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Unhappy At Work? Set Bigger Goals

Many people are unhappy at work–they don’t like their colleagues, feel unsatisfied with their salary or do not feel passionate about the work they are doing. There is an easy way to up your happiness quotient in the workplace: Set higher goals.

According to a a study published online in the Journal of Consumer Research, being more ambitious actually makes you happier. Those who set high goals are more satisfied than their counterparts with lower expectations.

University of California-Riverside professor Cecile K. Cho had one group of research participants pick stocks and set a high target rate of return.They were told to they could set a rate between 6% and 20%. Those who chose to set a goal at 14% or lower were the “low goal setters” and those who set a goal 14% or higher were high goal setters.

Participants then had to allocate $5,400 by selecting three of 20 fictitious stocks. Researchers made it so that after 10 minutes, all participants got the a stock portfolio return that matched their goal. Researchers then asked participants how satisfied they were with the returns.

This study shows us that the higher our goals the better it feels when we achieve them. If we set our bar low, our happiness levels might stay there as well.



About Vanessa Van Edwards

Vanessa Van Edwards is a published author and behavioral investigator. She is a Huffington Post columnist and her courses and research has been featured on CNN, Forbes, Business Week and the Wall Street Journal. As a published Penguin author, Vanessa regularly speaks and appears in the media to talk about her research. She is a sought after consultant and speaker.

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