Goal-Setting Theory Goal-Setting Theory emphasizes the setting of specific and challenging performance markers to foster commitment to obtaining the desired results. Goal-Setting Theory has been an area of interest for ages it asks the fundamental questions “how do we motivate people and sustain the commitment to achieve the goal?” Goal Setting Theory at this point has some specific principles for sustained motivation. Goals must be clear, specific, attainable and whenever possible, quantified. In addition, commitment to a goal is essential for achievement. As you might imagine, goal-setting theory has generated a great deal of research. Several meta-analyses indicate support for the effectiveness of goal setting as a motivational technique. Research has tried to discover why is goal setting an effective motivational technique. One study found that the setting of specific, challenging goals may stimulate high-quality planning. This planning quality may contribute to better performance in achieving goals (Locke, & Barry, 1990).

Now fostering commitment is about connecting to sources of motivation that fit your needs at the moment. Sources of motivation can be broken down into three parts Intrinsic, Extrinsic, and Zenotrinisc. Intrinsic motivation is the notion that people are motivated by internal rewards which include, sense of accomplishment, competence in performing and mastering a skill, along with a sense of autonomy. Extrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by external rewards such as money, fame, grades, and praise. This type of motivation arises from outside the individual. Zenotrinisc motivation is derived from an ideal paradigm or system of belief. Zenotrinsic motivation is both inside and outside an individual, it connects with internal rewards and is accompanied by external rewards from those who share the same belief. A combination of intrinsic, extrinsic and zenotrinsic motivations fuse together to from the “Why you want to accomplish the goal”. By connecting to your “why” you may feel more directed in which actions that need to be addressed, and your planning skills will be drawn out both consciously and unconsciously. Developing a strong connection to your goals requires the right frame work along with strong levels of commitment that reflect the full scope of your motivations.

When goals don’t work

Goal-Setting Theory Changing routine behaviors or adding new behaviors can start with internal resistance. This resistance occurs because goals require investments of time, energy and resources. This change of pace takes time to adapt to whether it be adding exercise into your daily routine or changing eating habits. The reality is quality habits take time to develop. The initial motivation to get started is typically pretty strong but won’t last unless a clear plan is in place that you buy into. When designing the frame work of our goals the design is essential for success. General goals, that are vague and not quantifiable such as urging clients to do their best or eat as good as possible, are not as effective as defined, measurable goals. Commitment to the goal is also essential, without such commitment it is unlikely that goal setting will be motivating.