by the Mind Tools Content Team
Many of us have learned – from bosses, seminars and business articles – the importance of setting ourselves SMART objectives. We know that “SMART” stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. But are these the only factors to consider if we want to achieve our goals?
Dr Edwin Locke and Dr Gary Latham spent many years researching the theory of goal setting, during which time they identified five elements that need to be in place for us to achieve our goals.
In this article, we’ll look at their research, and find out how to apply it to our own goals.
About Locke and Latham’s Theory
In the late 1960s, Locke’s pioneering research into goal setting and motivation gave us our modern understanding of goal setting. In his 1968 article “Toward a Theory of Task Motivation and Incentives,” he showed that clear goals and appropriate feedback motivate employees. He went on to highlight that working toward a goal is also a major source of motivation – which, in turn, improves performance. Locke’s research showed that the more difficult and specific a goal is, the harder people tend to work to achieve it.
In one study, Locke reviewed a decade’s worth of laboratory and field studies on the effects of goal setting and performance. He found that, for 90 percent of the time, specific and challenging (but not too challenging) goals led to higher performance than easy, or “do your best,” goals. Fortsätt läsa