying that something is successful because it’s cut off at the end of a year and either I did or I didn’t, isn’t exactly the best stats for that. But in the long run, like when we’re going to try to go for something that is really meaningful for us and change our lives in ways that are really important to us, like there’s always risk of failure and the higher you set the bar by definition, technically the higher the failure rate is, if you’re defining it as.

[00:03:45] Raymond Prior: This or that, you know, we might use an example, you know, a lot of people, um, might be setting a goal of something like to lose a certain amount of weight during the year. Well, if I look at it as I want to lose this number of pounds and it’s either this number of pounds is failure and this is not, well, what if you lost 90 percent of that amount over the year?

[00:04:03] Raymond Prior: Well, technically that would be a failure, even though you have improved your weight by a significant amount and probably there are health benefits to it. Also, I don’t see too many people setting the goal of I’d like to lose a pound, right? So you’re usually setting a bar that is significant enough that if you reach that, there’s going to be real change in your life and the way that you want to go.

[00:04:25] Raymond Prior: So I don’t know that looking at goals as either pass or fail in a lot of places or as, um, I should lower the bar in order to increase my percent chances of meeting my goals is necessarily the most, um, Most effective way to set goals, you know, even if you’re talking about New Year’s resolutions, that is a date for us as human beings that has, even though those numbers don’t look great on paper, those are the highest success rates for resolutions and goals and meaningful change for us.

[00:04:55] Raymond Prior: So there’s a ton of research that shows that we as human beings are more likely to make and stick with behavior change, or we might say, um, movement toward things that are better for us on meaningful dates. Birthdays, New Year, uh, whether there’s like some meaningful category, you know, to be clear, we can decide to make change in meaningful ways anytime we want.

[00:05:18] Raymond Prior: But if waiting for something like a New Year’s date starts that process, like there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. And in which case, and oftentimes that’s the, a helpful momentum builder for people to make those types of changes and move toward meaningful goals, regardless of what the quote unquote success rate might be.

[00:05:36] Raymond Prior: What do you 

[00:05:36] Richie Burke: feel is the best way to go about? Um, and what are good goals and what are not so good goals where a lot of people go wrong. Sure, 

[00:05:46] Raymond Prior: so, since we’re talking about this in the context of, um, things like a New Year’s Resolution, we’ll start there, in which case the research is really clear that like, there’s no Really bad goal, right?

[00:06:00] Raymond Prior: If there’s something that is important enough to you that you have start to envision it to bring it to clarity and and bring it to purpose whether that’s I want to lose some pounds because it’s really good for my health or I want to lose some pounds because I just want to look better naked. None of them are necessarily bad goals for bad reasons, right?

[00:06:19] Raymond Prior: What we do know for sure about goal setting is that if you have these future outcome based goals You do have to afford them to be most likely for you to move toward them and in a way that you Stick through it when things get hard It’s really important to reel back to well What are the behaviors that I’m gonna need to engage in or not engage in to move me toward that so it becomes a more?

[00:06:39] Raymond Prior: action oriented than just outcome oriented and Also, what are the things that I’m going to have to plan for when things get really difficult, right? So let’s say again my goal for the new year is I want to lose 25 pounds Okay, so it’s important for me to go, well, there’s a number that I’d like to get to, then also I would want to go, well, why do I want to do that?

[00:07:01] Raymond Prior: Like, why is that important to me? So that I am again, orienting toward reasons that are valuable enough for me that when things start to get hard and there are obstacles in the way, which there will be, I can use that as a means to try to keep going. Like essentially you’re asking, like, what are my motivations behind this?

[00:07:19] Raymond Prior: One of the more crucial questions for something like a New Year’s resolution is what are you going to do when it gets really hard because it is going to like for many people, the amount of effort and the amount of time required to lose something like 25 pounds or 20 pounds is pretty significant and it’s not going to happen really fast.

[00:07:36] Raymond Prior: And if you have a pattern of behaviors that is perhaps not super conducive to that, like perhaps what you eat, you know, your sleeping patterns, your exercise or. Lack of exercise patterns like you’re at some point you and your nervous system are going to be like oh This is hard, and I don’t want to do this then what are you going to do when that happens, right?

[00:07:54] Raymond Prior: so we we being the royal we in the Kind of behavioral scientific community know for sure that the goal setting part and the why you want to do this is often the easy part for people the hard part becomes what are you going to do when You need, you, what you really want to do is go work out and keep working out, but everybody else is going to happy hour when you want to be going to the gym.

