Well, isn’t the year flying along already! After a fantastic festive season, I still can’t believe it’s almost the end of January. Only weeks ago we were all out Christmas shopping, ticking off our Christmas card list and wishing everyone a happy new year and no sooner are we already a twelfth of the way through it!
This brings me to talking through the best ways to set direction for the year and beyond. Although I am not a fan of New Years resolutions I do believe and know that setting long and short term goals is imperative to achieving more in your life.
Many of my clients have made enormous inroads by investing time into setting and putting into action clear and concise objectives to reach goals within their teams, their leadership and also on a personal level. We all subconsciously set goals or desired outcomes for ourselves but it is worth taking the time to really drill down and question your goal, the outcome and set a timeline in which to achieve it.
Have a think about the time you invest in your professional goals or those of your team. So what are goals? They are simply something you would like to achieve over a time period. Your goals will differ from someone else’s as your goals are based on YOUR interests, YOUR needs and YOUR wants.
They are something you want in the future and when achieved will provide you with a more enriched personal and professional life and above all growth and fulfilment as a result.
What do you want? Write down a list of all the things you would like to achieve. Ask yourself, what are my priorities for 2016? (You may do this for any time period you like). Choose the top goals you would like to achieve. You will find you can batch your goals as many feed into each other. What ones really stand out and will have the most impact on the direction you are heading in. The goal is what you will achieve and the objectives/tactics are what you need to do to make this happen.
Grab a pen and work through the following:
Ask yourself: What do I want? State this in the positive, what do you want opposed to what you don’t want. Why do you want it, when do you want it?
i.e. if you want to lose weight don’t state this as your goal instead state “I would like to feel fit and healthy and be my ideal weight ongoing”. This goal is infinite and ongoing opposed to losing weight which statistics show once reached usually does not continue.
Can I make this happen? Has someone else done it before, if not, is it really possible to achieve? What will be my evidence that I have achieved this goal/outcome? How will it look? What will you hear, feel see and so on? Aim high; if you don’t feel stretched you have aimed too low.
Can I control achieving this outcome? Do you have access to all the resources you need and the influence to make this happen? Resources include things such as knowledge, objects, money, time, people, and so on. This is one that you really need to analyse as having a goal that relies on things outside your control is not always a “well formed” goal.
Is this ecological? How do you obtaining your goal impact, other people? Is it favourable? Is it worth the time and effort you plan to invest and how does it impact the environment around you? I am writing my first book this year and have had to bring this into account with all my other priorities and people involved in these.
What do I need to do? What do you need to do and how do you need to make your goal a reality? For example, a goal to be achieved in 2017 would have action steps broken down into quarters so you can monitor how you are progressing at the end of each quarter.
Under each goal write down 4/5 action points to get you closer to your desired outcome.
“I want to build on my leadership brand and profile by December 2016”
- Identify brand gaps and what leader I want to be
- Find a mentor or coach to collaborate on my success
- Continue to excel in current role but take on new responsibilities
- Work on leading team and decrease operational task
When do I want it? Set a time frame in which you will achieve your goal. Be as specific as an actual date, not just a month. This is one of the most important steps to ensure success of goals. It has been proven that those who set a timeframe achieve goals over those who don’t. This is because your mind will sort and perceive the world to make this happen. Break your actions (objectives) into mini time frames such as months or quarters and monitor these regularly.
Smell the Roses! When you achieve your goals or a key objective towards achieving your goal always remember to stop and celebrate. We as humans tend to not stop and smell the roses enough and give ourselves the credit we deserve. Set yourself or team an incentive once you have reached your goals to really be in the moment and appreciate all you have achieved. Celebrating success actually anchors the feeling of success so when it gets tough next time you can subconsciously go back to this feeling, therefore motivating you to move forward.
A few other tips include: checking in regularly to monitor progress and change your plan if need be. If your goal feels too far away and out of reach maybe you need to break it down into smaller goals. Your goal may change as your life changes so always state your goal until it resonates with you. If you could have your goal right now, would you take it? This is an interesting question to ask yourself? A great way to start the year is to have some well thought out outcomes that you want to work towards and a clear plan in which to do so.
If you were to meet your future you in one years time what would you have done, what would you be doing and who would you be being! Over the next few weeks make a meeting with you and your team and think about all the amazing things you can achieve and look back on this time next year.
A great time to reflect, and plan your energetic leadership for 2016!
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Renée Giarrusso, Lead Coach, Trainer and Keynote Speaker works with high performing executives and teams across a myriad of industries and organisations.
Her expertise in growing and developing capability and behavioural change around leadership, communication, transition and sales effectiveness leave her clients inspired, re-energised and with improved results.
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