Set Meaningful Goals With These Five Principles

Sometimes the only thing you need to get motivated is a clear goal with challenging aspects. Mind Tools explains how to set these types of goals with five basic principles.

These five principles, developed from Dr. Edwin Locke and Dr. Gary Latham's theory of task motivation and incentives, make your goals feel drawing and worthwhile:

  1. Clarity: Your goals need to be explicitly clear so you know exactly what you're trying to achieve, and know how to measure your progress.
  2. Challenge: Make sure your goal is challenging enough to keep you interested, but not so challenging you lose confidence.
  3. Commitment: Your goal should feel achievable so you know you won't give up, and find ways to remind yourself why you should work hard to keep moving forward.
  4. Feedback: Find ways to receive feedback on what you've done, and analyse your progress and accomplishments so you can adjust the difficulty, if need be.
  5. Task Complexity: If your goal is stressing you out because it's too complex, break your big goal down into smaller sub-goals.

It's easier to overwhelm yourself than you think, but you also need to strike a balance and make sure your goals are challenging enough to keep you hooked.

Locke's Goal-Setting Theory [Mind Tools]


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