If you are like most people your year starts off with the best of intentions. You’re all fired up from the break and ready to make big changes to both yourself and to your work.
But then the phone calls and emails start coming in, and the meetings, tight deadlines and business as usual activities that keep you running, distract you from your bigger vision and goals. Before you know February is here, and you’re no closer to achieving your goals. Sound familiar?
So what makes some business people more successful and committed to their goals and how can you be more like them? Here are four easy steps to set goals you’re motivated to achieve.
1. Identify your current reality
What is happening now that you aren’t happy or satisfied with? What do you want or need? What is frustrating you? What needs to change for you to feel happy and fulfilled?
For example, let’s imagine you are a manager but have a deep desire to be a great leader. But the challenge is, people at work see you only as a manager and don’t give you the level of respect because the trust, credibility and value hasn’t been proven or realised yet. To change this perception you might set yourself the goal of “becoming a better leader”.
2. Gain clarity on your goal
Once you have a clear understanding of your current reality and what you want to change, you can start to be more specific about your goal.
So let’s take the “Become a better leader” example we used above. You’ve identified a need, but do you want to be a bit better or a lot better? Well in actual fact you want “become a great leader”. But what does a great leader look like to you?
Upon listing the qualities of a great leader and comparing them to your own skillset, you come to the conclusion that it is actually your communication skills that you need to improve. So your goal now becomes “I need to learn how to communicate more effectively with my team in order for people to see me as a leader.”
As you can see the more specific your goal is, the easier it is to determine what steps you need to take in order to achieve it.
3. Determine what is possible
Now that you have a specific goal in mind, it is time to determine what is and isn’t possible when it comes to reaching your goal.
Again, using our example of “I need to learn how to communicate more effectively with my team”, you can work backwards by asking, “what does a good communicator look like?”
During your brainstorming session you might come to the conclusion that a good communicator is someone who can present well, delegate clearly and have a strong understanding of the learning styles and personalities of their team to communicate in a way they understand. All of this is possible for you to do or learn you might just need some external help to do it.
4. Decide when you will do it
Although the last step, it’s critical. Set a deadline, hold yourself accountable to achieving your goal and ask someone else to hold you accountable too.
Next write down all the steps you need to achieve and by when. If we were using our example it might look something like this:
How to communicate more effectively with my team:
- Organise 360 degree feedback for myself to determine areas of improvement
- Organise team profiling to determine personalities and learning styles
- Do some research on communication, read a book, listen to a podcast or do some research on google
- Develop systems that will facilitate more communication between my team and I, particularly after I delegate a task
So how are your 2015 goals going? Tell me, what changes are you going to make to ensure they are more clear and achievable?