ArticlesGoal Setting

Goal Setting - My Disappointing Discovery

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Goal setting has become almost an industry in itself with countless books and techniques available online and in published form promising to help you achieve your most cherished desires. I have read many articles and looked at many products in the course of keeping up-to-date in my profession.

In much of the material, authors refer to a study conducted at Yale in 1953 in which the graduating class were asked if they had clear, written goals. 3% of the students said they had written goals, 13% had goals they had not written down and 84% had no clear goals.

At the class reunion 20 years later, further investigation discovered that the 3% with written goals were worth more than the other 97% put together!

A striking story indeed, and one which is commonly used to illustrate the power and necessity of writing down goals. I was planning to use it on my website and decided that I needed to know more about this fascinating study. It was a disappointment, therefore, that on looking into it more closely, a simple search on Google brought up many claims that the so-called research never in fact took place and that the source of the statistics cannot be found!

So that has blown my fabulous introduction to goal setting for my coaching and courses! It does not, however, affect my responsibility to my clients to ascertain before they embark on coaching that their goals are realistic and achievable at the same time as being challenging and exciting.

Andy Britnell is an executive coach who works with businesspeople in both the private and public sectors who wish to achieve better results. See my website at http://executive-coaching-for-business-growth/goal-setting.html for some useful goal setting strategies.

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