The Principle of Goal Setting

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

—Yoda, Star Wars

Focus your mind on what you want rather than on what you don’t want. The results will reflect your mindset.
“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks about he becomes. “
Mahatma Gandhi

The Research Behind the Principle of Goal Setting

When leaders set their goals and expectations at a high level, employees tend to set their own sights higher. When the individual members of a team become more productive, the entire organization becomes more productive.
Webster defined a goal as “the end toward which effort is directed.” Goals are the stepping stones that move you toward fulfillment of goals. Most people have only a vague idea of what they want to achieve in life. Only a handful of people invest the time and the energy necessary to plan for the successful achievement of goals. In fact, only 3%.

Dr. Gail Matthews of the Dominican University of California performed a study ofpeople who did or did not write goals. Dr. Matthews recruited participants from businesses, organizations, and business networking groups. She drew the following conclusions from her research:

1. People who sent weekly progress reports to a friend accomplished more than those people who did not write goals or who did not have an accountability partner. Results supported accountability.
2. Making a public commitment to a friend regarding written goals also showed significantly more positive results that not making a public commitment. Results supported commitment.
3. People who had written goals and followed a written plan of action accomplished more in measurable entities than people who did not write down their goals. Results supported writing goals down.

The Dominican University research project validated, with empirical evidence, three success tools: accountability, commitment, and writing down one’s goals. The results of Dr. Matthews research showed that people who wrote goals and followed a process of goal accomplishment achieved 33% more success than those people who did not.

Dr. David McClelland from Harvard University, in studies of motivation, indicated that goal setting was a major motivator of people in the workplace. McClelland listed the following benefits of goal setting in the workplace of today.

a. Motivates employees. They want to be involved and to be a part of setting and working toward goals.
b. Offers a time-management strategy
c. Supports teamwork
d. Offsets procrastination
e. Increases productivity of individuals and of the organization itself

Rather than coming to work for the sole purpose of drawing a paycheck, people who are inspired and motivated by goal achievement want to be there, contribute, find creative expression in their work, and experience joy and happiness in the workplace. These emotions then transfer to the home and to families of employees. People in a healthy workplace want to support the creation and fulfillment of goals.
Take the time. Right now. Sit down. Carve out an hour. ( I know—that’s difficult) But you can do it. Write your goals. Follow this blog thread. I’m going to continue to give you guidance and direction—and, hopefully, the motivation to add this amazing success factor into your life.