What is Locke's Goal Setting Theory of Motivation? - Deepstash

"When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps".

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Why having life goals is important
  • Setting meaningful goals and working towards them adds a sense of direction, purpose, and meaning to our life.
  • The goals we set keeping healthy boundaries in mind build self-confidence, autonomy, and happiness.

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What 90 years of goal-setting studies reveal
  • People are 50% more likely to achieve their goals if they write it down.
  • SMART goals are more effective.
  • Making your commitment public or telling it to someone close, increases its chances of succeeding.
  • Goals kept to yourself get muddled up with the other 1500 thoughts a minute you have.
  • Goal-setting usually has a 90% success rate.
  • Goals energize us by providing the impetus to put in more effort.

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What makes goals achievable

Goals need to be specific, challenging yet attainable, have deadlines, and have a more learning orientation than being performance-oriented.

When goals are used to evaluate performance with regular feedback on the progress, they have a bigger chance of reaching desired results.

Basically, goals must be SMART to be truly effective - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based.

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A goal-setting framework that works
  • To maximize the effectiveness of a goal, structure it with a positive approach. Because a negative approach like "stop me from gaining any more weight" adds anxiety and lowers persistence.
  • Discouraging fear-based environments encourage people to try again. Reframe errors as opportunities to learn (error management).
  • A positive approach provides clear guidelines and expectations. And so, they trigger positive emotions crucial to stay motivated. 

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Positive effect of goal-setting on mental health
  • Lack of goals leads to indecision, lack of focus, feelings of leading a dull existence, and symptoms of depressions among other mental health struggles.
  • Specific-written goals offer a sense of purpose, meaning, existential structure, and a clear direction to strive for a specific vision of the future.
  • Goals show we are responsible for the choices we make and so adds to our self-esteem. They improve our ability to filter through what's important and what's not worth pursuing.

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