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What Does Goal Setting Theory Mean?

By: Ken Austin

In the 1950's, the study of goal setting theory was not a highly regarded pursuit. In fact, the whole array of motivation theory, the forerunner of goal setting theory, is not accepted as a legitimate field of study or discipline.

But today, goal setting theory is not only an accepted science, but also a persistent reality of American everyday life. Whether we like it or not, we are bound one way or the other, with the overwhelming presence of goal setting theory and some of its derivatives.

Suddenly at loss what to do with your life, you often ask how to put some direction to it. Or perhaps, all of sudden, you're questioning the very purpose of your life. When this happens, it might be because you failed to set a personal goal for your general guidance.

Without a clear-cut personal goal, you will feel adrift in an endless sea, undecided on what to do with your talents and other gifts. Personal goal is one discipline of study under the goal setting theory.

Or perhaps the problem is outside the personal milieu. Maybe you're having trouble in assessing the growth of your company. Or even worse, you don't where is the company heeding. If this is happening to you, the only reason for this is that you haven't come up with a business goal setting program.

Maybe you're a top executive for a big company and you're having trouble projecting yourself with others, and not in good terms with your colleagues. Or maybe you're into belief that nothing is happening with professionally; you're stuck with a profession that is really at variance with what you want. If this is so, then you may have missed the process of professional goal setting. You need to undergo with one now.

There is also a possibility that you're having a hard time assessing whether the company you're working with, or even your personal career, is not working as it should be. Because of this, even though you are pretty sure that there is a problem, you can't decide where to attack it. If this is the case, you have a deficiency in setting performance goals.

From the above, it is now very obvious that goal setting is a very important process you need to consider before embarking in whatever endeavor. According to a study conducted in the 1970s, conscious goal setting or planning affects action. From this; a goal is defined as an object of an action.

For instance, you have to attain a specific standard of expertise with your chosen field of profession, then you'll need to undergo extensive training to develop the part of your academic field that is wanting. 

Extensive because, usually, goal setting during this period, is really an effort to race against time; to compensate for the lost opportunities earlier and to set a professional goal.  

Goal setting, therefore, is a set of skills that can be learned or acquired, which is important for achieving different types of effects necessary for specific desires.

Ultimately, however, the most important factor in goal setting is your gut feel. Even without the benefit of any scientific theory regarding the benefit of goal setting, deep within, you know that somehow, you need to come up with a clear goal to succeed in life.

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