The Harvard Goals Study Myth
There’s an unproven urban legend citing a 1979 Harvard MBA study on goal setting that says that 83% of graduate students do not do goal setting.
This oft-cited study is as yet apparently unfound and mimics an identical one supposedly published by Yale in 1953, also as yet undiscovered in the online world. It seems this might be a made-up story by a motivational guru.1)
However, suffice it to say that goal setting is effective, judging by the experience of anyone who sets goals and works diligently toward their achievement.
“Clear goals increase persistence and self efficacy, making individuals less susceptible to the undermining effects of anxiety, disappointment, and frustration.”
~D.H. Schunk, 1990, Educational Psychologist.
Do You Know Your Goals in Life?
So if you don’t yet know your goals in life, no worries! Most people don’t. But… now that you’re thinking of it… now that you’re looking into it, you can begin to unfurl this rosebud one petal at a time.
The good news is that the process of setting goals is literally only a pen and paper away. Or only a screen away if you prefer digital documentation.
Begin at the End
There’s a concept of starting at the end and working your way backward, from goal achieved to the present day. In order to build your field of dreams, you must not only plan it, but work on it daily.
A 1,000-foot journey begins with a single step, but to embark on a journey means that you need to know where you want to go. If you don’t know where you want to end up, you can start with the next place you want to go and head in that direction.