Why set goals (and write them down)?
Many studies have been conducted on goal setting,
but the one that is most striking for me was a 1953 Yale University
study. Back in 1953 the final year students of this prestiduous
seat of learning were asked about their life at the university
and about views on America in general. Questions looked at
politics, morals, faith, exercise, entertainment and so on. One
question asked – Do
you set clear specific goals? To which 1 in 10 replied yes. The
next question asked – If you set goals, do you write them
down? To which 4 out of 10 said yes. i.e. only 4% had written
goals (about the same as in the UK today).
In 1973 the university
decided to repeat the exercise, to find out the attitudes and
thoughts of the next generation, but they also re-contacted the
students of 1953 to see where there were in their lives. The
4% who had taken the time to write down their goals, in every
indicator you could wish to mention – personal
well-being, relationships, financial – were miles ahead of
the rest. All claimed to be financially independent and that the
4% were worth many many times more than the other 96% put together.
Goal setting is perhaps the most vital achievement skill of all.
Any individual, even a person who has not previously, been a high
achiever, who becomes a goal-setter and writes, thinks and talks
about their goals on an ongoing basis, will dramatically increase
their level of performance and achievement.
look at goal setting in
the next section!
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