Creating clearly defined goals is a crucial process for elite athletes. If they are to perform faster, run longer, or jump higher, they need a well laid out path. Goal setting helps them to achieve this.
What is the running pace they need to achieve so they make the race finals? What jump height do they want to surpass in the next high jump competition? Without setting goals, elite athletes would solely rely on the hope that they can achieve their best performance on the day of competition.
However, most of us (unfortunately) are not elite athletes. So what is the importance of goal setting for the rest of us? Surprisingly, goal setting is one of the key variables that can help us to overcome challenging situations and build our resilience.
Importance of Goal Setting
Kuntz, Malinen and Näswall1, (2020) identified that employee goal setting is essential to building employee and workplace resilience. Also, the process of regularly monitoring and evaluating one’s progress and making appropriate modifications not only facilitates the development of new behavioural repertoires but also enhances cognitive and emotive aspects, such as self-efficacy and well-being (Sheldon & Elliot2, 1999; Sheldon & Lyubomirsky3, 2006).
There is evidence that goal attainment results in enhanced well-being because it promotes need-satisfying experiences related to feeling autonomous (Sheldon & Elliot, 1999).
The Bec Korman story
For one woman, Bec Korman, goal setting has played a significant role in her resilience journey. Furthermore, Bec is not an elite athlete. She is the small business owner of Plum Marketing Solutions who lives in Sydney).
Bec lost her dad when she was a young adult. What resulted for her was a downward spiral into anxiety and depression. After extensive doctor shopping, and being convinced that she had a physical illness, Bec took some time to come to terms with a mental health diagnosis.
Once she acknowledged this was part of her life’s journey, she took action and immediately started goal setting.
Goal setting in life
In explaining how she approached this, Bec states;
“I set myself a goal of running a half marathon and once I’d achieved that I set myself the goal of running it even quicker”Bec Korman
Bec reports that goal setting not only gave her a sense of purpose but also helped her to put one step in front of the other, empowering her to feel she was making progress towards recovery.
Bec’s challenges, however, did not stop there. She recently took a role in what she thought would be her dream job as Marketing Manager of a large company. But soon after starting, she found herself jobless.
She had always been a high achiever in the workplace and had glowing reports about her performance from previous managers. But in this job, she was bullied and undermined.
She and her manager mutually agreed to go separate ways, and at the beginning of lockdown. Bec found herself without a job. To add to her troubles, Bec’s husband announced that he questioned his commitment to their marriage.
Speaking to Bec you’d have no idea she had been through so much. She is bubbly, friendly, and open. She still lives with the uncertainly of her relationship status with her husband. However, she knows, through goal setting and ‘knowing what you have control over’ she feels she can tackle anything.
Bec’s parting advice for anyone going through difficult times is:
“Speak to someone, someone neutral so you can get your thought processes out. It’s not a weakness [to seek help], it’s one of the strongest things you can do”.Bec Korman
Girlfriend’s guide would like to thank Bec Forman for generously sharing her story of resilience. Bec is a marketing guru and business owner of Plum Marketing Solutions.
1 Kuntz, J., Malinen, S. and Näswall, K., 2020. Employee Resilience: Directions Forfor Resilience Development.
2 Sheldon, K. M., & Elliot, A. J. (1999). Goal striving, need satisfaction, and longitudinal well-being: The self-concordance model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76, 482–497. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-35220.127.116.112
3 Sheldon, K., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2006). Achieving sustainable gains in happiness: Change your actions, not your circumstances. Journal of Happiness Studies, 7, 55–86. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10902-005-0868-8