[00:08:15] Raymond Prior: Or what are you going to do when you drive by your favorite restaurant on the way home, but you’re trying to make sure that you’re watching your portion intake and really watching your caloric, you know, what kind of calories you’re consuming and when and all these types of things. So having a plan in place to deal with barriers is as important.

[00:08:31] Raymond Prior: Perhaps sometimes we might even argue more important than the goal itself. Is there any 

[00:08:35] Richie Burke: science behind people underestimating what it actually takes to Achieve what they want because I feel like at the beginning, you’re, you’re all excited. You have all this motivation and then you kind of, you know, the, the first few weeks of that motivation, that magic kind of wears off and then you’re like, yeah, it’s hard to keep not going to happy hour.

[00:08:54] Richie Burke: It’s hard to keep showing up to the gym. It’s hard to go to this tournament and play bad, but you know, keep putting in the work if you’re not getting the results right away. And usually it’s not a, a linear path at all. You start this business and you might get a bump at the beginning when you launch and then you’re like.

[00:09:08] Richie Burke: Yeah. 

[00:09:10] Raymond Prior: So to what you’re alluding to is again, like what are you going to do when there are setbacks and challenges and failures? And I don’t know, I’m not familiar with any research that is really in line with that exact question, but you can pull information from a variety of different areas to demonstrate that yes, if you’re expecting it to be really easy to just quit smoking cold Turkey, if you’ve been smoking for 10 years, It’s probably going to get really hard for you pretty quick, right?

[00:09:36] Raymond Prior: If you have never exercised in your life and all of a sudden you’re going to go to the gym and try to work out for an hour and a half a day, when you get to day two and your body is super, super sore, it’s pretty unlikely you’re going back for day three, right? So perhaps asking the question as you’re getting ready for goals of like, how much effort is this really going to take?

[00:09:54] Raymond Prior: Or how much struggle does this really include? And not in a negative way, but so that you can prepare for it. You know, as just a kind of a tangential part of this, you know, when I’m working with a lot of high performers in their environments, two of the expectations that I want to watch out for them for, which I’m kind of listening for.

[00:10:12] Raymond Prior: are one, these very rigid future outcome expectations. Like, I expect to win every tournament that I’m in, or I expect to shoot a certain score, or I expect that I will always be able to play this many minutes, and so on and so forth. And again, it’s not that these are negative or bad, but they’re very rigid, and they’re always in the future.

[00:10:32] Raymond Prior: Right? And so, if I have an eye on the future all the time, that keeps me from being engaged with what I’m doing. And if it’s very rigid, what that means is there are fewer pathways to success, not more. And we want, if you’re moving towards something that is really important to you, we want as many pathways toward that as possible, because one, on a fundamental, just logical level, more pathways to success increases the likelihood of success, not decreases it.

[00:10:58] Raymond Prior: Similarly, If I have goals that are keeping me from being present and action oriented with what I can do now, it’s harder for me to take action and be engaged with what I’m doing now. On a neurological and neurochemical level, these outcome, super out, rigid outcome based goals are also detrimental to us because Our dopaminergic system pairs to these outcomes that are very rigid.

[00:11:21] Raymond Prior: So as soon as I get out of that, we might say, singular pathway to that outcome, my dopaminergic system goes, well, this doesn’t feel good anymore, which is just another way of saying it’s going to be really hard to be motivated. Dopamine is the neuromodulator in our brain that makes effort and struggle feel good for us.

[00:11:39] Raymond Prior: And so if I’m always got one eye in the future, my dopaminergic system pairs to what I’m focused on. And that thing is not available to me, because again, by definition, it’s in the future. And if there’s only one pathway to it, as soon as I deviate from that pathway, which most roads to success are multiple roads, not singular.

[00:11:57] Raymond Prior: So it’s going to be harder for me to find motivation and enjoyment in the struggle of moving toward that, the farther I am toward that. To your question before, the second type of expectations I’m listening for with my clients are expectations of entitlement. Well, this should be easy, or I was successful in this before, therefore it should just be successful again.

[00:12:20] Raymond Prior: And if we’re using human history as a backdrop, simply doing something before is not a guarantee or a linear path to doing it in the future. It’s 

[00:12:29] Richie Burke: kind of, it’s kind of hard to, and I’ve been in several of those situations, whether it’s business or when I’m playing competitive golf and you’re like.

