Thursday, January 26, 2012

5 Steps in Goal Achievement

January is almost over and the discussion of goals for the year and this first quarter are still on the forefront of minds.   How will you ensure that your goals will take you where you want to go, and how will you make sure that you achieve them?  Here are five steps to help you do, just that!  And, after reading the blog, if you want to take your goal setting to the next level or simply don't want to worry about implementing the steps, our Coach-in-a-Box Goal Setting digital package will take you through everything you need to know AND provide you with a system for accountability - all for less than the cost of a movie and popcorn!

1.  Up-to-date Values
     Demands in the workplace are constantly changing; our family’s needs and children's activities are in flux.  When you look closely at your goals, do they actually reflect your current values?  I always conduct a values activity with my clients to identify what are their current, strongest values.  Values are a funny thing when we’re talking about goals.  Believe it or not, they change at different times and phases of our life.  And, if our goals aren’t reflecting the values that are most important to us at a given time, we’re likely not to achieve them!

2.  Aspired Future 
     Have you ever heard a friend or colleague say, “My goal this year is to make twice what I made last year.”?  Well, that’s terrific if they’re willing to work possibly twice as many hours, drastically change their work habits or, land a big client that is going to generate a revenue windfall.  While this can happen, what is not revealed is that for the goal to be achieved, it must clearly move us toward our vision of the future.  And, if you want to spend more time with your family or actively participate in your hobbies this year, you also need a goal to reflect that.  Think about all the parts that are present in your desired future and create your goal(s) so that it helps you close the gap between here and there.

3.  Growth to Achieve
     People don’t usually talk about all the hard work that actually goes into achieving their goals.  But, we know that when we achieve a goal that we’ve set, we worked diligently and pushed ourselves to get there!  One of my teachers, Dr. Jeffrey Auerbach, Ph.D., articulated the “balance of challenge and support” necessary for development.  I use this very successfully with my clients, toward the achievement of their goals.  We have to push ourselves to get out of our comfort zone and get motivated, to make the necessary changes.  We also need to bolster ourselves along the way, to feel the satisfaction and encouragement of our efforts. 

4.  Effective Strategies
     How do you know if the practices or procedures you implemented are in fact moving you closer to the achievement of your goal?  Have you ever wondered, “How close am I, exactly, to achieving my goal?”  Monitoring our progress and evaluating the effectiveness of our strategies are critical steps.  Sure, sometimes we get lucky and are intuitively so in sync with our goal that we meet it without this; but, the rest of the time we need to do everything in our power by noticing at what times and during what activities do we get greater movement toward our goal.  Then, we set strategic dates to review our practices and procedures to determine if they are really the best fit for us to achieve our target.  The objective is to catch potential problems during Step 4, modify the strategies where needed, and achieve the goal by the date you have set. 

5. Hitting the Target
     The time of the goal has arrived!  You’ve accomplished it and will reap the benefits that this success yields.  Take the time to reflect and celebrate this achievement!  You’ve worked hard, learned things along the way and, have strengthened your skills and confidence.  Make sure you allow yourself thoughtful contemplation of these assets so that the progress is not in vain and it supports you for future growth.  It may sound cliché to celebrate or reward yourself for your achievement but, remember the line in The Shining, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”...  What if, however, you didn’t achieve the goal?  Now, is the opportunity for even greater learning.  Thoroughly study your actions and strategies and figure out what went wrong.  Go back to the drawing board and devise a new plan with new tactics, so that you can achieve your goal!

Happy Goal Setting!

Executive Intelligent Coaching Team