Many of us understand that setting goals is a great way to give yourself direction, focus and motivation. Whilst we comprehend their importance, especially in the context of achieving business outcomes, many of the women I work with have previously struggled to actively manage their goal setting. My mantra to them is from the widely renowned quote “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” The trouble is, that whilst setting goals may sound simple, the reality of learning how to define your goals, to make them measurable and then put together a plan to achieve them, can be very difficult.
At Behind Closed Doors (BCD) we provide a framework and support network to help our members not only set, but to also achieve their business and personal goals. Starting with a written framework that members articulate via supported participation in our monthly peer Coaching and mentoring groups, along with regular reviews and Accountability Partners, the BCD goal setting process is highly effective in delivering tangible results.
Well known business strategists and life coaches, Shannah Kennedy and Lyndall Mitchell, The Essentialists, advise “once you know what you want, you can concentrate your energy on making it happen instead of wasting time on distractions.” So the question then becomes, where to start? How do I set goals that are relevant and achievable? At BCD, we advocate using the SMARTER goal setting approach.
With the SMARTER goal setting approach, your goals are:
Specific – well defined, clear and focused
Measurable – establish criteria for tracking results
Attainable – is the result feasibly to achieve
Realistic – is it relevant to overall purpose
Timely – make it time-bound with specific milestone dates
Exciting – work to your strengths and passions
Risky – don’t let fear of failure hold you back! Set some goals that you are “afraid” of.
According to research presented by author, entrepreneur, James Clear people are “2x to 3x more likely to stick to your goals if you make a specific plan for when, where and how you will perform the behavior. For example, in one study scientists asked people to fill out this sentence: “During the next week, I will partake in at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise on [DAY] at [TIME OF DAY] at/in [PLACE]. Researchers found that people who filled out this sentence were 2x to 3x more likely to actually exercise compared to a control group who did not make plans for their future behavior.”
However setting your SMARTER goals is only the beginning, the real challenge comes from how you implement your goals and then the committed, on-going work required to achieve them.
Through our process at BCD we encourage our members to set specific rolling quarterly targets, detailing the actions and steps they will take to achieve their milestones. The process requires them to consider how they will measure the results of their actions, what barriers they may face and to be clear on the outcomes they want / why this goal is important to them. In my experience, a commitment to setting, achieving and reviewing your goals is about taking accountability, and putting yourself directly in the driver’s seat of your own destiny. It’s always good to have others keep you accountable too! As stated by Australian author Sara Henderson “don’t wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel, stride down there and light the bloody thing yourself.”
As we move into the beginning of a new year, it’s the perfect time to actually make the time, to reflect on last year’s achievements and what you are putting off, and review your goals. Ask yourself, what are you hoping to achieve in 2019 and what are you going to do to make this happen?
If you’re looking for advice, consider getting in touch with an organisation which provides support. Behind Closed Doors can provide you with the right kind of mentorship that helps you maximise networking and keep your focus goal-oriented to drive your success.
I would be interested to hear from you what other tools you use to keep focussed on achieving professional and personal success.
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