If you’re anything like me when you hear the term goal setting you think, ugh really? It conjures up thoughts of failed new year's resolutions and old diaries filled with abandoned hopes and dreams.
But I’m here to change all that because I’ve come to love goal setting. Especially when helping people discover a career they love.
Initially I found goal setting challenging and I put up objections like, ‘I don’t want to be locked in’, and ‘I want to be open to new opportunities and experiences’. However, once I was able to overcome these self limiting beliefs I was able to sit down and write some tangible and exciting career goals.
I’m a fan of the SMART Goal structure. In case you haven’t heard of it, it stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. I always check I am using the SMART goal strategy when writing my career goals.
'If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail' - Benjamin Franklin
The true determinant of whether you will achieve your goals or not is the quality of your planning regarding how you will achieve your goal. Breaking your goal down into monthly, weekly and daily goals is crucial to the goal setting process for two major reasons.
Firstly, having specific and measurable career goals reduces overwhelm and clutter. You can’t achieve everything at once and those who are successful are so because they said yes to some things and no to many things.
Secondly, and what I think is the MOST important reason to have daily, weekly and monthly career goals is for the purposes of accountability. A very small percentage of the population are able to have the self discipline to keep themselves accountable to achieving their goals.
Accountability structures motivate you to achieve more in shorter periods of time. I know for myself if I’m having a bad day or a low energy week it’s too easy for me to let myself off the hook. I’m going to share with you three powerful forms of accountability that have enabled me to get more done and achieve more in my career than I thought would have been possible.
1. Accountability Partner
Finding someone who is as equally motivated to achieve similar goals in life to you is more valuable than gold. You want to find someone who is like minded and will push you, and hold you to your goals. This is not an easy find.
I recommend that your accountability partner is not a close friend. Not someone who you are doing life with. This may sound strange but let me explain. If your accountability partner is a friend than chances are you want to hear about what’s going on in their life and you will naturally be sympathetic to any difficulties or challenges they are experiencing. Accountability sessions will more easily stray off topic. Having someone whose primary purpose in your life is to keep you accountable to your goals is less likely to let you off the hook because you’ve had a busy week at work.
This brings me to my next point. Your accountability partner should be someone you are kinda afraid of. If you know that the person isn’t going to ask you ‘why didn’t you achieve your goal’ than you’re not really that concerned about whether you achieved it or not. My accountability partner and I have a penalty system in place where we have to donate money to charity if we don’t achieve the goal, but to be honest that isn’t incentive enough. I’m scared to say to my accountability partner that I didn’t achieve my goal because I know she won’t accept any excuses and that she will hold me to a higher standard. And that’s exactly what I want.
And finally make sure it’s someone who desperately wants you to succeed! This may sound super obvious and like a ‘well -duh’ moment but finding people who are just as excited about your success as you are is not an easy find. Other people’s achievements can reflect back to us what we have failed to achieve ourselves and this will come up with an accountability partner.
So ditch that way of thinking and find someone who has also ditched that way of thinking. Adopt Stephen Covey’s win-win principle which states that the more successful the people around you are, the more successful you will be. Achievement and success are contagious. Encourage those around you to be the best versions of themselves and you will find the same in your life.
2. Mastermind Groups
Mastermind groups range in size from three to… well the sky's the limit. I’m currently in a mastermind group with twelve people. We have a weekly webinar, a monthly face-to-face and a very active Facebook group chat.
Mastermind groups are powerful because more people means more energy. If I'm lacking motivation in my business, a sure cure is catching up with my mastermind group and seeing the accomplishments and success of others. It’s inspiring and empowering!
They are also a great place to receive feedback on your work. Following your career goals can be lonely and often your family and friends won’t understand. Therefore it’s important to have like-minded people around you who believe in you and your goals, and who can offer supportive and encouraging feedback.
3. Get a Coach
Of course if you want the fastest way to get the most effective results, get a coach. Accountability partners and masterminds groups are great but if you want greater clarity and direction moving forward, a coach can help with that.
The reason why coaching is so effective is twofold. Firstly, you are receiving support from a professional, someone who specialises and provides a solution to the exact problem you have. They have been down that same road as you before and have found a way out.
Secondly, they are able to offer you a tailored one-on-one approach. Sure you can take courses, or attend mastermind groups and work out a solution to the problem yourself but having a coach will help you overcome your specific problem and will save you time and energy. I have found this to be true for myself and that’s why I have a business coach so I can achieve bigger results in a shorter period.
So what are your goals? Are you looking to transition into a career you love? Are you wanting motivation to build your passion project? Maybe you’re not even sure what your passion project is?
If you are feeling stuck or blocked setting your career goals, or lacking motivation making them a reality, book in a FREE discovery session to get inspired and motivated today.
If you're feeling overwhelmed by your career goals and career direction, check out my FREE 4 Step Guide to 'Get Unstuck'. It contains 4 quick and easy exercises to help you get clarity on where you want to go and how you're going to get there.