[00:12:37] Richie Burke: Outworking, you feel like you’re outworking everyone and you feel entitled to a certain outcome and one of the things I like a lot about what you preach is, is acceptance of, can you accept any outcome? Can you accept the worst case scenario? Can you accept the best case scenario? Which essentially. frees you up to pursue what you want to and not have such a 

[00:12:59] Raymond Prior: tight grip on it.

[00:12:59] Raymond Prior: But we’ll, uh, define acceptance real quick. So acceptance doesn’t mean that I don’t care. It doesn’t mean that I’m settling for less. It doesn’t mean that I’m satisfied with outcomes and experiences that I don’t want or like. And it doesn’t mean that I’ll necessarily like what happens. What it means is I’m willing to live with it.

[00:13:16] Raymond Prior: Right? And more kind of common vernacular what that means. It’s an attitude of like, let’s see how this plays out rather than in me needing it to meet some very specific mold. And again, the more specific and narrow and rigid I make the future in terms of how it should or must play out, which is that’s again our outcome, rigid outcome goals and entitlement goals.

[00:13:39] Raymond Prior: The fewer paths I have to get to the things I want to. And in that, now my focus is always drawn toward the future. And for those who have meaningful goals that perhaps they’re starting 2024 with. It is important to have those out there. But if I can’t reel back to what I’m doing right now, when I’m actually doing it, the experience of moving toward that becomes less enjoyable, right?

[00:14:04] Raymond Prior: Um, one of the highest dopaminergic states for us, meaning what feels good and makes effort and struggle feel good for us is being present. You know, think about a time where you’ve had like a really tough workout, but you were just. in it, or you were perhaps having a conversation with somebody, whether challenging or not, and you were just there, that time feels good.

[00:14:25] Raymond Prior: And one of the things that dopamine does for us too, is it also impacts how we experience the passage of time. where when we are in a high dopaminergic state, time feels like it’s moving by faster. So if I have a big goal that might take me all of 2024 to move toward that is important enough to me to go, yep, that’s what I want and I’m going to move toward, but I am only focused on that outcome the entire time.

[00:14:49] Raymond Prior: It’s going to make the time seem harder, less enjoyable and slower. During the year versus if I can go. So if you’re asking kind of what’s the process for effective goal setting, there are many different ways to do that. But what it really does is go start out there. Where do I want to be and go and whatever that kind of pipe and then reel back and then reel back and then reel back and then ultimately it down, it comes down to like, well then where do I start right now?

[00:15:16] Raymond Prior: With that and sometimes, you know, at this time of year, it might be, you know, I need to do, I need to buy new running shoes or I need to buy a gym membership or at least start researching them. Or it might be, I need to start working on who can I talk to when I really feel like I want a cigarette and I need somebody to be like, no dude, you don’t need to do that, et cetera.

[00:15:35] Raymond Prior: And if I’m a high performer, let’s say a golfer in that scenario, it’s when I catch myself. Trying to win a tournament, but I’m on the first tee of the first round. What do I need to come back to, to just, what do I need to do right now? And so, you know, if we’re talking about goals, again, they are important.

[00:15:51] Raymond Prior: They are not more important than the action that we are taking right now. Although that goal might help define what is the action that I want to take right now. And there’s been a lot of 

[00:16:00] Richie Burke: debate over the years regarding goals versus systems or goals versus process and what I’m getting at what you’re saying is it is important to have that, that goal, that vision, maybe it doesn’t have to be super rigid and specific, maybe it can be more, more vague, um, but then also honing it back to, okay, what’s the process I’m going to kind of have to go through to keep slowly moving towards this.

[00:16:22] Richie Burke: Even when times get tough, I’m going to. Okay. Keep showing up. I’m going to keep doing this, even if I’m not super motivated on that given day to, to, to help move towards 

[00:16:30] Raymond Prior: that. Yeah, the two would work together, right? So you wouldn’t know what system to have if you didn’t have some meaningful things to move toward, we might say goals, but you also wouldn’t know.

[00:16:44] Raymond Prior: Like what, you know, without the two, each becomes unclear. Like you’d have the best system in the world, but if you’re not moving towards something meaningful to where you, you’re not engaged with something in an authentic, incredible way for you or in a way that is moving you really toward what you want.

[00:16:58] Raymond Prior: Conversely, if you don’t have very meaningful goals, then what systems are you going to construct to be able to do that? So I would say both provide value. I think most people, the goal setting part tends to be easier. That’s something we talk about a lot. It’s, you can read about it anywhere. The, what do I reel back to now?

