So, it is almost that time to start making resolutions…otherwise knows as goals! Let’s start out with the definition of Goal…
A goal is – the result or achievement toward which effort is directed, aim.
Basically, it means what you are aiming for, where you want to go.
The study of goal setting is fairly new…around the early 1800’s but actually setting goals is not new at all.
We all start out the day with a few goals…grocery store, work, maybe even just not yelling at the kids! We may not say, “My goal today is to not yell at the kids/spouse/dog/boss, etc.” but we do have specific things we would like to achieve every day.
Every participant in a war has a goal…to win and all their decisions are based on reaching that goal.
Roads, buildings, tourist attractions are all built with a goal in mind. Even the grocery store is laid out with a certain goal in mind.
Hunting, exploring, farming…all have been done since the beginning of time and all have goals with specific steps to reach the goals. The hunter wants to kill, the explorer wants to discover and the farmer wants to grow. They all need specific tools and things need to be done a certain way to achieve the results they want.
In our day to day lives, we usually have a daily “to-do” list which is basically our goals for the day.
In the 1900’s Napolean Hill studied goals and business, his research is the foundation for many books, two of the most popular are, “The Laws of Success” and “Think and Grow Rich”.
In the 1960’s Dr. Edwin A. Locke started a 30 year study into goal setting. He published an article in 1968 that stressed the importance of clear goal setting and coined some of the popular phrases used today.
Dr. Locke’s conclusions were:
- Specific goals are motivating, vague goals are not
- Challenging goals are motivating, easy goals are not
- Specific + challenging goals are motivating, vague and easy goals are not
- Positive feedback, during and after taking action, inspires people to achieve more
- A specific goal provides a huge source of motivation to actually reach the goal
- Having goals leads to an overall improvement in individual performance
Years later, Dr. Gary Latham took another look at goal setting and confirmed Dr. Locke’s conclusions.
Most of the early research about goals had to do with employees at work. Now goal setting research is taking a broader view looking at how they affect all aspects of our lives.
“Great, some people did some research, and goals are good, whoopee, how does this affect me and why should I do it?”, you may be asking yourself.
I’ll give you THE reason you should set goals.
Have you ever wondered, “Is this all there is?”, or “Is this what life’s about?”? Not that life is bad but did you think there would be more…maybe more freedom, less financial worries, more fun, less surviving and more thriving?
If so, and be honest with yourself…that is THE reason to set goals. To reduce stress, have more freedom and thrive more or whatever it is you are looking for…big or small…you must have a clear vision of your life…what you want and don’t want. Doing the same thing you have been doing will not change your life.
Setting a new path, one with purpose and hope…THAT will change your life! Setting goals, working towards them, reaching, celebrating and then setting more…that is what will make a difference!
Do you want your life to be the same as it is now 10 years from now?
Will just “thinking” about things actually change your life?
It doesn’t matter if you know exactly what you want or have no clue…as long as you know you want something different, something more…goal setting will take you there!
What, you are worried you can’t do it?
Of course you can do it! Did you know that 90% of people don’t set goals. 90%! If everyone else is broke, living paycheck to paycheck, in jobs they don’t love, in relationships that could be better (with friends, family, children, etc.), in less than stellar health, overweight, don’t have time for the hobbies or volunteer work they love to do and they aren’t setting goals….what does that tell you?
Set goals and be different!!
Next week…how to set goals!