Wednesday December 16, 2015
Purple Cubed Operations Director, Jon Reed, explores the importance of goal setting.
As we all look forward to entering 2016, as you look back on this year, I hope you’ll be starting with a phrase that goes something like this “What a year that was – I smashed it!”.
If that’s you then I’m guessing you know you ‘smashed’ 2015 because you took time to define what success looked like this time last year, setting some goals if you like. And now you’ve met or even exceeded those expectations – well done if so. Wherever you are on the scale of ‘achieved my goals’ to ‘what goals?!’, NOW is a great time to set yourself some stretching ambitions for next year.
It might sound obvious, though if you don’t set yourself goals (no matter how big or small), then you will achieve very little because you’ll be busy attending to the reactive stuff and the big picture will take a back seat.. Ask any successful person – this is the sort of stuff they do.
2016 will give you 525,600 minutes so make sure, this time next year, you can look back fondly with pride at how you’ve used that time to achieve something great.
Everyone likes to celebrate success and reward themselves. Yet, I find it incredible how so many managers in business don’t set professional goals for themselves. It’s even more baffling when their company only pays out a bonus on those who achieve their goals. Why would you not set yourself up for success or at least acknowledge what your priorities should be? This goes for home life as well as in the workplace.
The first stage in setting goals for yourself should be to set your top line priorities for the year. Hopefully in your professional life these priorities should align to those of your manager, team or business. This might just be a sentence that summarises the end game. Think about the context – the why? And what will this give you?
In fleshing out how these goals will be achieved, it’s important to learn from what went well this year and what didn’t go so well.
It’s always great to follow the SMARTER approach and in addition I’d also suggest ticking off the following:
- Write down your goals – On the wall, in the front page of your diary or as a screensaver or on your phone – wherever works best for you! Ideally send yourself a diary invite to review the achievement of your goals next December.
- Write down potential distractors – And having considered what might get in your way, work out how to overcome these challenges in advance and pinpoint solutions.
- Review frequently – To give yourself the best chance of achieving your goals, review your progress with quarterly reviews throughout the year
- Keep motivated if you fall short on the journey – achieving something is better than nothing. Maintaining momentum is really important so be sure to give yourself some quick wins and set yourself up for success. Achieving goals can become a habit after all so the more mini goals you can achieve, the more success you’ll have.
- Be willing to tweak your goals – priorities change and so can your goals. (However moving the goalposts and making your goals more achievable just before they’re due is cheating!)
- Finally, depending on the size and scale of your goals you need to decide if you’re sharing or keeping the goal under wraps. Are you the sort of person who needs feedback and input from others or do you prefer to get your head down and take sole responsibility. Both have pros and cons. This TED talk might just prove your goals should be kept under wraps:
Good luck and here’s to your success in 2016!