Well, it’s about that time to start thinking about your 2021 goals. I know, I know, 2020 threw everyone for a loop and I’m optimistic that 2021 will be much better. With that said, what are your goals for the coming year?
I’ve always been a goal setter and as long as it depended on me, I achieved every goal I set. And so I want to share with you the 5 key strategies I use to set and achieve goals.
Step 1: Identify what you want (your goal)
At the beginning of all my coaching engagements, I ask a series of questions about the person’s goal for coaching. I might ask, “What would you like to be different as a result of our work together?” I’ll also be interested in knowing why the goal is important to them and what will achieving the goal mean for my client, their team, and their organization? The “why” grounds us in the coaching and serves as a signpost, if you will, if we start heading down a different path.
While leaders are always excited to do the work, very few have thought in detail, about what they want to work on. More often that not, when I ask a leader to tell me about their goals, it takes a while for my client to articulate them.
Step 2: Make it a SMART goal
SMART is a common acronym used for goal setting. You want to ensure the goal is clear, measurable, achievable, relevant and connected to your why, and is bound by time (having and start and/or end date).
Step 3: Visualize it
Another helpful method is visualization. Dr. Frank Niles considers visualization “a simple technique for painting a mental image of a future event.” Once my client’s identify their goals, whether it’s to be a better communicator, to carve out time for strategy and planning, or getting to the next level in your career, whatever it is, I ask them to describe to me what achieving the goal will look like. I want them to be able to envision themselves at a future point in time, having already achieved the goal. And ‘ll ask them to use all their senses if they can: what would it look like, smell like, sound like, taste like, and feel like? Of course not all of these apply to every goal you might set, but it’s a handy way of getting your entire being engaged, energized, and motivated to achieve the goal.
Step 4: Write it down
Mark Murphy notes that people who clearly articulate, write, and visualize their goals are 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish them. Writing your goals down helps you to commit your goals to memory more easily which in turn, helps you to stay mindful of and act in accordance to achieving them. And keeping your goals visible enable you to stay motivated and remember what you’re working towards on days when you’d rather grab a blanket, climb on the couch, and watch mindless TV. Once the client articulates the goals.