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3 Areas You Can Apply the Science of Goal Setting to Improve Its Effectiveness

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goal setting
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Did you know there are currently 9,996 results for goal setting on Amazon right now? Crazy, right? By now, goal setting should be something we understand. Every motivational speaker has taught us that the first step to success is setting goals. The process is almost always the same. Figure out what you want, write down your goals and get after it.

But if goal setting is that simple, why do we need almost ten thousand different ways to tell us how to do it? Isn’t there one right way? Fortunately, the world is filled with scientists who don’t really believe in positive self-talk. In fact, they are so skeptical, they performed scientific experiments to figure out whether goal setting works, and how to improve it.

Before you panic, the findings were good. It turns out, if you are setting goals, you are setting yourself up for success. However, we should be interested in that second part. How can we use science to improve the way we set goals?

It turns out there are 3 different areas we can apply the science of goal setting to improve our effectiveness:

1. Setting Intentions

What many of us class as goals are actually intentions. We would like something to happen, but never develop these ideas into fully fledged goals. To create goals, we need to come up with a more defined approach to achieving them. However, the starting point is always intentions.

Understanding how intentions are formed helps you understand why you might be deciding the goals you set for yourself. There are three elements that contribute to intentions:

1. Values – What is important to you will influence your goals. If health is important to you, setting a goal to run a marathon wouldn’t be a surprise. Winning a cheesecake eating competition might be more surprising as it is incongruent with your values. Goals aligned with our values are more likely to be followed up, especially long-term. Goals that fall short of accomplishment often just aren’t that important to us, and at the first sign of resistance, we tend to get frustrated or give up. Clarity around your values will help you identify great goals.

2. Peer Network – The people whose opinions you value will directly impact the challenges you set. If you grew up surrounded by businesspeople, you are far more likely to have them encouraging you to be entrepreneurial. You don’t have to go through with it, but sometimes, peer pressure can be extremely useful. Unfortunately, peer pressure can work in the opposite direction as well. Your friends are all broke? Every relationship in your family ended in divorce? This shouldn’t stop you setting the right goals for yourself, but maybe you also need to think about creating a more supportive peer network.

3. Self Belief – How much do you think you can earn this year? How many more clients could you attract to your business next month? Your self-belief will affect how high you aim your sights. Aim high, but believe in yourself to accomplish these dreams by conditioning and working on your self-efficacy levels. Roger Bannister first broke the 4-minute mile at a time when everyone (other than him) thought it was impossible. As soon as he broke through that glass ceiling, others started to believe too. Your beliefs about yourself will limit how high you set your goals.

“Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.” – Bo Jackson

2. Moderating Factors

Once we are clearer on our intentions, additional factors impact how successful we are with our goals. Our commitment level will determine whether we follow through when things get tough. If the goal is important, and we believe in our ability to succeed, we are more resilient and creative when our progress slows. When we start on an important path, there will be hurdles, and it is commitment that keeps us in the game.

Feedback is essential to success. Feedback isn’t always pleasant, but how we react will determine whether we are on track for our goals or falling away from our proper path. Find a way to get external feedback from people you trust, and don’t hide away from it when it gets more constructive.

Finally, ensure the goal is challenging, but not too far out of reach. Extravagant goals are great as long-term ambitions, but we need to break down goals into manageable, yet challenging action steps. If we don’t do this, we will either be overwhelmed by our bigger goals or bored by our smaller goals. Make each step of the journey equally rewarding and challenging.

“Stay focused, go after your dreams and keep moving toward your goals.” – LL Cool J

3. Follow Through Behaviour

Lastly, we will never achieve our goals unless we follow through with the action steps. If you don’t have a defined path to success, it is often easy to appear to be busy, when in reality, your efforts are not focused. Instead, think about how to concentrate your efforts, like a magnifying glass focuses the sun, and stay working hard on that one track.

One thing that reduces follow-through behaviour is lack of self-efficacy. We need to believe in ourselves. We need to know we are destined for success and it will come. For some, that journey is quicker than others, so don’t get disheartened when others around you are crushing it.

You don’t know their journey and the effort they put in behind the scenes. Focus on you. Be better than yesterday, model people, reward your smallest successes, play your favourite music on full volume, then go out and be awesome.

If you read the goal setting science papers, maybe their language is a little less colourful, but ultimately, every single one of the goal setting tips has scientific research to back it up. If you want to read it, drink some strong coffee, head over to Google Scholar and then type in ‘goal setting’. Alternatively, trust these steps, set your goals now, and make today the day you accelerate your success!

How do you use goal setting to find success? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

I am Dan Storey from UK .I have worked in and around the world of Motivational seminars for many years, starting as a volunteer and affiliate before heading up one of the UK’s biggest personal development seminar companies. I have been training NLP to business and sales people for over 10 years and the author of next level persuasion. I am currently Working towards MSC in Behavioural Psychology and constantly trying to figure out why we do what we do.

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Success Advice

20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator

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Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.
 

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.

 

2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.

 

3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.

 

4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.

 

5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.

 

6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.

 

7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.

 

8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.

 

9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.

 

10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.

 

11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.

 

12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.

 

13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.

 

14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.

 

15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.

 

16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.

 

17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.

 

18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.

 

19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.

 

20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.

 

By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at AweBliss.com so you can master your life with more success.

 
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