The weeks in January and early February are crucial for many industries when it comes to planning out the year. At Leadership Development Group, we are no different with our annual strategy planning session taking place next week.
If you read our blog regularly, you know we advocate against strict resolutions at the turn of the year in favor of pursuing gratefulness and narrowing the gap between expectations and reality. Of course, that carries into our business planning strategy, but our approach to goal setting is a little bit different.
Setting a goal is unique from the concept of a resolution because if you are doing it correctly, it is a SMART goal – (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based). That “Attainable” element is one of the most important because it narrows the gap between expectations and reality to an achievable place where drama can remain at bay.
When it comes to goal setting, we have identified four things to keep in mind in order to set yourself or your team up for success in 2022.
- Plan holistically when you think about the future. A financial goal at work will undoubtedly have a family/physical/mental/spiritual impact and if you aren’t thinking about them together, you will likely fail in one area of your life.
Often, we get the question, particularly in our Leadership Roundtable Groups, of whether the tools and lessons we are learning apply to work life or home life. Our answer is usually “Yes.” You cannot do something in one area of your life without it affecting the other. Many of the tools and training we offer are meant to improve your whole self because no matter where you go, you are always there–baggage and all.
- Make sure you plan your daily habits. Daily activities done repetitively are what brings success to our lives. People who do not think of their goals according to daily rituals needed to achieve them will not do the work necessary to make incremental progress each day.
One of our favorite books to train on this subject is Atomic Habits by James Clear. “If you are having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system…You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” If this quote doesn’t light a fire beneath you, you didn’t read it closely enough.
- Be sure the end goal is always in mind and you know what it looks like. If you don’t think about the picture of exactly where you want to be when you hit a goal and work backwards to identify the steps needed to get there, you will never really know where you are going and what it is going to take to get there.
Did you know that when you envision your future, your brain does not know the difference between what is a futuristic vision and what is reality? It uses the same pathways to understand each of them. So, when you are thinking about your goals, be vivid in your thoughts. Where are you? What are you wearing? What does it look like around you and what are you doing?
- Make sure your goals include personal motivations. Making more money because ‘you want to support your family’ is not a juicy enough motivator. Why do you want to support your family and what emotion is deeply motivating you?
Many of these motivators are rooted in pain or pleasure, fear or desire. It might be something that happened in your life where you set a stake in the ground to never return to that place. Or maybe it involves providing something for your spouse that will dramatically change their life for the better. What is your juicy motivator? Identify it and write it down where you will see it everyday.
Hopefully these four tactics will help you as you continue setting your goals this year, but if you still would like more help or would like to walk through this process with one of our executive coaches, let’s connect. We would love to help.