Begin Goal Setting

Dr. Purushothaman
October 18, 2013

The theory of goal setting was developed over a 25-year period, based on some 400 laboratory and field studies. These studies showed that specific goals lead to a higher level of performance than do easy, vague, or abstract goals such as the catchphrase to ‘‘do one’s best.’’ So long as a person is committed to the goal, has the necessary ability to attain it, and doesn’t have conflicting goals, there is a positive relationship between goals and performance. Because goals produce our future outcomes, the setting of goals is the difference in the process. It implies dissatisfaction with present condition and a desire to attain a preferred outcome.
Goals set a primary standard for self-satisfaction with performance. High standards or goals are motivating because they require you to apply more effort in order to be satisfied than do low, or easy goals. Feelings of success occur to the extent that people see that they are able to grow and meet job challenges by pursuing and attaining goals that are important and meaningful.
There’s a relationship between goals and performance because goals direct attention, and effort, toward relevant actions. Since performance is a function of both ability and motivation, goal effects also depend upon having the proper knowledge and skills to accomplish the action. Goals may simply motivate you to use your existing ability, may use relevant knowledge or may motivate you to search for new knowledge. The latter is most common when people are confronted by new, complex tasks.
Goals, in conjunction with effort, often change other motivating variables, such as personality traits, feedback, decision making, and monetary incentives. The key to efficient goal setting is feedback, which is necessary to track your progress and commitment. Feedback enhances efficacy.
These practical tips make it easier to set and reach goals:
1. Be Specific, realistic goals work best. Your goals must be specific. The more precise and detailed you can be in writing a description of your vision; the more likely you will be to achieve it. When it comes to making a change, the people who succeed are those who set realistic, specific goals. One might say, "I want to be successful." Immediately the subconscious asks, Successful in what - How successful - Well, who doesn't - Can you define what success means? Success has a variety of meanings where failure has one, your inabilities to meet your goals.
2. It takes time for a change to become an established habit. Only a habit can replace a habit and it will take some time to form a new and lasting habit. Getting up an hour early to go running will be stimulating the first few times but to form a habit, consistent action for a month or longer may be necessary. Your brain needs time to get used to the idea that this new thing you're doing is part of your regular routine.
3. Goals must be measurable for them to succeed. When setting goals include a timeframe and a list of smaller objectives which maintain your path. The subconscious mind will continue to strive for achievement as long as it sees progress. Minimal, effortless actions that lead to a larger purpose can be measured as achievement.
4. Set effort goals and have a detailed plan of action. This plan should contain what action you would take, and the effort necessary to achieve it. Your approach and how you would do it, what resources would you need, what means you have and what are the possible obstacles and how to mitigate those obstacles.
5. Pleasing other people doesn't work. Make sure your goal is something you want and you want it for you. Avoidance or altruistic goals leave a great deal of room for interpretation by the subconscious. For instance your goal shouldn't be "I need this promotion, because my wife wants a new car" Instead your goal might be "I want to improve my skills and please my wife." The key to making any change is to find the desire within you, not others. You have to do it because you want it, not because a girlfriend, boyfriend, parent, or someone else wants you to. It will be harder to stay on track and motivated if you're doing something out of obligation to another person.

6. Keep your goals realistic. Make sure you have the ability and skills necessary to reach your goal. Know that errors are actually part of the learning process as you retrain your brain into a new way of thinking. It may take a few tries to reach a goal, but that's normal. If you're intent on a goal, make sure your short term goals include acquiring some of the skills you need and they can be achieved quickly. We spoke of climbing Mt. Everest; try a few laps around the block, first.

