As Stephen Kraus writes in his book, Psychological Foundations of Success, goal setting provides increased performance due to three factors:
- Direction: Goals direct action. They channel and focus effort in the direction chosen by the goal setter. As a result, they are empowering tools, enabling people to steer their lives in the direction of their choosing.
- Motivation: Goals stretch and push, resulting in greater effort and persistence. Goals clarify and make concrete your desired ends. Being aware of the gap between where you are now and where you want to be creates motivation to close that gap.
- Strategy refinement: After setting challenging goals, people think longer and more creatively about how to accomplish them and how to measure progress toward them.