Overview of Goal Setting Theories

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As been illustrated clearly, my goal after graduation would be to become the chef of my own restaurant at the age of 40. The idea was simple, making money out of necessities would lower the chance of facing bankruptcy, because it could ensure the demand for the product even when your product is lack of competitive factors like: quality, price, location. As I was thinking about necessities like clothing , health service, education then food come about.

An ethnical restaurant is a common thing nowadays, but to vividly convey the idea of food and the spirit of the country is something we rarely see. Therefore, the focus would be bringing the cultural value s to foreigners. Besides being patriotic and having a stable income after 30s, achieving the goal would make me feel motivated and ready for the next challenge in life.

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To analyze my goal, I will start with the model SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound) which was first proposed by Blanchard and Johnson (1980s) when they tried to apply goal theory into the field of management and leadership. For the time I have been here, I soon got to realize that food in Vietnamese restaurant around here did not have the exact original flavor. This upsets a food lover like me, I decided to bring Vietnamese lifestyle back as the cook of my own Vietnamese restaurant. By the age of 40, I should be able to hire a manager for my restaurant and I will be entirely focused on making the most authentic Vietnamese cuisine ever. This could be done by preparing for the first step in career as the chef through books, cooking courses, Gordon Ramsey video, home practice, with on-field experience from being waiter, reception, also management skills through MBA course.

In addition, food has served a significant role in my life, especially when studying aboard this love just got to find a way to express itself. I have been trying to cook for myself at home and then try to find a restaurant with Vietnamese food even I have asked my mother to send some Vietnamese food. Preparing the best quality food is just another way to show how I love the country, the food, the people and connect foreigners to Vietnam. About the time limit, 20 years from now is not a long or a short period, enough to achieve if putting in effort. Locke and Latham(1990) indicated that there were 5 fundamental principles behind goal setting that would motivate other: Clarity, Challenging, Commitment, Feedback, Task Complexity.

Clarity implies that the goal could be understood clearly and could be measure, in this case, by the time I am 40 I will be the chef of my own restaurant. Becoming a chef is a common thing, but a chef that has his own restaurant is a challenging task. You have to be good enough in both cooking and managing, also starting a business requires lots of planning and money, and running it requires dedication and hard work. Later in another research conducted in 2002, Locke and Latham highlighted 2 factors that facilitate goal-commitment which were self-efficacy and goal importance. In simple word, Believing in yourself that you can do it as well as be aware of the outcome will boost your commitment. Moving on to feedback, feedback must be obtained from others also oneself to determine the progress, it is hard to own a restaurant at age of 40 when at 39 I am owing few hundred grand. Next, to make the goal less complex, I have brought it down to smaller sub-goal, in order to decrease the difficulty of the goal which might affects morale, commitment and performance.

Further studies have showed support of goal setting theory, they varied in culture, task, field and been carried out by individuals, groups in laboratory and field studies. There is a clear correlation between specific, difficult goals and task performance. Tubbs (1986) after meta-analysis has advocated the idea that specific, difficult goals are positively correlated to improved performance.

DeWalt, et al.(2009) found that there is a link between those who achieve set goals and the motivation to create additional goals or add more challenging aspects to the current goal based on feedback. Moving on to coaching plan, the GROW model is utilized to help me achieving my goal (Goal, Reality, Options, Will. First are some questions need to be answered. The first question I asked myself related to G was: Is this the right goal for me? Do I really want to become a chef or it just a temporary excitement? I honestly don’t know yet, but cooking is subject I could read 500 books about without getting bored, being a cook for straight 1 year without getting paid is something I am willing to do. Being a chef is the best way to show the love I have for food and spread it to others. However, then I have to look at the reality, being an MBA student, could it actually help me to achieve my goal? Passion for food sometimes is not enough, I have to be able to run a business in a hard time also solving crisis during operation. Managing skill will be useful later in every aspects of life.

Moving on to options, I could be the owner of a restaurant by being a manager for several years then open my own restaurant or by becoming a chef then work my way to open my own restaurant, which way suits me better?

To bring Vietnamese culture to life, it requires more than just ornament and atmosphere, the food is the easiest way to understand a country’s values. Based on this perspective, I have chosen for myself as a chef, this would also mean a lot of hard work to bare so self-reward is needed to motivate myself. The problem is I don’t know how to cook properly yet, cooking class and book will become handy, taking par-time job like waiter, kitchen maid to learn how the manager run the business.

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