You read it a thousand times - ” … in order to find success, you need to set goals.” Message received. And we know also by now that not all goals are alike. Abstract goals like “doing your best” are not as useful as concrete goals like “getting to work on time every day.” Again, message received.
But gaming has delivered a refinement to the above, that has helped me. There are at least two dimensions in which our goal setting has effects. The first dimension is in the long term. Like when a child decides to become a professional musician. Making that choice as a goal is critical for learning. For a variety of reasons, it makes that child more creative in how he or she learns, and speeds up the learning process (by as much as 300%). Great stuff!
But there is a second dimension to this - the short term. Setting short term goals generates steps up to the next level. And it gamifies the process - it makes it fun. So goal setting actually is not so simple.