[00:17:15] Raymond Prior: And then what am I going to do when it gets hard and uncomfortable is probably. The more important part for people to consider. Hey 

[00:17:23] Richie Burke: everyone, it’s your host, Richie Burke, and I just wanted to take a moment to thank our sponsor, central Standard Distillery, even though the holidays are over, if you’re looking to unwind and enjoy a cocktail or three, I highly recommend Central Standard Spirits.

[00:17:36] Richie Burke: We made some old fashions at our internal holiday party a couple weeks ago using their brand. Those were very good. We were also drinking some of their Door County Cherry Vodka. You can get both of those at the Craft House in that most local liquor stores. And if you’re looking to cut back on drinking, if you’re doing dry January or just looking to cut back, they’ve got some really good mocktails.

[00:17:57] Richie Burke: They have a whole mocktail menu at the Craft House. And if you’re looking to eat healthy, I highly recommend their Aruba salad with chicken. That thing is very good. And on a Milwaukee uncut note, we do appreciate all your support recently. So if you write a review and subscribe on Apple, if you have not already, which takes about a minute to do, leave your Instagram handle or email at the end of the review, and we’ll send you something to show our appreciation that helps us continue to climb the Apple charts and get more ears on this content.

[00:18:24] Richie Burke: And you won’t want to miss out on future episodes. We’ve got two more with Ray coming up and a great lineup overall. So make sure you’re subscribed. Thanks again. Let’s get back to today’s episode with Dr. Raymond Pryor. When you’re. Setting goals or working towards something. Can you talk about the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and that, how that plays 

[00:18:46] Raymond Prior: a role?

[00:18:46] Raymond Prior: Yeah, and they, it does. So, um, by definition, yeah. I’ve had 

[00:18:51] Richie Burke: goals before where I really want them and I’m excited and I actually enjoy the process. And other goals where. There’s certain things where I’m kind of like, man, then I, you know, you’re working towards them, but you can burn out pretty easily and they’re not that important to you.

[00:19:05] Richie Burke: Yeah. And even if there’s something that’s super important to you, there’s other ways you can burn out if you’re extrinsically motivated. 

[00:19:10] Raymond Prior: Yeah, no doubt. So by definition, extrinsic motivation means I am motivated by an external source. So for example, money is an extrinsic motivator. Fame is an extrinsic motivator, uh, winning and losing is an extrinsic motivator.

[00:19:27] Raymond Prior: Status, impress, status, impress, and whatever. All of these things. Again, none of them are necessarily bad, but they are limited. I’ll talk about that in a second. Intrinsic motivation is, I am motivated to do this thing just because of the thing. I don’t need a return on investment, so to speak. So, extrinsic motivation is like, I will, uh, exercise every single day, dot dot dot, if it definitely leads to the outcome that I want, which might be decreased weight, etc.

[00:19:55] Richie Burke: Is, is, extrinsic motivation is a good example of someone who, uh, Has a good job. They may not really enjoy the work within that job But they’re still gunning for the promotion because they like the perception of people seeing them in that role Increased 

[00:20:08] Raymond Prior: paychecks the corner office Whatever it might be of course And to be very clear every single human being or you know as far as we know every single organism in the world is both intrinsically and The challenge for us when we’re moving towards goals is the more we are disproportionately extrinsically motivated, the more fragile our motivation becomes.

[00:20:32] Raymond Prior: So extrinsic motivators are limited in three different ways. The first is they’re not super controllable. You might go, well, I can control my salary. Well, not really. Like even if you’re in sales, like there’s market fluctuations, maybe you are the best candidate for a job. But. Your boss is like somebody else better.

[00:20:50] Raymond Prior: Right, so there’s not a ton of control in extrinsic motivators relative to intrinsic motivation. The second is, they tend to have a shelf life on them. You know, many of the top performers that I’ve worked with go, I was crazy motivated to make my first million dollars. The second million dollars didn’t have the same pop to it, right?

[00:21:10] Raymond Prior: So even though, and, and many people have experienced this before where they got that job, maybe they got that promotion, but again, because the work itself isn’t motivating to them, it tends to run out pretty quick. So there’s a shelf life of this amount of money was very motivating to me before, but it’s not anymore.

