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Goal Setting According to Science

Goal Setting According to Science

Goals affect performance in four ways: (1) Goals focus attention to goal-related activities. (2) Goals increase effort. (3) Goals increase persistence. (4) Finally, goals encourage individuals and businesses to utilize their knowledge, skills and resources effectively.(Locke & Latham 2002). Here’s how you effectively set and achieve your goals.

The goals you set should have the following characteristics:


When it comes to the corporate sector, most companies typically use tracking tools such as OKR to track and set challenging, ambitious goals with measurable outcomes. OKRs are used to track progress, create alignment, and encourage engagement around measurable goals. Companies that use OKR besides Google include Spotify, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Airbnb. The system, however, is not limited to digital businesses. OKR is also used by Walmart, Target, The Guardian, Dun & Bradstreet, and ING Bank. In a nutshell, okr tracking is critical for the goal accomplishment of businesses.

Next, you have to commit to your goals. Goal commitment has been shown to improve performance (Sheeran 2002). Commitment is especially important when it comes to difficult, long-term goals. Commitment can be increased in one of two ways: (1) Increase the perceived importance of the goal and (2) increase your self-efficacy (belief that you can achieve the goal) (Klein & Alge 1999).


On to the action. Where’s the goals you set above are outcomes you want to achieve, this section details the actions that will help you get there.


So set some specific, difficult, approach goals with deadlines. Afterwords, make an effort to become more committed to your goals. Finally, use some of the strategies listed above to make sure that your goals become reality.

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