• Edwin Lemke

Reach your learning goals with MCII

Aktualisiert: 6. Apr 2018



As a trainer you might probably have two goals: - To motivate your students to learn and to reach their proper goals - To develop your skills and to reach your own goals. An important task to reach goals is to motivate yourself. Here is a helpful technique: MCII – Mental contrasting with implementation intentions.

How to use MCII

Firstly define your goal – be concrete, define it positively, specify the time frame, think about the relevance – and then start to motivate yourself in performing the next steps:

1. Think about several positive aspects associated with completing your goal. You might also write it down carefully. 2. Visualize the benefits of reaching your goal. Go into details, the more detailed the better. 3. Think about – or write them down – the obstacles which you will encounter. This might be an obstacle which comes as well from the outside as from yourself. 4. Visualize the obstacles.

So far about the Mental Contrasting. Lots of studies show that this is already very helpful: If obstacles occur you will not be surprised – so continue your preparation and implement intentions:

5. Make an IF..THEN… plan: Corresponding to your obstacle make a plan and think about a response to that cue.

“These implementation intentions have been found to help people close the gap between initial goal setting and actually meeting their goals” referring to Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2010). Strategies of setting and implementing goals: Mental contrasting and implementation intentions. In J. E. Maddux & J. P. Tangney (Eds.),Social psychological foundations of clinical psychology (pp. 114-135). New York: Guilford, S. 121. See http://www.psych.nyu.edu/oettingen/Oettingen,%20G.,%20&%20Gollwitzer,%20P.%20M.%20(2010).%20In%20J.%20E.%20Maddux%20&%20J.%20P.%20Tangney%20(Eds.).pdf

If you want to read more about goal setting in general see Oettingen, G., Wittchen, M., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2013). Regulating goal pursuit through Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions. In E. A. Locke, & G. P. Latham (Eds.),New developments in goal setting and task performance (pp. 523-548). New York, NY: Routledge at http://www.psych.nyu.edu/oettingen/Oettingen,%20Wittchen%20&%20Gollwitzer%20(2013).%20In%20New%20developments%20in%20goal%20setting%20and%20task%20performance.pdf

And this is the primary website of Gabriele Oettingen, the researcher who developed the technique: http://www.psych.nyu.edu/oettingen/. The page also contains lots of links to articles about MCII.

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