Setting Goals is Critical To Achieving Success
I often refer to goals as the dreaded “G” word. Why? Well, because most people groan at the idea of them. So change what you call them – bucket list items, life plans, or whatever feels good to you. What’s important is that you have them because without meaningful plans, you rely on others and circumstances to run your life. It’s time for you to be the captain of your life!
If you have a business, setting goals is critical to achieving success. Unfortunately not many people do it. According to the 4th Annual Staples National Small Business Survey, more than 80 percent of the 300 small business owners said that they don’t keep track of their business goals, and 77 percent have yet to achieve their vision for their company.
Setting Goals is Simple
No matter what goal you want to reach, whether it’s business or in life, achieving it can start with simply making a list. A list of the things you want to accomplish in the next year, 5 years, 10 years, or in your life. Think about what is important to you? What, if you were to accomplish them, would make you feel fulfilled and give your life meaning and joy? Don’t judge. Just list those items.
Start your list now! Comment below on your top 3 things you want to accomplish in the next 12 months.
Take Measurable Steps When Setting Goals
The secret to then getting what you want, is to take each item on your list and break it down into manageable steps. Try to stay with 5 steps or less. If more than that is required, you might want to break the goal down into parts, so no one part requires more than 5 steps. Make sure the steps are measurable and you give yourself a time limit. Without these, you are just wishing. Also, be sure to include some sort of accountability. That could be a friend or a Coach who cares about you and your success who will help you stay on track if and when you get frustrated, discouraged, or distracted. Finally, every time you complete a goal, be sure to celebrate your success.
Start with a Plan
Here’s an example of steps to take if you want to find a new job that better suits your talents and interests:
- Prepare a resume that brings your unique talents to the forefront and highlights your transferable skills/experience.
- Research and develop a spreadsheet (I am talking to engineers, after all!) of available openings you find posted on various job boards (e.g, Indeed.com, EngineerJobs.com, etc.).
- Network to find “hidden” jobs – those openings that aren’t posted anywhere.
- Submit your resume (with cover letter when appropriate) for each posting that interests you, then schedule follow up calls and emails.
- Set up interviews with interested companies, prep for each one (research the company, develop questions to ask, plan for salary negotiations, make sure you know where to go, etc.).
- Send Thank You notes to each interviewer and once again, follow up as necessary til the right job offer comes along.
Note that several of these steps are rather broad so each could also become separate goals with their own set of tasks. Also, in this example, I started with the assumption that you already know exactly what interests you and what you bring to the table. If this isn’t yet the case, that would be a separate goal to work on first. If you’re struggling with any of these areas, click here to get help.
Track your Goals
Jerry Seinfeld is considered one of the top 100 comedians of all time. But that achievement doesn’t happen over night nor does it happen without a system in place to track and measure your achievement. In a conversation Seinfeld once had with another comedian, he shared his method of maintaining consistent improvement in his craft. It actually became known as “The Seinfeld Strategy.”
It boils down to 3 things:
Keep a calendar where you can check off each day that you complete your daily goal
Keep doing this every day, and soon you’ll have a chain of days you’ve checked off
Don’t break the chain
Another way to help you stay on track to achieving your goals is to hire a Coach who holds you accountable for doing what you say you’re going to do. When you pay someone like a coach to guide you on your chosen path, you want to make sure that for each call or meeting with that person that you have made progress toward your goal. That’s your ROI! Together you share in the excitement and glory when you do. It’s the thing that lights my fire every day. Just knowing I’m helping someone else find balance, joy, and happiness in their own professional and personal lives.
Dance! That’s my favorite thing to do. What’s do you do to celebrate your accomplishments? Whatever that is, do something meaningful to reward yourself for seeing it through. Sometimes, the met goal itself is the reward (like that long-delayed trip you finally took). But other times, you need to give yourself a pat on the back in other ways, especially when you’re dealing with a longer term vision. If you’re like me, celebrating as you go is the part that tends to get left out. Don’t let that happen! Life is meant to be enjoyed.
Having goals in life gives us a reason to get up every morning. And celebrating regularly, makes it all worth it!
What’s stopping you? Go get that list started now!
Terry Suffredini is trained and certified as a Life/Career Coach specializing in helping career professionals optimize their job performance and achieve success. Professionals who work with Terry uncover and appreciate their unique and amazing abilities. At the same time they rid themselves of any limiting beliefs that may be holding them back. In fact, Terry has identified 7 key areas that prevent professionals from achieving fulfillment and happiness. Armed with this new knowledge, she now empowers and guides her clients to create extraordinary lives – lives truly worth living – for themselves, and by association, those around them.