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Persevering with your goals, mastering skills and achieving short and long term goals leads to a sense of accomplishment. Accomplishment is an essential element of wellbeing, so how can it be developed?

The PERMA model

The PERMA model comes from the work of psychologist Martin Seligman, often referred to as the founder of positive psychology. PERMA refers to the five elements necessary to create a fulfilling, happy and meaningful life, they are:

P = Positivity

E = Engagement

R = Relationships

M = Meaning

A = Accomplishment

In this series of blogs we’ll take a look at the evidence for element contribution to wellbeing and examine how to strengthen and develop each part of the PERMA model for a fulfilling life.

About accomplishment

Although accomplishment is the last part of the PERMA model no one element is more important than another. Professor of psychology at Penn University, Angela Duckworth, has developed the concept of ‘grit’, perseverance to achieve goals over months or years. The ability to sustain perseverance also adds to the sense of achievement, something that can be savoured and recalled for motivation when facing a new challenge.

Accomplishment – the research

  • Link goals to values. People who have goals which align with their values are more likely to achieve success.
  • Make wellbeing a goal. People who have goals that target personal growth and connections with others reap a greater increase in wellbeing.
  • Take a positive approach. People with a pessimistic explanatory style (those who are more likely to say “I’ll never be able to do this, I’m bound to fail”) are less likely to persist with goals, believing that the cause of failure is persistent and personal to them.

3 ways to develop accomplishment

  1. Set yourself sub goals. Remember that larger goals can take longer to achieve, to sustain motivation set yourself a series of smaller goals as markers and stepping stones towards your big goal. Always make goals SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time specific.
  2. Include values. We know that goals are more likely to be accomplished if they’re linked to values. When you savour your accomplishments, which ones really stand out as powerful motivators? This can be an indication of strong values which can be harnessed in future.
  3. Adopt a growth mindset approach. Remember that failure is the route to mastery and maintain a positive approach that supports you to regard mistakes as part of the learning process as opposed to something that defines you and saps motivation and perseverance.

Discover more about accomplishment, perseverance and grit:

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