Is there any more that can be written or said about Goal Setting? Its impact on performance is said to be the most researched theory of motivation in the field of organisational psychology. There have been hundreds, maybe thousands of studies completed. Some, like the 1953 Yale Graduates Study have legendary status, although apparently, it never happened.
There are untold numbers of websites, bloggers, newsletters and commentators who support one theory or another, some of whom completely contradict each other.
There is one thing virtually all of the theories agree on though. That is, when we set the right goals, we go straight and true. We develop purpose, we develop direction, we develop focused and channeled energy.
Most of us understand the importance. Yet so few of us actually do it.
Why is that?
A quick internet search reveals “10 Things You Should Know About Goals”, “7 Reasons People Don’t Make Goals”, “13 Steps to Setting Goals”, "The Beginners Guide to Goal Setting", “Goal Setting for Your Dog” (must check that one out) and even Eric Cartman gets a mention:
"Follow your dreams, you can reach your goals, I'm living proof"
The point is, there is a lot of stuff out there. If you haven’t been through the process, it can’t be from a lack of information.
1. If you really want to, you will.
One characteristic that sets apart the peak performer from the pack is their “intensity of purpose”.
They are goal-setters. They are motivated by compelling, burning, internal goals. It comes easy to them, because they love what they do.
We owe a responsibility to ourselves to find what we love to do and then spend time and effort to master it.
2. Another characteristic of the peak performer is their 'sense of purpose’.
The thoughts by which they establish their goals begin with the good they can bring to other people, their industry or their marketplace. Yes, there has to be a payoff for you, but if you want people to come on the journey with you, it's got to be bigger than you.
Powerful goals are not self-centered, they are others-centered.
3. A popular view is that we become what we think or believe. Change your thoughts, change your life.
It’s a seductive concept.
Yep, if you go in to something thinking it will be crap, you’re probably right. If you have these little voices in the back of your head saying you can’t do it, they’re probably right too. Yes, focusing on what is important to you and being positive has to be the best way to go about life.
But if you’re struggling with financial hardship, it will take more than an attitude adjustment to move you from suffering to joy. Success is directly connected to action. You have to keep moving.The best way to feel better about a situation is often just to make that first move in doing something about it.
Focus on the next step, not the summit.
Performance is maximised when Motivation, Opportunity and Ability work together.
For those of you using the MOA model to build your own personal plan for improved performance and success, you should now have your Accountability Partner in place and have done your Personal Stocktake, both critical pieces of your foundation.
You can now mark this as your third task. It relates to motivation – identify your goals.
There are any number of approaches you can take. Just google "goal setting", and there are tools, tips and information everywhere. Do some research and choose one that suits you. Personally, I like SMART Goals but there are plenty to choose from.
What matters most is that you actually do it.