Consider it done! Plan making can eliminate the cognitive effects of unfulfilled goals.

@article{Masicampo2011ConsiderID,
  title={Consider it done! Plan making can eliminate the cognitive effects of unfulfilled goals.},
  author={E. J. Masicampo and Roy F. Baumeister},
  journal={Journal of personality and social psychology},
  year={2011},
  volume={101 4},
  pages={
          667-83
        }
}
Unfulfilled goals persist in the mind, as asserted by ample theory and evidence (e.g., the Zeigarnik effect). The standard assumption has been that such cognitive activation persists until the goal is fulfilled. However, we predicted that contributing to goal pursuit through plan making could satisfy the various cognitive processes that usually promote goal pursuit. In several studies, we activated unfulfilled goals and demonstrated persistent goal activation over time. Unfinished goals caused… Expand
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Much work has shown that planning facilitates goal attainment. The present work demonstrates that while plans generally make people more likely to act on a goal, they may sometimes lead to failureExpand
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