MOTIVATION AND GOAL SETTING
What is MOTIVATION?
Why PEOPLE behave as they do.
Word motivation comes from the Latin word movere which means “ to MOVE ”
Can be defined as what determines and influences the initiation,
direction, intensity and persistence of behaviour (Evans, 1989)
Sources of Motivation
Basic motivation is driven in 2 ways – pleasure SEEKING or pain avoidance.
The number of POSSIBLE motives for human behaviour, however, seems endless.
Some people find intrinsic (internal) rewards such as personal
satisfaction to be as motivating as extrinsic (external) rewards such
as money, praise or POWER.
Abraham Maslow (1970) suggested that a hierarchy of 5 basic classes of
needs/motives influence human behaviour:
(3) Belongingness & LOVE
Most people work at least in part as the result of extrinsic
(external) motivation – the desire to receive rewards SUCH as
But work and other forms of human behaviour also reflect intrinsic
(internal) motivation – the desire to work HARD or perform well for
the internal satisfaction and sense of PERSONALachievement it brings.
Some of life’s most pleasing rewards come from within.
Many athletes who hold world records continue to maintain rigorous
training schedules; many people who have built SMALL BUSINESSES into
multi-million dollar corporations continue to work 80-hour weeks,
overseeing every detail of the operation.
What motivates such people? HIGH need for achievment.
Psychological research has shown that highly productive and successful
individuals tend to demonstrate the following:
Establish challenging, but realistic goals
Experience pride in their success
Are not discouraged by failure, but continue to work hard to improve performance
Are focused on their PERSONAL performance and level of ability.
Research has shown that achievement motivation can be developed:
McClelland (1985) – demonstrated that high school and university
students with low achievement motivation were helped to develop strong
visualisations about their own success. After the program, these
students’ grades and performance had improved significantly.
Motivation is an Inside Job
Rotter (1954) – suggested that people learn general ways of thinking
about the world, especially about how life’s punishments and rewards
are controlled. Some people (internals) expect events to be controlled
by their own efforts. Others (externals) expect events to be
determined by external forces over which they have no control (i.e.
success is down to luck/chance).
Motivation and Locus of Control
People who have an external locus of control whereby they feel they
HAVE to do something and that they have little control over this do
not feel accountable for their actions and they constantly blame
others. The self-talk that accompanies this is usually characterised
by words of fear or ‘do it or else’.
People who have an internal locus of control do things because they
CHOOSE to, WANT to and because they picture the personal value that
comes from doing something. They know they have the choice and accept
the consequences for their decisions.
You are your own best motivator. Your motivation must come from within
yourself . Others may try to encourage you, but you are the only one
who can attain what you want. You must convince yourself that you can.
How do we motivate ourselves?
By setting goals.
What are goals?
Goals are like road maps – they get you from one point to another.
Goals provide the direction you need to reach your destination, the
motivation to set you on your trip, and a way to measure your
progress. Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your
ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn this vision into
Goal setting techniques are used by top-level athletes, successful
business people and achievers in all walks of life.
They give you long-term vision and short-term motivation.
They focus your acquisition of knowledge and help you to organise your
time and your resources so that you can make the most of your life.
The process of setting goals helps you to choose where you want to go in life.
By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have
to concentrate your efforts.
You’ll also quickly spot the distractions that would otherwise lure
you from the course.
Most importantly, properly-set goals are incredibly motivating and as
you get into the habit of setting and achieving goals, your
self-confidence will grow.
By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can measure and take
pride in the achievement of those goals.
You can see forward progress in what might previously have seemed like
a long pointless grind.
By setting goals you will also raise your self-confidence as you
recognise your ability and competence in achieving the goals you have
Goals are set on a number of different levels.
First – you create your “big picture” of what you want to do with your
life and decide what large-scale goals you want to achieve.
Second – you break down these into smaller and smaller targets that
you must hit so that you reach your large-scale goals.
Thirdly – once you have your plan, you start working to achieve it.
Lifetime “Big Picture” Goals
To give a broad, balanced coverage of all important areas in your
life, try to set goals in some of these categories :
SPEND some time thinking about these, then select one goal in each
category that is most relevant to what you want to achieve.
Then, trim these down a bit so that you have a SMALL number of really
significant goals on which you can focus.
REMEMBER – make sure that the goals that you set are ones that YOU
want to achieve, not what your family, friends or employers want.
Goal Setting Tips
Write Goals down – this make them more concrete and gives them more force.
State each goal as a positive statement – Express goals positively
because a positive outcome is more motivating – we want to be moving
towards something rather than away from something.
Be precise & specific – dates, times, amounts, PEOPLE involved,
Set realistic goals – set goals that you can achieve and that you can
maintain once you have achieved them. Make sure that the goals you set
are dependent on your own performance and input and not on others.
Set Goals that are measurable – how will you KNOW when you have
achieved your goal? What will you actually see, hear and feel that
will convince you? Make sure that you NOTE all progress and rewards as
this will fuel your motivation to move forward.
A useful way of making goals more powerful is to use the S.M.A.R.T. memory tool:
S pecific – no ambiguity.
M easurable – know when you are on track
A chievable – BELIEVE you can do it
R ealistic – fits in with your values
T ime bound – set times and dates