[Workshop] Science-Based Goal-Setting for 2024 with Dr. Spiegel

Set ambitious goals for 2024, and learn a science-based method in bringing them to life this year.

Who do you want to become by the end of 2024, and how can you enjoy the process of becoming that person? That is what we will learn in today’s workshop.

Dr. Spiegel walks us through an invigorating exercise, broken down into three main steps:

  1. Examine each of your top goals for 2024.
  2. See the pathway to each of them.
  3. Inhabit the person you’d like to become in pursuit of these goals.

“Your relationship with the bow and arrow is more important than the target.” That is, whether you get to the goal or not, you enjoy the experience. What would it be like if you were the person who achieves that goal?

:purple_heart: Get access to all of Reveri’s sessions HERE. :purple_heart:

I will post all the questions asked in the chat, and Dr. Spiegel’s answers, right here in this post over the coming week. Thank you all for your participation!


Is this Herbert Spiegel who once lived in nyc .
Laurie Shapiro

Thanks for posting the workshop Shelby. I missed it as the link came through in Promotions part of my email – dagnammit!

I watched the video on Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the hypnosis part. I was in the process of planning my goals just before I settled to watch, so the extra long hypnosis session was a timely treat. And yes, it has helped. I find I’m more engaged in what I’m doing to reach my goals.

If anyone else, like me, missed the workshop, I recommend giving yourself an hour to catch up – it’s worth it.

I noticed the video is also on YouTube. I’ve been watching his shorter videos about the holidays. Great advice and transferable to the rest of the year. I’ve subscribes so I won’t miss more of these gems.


Thank you Dr Spiegel and Shelby for a great workshop.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of work to fully be in my body and make things feel as good and effortless as possible in pursuit of my (big) goals and the app has been great for that!

My question is a conflict I have been facing internally - I’ve recently been learning about aMCC and that it takes doing thing we really don’t want to do to build our discipline and tenacity which in turn is linked to longevity and also ‘the overall will to live’.

How do we reconcile making our goals be easy and effortless in the pursuit which is what Dr Spiegel mentioned and the new research on the aMCC requiring things that you objectively do not enjoy to build towards? Hope my question is clear, thank you!


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This is his son, David Spiegel!

Thank you Anita! I completely echo your sentiment – this was SUCH a good session from Dr Spiegel and I’m carving out time to fully immerse myself in the recording, as I couldn’t do so when moderating the workshop.

If our emails go into your promotions folder, would you kindly move them to your primary inbox to help deliverability in the future? We got a new email service provider a while ago and it is presenting some quirks like this, I think. We’re working on it!

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Hi S,

If you find out how to make goals effortless to achieve, do let us know. I think we’d all like that :blush:

You mentioned tenacity and the aMCC. Thankfully, research has shown this area of the brain is likely to be highly plastic, so practicing on smaller things we don’t want to do will gradually enhance our will power.

The thing is with goals, especially ambitious goals, often requires learning something new. At the very least the process can be frustrating, sometimes even stressful. Small bouts of stress are actually good for us, as it helps us to learn. So, when you’re getting frustrated, know that this is the very thing that is helping you. A change of perspective can make the difference.

Another thing about goals is we feel great when we think about the result, but as soon as we understand how much effort is needed, the shine diminishes. We can use tenacity and a few other tricks to solve that.

Often, when we actually start the thing we don’t want to do, we feel relief as it’s not as bad as we had anticipated. That encourages us to do more. Using the procrastination session is great. Negotiating with our self is a way of getting us started.

The idea behind what is essentially growth mindset (focus on and reward the effort and not the goal) is to learn how to enjoy the journey. We may need more in the way of tenacity at the beginning, but after a while, as we learn to reward our efforts, we don’t need to rely on will power as much.

I hope that makes sense.


