Why Goals are Important
An often quoted 1953 Harvard Business School study on the topic of the importance of setting goals, stated that written down goals made all the difference! Is there merit in this? According to further research, this study apparently never occurred – yet has become an urban myth.
So in 2011, Gail Matthews, Ph.D., Dominican University undertook to confirm or deny whether there is merit in the myth!
A psychology professor at California’s Dominican University, Matthew’s research focus has been on the psychology of career choice and career development – goals obviously play a big part.
What the study found, provides empirical evidence for the effectiveness of:
- And writing down one’s goals!
The first key insight discovered was that accountability has a positive effect on goal outcomes.
Mathew’s conclusion on accountability was that, “Those who reported their weekly progress updates achieved significantly higher outcomes than those who didn’t.”
The second insight is that just making a public commitment makes a difference.
The conclusions of the study in this area: “Those who sent their commitments to someone else, accomplished significantly more didn’t.”
Simply sharing the goals, even once with people who will encourage and support you helps you stick with it. (Be careful not to share with those who will ridicule you though)
Finally, if you only do one thing in relation to your goals, write them down!
Study conclusion here, “Those in the study who wrote their goals accomplished significantly more than those who didn’t.”
This confirms what I have seen in my nearly three decades of experience in helping people achieve greater outcomes for themselves and their life.
So the question that often is raised is, “How do I set Goals, now that I know they are important?”
Here are 13 Tips for Successful Goal Setting: