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Wednesday, 5 January 2011

How to set good goals

There's lots of folklore about goal-setting, and maybe we all wonder at times whether it makes any difference, so it's interesting to read some real research.

Edwin Locke discovered that:
  • The more difficult the goal, the greater the achievement.
  • The more specific or explicit the goal, the more precisely performance is regulated.
  • Goals that are both specific and difficult lead to the highest performance.
  • Commitment to goals is most critical when goals are specific and difficult. Goal commitment is the degree to which you are genuinely attached to and determined to reach the goals.
  • High commitment to goals is attained when (a) the individual is convinced that the goal is important; and (b) the individual is convinced that the goal is attainable (or that, at least, progress can be made toward it).
  • Goal setting is most effective when there is feedback showing progress in relation to the goal
See the full article by Emily vanSonnenberg here. She also writes about "Intention Journals" as a way of giving oneself feedback on one's goals.

So: don't give up on those New Year Resolutions!

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