[00:21:27] Raymond Prior: Or when I get it, it does the amount of time it motivates me as a lot less than it used to be. And, 

[00:21:32] Richie Burke: and people are usually disappointed to kind of. They kind of hit a high and then it drops off 

[00:21:37] Raymond Prior: dramatically. I’ll give you the neuroscience behind that here in a second. And then the last thing that makes extrinsic motivators limiting is that we build a tolerance to them.

[00:21:47] Raymond Prior: Right, so a shelf life is the amount of time that it’s motivating to us. The tolerance level is just how motivating it is to us. And the bottom line is there is no amount of money. in and of itself that you can get to keep you motivated for a long time because the more you get the less potent the motivating power of that becomes, right?

[00:22:07] Raymond Prior: So again, every human being has some level of extrinsic motivation, but if that is disproportionately your primary means of motivation, it’s kind of like if you think about extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation in terms of like heat and warmth. Extrinsic motivators are the firecrackers. Like, they fire off really quick, they’re really bright and really hot, but they burn out really fast.

[00:22:29] Raymond Prior: Again, nothing wrong with them, but if you’re, you can’t really heat your house and cook your food on fireworks. It’d be very difficult to do. Intrinsic motivation is I am motivated to do this thing for the sake of the thing without needing an extrinsic thing to validate it. So that’s I love playing golf.

[00:22:50] Raymond Prior: I don’t necessarily need to winning or shooting a great score as a bonus to me. Or I’m in this business because I want to share things with people or I want to help provide value to other people or I just love doing the work and I don’t necessarily need a dollar amount or something at the end in order to.

[00:23:08] Raymond Prior: Now it would be nice if I did, but it’s not necessarily. The neuroscience behind this is, is that whatever we use as our primary motivators, again, our dopaminergic system pairs to. Again, dopamine makes effort towards stuff. Um, I’m going to feel good and helps us through struggle. If I am extrinsically motivated disproportionately, my dopaminergic system pairs to that thing.

[00:23:32] Raymond Prior: So again, in this example, let’s just say it’s money or fame or whatever. Well, the downside is again, these things, the more I get them, the less motivating they become. So I can only feel good when I get those things, but because they’re extrinsic motivators, I can’t control them. They have a shortening shelf life and I’m building an increasing tolerance to them.

[00:23:50] Raymond Prior: When they come, they go just as fast. And so you can see people burn out doing something when the return on investment becomes less and less and less, even though it’s more and more and more. The other part about this is the more my dopaminergic system pairs to these extrinsic motivators, it’s not paired to when I’m doing the thing.

[00:24:09] Raymond Prior: So the effort, the focus, the engagement with the thing I’m doing becomes less enjoyable and feels longer. Intrinsic motivation is I am doing this thing for the sake of doing this thing because I enjoy it. And the reason we enjoy it is because we stop needing an external thing to validate it, in which case then my dopaminergic system pairs to doing the thing, not the outcome at the end of it.

[00:24:34] Raymond Prior: And I find it much more enjoying, I find it much more fulfilling, and oftentimes we find these deeper purposes with it. So if you’re, even if you were trying, I want to lose weight. That’d be the extrinsic portion of it. It would be important for people to then also go, well, what can I enjoy about being physically active?

[00:24:51] Raymond Prior: Is it engaging with people? I’m learning something new, like pickleball or whatever it might be, where there’s actually something about the experience that is motivating to you more than just, did it lead to the thing at the end? And it’s not a surprise that we see that really, really high performers and people that tend to be more successful with longer, healthier, and more successful careers are disproportionately intrinsically motivated.

[00:25:18] Raymond Prior: Doesn’t mean they don’t care about outcomes or they aren’t motivated by them to some degree, but it’s not the primary motivator. Well, it takes, 

[00:25:24] Richie Burke: with the top performers you work with, it takes a lot of them a long time to get to where they Where they are years decades in some cases and it’s it’s hard to probably hard to operate at a high level for decades if it’s mostly Extrinsically and motivated 

[00:25:40] Raymond Prior: I would say your odds of having a very long successful and enjoyable career Simply being motivated by external things is I would even put in the category of a fool’s errand Because things are guaranteed to get difficult in which case then If the thing itself isn’t motivating to you when it gets really challenging and there are setbacks and failures involved and you need the outcomes to motivate you when they’re not available to you, now what are you going to do?

[00:26:08] Raymond Prior: What happens if you, what happens if you get injured? What happens if there’s a market change? What happens when your health might fluctuate a little bit? What are you going to do when you’re performing really well, but somebody else is just outperforming you for the time being. If that is, if what you’re requiring is this return on investment to stay engaged with it, when that’s not available to you.

