I want to be controversial – does goal setting work?
I have just written a 7 day FREE challenge which involves writing down goals and targets, reflecting on them and then doing the same for next year.
But did you know that just 3% of the population actually set targets. And yet they are still alive and doing ok!! The oft quoted Harvard Business paper that has MBA students writing down their goals and achieving a much higher percentage of success than those that didn’t is an urban myth – misquoted and didn’t really happen like that!
I have religiously written down for the last three years the following:
- Write my second book
- Find a long term romantic partner
- Finish my house renovation
And none of them have happened ……until 2020!
The year of COVID and trauma for most and suddenly when I am thinking about my mum’s illness – she sadly passed away in April from Covid and my business’s survival as I faced into potential financial crisis……the other three things came to fruition.
Ok, the second book is only on the first draft but it will be finished and ready for editing by end 2020, I have met an amazing man and we have been together 8 months, who is now finishing the renovation. And who has had a happy and successful nigh on 60 years without every writing down a goal and is refusing point blank to “make a plan for next year”.
So why now why did I suddenly start to achieve goals that had eluded me?
And then I discovered the secret sauce – the reason why I had failed and how to make it work – have more fun!
I read an article by Kaitlin Woolley and Ayelet Fishbach who had run a number of studies to understand why some people achieved their goals and some didn’t. They found that if we have delayed benefits we are less likely to achieve our goals than if we enjoy the journey and have benefits along the way.
For example, if I set a goal of earning £100k but have to do work I hate to achieve it then it is not going to work or if it results in unhappy feedback. IF on the other hand, I am doing things I love like consultancy for new clients, holding group coaching programmes and writing books (NB I do love that honest!) and getting fabulous reviews then I am more likely to deliver my goal and keep going.
So if your goal for 2021 is getting fit and you hate running – that is not likely to succeed if you set yourself the goal of running three times a week – you will probably fail. However if you love walking by the ocean or hiking in the mountains then you may well achieve the goal.
I set my goal for my book every year for three years but didn't start writing for the first two and a half years because I didn’t care that much about the subjects I was going to write about. I have finally found my purpose and passion for helping women create more value and worth and bingo – the book is flowing and I am imagining the joy that others will get from reading it … and that spurs me on!
Phew that’s a relief!
Goal setting for me is a habit I cannot break. I have my Paulo Coehlo planner, my Janet Murray 2021 social media diary and planner and am now also using Asana to plan out my business (and even our future trip down under once we can travel again!!). And now I know that if I visualise a happy path of fun, then I will reach my goals.
Remember we move towards pleasure not pain …..so think of ways of making the steps to achieving YOUR goals for 2021 more pleasurable and then maybe those goals you write this year will happen!!
Head over to Best Year Ever and join my 7 day challenge and together let's make 2021 the best EVER ….. every day!