Achieving your goals requires that you get clear on what you want. It needs to be in writing with consequences both for achieving and not achieving your goal.
Dr. Gail Matthews, from Dominican University, has always been passionate about the topic of procrastination. Her research on procrastination lead her to study goal setting. She wanted to determine under what circumstances goal setting is the most effective and has the greatest impact for getting results. Her study provides insight that will help you in the process of achieving your goals in 2014. She identified three key elements to success in setting goals. These elements include writing them down, accountability and commitment to achieving them. In her study, she created 5 groups that participants were randomly assigned.
The groups were as follows:
Group 1 – Analyzed their goals and the resources they had available to achieve them. They also shared if they had set the goal previously.
Group 2 – In addition to the first group requirements they also were asked to write down their goals.
Group 3 – In addition to the first two group assignments they were asked to write action commitments for each goal.
Group 4 – They completed the previous groups requirements and then shared their goal with a confidant, friend or mentor (accountability partner).
Group 5 – After completing each action listed in the above groups, they sent a weekly update on their progress to their accountability partner. The goals her participants set included increases in income, better productivity & performance, improving organization and life balance to name a few. When professor Matthews interviewed the participants at the end of the study, she found that the success of Group 5 far exceeded Group 1 as far as achieving their desired goals. While only 43% of Group 1 achieved their stated goal, 64% of Group 4 and an average of 76% did in Group 5.
As said by Matthews, “My study provides empirical evidence for the effectiveness of three coaching tools: accountability, commitment, and writing down one’s goals.”
You can access the study at: Goal Study.