Goal Setting: The Science
Do you know what successful business individuals, top-level athletes, and achievers of all kinds have in common? They all have a great habit of setting goals. When you set goals, it provides you with short-term motivation and long-term vision. It focuses on knowledge acquisition and assists you in organizing your resources and time so that you can make the most of your life.
The Science Behind Goal SettingA lot more than you would think takes place in your head when you set goals, and the whole science behind goal setting is sure to surprise you. Setting goals is not as simple as deciding on what you would like to achieve and then working towards achieving those things. Research by neurologists, psychologists and other scientists shows that goal-setting invests you in the target as if you have achieved it already. When you set something as a goal, regardless of how far or near in the future, large or small it is, a part of your human brain believes that the preferred result is a vital part of who you are. This establishes the conditions that push you to work towards the said goals and complete the self-image of the brain. The brain apparently cannot differentiate between things we have and those that we want. Then, neurologically, our brains consider the failure to achieve our goals in the same manner as it considers the loss of a treasured possession. And we have failed to accomplish the goal up until the point the goal is accomplished. That sets up a continuous tension that our brain looks to sort out. Preferably, by driving us towards achievement, this tension alleviates. In most cases, however, our brain simply reacts to the loss, and that causes us to feel anxiety, anguish, and even fear, depending on the as-yet-unachieved goal’s value.
Individual and Group Goal Setting: What’s the Difference?There are key differences between an individual and a group goal-setting. Individual goal setting is specific to a person’s responsibilities and roles. When you set individual goals, it provides you with greater control over who is working on what. This can prove to be useful if your aim is to coordinate the maximum efforts of a group of individuals. .People have a tendency to invest themselves to a larger extent in goals that were specifically set for them individually, compared to goals set for the complete group (group goal setting). On the other hand, group goal setting is all about setting team goals that are crucial to the success of the entire team rather than an individual person. When you set group goals in a work environment, you push members to work together on certain projects. Individuals will be keen to collaborate as every person is working towards the same final result, like yielding a particular return on investment for your campaign or hitting a sales target. When one individual comes across an obstacle, another one chips in, and in this manner, every person in the group will balance out the weaknesses and strengths of each other more naturally. In group goal settings, we tend to witness greater levels of morale and interaction, which can enhance productivity. Individual goal setting, however, does support this camaraderie level to the same extent.
The Main Models of Goal SettingThe primary models of goal setting include:
- Clarity: A measurable and clear goal is more attainable than one that is not defined well (more on this later). It is very important that you be specific when setting goals. The most effective goals have a particular timeline for completion.
- Commitment: Put the purposeful effort in order to meet this goal. To boost your accountability to achieve that goal, share it with someone else.
- Feedback: Establish a method to get valuable information about your progress toward a certain goal. If completing ten work assignments in 4 months turns out to be too difficult, it is prudent to adjust your goal’s difficulty mid-way through the timeline instead of giving up completely.
- Challenge: The goal needs to have a certain difficulty level, making it challenging enough to motivate you to work towards the goal.
- Task complexity: Ensure that you give yourself enough adequate time to get ahead of the learning curve involved in finishing the task if a certain goal is particularly complex. To put it in other words, if a goal is quite difficult, be sure you give yourself extra time so that you have the best possible chance at successfully achieving the goal.
Clearly Define Your Goals FirstIt is regretfully true that the majority of individuals fail to accomplish the goals that they set. They take the needed time to set the said goals, then do their very best to accomplish them and then simply fail at the end. Not defining your goals clearly is one of the key reasons why you are not able to achieve them. Generalized or vague goals are not really helpful since they do not provide adequate direction for you. It is crucial to keep in mind that you need your set goals to show you the right way. By precisely defining where exactly you want to end up, make it as simple as you can to get to the point where you want to go.
Goal Setting Essential Rules You Need to FollowYou should follow these crucial and golden rules when setting goals:
Set Goals that are MeasurableWhen setting goals, including exact dates, amounts and so forth so you can measure the extent of your success. How will you know exactly when you have been successful if your particular goal is just defined as "To slash down costs. In 2 weeks’ time if you have a 2% decrease or in 2 months’ time when you have a 5 % reduction? Without a proper means to gauge your success, you miss out on the happiness that comes with knowing you have actually managed to accomplish something.
Establish Time-Bound GoalsIt is of paramount importance that your goals need to have a deadline. When you work on a deadline, your sense of urgency goes up, and you will taste accomplishment much quickly as opposed to working towards a goal without a deadline.
Set Relevant GoalsIt is important that your goals be relevant to the direction you want to take in your career and life. You will develop the focus you require to do what you want and get ahead by keeping your goals lined with this direction. You are sure to squander your time away if you set inconsistent and scattered goals.
Fear of Failure Should be the Last Thing on Your MindRegardless of how hard you work towards achieving your goals, you are likely to fail at accomplishing them time and again. All of us have been there, and it is certainly not pleasant! However, it is your failures that eventually determine your personal character. They also comprise valuable lessons that can alter your life in a positive manner, if you have the courage to reflect and learn from these mistakes. Hence, you should not be saddened or feel apprehensive if you are not able to accomplish your goals. Just take a note of what you did wrong and leverage that knowledge to fulfil your goals the next time you have the chance.
Checklist: The Many Benefits of Goal SettingThere is no denying that the several benefits of goal setting are significant and real. Setting goals is applicable to both you as an individual and to a team that sets goals together. Some of the many advantages of goal setting include:
- Enhances your self-image (or your group’s self-image).
- It makes you cognizant of your weaknesses, so you can start to work on them and convert them into your strengths. Furthermore, when you set goals, you are made aware of the unique strengths that you can use to provide effective solutions to problems and tackle hindrances.
- Goal setting helps you in visualizing. Plans actions to accomplish the goals you establish and then fulfil them.
- It provides you with a stimulus for current triumphs and also gives you a sense of past successes.
- Pushes you to set clear priorities that give you direction towards your pursuits.
- Goal setting assists in defining reality and separates this reality from dreaming or wishful thinking
- Serves as criteria to enhance your skills of decision making
- Makes you responsible for your own failure or success and your life in general