Goal setting is a very useful tool in many situations, and lots of people do it without even thinking about it. However it must be implemented correctly to work effectively. When it is planned correctly and done correctly, goal setting is very effective. Many businesses set up goal setting for managers and employees so if they hit a certain target within a certain time period they will get a bonus.
Many athletes or people trying to improve their fitness will implement goal setting. This gives them targets to reach and gives them energy, desire and motivation to reach their goals.
When setting goals it is important not to aim too high or too low. If you don’t exercise regularly and set yourself a goal of running the London marathon in three month's time in under three hours, this out-of-reach target would reducing confidence and motivation. The key is to set a target that would be hard to reach but would be reachable if you applied yourself and worked hard.
If you simply want to become fitter and healthier, make that your main goal and set targets to hit along the way. If you don’t exercise at all, set yourself set targets for certain dates. For example:
Week 1-2: go for a 30 minute walk 3 days a week
Week 3-4: go for a 30 minute slow paced jog, 3 days a week
Week 5-6: jog for 35 minutes 3 days a week
Week 7-8: jog for 40 minutes 3 days a week
Week 9-10: jog for 40 minutes 3 days a week and do some light weight training 2 days a week
Week 11-12: jog for 40 minutes 3 days a week and light weight training 3 days a week
By doing this you will reach your main goal of becoming fitter and healthier but having these targets will help you to build your motivation and desire to hit them. If you aim straight for 40 minute jogging 3 days a week and weight training 3 days a week, you may be unable to sustain that exercise and this will dampen your motivation and discourage you from continuing training.
You can set high goals that you mightn’t even think you could hit but by writing down targets to hit by certain dates, the main goal doesn't seem so unrealistic. Being able to write your targets down and tick them off as you do them will give you visual representation of your progress. Goal setting is very effective and important for motivation.