Cutting up magazines is the first step in my annual goal setting and planning process. I know that may sound strange, but it’s always where I begin. Finding words and images that inspire me and collaging them into a vision for my year ensures that I avoid being too small, rigid, or literal when I move into goal setting. Tapping my intuition comes first when setting professional goals.
My methods for transferring ethereal ideas into concrete action that gets results are both unusual and effective. If you want to finally move past the same old obstacles and achieve your leadership goals this year, try this strategy…
Set Your Ego Aside
My ego is the biggest enemy to my progress. The past year has afforded me many opportunities to confront the ways my attachment to ego prevents me from doing my best work and engaging genuinely with people who matter to me. I’m grateful for these lessons.
Defensiveness and perfectionism keep us small.
Feeling ready to move some mountains and make your professional goals a reality this year? Check in with yourself and get honest about the toxic patterns you’re locked in and how they block your progress.
Know the Why Behind Each Goal
My observation as a leadership coach is that a lot of folks don’t end up accomplishing goals they set because they realize that they don’t really want the thing they set out to do. This happens for two reasons. First, they feel like the goal is something they “should” do because they feel pressured by a person or culture. Second, they see others around them doing something similar and hive mind leads them astray.
As you lay out your goals take a moment to ask yourself what the “why” is behind each goal. Don’t just ask it in your mind, write it out. This will lead to deeper insights than just ruminating. After you identify why move on to asking what are the specific results and long term outcomes you anticipate.
If it doesn’t “spark joy” it probably isn’t a goal you want to put on your plate. There are plenty of ways to grow as a professional, find something that excites you!
Map Out the Steps to Your Professional Goals
Once you’ve identified goals that you feel genuinely thrilled to pursue, take some time to thoughtfully plot out the steps. What is everything that must happen in order for that goal to be check off as achieved?
What resources are required? Who’s help or permission do you need? What research do you need to do? What mini-projects are part of the process? Identify EVERYTHING that must be done. Then, ask yourself how much time you need for each of these tasks or steps.
Once you know the steps and how much time you anticipate each step taking, you can start mapping out time in your calendar for each task. Remember, pretty much everything takes longer than we think it will! Be flexible and ready to shift time in your calendar to accommodate unexpected surprises on the way to achieving your professional goals.
Ask Yourself Some Hard Questions
Now that you know everything you have to do ask yourself, “do I really want to do all this?” If you aren’t inspired by the task at hand, it is unlikely that you will find the results you seek. Even if you push through and do everything, a goal achieved without joy is just checking off a to do list.
Do you really want to do all this? Now is the time to check in with yourself!
Find Accountability & Support
Humans are savvy and resilient creatures, but we also do better when we have support and accountability. My clients hustle to get things done just because they know they have to show up for a call with me and they want to report progress.
I’m there to celebrate with them when big wins like loan approvals or important conversations happen. I’m there to commiserate with them when everything goes off the rails and feels like too much. I’m also there to buck them up and get them back on track and making things happen.
My clients know that loving support and accountability from me are waiting for them any time they need it. They know that the big things they are trying to do as leaders and as people are too big to carry alone. They know I’ll help them do it smarter, faster and with compassion.
Want to know what that feels like when you work on these professional goals? Let’s talk.