Set yourself up to win
DO YOU HAVE UNFULFILLED DREAMS? WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET MORE OUT OF YOUR LIFE? MAYBE BETTER RELATIONSHIPS, BETTER FITNESS AND ENERGY, A BETTER JOB, A PROMOTION OR EVEN MORE WEALTH. DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU REALLY WANT? AND, WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE FOR YOU TO DECIDE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT?
I have devoted the last 15 years of my life to finding out my own answers to these questions. And I’ve discovered you can achieve any goal you want, if you are committed to doing what it takes to work towards it. There is a path to what you want, however, it requires consistency. It requires you to create the time to invest in yourself.
Some people want change but don’t want to work for it. If you want results on the sporting field, you have to train. If you want results from university, you have to train. If you want results from anything, you have to train, you have to practice, you have to keep doing the little things that will create results. Real results that will stick around. If you want an extraordinary life you must set yourself up to win – and it starts with setting goals.
To write or not to write?
All motivational ‘gurus’ and success coaches agree that goals should be written down. Why?
- It forces you to clearly define what your goals are
- It frees up room in your mind to take your thinking to the next level
- It incorporates all three learning techniques and stimulates creativity
- The act of writing a goal down in is a very powerful motivator
- Writing down goals forces us to avoid being vague
- Goals ‘held’ in the mind are more likely to be jumbled up with the other 50,000 thoughts per day that the average human being experiences
- Most experts agree goals should be carried around with you all the time
The world’s most successful people agree that what you ‘get’ by achieving your goal/s is not as important as what you become in the process.
A history of goal setting
The fi rst empirical studies on goal-setting for team and self-achievement were performed by Cecil Alec Mace in the UK way back in 1935.
In the mid-1960’s, around 30 years later, Edwin A. Locke began to examine goal setting and continued research into goal setting for more than 30 years.
Locke borrowed the idea for goalsetting from Aristotle’s concept of final causality. Aristotle hypothesised that
purpose or desire can cause action. Locke researched the impact goals have on human activity refining his goalsetting theory and establishing a positive relationship between clearly identified goals and performance.
Today the concept of goal setting has been accepted as standard in all models of success theory.
The true research on goals
In 1953, Harvard released its MBA Goals Study – you know, the one that people quote that claims that after 10 years the 3% who wrote down their goals earn 10 times as much as the other 97% combined. It remains an unproven theory, however, in 2007, Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, did a study on goal-setting with 267 participants and it had some tangible results.
- She found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.
- Sharing your goals with a close ‘confide’ is proven to increase the chances of you achieving your goal.
- This increases further if you then send weekly progress reports to your friend.
Want to be successful in achieving your goals? Follow these 5 steps:
Know what you want/be specific
It’s amazing how many people I meet who really can’t verbalise what they want.
The more difficult the goals the more effort you put in so setting challenging goals leads to higher performance.
Get emotionally committed
Make your goals important to you and attainable. The more emotionally attached to the outcome the more motivation.
Review progress regularly
Tracking progress towards your goals builds motivation and commitment.
Break (chunk) tasks down
Manage the actions towards big goals by chunking them down to more ‘bite-sized’ tasks. Achieving smaller tasks creates a winning momentum.