The first letter of the acronym for SMART Goals, the letter “S”, stands for specific. And it’s long been taught by the sages that a goal has to be specific to be effective. Now there’s some scientific evidence to back that up.
Here’s part of a story from Psychology Today: “When it comes to working out, you might think trying your best would be the way to make the most of your exercise time. But you’d be wrong. For a study at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University that pitted several motivational techniques against each other, researchers had 56 female undergraduates attempt to do as many sit-ups as possible in 90 seconds. Those who were given the vague directive “do your best” averaged about 43 sit-ups on each day of the four-day study. On the other hand, women assigned specific long-or short-term targets–“do 10 percent more than you did last time”–managed 56 sit-ups by the last day’s session.”
And it doesn’t just apply to sit-ups. Being as specific as you can possibly be “turns on” an internal system much like the homing device in a guided missile — it makes it far easier to hit your goal when your system is “on.”
To read more from the Psychology Today story go here….