The Power of Goal Setting

power of goal setting

Everyone has something to live for, fight for and even die for.

But in the end, we realize that so-called happiness doesn’t belong to everyone.

And again, we’re deeply sunk in disappointment.

Dude! You know what? At least you’ve stepped your foot on the road that leads to your dream.

“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will “— Chuck Palahniuk

To those who have already set goals for themselves, you’ve got the most powerful thing that wakes you up every morning — Goals.

This question reminds me of The Harvard MBA Business School Study on Goal Setting.

The 1979 Harvard MBA study on goal setting analyzed the graduating class to determine how many had set goals and had a plan for their attainment. The students were asked a single question about their goals setting in life. The question was :

Have you set written goals and created a plan for their attainment?

Prior to graduation, it turned out that:

  • 84% of the entire class had set no goals at all
  • 13% of the class had set written goals but had no formal plans
  • 3% of the class had both written goals and formal plans

The results?

Well, maybe you could guess it right. 10 years later, the 13% of the class that had set written goals but had not created plans, were making twice as much money as the 84% that had set no goals at all.

However, the most spectacular result came out that the 3% of the class that had both written goals and a plan, were making ten times as much as the rest of the 97% of the class.

Ten times as much? That means a lot.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day” — as it took 10 years to make the difference, the thing is, that difference is huge. Not to mention the money, but the skills, the characteristics, the working manner that make up a model person.

Another research from Goalband statistic shows thatonly 3 out of every 100 adults in US write down their goals down on paper. In other words, only 3% of US adult population seriously set goals for themselves. And not surprisingly, that 3% represent the wealthiest in the society. The world statistics shows even lower number.

Whether or not those statistics are true, it does help to highlight something very important: In order to achieve your dreams, turn them into well-planned goals.

The most obvious example of goal setting failure must be New Year’s Resolution Failure

One study by Statistic Brain, which analyzed New Year’s resolutions, claimed that just 8% of people achieve their resolutions, with the 92% that end up in failure.

The study, which have been changing the statistic yearly, also claims:

  • 41% of Americans usually make goals
  • 17% of Americans infrequently make goals
  • 42% of Americans never make goals

Another interesting result was the following about how far they actually got before they threw that resolution away:

  • 73% of people made it through their first week
  • 68% of people made it past two weeks
  • 58% of people made it past one month
  • 45% of people made it past six months

What does this infer? Let’s say US population is 323 million, out of 200 millions people (those who usually and infrequently make goals), 27% of them didn’t even make it through the first week. This isn’t even to say that only 8% actually achieved their goals. That means 184 millions people are giving up. How god damn huge!

So why do people fail to set goals even when they’re already know that goal setting will make them stand in the place they always want to be?

First, excuses, there are tons of them.

“99% of the failures come from people who have habit of making excuses” — George Washington

“ I don’t have time to do it”
“I don’t have patience for these thing”
“I don’t feel like doing it today”

Are those excuses greater than your dreams? Of course, never ever it can be.

Second, non-confidence. There is a type of people who say that they can not do things. I’m not saying that they are not trying their best. But we have no idea how much we can discover about ourselves once we start to write our thoughts and our dreams down on a piece of paper.

I remember when I was a kid. I dreamt big dreams, I believe that when I grew up, I’ll know everything in this world.

Time flew, I changed, everything changed. I start to lose belief in myself and think more about what other people say about myself. They told me how things aren’t the way you think they are, and that life is hard, life is tough and you need to be more realistic, and you gave up. This is how you forgot about your dreams.

Yes, this life is freaking tough, but we are born to be tougher. There is a quotes that my brother always repeats to encourage me:

We choose to do things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard — John F. Kenedy

Start thinking, writing then taking actions. What are you aiming at?

I have posted goal setting guide before in my previous article about New Year’s Resolution. So this time we will come to a new method.

If you want to set your goals, ensure that you do not only set them using the SMART method, but that you also create a massive actions aligned with your goals.

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The first and foremost criteria, those goals have to be as specific as possible. For example, you always dream to have a thin body, and weight loss seems to be a perfect goal. However, life is life and not a dream. You can’t note it down on paper and wait for miracle to help you. Pick the exact number and a precise time you’ll achieve it. “Lose 10 pounds in a month” will do.

Also, make sure that this is a measurable goal so that you can track your progress. The more you‘re able to track on a finite level, the more likely you’ll be to achieve your goal. There are hundreds of tools of goal-tracking. Nirow could be a fine suggestion.

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Your goal also needs to be attainable and realistic to be successful. In other words, it should allow you to stretch your ability but still remain possible. It would be unrealistic if you set goal to lose 50 pounds a month, you will soon give up, make it achievable instead. Once you set an achievable goal, it’s easy to identify previously overlooked opportunities that can bring you closer to it.

Obviously, it makes no sense when you set goals that are not relevant to yourself. Ensure that your goal matters to you, and aligns with other relevant goals as well. We all need supports in achieving our goals, but it’s necessary to retain control over them. You are the only one who is responsible for achieving your own goals.

Last but not least, time-bound can not be ignored. Set a deadline and make a plan following it. This SMART goal criteria helps prevent you from taking priority over your longer-term goals.

As stated previously, this SMART goals method is not enough. There are many components that make up achievement: willpower, consistency, belief, determination, and of course, mass actions.

Start thinking about what you really want to do, write it down, set SMART goals and take actions. Never feel it’s too late to realize your dream.

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been”— George Eliot