[00:26:28] Raymond Prior: That by definition means you’re going to, motivation is going to drop and it’s not going to feel very good and it’s going to feel like it takes forever again because your dopaminergic system is not paired to the thing. Yeah. 

[00:26:39] Richie Burke: And I liked what you said about finding ways within that goal that can bring you more dopamine, like losing weight for an example.

[00:26:48] Richie Burke: Losing weight is generally not fun. It’s much It’s challenging. It’s much more fun to eat cheeseburgers and not wake up early and go to the gym and do that. It will be 

[00:26:58] Raymond Prior: more fun if So that again, so here’s a perfect example. If what you do to try to feel good during the day is eat food. Your dopamine, dopaminergic system is going to pair to that.

[00:27:10] Raymond Prior: In which case that food is going to be more enjoyable and be your, I feel good. You’re going to be motivated to do that. And you feel great for a few minutes. If I find, okay, if I can abstain from that for a while and stick with this thing long enough, your dopaminergic system will repair. So you can think about your dopaminergic system, like Bluetooth, it pairs to whatever we.

[00:27:32] Raymond Prior: Make available to it. So if I remove the fast food from it, even though I’m going to go through a little bit of withdrawal from that for a while, and stick with the exercise, eventually it starts, my dopaminergic system will pair to the exercise, and then as you said, now the exercise becomes not only more enjoyable to me, it feels like it goes by faster, and my brain and nervous system start to crave that, rather than this, which is just using our internal Uh, ingrained motivation system and just directing it in a way that is, makes us happier, healthier human beings.

[00:28:04] Raymond Prior: Which isn’t to say that you should never eat fast food, but if that’s the primary means by which you feel good, it’s going to be very difficult to lose weight. 

[00:28:11] Richie Burke: Right. And even within exercise, you brought up pickleball, but there’s so many different ways. If you like doing a certain workout or like going to a certain workout class, go, go to that.

[00:28:19] Richie Burke: If you don’t like going to a certain gym, don’t go. There’s a mountain of things you 

[00:28:24] Raymond Prior: enjoy doing. There’s a ton of research that shows, um. People are far more likely to stay physically active, become physically active, stay physically active and meet their outcome fitness goals when they’re doing things that they just enjoy more.

[00:28:38] Raymond Prior: So if you hate going on a treadmill, but you’d love to rock climb. Go find a rock climbing gym, right? Or if you hate the idea of just being in a gym, but you would prefer to play tennis or pickleball or whatever like that, or walk or whatever, or if you just love doing bench press and power squats, like, do that, right?

[00:28:57] Raymond Prior: So, um, doing something that is more enjoyable to you. Uh, to be, at least to begin with, would be one of the ways that people can do something that is more intrinsically motivating that is actually moving them toward their extrinsic goals. Yeah. 

[00:29:11] Richie Burke: Um, before we move on to our next topic, we have a pretty good business audience for this podcast to manage a good amount of people.

[00:29:17] Richie Burke: Right. And their job is to motivate their teams to get, get things done and essentially have team goals and make sure people are aligned in that. What? Is there a different way you go about it, or a certain way you go about it when you’re advising managers to motivate people to set their goals? It’s different from individual goals, but I’m sure there’s a lot of overlap.

[00:29:40] Richie Burke: Yeah, 

[00:29:40] Raymond Prior: there’s a significant amount of research that shows that it’s technically, and I’m splitting hairs here a little bit, technically you can’t really motivate anybody else. You can only help align them with their own motivations. So if you’re a manager, or a coach, or something, and your job is to quote unquote motivate other people.

[00:30:00] Raymond Prior: I would, I think asking questions about for people is far more important than telling them what to do or just offering them more money or punishments or incentives and, you know, detractions or giving 

[00:30:11] Richie Burke: a big hoorah or 

[00:30:12] Raymond Prior: the hoorah speech. I mean, it can be a short term firecracker. It’s a firecracker. I think more important questions are like, why are you in this line of work?

