Voodoo or Science – what’s the deal on achieving goals?

August 10, 2018

 

There are many templates for achieving  goals and there are common aspects to many of the them.  As a long-time student of Tony Robbins, his approach to achievement is very familiar to me.  It’s a deceptively simple, effective approach to achieving  goals. It starts out with Clarity on the outcome. This is followed by Massive Action and measurement of progress.

 

For action to be effective there must be flexibility in the approach – If a strategy isn’t working, change it and continue to change and adapt until you get the results that you want.

 

Modelling the strategies and approach of someone that has already done that which one wishes to do is a great way to expedite achieving the goal. Tony includes Grace as an ingredient – this or something similar is present in many goal strategies. Some describe it as synchronicity or others as the desired outcome being ethical and with a focus on service to others as well as one’s own wellbeing.

 

These are patterns and common themes that emerge when reviewing many of the numerous goal setting strategies that are available.  Clearly most people set an outcome and genuinely try to work towards it, the question is why some succeed spectacularly while others struggle.

 

Outcome + Process = Progress.

 

 

 

I feel that the reason lies in seeing only one part of the total equation – the outcome, the ideal result.  One other major piece is often missing – the Process, the skills you need, the habits and methods required to get there. The formula is:  Outcome + Process = Progress.

 

Tilburg centre Darts study

 

The outcome of a study conducted at Tilburg centre for Cognition and Communication demonstrates the relevance of this formula. In the study three groups of participants were trained to throw darts.

  • Group #1 was told to simply get the highest score possible - the Outcome Trial.

  • Group #2 was told to optimize the process of being a good dart thrower by bringing their arm back, adjusting the angle of the throw and having a firm grip - the Process trial.  

  • Group #3 first practiced the process of throwing and then once they had mastered the skills were switched to focus on the outcome – the Process and Outcome trial.

Group #1 (Outcome Trial) performed worst and the Group #3 (Process and Outcome Trial) achieved the highest scores. Next to the clarity on outcomes set, the skills, process or methods you need to achieve those outcomes are essential to your success. This speaks to the relevance and importance of the measurement, flexibility and modelling aspect to Tony Robbins’ approach above.  

 

There are of course other factors that come into play. A study conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews at the Dominican University of California looked at goal setting and strategies for achieving goals. The subjects with the best results followed this model

  • Commit to Action. Rather than simply writing down a goal, the group was asked to commit to an action.

  • Accountability to Peers. Enlisting another person as an accountability buddy and sending a written commitment to this person on the set outcome and actions.

  • Regular Updates. Updating the accountability buddy on a weekly basis thus keeping them focused on their progress.

Dr. Matthews stated, “My study provides empirical evidence for the effectiveness of three coaching tools: accountability, commitment, and writing down one’s goals.”

 

At Finish What You Start, we will do a deep dive on these and many other principles that will enable you to achieve your dreams and goals.

 

Register here. 

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