Lose weight. Make more money. Get promoted. Read more. Spend more time with family.
It turns out, nearly everyone has a goal or two that they’re working towards. While many people use the start of a new year as the impetus for setting goals, it isn’t uncommon for people to start both personal and professional goals throughout the year.
The statistics surrounding the success (and failure) of new year resolutions are staggering. According to one study, nearly 80% of all new year resolutions are abandoned by February.
What about the rest of the year? Do individuals who set goals throughout the calendar year fare better? Who are the people who successfully set (and reach) their goals?
Despite knowing the positive impact that goal setting can have on your life, nearly 80% of people fail to set goals for themselves. That leaves only 20% of individuals who set personal or professional goals at any point during the year. And out of that number, the number of people who successfully achieve their goals? A paltry 30%.
In our research, we found that men and women approach goal setting differently.
One study outlined the goal-setting differences between men and women. As expected, there are distinct variations in the way men and women set goals. The study suggested that (in general):
Women have an emotional connection to their goals
Men visualize their goals better than women do
Women are more likely to procrastinate when working towards their goals
Women set tougher goals for themselves to accomplish
In most cases, the goals are similar between men and women. Issues relating to both personal and professional goals are not limited to either men or women as a priority, although the specifics of the goals may vary.
According to a study done by Harvard, women have longer lists of goals, and they include more personal achievement than professional items. In the study, women included goals about attaining power as 3% of their goal list, while men focused 7% of their list on the subject of power.
There is no correlation between sex and goal attainment, but there is a clear distinction between specific characteristics of the individuals who are more likely to achieve their goals versus those who are not.
The secret to achieving goals?
Be specific. Use the SMART method of crafting goals to ensure that they are specific, attainable and time-driven.
Put your goals in writing. People with written goals are 50% more likely to achieve their goals, backing up the claim that there is power in the pen.
Have a vision for success. Individuals who begin with the end in mind are motivated to push through the difficulties their goal may present. When there is an emotional attachment to the success of a goal, people are more likely to achieve it.
Build a support team. Having a few, trustworthy individuals who can help maintain focus, provide motivation as needed and be an accountability partner can increase the likelihood of success.
Regardless of gender, goal setting is a powerful tool that can be used as a framework for success.
Both personally and professionally, goals can create momentum that pushes individuals to achieve greatness and to go farther than they would on their own.
Setting goals doesn’t happen accidentally, however, and crafting useful goals requires planning and purpose.
Want to help your team develop goals that will push them to succeed? The experts at My Big Idea® can help you create a training program that will energize and motivate your team to develop goals that will drive success. Contact us today to find out more.
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency and My Big Idea®. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.