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Set Goals to Drive Purpose

Young people practicing cartwheels on the beach.

How can setting goals strengthen brain health?

Goal-setting strengthens the brain’s frontal networks, driving feelings of purpose and achievement.


Dopamine levels increase when you set and achieve goals. This is the feeling you have when powering through a project to meet a deadline. Approaching large goals through a series of smaller ones motivates continued progress.


  • List your big goals. Be realistic. And then break them down into smaller steps and intermediate goals.
  • Ask for help. Seek guidance from trustworthy resources and people who can relate to your experience.
  • Focus on what you have learned. Grow from mistakes, and don't let them discourage you. Reframe failure as learning, a chance to glean insights that can move you forward.
  • Stay future-focused. Celebrate small achievements and forgive your shortcomings. No matter what has happened before, make the choice to keep moving forward from where you are right now.
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