Wow I got exactly what I needed from this response!! Thank you :purple_heart:


Q&A from the goal-setting workshop - Dr. Spiegel’s answers to your questions! Sorry for the delay on these, folks:

  1. Is there a “goal tracking/update” guided self-hypnosis session? Not yet, but it’s in the works!
  2. What if my mind still wanders around during the guided session? / What if I get interrupted during a session? Two options:
  • If you don’t feel too disrupted, take a deep breath, exhale slowly, look up, close your eyes and resume.
  • If you do feel more interrupted, start over.
  1. Should I write all this down, or just hold it in my consciousness? Unless you learn best by writing, it is not really necessary. Just practice doing it on your own terms, or listen to the app – focus or stress management, for example. That will refresh your memory. It works best if it is right for you, not necessary just what the instructions were.
  2. Your recommendations for prioritizing a to-do list? Give priority to ‘doability’ – things that you know you can do or are especially highly motivated to accomplish. As you build a track record of accomplishment you can take on the tougher challenges.
  • Can you discuss how self-hypnosis is different from meditation? Hypnosis and meditation are related but not the same. Hypnosis involves highly focused attention that can be mobilized to problem-solve by attending to novel aspects of an experience and putting aside more troublesome ones. One can intensely attend toward and away at the same time, e.g. imagining cool tingling numbness in an injured part of the body that can ‘filter the hurt out of the pain.’ Any sensory experience is actually a combination of many - one can learn to choose among them in hypnosis.
  • Mindfulness is also useful, but different - less problem-focused, more designed to keep people from fighting an unpleasant experience, a common practice that often magnifies it. Hypnosis and mindfulness also have related but different effects in the brain: hypnosis separates the Executive Control Network from the Default Mode Network (DMN), which involves self-reflection, while mindfulness turns down activity in the DMN.
  1. How to be more able to be hypnotized? Continue practicing regularly, experiment with different sessions, and try to enjoy the experience rather than judge it while it’s happening. Take from the sessions what works for you and don’t worry about the rest. Use your imagination and adapt the suggestions in your mind to make them even stronger for you.
  2. Would someone do both self-hypnosis and meditation, or pick just one? They can work well together, it is entirely up to the person. Hypnosis may work well after a meditation session.
  3. What would be an approach to extend the space between stimulus and response, to extend the choice space? Use the physical relaxation, imagining being in a pleasant and comfortable environment as a first step to slow down, help your body feel better, and contemplate your choices and decisions. Try to make the process of goal selection and accomplishment intrinsically pleasant and reinforcing. Help yourself to want to slow down and enjoy the process as much as achieving the outcome.
  4. This procedure brought in a lot of current issues I am going through. Is there a way I can use self-hypnosis to move through difficult times while also keeping in touch with goals? Sure – don’t pressure yourself to get to the goal. Whatever is confronting you is a signpost not an obstacle, so follow that mental path for a while and see where it leads you.
  5. How to know that I entered hypnosis? The most important measure of success is how you feel and behave immediately following the session. Did you do the behavior or feel differently in the way that you wanted to? You might also experience sensations of floating during the session but they are not an absolute prerequisite or requirement.
  6. How can I use hypnosis to stop procrastinating with things that I find difficult but are important to me? Use Reveri’s Overcome Procrastination session.
  7. Is Cyclic Sighing considered Hypnosis, or are the breathing exercises in the app simply a supplement? It is not hypnosis, it is a breathing technique that is also research-based and a “bottom-up” approach, just like hypnosis is.
  8. If I want to record my self-hypnosis ahead and listen to it the day after, can you speak to how you would format that recording? First of all, you can just use the Reveri app as a structure for repeating the experience, like the focus or stress relief component. One other useful thing you could do is utilize your voice memo function to dictate what you did and learned at the end of each session, and listen to that before you start the next one.
  9. Can you recommend a good readable introductory text that would help me understand what we call “the unconscious” better? One highly regarded book is The discovery of the unconscious: The history and evolution of dynamic psychiatry by H. F. Ellenberger, New York, Basic Books, Inc. 1970
  10. Do you run any training courses suitable for people who are not psychologists or psychotherapists on how to support clients access self-hypnosis (e.g., for coaches)? Thanks for asking but I’m afraid not. That is why I built Reveri. Do browse the Reveri website – we have discussions and readings that should be helpful.
  11. Why is it important to imagine the process as positive/pleasurable, even though the path is really, really hard? Because I want you to find some immediate positive reinforcement in the process itself, giving your self credit and enjoyment from being willing and able to tackle even hard problems. You will find yourself doing it more and better if the process contains something you look forward to. Really hard can be really good.

These responses are really helpful. Thank you Shelby & Dr Spiegel.

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Thank you so much for this!