Earlier in my career one of the difficulties I had in setting goals was that I wasn’t clear about what appropriate goals I should strive for. I don’t think that is uncommon, because as your life evolves so too does your thinking about the future and what is important.
So I guess that begs a couple of questions:
1. Should you bother setting goals at all?
2. If you do, then how do you handle the fact that you don’t really know what they should be?
Let’s tackle question number one … should you bother?
My short answer is yes … and for lots of reasons:
a. If you have a goal then you develop a strategy to reach that goal which makes it much more likely that you will at the very least move closer to that objective.
b. If you have no goal, and therefore no plan you will be at the mercy of your situation … your environment and those around you will dictate your future.
c. Even if the goal you aim towards is not something you ultimately decide is important to you … you will get satisfaction from your successes on that path and presumably it won’t be in a totally different direction and therefore some or all of your gains may be used towards your new goal.
OK you are convinced to give it a try … lets tackle that other question, you don’t really know what goals to set!
1. Some time ago I wrote a blog entry called Goals the way to take charge of your life. Give that read!
2. This may seem a little strange, but it doesn’t really matter what your goals are as long as they have some meaning and force you to develop a plan to reach them. Try this …
i. Set one goal for your career. I want to be the most improved sales person in the company this year; I want to become a manager; I want to be the best recruiter in the company; I want to grow my business by 20% next year. OR It could be I want my boss to recognize me as a key contributor; I want to get better at my job etc.
ii. OK its a goal. Now you need a plan to get there. If you need help then talk to anyone that will help, your manager, your HR department, your mentor (you do have one … right?). Clearly any plan will involve effort, time, learning, commitment.
iii. Now set a goal in your private life. Learn a new language; learn to play guitar; get fitter; lose weight; expand your network of friends; maybe change a relationship that isn’t working! Then, same as above, put in place a plan to progress towards your goal.
iv. OK now you have two goals, and two plans to pursue. You WILL get satisfaction from making progress because it is not easy, it requires commitment and effort.
v. Review your goals regularly to see if they are the right goals, are you on-track, do you need to adjust your plan or EVEN adjust your goal! You might even choose to add more goals!
Hitting goals is empowering, it improves your confidence and shows that you are capable of more!
Keep pushing … and yes, CHANGE those goals, Its healthy!