Harnessing the Law of Specification for Unparalleled Success


Have you ever felt the frustration of repeatedly setting goals, like shedding a few pounds or picking up a new skill, only to fall short each time? Or setting performance goals for your team and never seeing them reached? Perhaps you’ve reached the point of thinking, “Enough is enough. I can’t face another round of trying and failing.”

Hold off on abandoning your ambitions just yet. The root cause of your setbacks isn’t a lack of effort or determination—it’s the absence of the right strategy and tools.

Recent research I conducted on goal setting shows exactly how hard it is for someone to reach their objectives without such a tool. According to my findings, 94% of people give up on reaching their personal or professional goals in just 2 months.

This research, along with years of fieldwork, has helped me to develop a tool, the perfect tool to help you reach your goals, no matter how challenging they are. This tool that I created is called The Law of Specification, and starting to use it today will get you, or your team, out of the group of 94% of people that fail and into the 6% that succeed. The 6% Club!  

Table of Contents

Why 94% of People Fail to Become Better

My research, entitled “How Committed Are You to Your New Year Goals?” was published in the Open Journal of Social Sciences. It studied what 1,000 US citizens did after setting goals for the New Year. According to my findings, 94% of people dropped their goals by February.

So what did the other 6% do differently? They used the Law of Specification. They set clear goals and clear deadlines and made a granular plan for success, like I’m going to show you below how to do.

The Law of Specification Explained

The Law of Specification, the tool I developed, serves as your mental compass, helping you beat goal-setting ambiguity and achieve your objectives.

Think of your brain as an experienced hiker who prefers known trails. Every time he goes up the mountain, he uses those trails, making them more familiar and easy to use. And when you set new goals or try to climb using new paths, your brain will use any excuse to go back to the old paths, to the old ways of doing things.

The Law of Specification offers you a science-based approach to finding and using these new paths without turning to the old ones.  The underlying principle is straightforward: specificity in your goals significantly increases your success rate, compelling your brain to align with your intentions.

How to Use the Law of Specification

To transition from the 94% to the elite 6% who actualize their dreams, you need to start using these four key components of the Law of Specification:

  • Defining Clear Goals: Start with unwavering clarity. Ditch ambiguity for precision, turning “I wish to be healthier” into “I will run each morning for 40 minutes.”
  • Implementing the 0-10 Rule: Assess the importance of each goal with the 0 – 10 Rule, prioritizing those that hold the most significance. Minor ones score low, while crucial goals rank as 9s or 10s.
  • Crafting a Detailed Plan: Transform wishes into reality with a meticulous plan. Break your goals into tangible steps, rendering the daunting doable and the impossible achievable.
  • Establishing Firm Deadlines: Commit to a timeline. Deadlines inject urgency, maintaining focus and momentum. Without them, goals will just stay goals and not become achievements.

Using the Law of Specification to Get Your Team in The 6%

Beyond personal goals, the Law of Specification holds transformative power for leaders aiming to elevate their teams to unprecedented levels of success. As a leader, your ability to clearly articulate objectives and instill a culture of specificity can propel your team from the vast majority into the elite ranks of the 6%.

To do this, begin by fostering an environment where goals are not just stated but are detailed and understood by all team members.

Next, instead of simple praise or criticism, provide targeted feedback that acknowledges specific actions, contributions, and efforts. I have another tool for this, called the 100 Dollar Bill Effect. This approach not only boosts morale but also clarifies expectations, helping team members understand precisely what success looks like.

Next, set clear and achievable deadlines for each goal and project to a sense of urgency and focus.

Lastly, don’t forget to recognize and celebrate the specific achievements of your team. These celebrations serve as reminders of what can be achieved through focused, specific effort.

The Benefits of Using the Law of Specification for Transformational Change

Embracing the Law of Specification isn’t merely about goal-setting; it’s about preparing for a profound life shift. This methodology helps you or your team members to:

  • Boost self-confidence
  • Sharpen decision-making
  • Increase accountability
  • Build resilience

Boost Self Confidence

Specifying your goals does more than set a target; it boosts your self-belief by mapping out a clear path toward success. Observing your progress will help boost your confidence, turning every step that you take into proof of your capabilities.

Sharpen Decision-Making

With clarity comes the power to make decisions that directly contribute to your goals. This, un turn, helps eliminate distractions and ensure that each action you take aligns with your ultimate objectives.

Amplifying Accountability

Specific goals act as your personal accountability partners, guiding you along a well-defined path with measurable milestones. This commitment pushes you beyond your comfort zone, and that’s where you’ll find success.

Bolstering Resilience

Facing obstacles becomes less challenging mentally when your goals are clearly defined. Specificity equips you with the determination to persevere, keeping the ‘why’ of your journey in clear view. This way, you will be able to overcome challenges without losing focus.

Crush Your Goals on a Completely New Level

The Law of Specification is a catalyst for turning dreams into achievements. From today, approach every goal that you set for yourself or your team with the granularity and determination this law demands.

Imagine if every team member used this tool to learn new skills. How useful would this be to your business? And how happy and loyal will your employees become simply because you’ve helped them evolve?

It’s time to step into the realm of those who not only set goals but achieve them. Break free from the 94%, and get yourself and your team into the exclusive 6% Club.

Picture of Dr. Michelle Rozen
Dr. Michelle Rozen

Dr. Michelle Rozen, Ph.D., is a highly respected authority on the psychology of change. She is one of the most booked motivational speakers nationwide as well as internationally, and a frequent guest on media outlets such as NBC, ABC, FOX News, and CNN on topics related to dealing with change in our world and in every aspect of our lives, so that we can do better and feel better.

Her most recent book, 2 Second Decisions helps people power through with their most challenging decisions through turbulent times.

Dr. Michelle Rozen consistently speaks for Fortune 500 companies and her clients include some of the most recognizable companies in the world including Johnson & Johnson, Merrill Lynch, Pfizer, and The U.S. Navy. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Psychology and resides in the greater NYC area.

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