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Goal Setting for Motivational Success

May 26, 2017

 

 

There is a strong connection between setting goals and maintaining the motivation required to successfully attain them. 

 

Theories of Goal Setting and Motivation

 

The first researcher to study the relationship between goal setting and motivation was Dr. Edwin Locke, who's theory concluded that specific goals provided more motivation than vague ones.

 

Along these lines, goals that provided a challenge were shown to be better motivators than easier ones. In addition, Locke discovered that positive feedback was highly influential toward increasing motivation.

 

Essentially, the very act of creating a goal leads to better performance. Decades later, Locke paired up with Dr. Gary Latham to develop the Goal Setting and Motivation Theory, whose main premise is that five fundamental principles influence effective goals setting and that goal achievement is more likely when higher numbers of these principles are in place. The five fundamental principles of the theory are:

 

  • Clarity

  • Challenge

  • Complexity

  • Commitment

  • Feedback

 

In essence, your goals should be clear and provide you with enough of a challenge to entice you to reach them. However, it’s important that these goals not be so complex as to cause frustration or overwhelm; this would be counterproductive. Goals that inspire motivation also should include an aspect of formally committing to them and have a check-in method in place to determine satisfactory progression.

 

Provide Reference

 

By developing objectives through the framework of goal setting theories, you are providing yourself with a tangible reference point to keep you on track. Thus, your motivation is likely to endure. You are able to look at the points you’ve written down in order to remind yourself of your purpose and to validate that you are moving in the right direction.

 

Add Manageability

 

Proper structure of your goals can also make your overall plan seem more attainable. By assuring that your goals are challenging, you’ll keep your brain stimulated. Breaking things down into short-term and long-term targets, along with similar strategies, can help you to avoid becoming overwhelmed by one big goal that is simply too complex to be achieved. Motivation is better sustained when you feel some agency over your goals.

 

Instill Accountability

 

By adding a check-in mechanism of some sort, you will be instilling a sense of accountability to your goals. It’s easy to toss a goal aside when you don’t really have to answer

to anyone, or even yourself, with regard to progress. Find an accountability partner to share accomplishments with or build assessment dates into your calendar in which you self-check your progress.

Need An Accountability partner to support you? Perhaps a coaching relationship is right for you. Click HERE to set up a free call to see if we might be a good fit!

 

Increase Confidence

 

Challenging, yet realistic, goals that allow for the monitoring of progress can do a lot for your sense of mastery. Seeing your goal becoming closer to reality through hard work and skill is empowering. Hearing praise from your network is also motivating toward fulfilling an objective. Confidence is increased through all of these things. (Check out the 30 Day Courageous Confidence Challenge to work on this mindset muscle!)

 

Improve Life Quality

 

Essentially, having well-developed goals can lead to a more fulfilling life. By taking the time to proactively define what you want and working toward that desire, you are living with purpose. Those who know what they want and feel they are on track to achieve it are generally more motivated and satisfied individuals.

 

As you can see, there is a strong relationship between goals and motivation. In order to sustain motivation, you must not only set goals, but your goals need to have structure. Following these guidelines can increase both your motivation and your chances of reaching your intentions --- the FREE Daily Intention Guide can help too!

 

 

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