7. Review your goals always. Remember to continuously check your map and track your progress. When you follow your progress, you become motivated. The act of habitually reviewing your goals also helps ensure that you’re moving in the right direction and did not go off track.
Let’s Start:
Begin by finding a quiet place with no distractions. Somewhere you can sit comfortably and take notes.
Before you know where you going I believe it’s important to know where you’ve been.
You have accomplished many things in life, the problem is most of these events have passed by with little fanfare to your internal dialog. Just as a person will do more to avoid pain than to gain pleasure, the mind will remember disappointment far more than achievement.
Think of things you’ve already accomplished. These don’t have to be things you have won, or others have praised you for. These are personal achievements, events or happenings which you believe were a great accomplishment personally.
While a mission is what is, a vision is how you would like things to be. A picture of the future you’re working to create, what and how you want to be, what you want your business to become. Without a vision of where you’re going how can you develop a plan to get there and how will you know when you’ve arrived? Without a vision of where we would like to be, we can continue moving through life, only to discover each time that we’ve arrived somewhere we really don’t want to be.
Nothing was ever created without a dream. It guides us, gives us direction and purpose, and can serve as a powerful motivator. In order to truly guide and motivate a vision must be aligned with your core values.
Just start writing, big or small, keep writing with as little conscious thought as possible; the same process you used while discovering your life’s purpose, your vision statement.
Maybe you want to visit China or Egypt, learn to fly a plane or own a vacation home in Hawaii. Whatever comes to mind, write it down. What knowledge to you want to gain - What do you want for your children or to do for others? Keep pressing forward for 15 minutes or until you have a minimum of 50 items; let your mind flow with no barriers. Maybe there are some habits you want to drop - Some people you want to meet. If you need more time, take as much as you want. Anything you desire. Health, wealth, friendship, career or business; maybe you want to ring in the new year in time square.
Now that you have your list, it’s time to start working. By the way, this is a never ending list. You may find while you’re driving to the store this evening other items come to mind, if so, add them to your list and keep it going. You will notice every successful person always has a pen and paper handy - why - their always adding to the list of things they want to accomplish.
For now, I want you to take your list and place a number in front of each item, either a 1 - 3 - 5 - or 10. These numbers will represent the time frame in which you believe is necessary to accomplish this goal. 1 for one year, 3 for three years, 5 for five years and 10 for ten years. These are subjective numbers; they only have meaning to you.
Now that you have everything numbered, I want you to total up the numbers in categories, how many ones do you have - threes - fives and tens?
What these numbers are going to show is your range of thought. Are you thinking short term? If so you will have many more ones than fives or tens. Most people in this category place a great deal of emphasis on instant gratification, they want it now. They tend to see life as more of a sprint than a marathon, needing to gather much as quickly as possible. The opposite would be the same for those with many five and ten year goals. Yes, life is a marathon, but you don’t want to finish last.
While we know goal setting is important, you must also realize it’s a process, a new way of life. Once you have met a goal, you need to set a new one in support of the original. Just the same as replacing a bad habit with a good, you build upon past efforts. If your goal was to quit smoking in 1 year and you have accomplished this in 30 days, build on it and set a new goal of exercising an additional 15 minutes a day or study new forms of meditations.
Keep in mind, you’re the Captain of this vessel and you are taking over the ship. For too long you’ve allowed your existence to be controlled by the whims of others. You have been oppressed by your habits and influenced by your fears. By setting goals you are now manipulating the subconscious to abide by your thoughts and your thoughts will now be controlled by your actions. Mastering the art of goal setting will change your life forever.
Once you’ve began to accomplishing goals, you must bear in mind, the subconscious loves rewards. These can come in a variety of forms as long as they’re not in opposition to your goals. If your goal is to quit smoking and your sub goal was to not light up for 30 days, reward yourself with a new pair of shoes. Even if money is tight, go get them. This reinforces the subconscious in a powerful way and soon it will be searching for more goals to accomplish so it can get more stuff. Again, rewards have to be in alignment with your goals. Should you lose 20 pounds, rewarding yourself with chocolate cake has a reverse effect; your subconscious loves the reward, but wants more.
About the Author

Gerald Culbert is a speaker, entrepreneur and, the author of "Observation." He writes extensively on personal development and self improvement. His work provides success secrets and tips on how to develop habitual actions and positive thinking. He has written enlightening articles on inspirational quotes and motivational videos which offer guidance and tips on personal growth.
contact: - follow on twitter: @GeraldCulbert

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