Scientific benefits of #goal setting

Today I want to explore what science has to say about goal setting. This will focus a bit more on traditional goal setting – but don’t forget – there is a better, deeper, more spiritual way to set goals that we talk about here: Vishen Lakhiani’s 3 Most Important Questions Article.

The first article I read came from a Harvard paper on setting goals in an academic environment. Here are some valuable points from this article:

  • First, setting goals increases motivation.
    • For example, it has long
      been known that giving people specific goals to achieve rather than telling them to do
      their best increases their motivation.
  • Second, setting goals increases achievement.
  • Students who invest in their goals also demonstrate greater persistence, creativity, and risk­ taking in their achievement of those goals.

This study also talks about how to set goals in a way that will be most effective.

“Studies have documented that individuals with clear, written goals are significantly more likely to succeed than those without clearly defined goals. In a study conducted by Ferguson and Sheldon (2010), participants wrote ‘why’ and ‘how’ they will achieve a goal. There was an interaction between the level of initial goal­ relevant skills and the effectiveness of writing ‘why’ or ‘how’ of the goals. Students with initially low goal­ relevant skills were more likely to internalize their goals over time and report greater goal expectancies if they wrote about the ‘how’ of the goals.”

The next article I read showed the specific benefits of goal setting.

Did you know…

“There are many benefits of goal setting. It has been found that the ability to effectively set goals throughout life is one of the most important skills that any of us can have. Based on recent studies conducting by professionals in mental health and behavioral science, it has been estimated that over 90% of the total population in the United States alone fails to effectively set goals and act upon them.”

So by merely setting goals you are now in the top 10% of the United States! I would say that is a great reason to set goals!!

From the same article here are the top 5 benefits of goal setting according to the author:

  1. It has been found that individuals who learn the secrets of goal setting and committing to those goals throughout completion will typically achieve more of the things that they want to, and perhaps some unexpected things in their lives making life more “full” in general.
  2. People who successfully implement goals and work strategically to ensure that they meet their goals often experience more success in their performances throughout life.
  3. Goals can be beneficial in creating a great deal of motivation in a person.
  4. Those who set goals and are successful in meeting those goals are often the ones that are more satisfied with their work, and have higher levels of self-confidence.
  5. Effective goal setting is beneficial in many because it creates a general “can do” attitude and results in higher levels of happiness throughout life.

All great things that will come to you by simply sitting down and listing your goals. AND if you do it with the 3 Most Important technique it’s so fun you will have no problem doing it, and doing it each year or so to maintain your future outlook. (And the video is is fast – it doesn’t take long at all to get a really great set of goals listed with it.)

The next study I read reiterated the point of setting specific goals and not just “do your best” goals:

“Results from a review of laboratory and field studies on the effects of goal setting on performance show that in 90% of the studies, specific and challenging goals led to higher performance than easy goals, “do your best” goals, or no goals.”

So what you will want to do now is go over to Vishen’s video and do the 3 Most Important Questions goal setting! 🙂 Remember to be specific. Have fun! Leave a comment below if you did it and let us know how you feel.

-Sara

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