Goal Setting 101

January 12, 20220 CommentUncategorized

By and large, we recognise goal-setting as a powerful tool for helping us stay on track to achieve success, whatever ‘success’ means to us – but the techniques for setting goals effectively vary depending on where you look to for advice. The purpose of goal setting is to allow us to get clear on what it is we want to accomplish, and articulate what that accomplishment looks like. For instance, a lot of people have the goal to lose weight, because it is commensurate with the idea of good fitness and physical health. Studies show that taking the time to deliberately set goals will affect the intensity of our emotions and actions as we try to attain it, and we are more likely to experience success following the achievement. So how can we set goals meaningfully, and use goal-setting theory strategically to see the results we want to see? Research from the 1990s counted five key principles that, when implemented with purpose and conviction, lead to more successful goal achievement.

1. Commitment Make a decisive choice to pledge yourself to the goal, even when the going gets tough.

2. Clarity Vague or ambiguous statements leave too much room for interpretation and often leave us directionless, so work out the specifics of your goal.

3. Challenging If it’s too easy, it won’t feel worth working at – keep your goals both realistic and challenging to stay motivated.

4. Task Complexity On the flip side, don’t make your goal unattainable. If you’re struggling too much, your morale may take a hit and your motivation will suffer.

5. Feedback Understanding how you’re tracking keeps you focused and steady, so seek feedback in order to evaluate how effective your actions are and inform whether you need to change tack or keep going as is.