Setting goals to get you where you want to be, it’s more powerful than you think
After spending the last couple of weeks delving into your values, vision and mission it’s now time to get down to specifics. In this week’s newsletter we’re covering goal setting in a way that I find the most beneficial and has also see many people achieve the success in life and work they always dreamed of
To access the steps on values, vision and mission, check out the newsletter archive
“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” —Andrew Carnegie
Goal setting can often be a frustrating process that is pushed on you by the company you work for, often they are ones you either have limited interest in or more likely, limited impact. This can make goal setting seem a waste of time or uncomfortable, you’ll work for 12 months achieving all sorts of great things at work, however, come end of year review you’re marked down for the low NPS score of the department, which was caused by one person’s inability to update tickets, or because the IT department overspent it’s budget as someone forgot we used Adobe and there was a big true up required. This leads to a feeling of ‘what’s the point of setting goals’, then it leads to a disconnect from staff and the curse of settling
So, lets rewire the brains to get back to setting great goals that are for you and the company!
Firstly, a quick question, do you have specific personal goals for work, career or life? More often than not the answer is no. You might have a directional idea like lose weight or get promoted, but the specific goals come from work and you’re not aligned to them
I do goals slightly different from others, however, it’s still using the tried and tested SMART goal setting method which some of you will know well, and I’ve added a recap at the end of the newsletter. However, to ensure success in goals I set tiered goals. By this I mean I have a long-distance goal (3-5 years or longer), then annual goals that directly impact the long-distance goals and then quarterly targets that feed into the annual goal.
The reason for this is that I want to transform myself and others around me, so the big goal or vision needs to be a big and a little scary, like the “helping 100,000 people achieve the life they deserve” from my vision, however, there is no way I can implement this in a year, it’s almost impossible to start working towards it as it’s so big and I don’t know where to start (so I never will) and also it’s going to be a long time before I reach that goal and your mind needs some success along the way.
If I play this out in not too much detail, here could be a goal structure:
Long distance Goal (10 years)
Help 100,000 people achieve the life they deserve
Grow newsletter subscribers to 1,000
Increase Facebook group to 500 active participants
Present/talk at 4 external events or webinars
Add 200 subscribers to newsletter
Complete training on increasing Facebook group engagement
Research how to get invited to events as a speaker
As you can see these all build directionally towards my long-distance goal while ensuring progress and include a manageable and measurable target for the goals
A few pointers and reminders before you get started
These goals are for you. You can include work ones that help you progress as well as the company, but you can’t make the just for the company
Set positive goals rather than avoidance goals. For example, don’t use a goal with wording like “Stop getting angry in meetings”, it should be positive as your brain processes these better e.g. “Be positive in meetings and accept other views”
Align your goals to your values, vision and mission to ensure success and commitment, the same for work goals, they should align with the companies as it provides value rather than just a random goal
Think of a reward, set a reward for if you reach a goal. Maybe if you lose 20 kg you’ll buy yourself a new wardrobe of clothes
Have multi-tiered goals to get big goals but have goals on the path to be realistic and gain momentum
Avoid goals or consider them carefully when they are dependant on others. There commitment might not be the same as yours if they don’t share the same values
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” —Pablo Picasso
I’m working on a tool to allow you to enter a track your goals more easily, so, I’ll send that out once I’ve got it in place and tested 😊
Let me know how you get on and feel free to reach out if you have any questions or topics you’d like to hear about and as always if you liked this newsletter, please share and let you friends and colleagues know about it as I’d love to help more people!
Below is an overview of the SMART goals system to allow you to start to build up your goals. There are some excellent questions to help get your brain firing
To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each one should be:
Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
Achievable (agreed, attainable).
Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
Your goal should be clear and specific, otherwise you won't be able to focus your efforts or feel truly motivated to achieve it. When drafting your goal, try to answer the five "W" questions:
What do I want to accomplish?
Why is this goal important?
Who is involved?
Where is it located?
Which resources or limits are involved?
Imagine that you are currently a Network manager, and you'd like to become head of Infrastructure. A specific goal could be, "I want to gain the skills and experience necessary to become head of Infrastructure within my organization, so that I can build my career and lead a successful team."
It's important to have measurable goals, so that you can track your progress and stay motivated. Assessing progress helps you to stay focused, meet your deadlines, and feel the excitement of getting closer to achieving your goal.
A measurable goal should address questions such as:
How will I know when it is accomplished?
You might measure your goal of acquiring the skills to become head of Infrastructure by determining that you will have completed the necessary training courses and gained the relevant experience within five years' time.
Your goal also needs to be realistic and attainable to be successful. In other words, it should stretch your abilities but still remain possible. When you set an achievable goal, you may be able to identify previously overlooked opportunities or resources that can bring you closer to it.
An achievable goal will usually answer questions such as:
How can I accomplish this goal?
How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints, such as financial factors?
You might need to ask yourself whether developing the skills required to become head of Infrastructure is realistic, based on your existing experience and qualifications. For example, do you have the time to complete the required training effectively? Are the necessary resources available to you? Can you afford to do it?
This step is about ensuring that your goal matters to you, and that it also aligns with other relevant goals as well as your vision and mission. We all need support and assistance in achieving our goals, but it's important to retain control over them. So, make sure that your plans drive everyone forward, but that you're still responsible for achieving your own goal.
A relevant goal can answer "yes" to these questions:
Does this seem worthwhile?
Is this the right time?
Does this match other efforts/needs?
Am I the right person to reach this goal?
Is it applicable in the current socio-economic environment?
Does it align or serve my vision and mission?
You might want to gain the skills to become head of Infrastructure within your organization, but is it the right time to undertake the required training, or work toward additional qualifications? Are you sure that you're the right person for the head of Infrastructure role? Have you considered your partner's goals and family goals? For example, if you want to start a family, would completing training in your free time make this more difficult?
Every goal needs a target date, so that you have a deadline to focus on and something to work toward. This part of the SMART goal criteria helps to prevent everyday tasks from taking priority over your longer-term goals.
A time-bound goal will usually answer these questions:
What can I do six months from now?
What can I do six weeks from now?
What can I do today?
Gaining the skills to become head of Infrastructure may require additional training or experience , as we mentioned earlier. How long will it take you to acquire these skills? Do you need further training, so that you're eligible for certain exams or qualifications? It's important to give yourself a realistic time frame for accomplishing the smaller goals that are necessary to achieving your final objective.