Only 3% of the graduating class had specific written goals for their futures

I hope you had an amazing Christmas and New Year! I hope you are feeling refreshed, recharged and ready to face 2014.

Before you get bogged down in meetings and the day-to-day challenges of work once again, why not take a moment to think about your own professional development this year? It’s more important than ever to gain the ideas, information and inspiration you need to achieve your personal goals and the mission of your organisation or business. If you don’t make a plan of action now, you may find six months has disappeared before you know it!

You may of heard of the Yale or Harvard study of goals in which only 3% of the graduating class had specific written goals for their futures. Then, twenty years later that 3% was found to be earning an astounding 10 times that of the group that had no clear goals. Well, it turns out that this “study” is merely an urban myth!! That was, until another study was done, at Dominican University to test out this myth.

Participants in Group 1 were simply asked to think about their goals (what they wanted to accomplish over the next 4 weeks).
Groups 2 were asked to write their goals down.
Group 3 was also asked to formulate action commitments.
Group 4 was asked to formulate action commitments and send their goals and action commitments to a supportive friend.
Group 5 was asked to formulate action commitments and send their goals, action commitments and weekly progress reports to a supportive friend. Participants in this group were also sent weekly reminders to email quick progress reports to their friend.

Well, it turns out, that after analysing the results, the positive effect of written goals was supported: those who wrote their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not write their goals. There was also support for the role of public commitment: those who sent their commitments to a friend accomplished significantly more than those who only wrote down action commitments or did not write down their goals at all.

So! what are you waiting for? Write down your goals, think about an action plan and get yourself a mentor or coach that you can be accountable to.

This year I am focusing on helping people with leadership development, change management, impact measurement and marketing. Stay tuned as I work towards my own mission, which is to create healthy and successful organisations and communities.

P.S. Have you completed my FREE goal planning activity? Click here to download it.