Why set goals (and write
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
We'll look at goal setting in
the next section!
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