3 Must-Haves for Attaining your Goals
Do you feel like a powerful business-suit-wearing hamster trapped in a wheel of unattainable personal goals? There are big strategic business goals that you work toward with colleagues, everyday urgent matters that you resolve...and then there are your own goals that get left by the wayside week over week and month over month because while you think you know what you want, you aren’t exactly sure how to get it.
You can reach your goals, but you must create a real, strategic plan for setting your goals, determining how you will get them, and developing a support system that makes the process more attainable.
Below are the absolute “must haves” for attaining your goals.
#1 You must have a CLEAR GOAL
You’d be surprised how many people think they have a goal but have never taken time to clearly define or document what that goal is! Without defining the specific goal, it becomes a vague notion. I want to be “more successful” can encompass a range of things from making more money to taking on more fulfilling projects to being recognized as an expert in your field. So, what exactly does success mean to you and when do you want to feel like you’ve made it to the next level? I want to be “healthier” could mean eating better, losing weight, or exercising more, but what’s the quantifiable metric you want to achieve and by when?
It’s imperative that you sit down and think about exactly what it is you want to attain. Use descriptors to define how much and by when.
Vague: I want to be promoted.
Specific: I want to be promoted to Vice President by the end of next year.
Vague: I want to be recognized as a leader in my field.
Specific: I want others to seek me out for my expertise and secure at least one conference speaking engagement per year.
Vague: I want to spend more time with my kids.
Specific: I want to have family dinners at least three nights each week.
Figure out exactly what you want your goal to be, then WRITE IT DOWN. This is the part that keeps you focused and accountable.
**Bonus Tip: Keep this goal somewhere you can see it, like at the top of your calendar or on a post-it at your desk. The reminder keeps it top of mind for you.
#2 You must have a PLAN TO ACHIEVE THE GOAL
A wise person once said, “A goal without a plan is only a wish.” So make a plan for how you are going to achieve that goal. You are the driving force behind your success.
Let’s revisit that health goal. If your goal is to lose 20 lbs by your high school reunion next year, that’s a big goal that could seem far away and make your daily workouts seem less urgent.
Create a series of subgoals such as “lose 2 pounds every month” so that you know whether you are on track or not and when you need to step up your game. You’ll also need to establish what it takes to lose those 2 lbs. Does this require buying different foods? Should you prep food for the week on Sunday night? How often are you going to work out? How can you find time in your schedule to do this while running a successful business? All of these things should be documented and reviewed frequently to make sure you are staying on track.
**Bonus Tip: Put workouts on your calendar. Something always comes up that feels more important than the gym. Put your workout, post-workout clean up, and any related commute in your calendar. Then treat that whole time period like a business meeting you must keep. Trust me, these workouts will also make you perform better at work and have more energy for your family, so it’s a win-win for everyone.
#3 You must have a way to ENGAGE OTHER PEOPLE IN HELPING YOU
Once you’ve documented your goals and made a plan for how you are going to get there, now it is time to share them as a win-win for the people in your life.
Think about getting promoted: Our above goal was getting promoted to VP by end of next year. What time of year does your company normally do promotion evaluations? Who can help you define what you need to achieve in order to be promoted next year? How can you get involved in the type of projects that will elevate you and make sure you are on your way to proving your ability before it is time for review? Who are the decision makers that need to know you want to get promoted and be aware of your experience, achievements, and readiness for the new role?
**Bonus Tip: Colleagues aren’t the only ones who can help you achieve a work goal and family/friends aren’t the only ones who can help you achieve your personal goals. For instance, your spouse or significant other should know exactly what your work goals are and how to support you both logistically and emotionally during this time. Your colleagues could also help you get home in time for the family dinner goal and ensure they don’t disturb you during that time. It may even inspire them to do the same with their family.
How will I make the Time?
Although the Three Must-Haves seem fairly easy to follow, most people still let their personal goals slip. It’s hard to juggle a rising executive-level career with a growing family, and make time to work on establishing and planning personal goal attainment.
Even after penciling it in the calendar, for most people that “goal planning” appointment they set with themselves gets pushed out week over week and month over month because there’s not another person holding them accountable. And when they do sit down to document and plan for goal attainment, they often find themselves frustrated with a blank piece of paper and no one to help them ensure the goals are clear, measurable, broken down into achievable steps, and time-driven.
Don’t let this happen to you! Let us hold you accountable. Let us help guide you through the goal establishment process. Let us make sure you break down your plan in attainable steps over time. Let us make sure you’ve created ways to propose these goals as win-wins to everyone around you so that you can get what you have been wanting for so long!
If you’d like help in establishing, planning, and attaining your goals, email us at WeCare@ThrivatizePartners.com to set up a “Get What I Want” consultation in which we’ll discuss where you want to go, what challenges you’ve faced in getting there, and how our goal attainment advisory services can help.
Until then, reach for the stars!