Optimist Performance

New Year is around the corner, and most of us are already thinking about our goals for the new year. Goal setting is essential both in your personal and professional life. 

Sadly, statistics show that 92% of people fail to achieve their goals. We want to help you be part of the winning 8% of people who succeed. 

We all understand the importance of goal setting, but the majority of us still are failing to do it efficiently. 

What does the Theory say about Goal Setting?

The famous SMART Goals formula is a great way to start, but there is an even better one, SMARTER Goals. 

  • S – Specific
  • M – Measurable
  • A – Attainable/Achievable
  • R – Realistic
  • T – Time-Bound
  • E – Evaluative/Ethical: the interventions and execution follow professional and personal ethics. 
  • R – Rewarding: The end-results of the goal-setting come with a positive reward and bring a feeling of accomplishment to the user. 

Why do most people fail to achieve their goals?

There are a few well-known reasons why we fail to achieve our goals. Knowing them will help you avoid these common mistakes.

  • goal settingLack of understanding or real destination. 
  • Lack of motivation or commitment. 
  • Fear of success or failure. 
  • Analysis paralysis. People fail to start because they want to know all the answers beforehand. 
  • Failing to plan. 

Communication is Key: Most of these reasons could be easily prevented with good communication. Knowing your motivation and emotions can help you either to set up better goals or to build your self-confidence to succeed. Also, communicating properly and consistently with your team can avoid distractions, misunderstandings, and misinformation. 

How to improve goal setting and goal achievement

Interesting facts about goal setting 

Clear, specific, challenging, timely, and well-planned goals have a positive effect on performance.

Group goals have a moderate to a large positive effect on group/ team performance.

Self-confidence, personality and cognitive ability have an influence on how people engage in or set challenging goals.

Sometimes, behavioural or learning goals are more effective. When people need to acquire knowledge or skills before performing the goal, specific and challenging goals can have a negative effect on performance.

The overuse of extremely high goals combined with economic incentives may lead to diminished self-regulatory capacity and unethical behaviour.

Goal setting is a more powerful motivator than monetary incentives alone. Latham & Locke (1979) found goal setting to be the major mechanism by which other incentives affect motivation. Within the workplace, money was found most effective as a motivator when the rewards offered were contingent on achieving specific objectives.

Source: CIPD Technical Report

Some easy tips to start

These are quite simple, but their impact is too big not to mention them. 

Write them down. Studies have proven that writing your goals down, increases your probabilities of success. 

Share your goals. Make someone else aware of your goals and give them periodic feedback on your progress. 

You should also apply both of them into your company goals. 

How to improve your goal setting through your leadership

Considering the facts above, here are some tips on how you can improve your goal setting by being a great leader:

Goals should be difficult but not competitive. Make sure that both individuals and team goals are aligned, so they don´t create a rivalry. Also, they should be consistent and well aligned with your company culture. 

Create long-term and short-term goals. The latter will help you in creating a plan, stay on track and keep high motivation, while achieving your long-term goals. 

Feedback, support, and appreciation. Make sure you are present during the process to support your team. Giving feedback and appreciating their small wins are important to keep strong morale. 

Listen, share, and communicate. Listen to what their feelings and emotions are. Create goals that are aligned with your team´s motivations. Communicate with them consistently and share the progress. 

Find a professional. A professional can support you and your team during the process, increase your motivation, and help you stay on track. When you want to buy a house or make an investment, you find someone to help you. Goal setting is the same. So, don’t underestimate the power of professional support. 

We hope this content will help you in your goal setting for this New Year. As Optimists, we believe you can be part of the successful 8%, but don’t leave it all on you to make that the case.

At Optimist Performance, we specialise in helping people maximise their potential and achieve their goals. Learn more about our executive coaching here or get in touch with us for a free touchpoint first call with one of our coaches.