[00:30:22] Raymond Prior: Like, what does it offer you beside a paycheck, beside a hoorah, Rob, beside whatever. And oftentimes there’s something of. Well, there’s some connection in the work to I’m working toward a bigger purpose of something like we know for sure that people are high in intrinsic motivation, meaning they’re engaged with something for the sake of engagement is there’s a larger purpose involved for them that supersedes the stuff that gets hard and is more surface level and extrinsic, you know, for example, excuse me, many medical professionals, although they might make a really nice salary, The hours they’re working are pretty insane the type of restraints We put on those type of people in the environments that we ask them to operate within are less than hospitable But the larger purpose is I’m trying to help other people heal or I’m trying to help other people Repair from damage so to speak whatever it might be or even if you’re running a business that is just full on Capitalism like what is it that the company is really about?

[00:31:20] Raymond Prior: Well, we’re about providing blank to people, you know, even I work with a really large insurance company. Well, what they’re trying to offer people is safety when stuff hits the fan, of course, at a reasonable risk and rate. But the bottom line is they’re still trying to offer something of value to other people.

[00:31:37] Raymond Prior: So there’s a larger picture to that. And of the high ranking executives that I’ve worked with in any field, whether that’s athletics, film and music, or corporate world, They are indeed motivated externally by finances and perhaps a certain style of life. Most of them though are more motivated by, I’m trying to create something in this company or this organization and I’m trying to, what we create here, I want to share that with people.

[00:32:07] Raymond Prior: And that is a much deeper, more sustaining means of being motivated to do something than, I hope I get my bonus at the end of the year, which Again, the larger the bonus and the farther it becomes, it’s not that it’s a bad thing, but it’s not going to be as motivating. Um, so, kind of, if you were working with people, I would want to know more about the person.

[00:32:28] Raymond Prior: Like, why are you here? What are the larger purposes behind what you’re doing? What is it about this thing, without the extrinsic stuff? That brings you here and helping people tap into that to their own deeper motivations behind something is probably a much more effective means of motivating helping people motivate themselves rather than you having to do it yourself because otherwise what happens is you as a manager become the extrinsic motivator and the more you try to motivate them again it’s diminishing returns in the long run.

[00:32:57] Richie Burke: Very well said. Any, uh, any closing advice on goal setting before we move on? 

[00:33:01] Raymond Prior: No, I just think, you know, for people, if I was going to circle back to just kind of where we started at the beginning of this one, especially if you’re talking New Year’s resolutions, if it’s an important, if there’s a date that you can set to, um, that will help you get moving, great.

[00:33:19] Raymond Prior: If there’s something that you want, clarify that, make it crystal clear, however specific or vague that it might be, you know, whether it’s losing this certain amount or just being healthier or working a different job or doing whatever it might be. But then, what are you going to do when things get hard and there are always options for you to bail out?

[00:33:38] Raymond Prior: Because if you can, essentially what we see through complex behavior change, which is really what goal setting and resolutions are, is there’s a period where if you can sit through the discomfort and the uncertainty long enough, your nervous system and your brain kicks over and it becomes a lifestyle change.

[00:33:53] Raymond Prior: But you have to sit through that friction for a while and it can take many weeks. So if you plan for that, you’ll be far more. Prepared for it when it comes to help you stay in it before you get to the part where it starts to become easier. And I feel 

[00:34:05] Richie Burke: like the lifestyle change and getting in that, uh, Dopaminergic state is really important for the long term too, because what’s the point of losing 20 pounds if you’re going to put it back on a month or two after?

[00:34:16] Richie Burke: Yeah. Right, so, um, yeah, fixing that whole 

[00:34:19] Raymond Prior: lifestyle. Yeah, and you know, the part about getting people into something like, again, we’re using physical activity as an example. There’s one thing about I started it and the other is that I stayed with it long enough to get the benefits. Like, let’s just say you’ve been smoking for many years, you know, taking six months off of smoking is great.

[00:34:37] Raymond Prior: But if I just go back to smoking two packs a day It’s a minimal change where if I can make a lifestyle change where smoking is no longer a part of my habits Then again, you have now opened yourself up to a lifetime of benefits rather than just you know, a shorter window of it So you’re right on 

[00:34:56] Richie Burke: for tuning into this episode of Milwaukee uncut produced by story mark studios Sponsored by Central Standard and in partnership with on Milwaukee.

[00:35:04] Richie Burke: Like I said in the mid roll, please subscribe and leave a review So you don’t miss out on future episodes That helps us out. Leave your Instagram handle or email at the end of the review. We’ll even reach out and send you something. Also, if you have any guests and topic suggestions for 2024, just Instagram messages on the Milwaukee Uncut account, which is linked, or you can go to storymarkstudios.com