5 Simple Steps to Goal Setting

| Posted in Leadership Blog

I’ve received several requests to write something about “goals.” So, I’m happy to share with you the five steps that I use for goal achievement. If you’re like me and need an occasional nudge in the right direction, this simple formula can be helpful:

  1. Write down your goal – make sure it is specific, measurable, time-bound and fits who you are (i.e. does the goal energize you or leave you feeling unmotivated, is the goal something you deeply want to achieve or something you think you “should” work on?)
  2. Write down why the goal is important – what is it about the goal that is appealing or makes you want to strive for it? What happens if you do not achieve this goal?
  3. Identify potential obstacles or risks or personal beliefs that could prevent you from achieving the goal and develop a plan for eliminating these pit-falls.
  4. Take consistent action – put small steps on your calendar each day or each week. Then ask friends, family members or your coach to support your efforts and hold you accountable for your commitments along the way. Have them check in with you at least monthly on your progress.
  5. Celebrate your accomplishment. It is important to honor your achievements because it helps provide focus and persistence as you implement your daily strategies. The simple act of “marking the achievement” strengthens the likelihood that we will achieve future goals, too.

Remember to focus on one or two goals at a time. Dividing your focus and energy between 3, 4, 5 or more rarely leads to success.

Also, try to turn your goal into an affirmation that inspires or pulls you forward. For example, a goal to lose 10 pounds might be restated as “I love how my clothes look and feel on my body now that I weigh ____.” Or a goal to land a new job may be affirmed as “I will focus on what I love to do and seek opportunities that allow me to leverage my strengths and talents.”

The key here is to think about what you really want and express it in a way that is meaningful to you…a way that takes the pressure off while creating a vision that is fun to pursue.