9 Steps to Achieving Big, Audacious Goals
January is a time when many of us are in goal-setting mode. And while we may start with good intentions and a plan, sometimes we can’t seem to make them stick. Our goals become static, boring, and after time, they are forgotten or overridden by short-term, tactical objectives.
I challenge you to set big and audacious goals this year – goals that push you outside of your comfort zone. Here are nine steps to get you started and boost your motivation in 2020.
- Build goals that excite you, build positive energy, help you learn, and create forward momentum. Setting goals that do not excite you is a recipe for boredom and dropping your goals before the end of January.
- Personalize your learning path. Personalization has moved into almost every area within HR, from more tailored job descriptions to empowering employees to master their own career path. Build a mentoring, learning, and training plan based on the most effective ways you learn. Collaborate with leadership to ensure your goals and the organizational goals are in alignment.
- Visualize success. What will your work look like once you’ve achieved the goals? Will you be promoted? Will you have different responsibilities? When we visualize a desired outcome, we begin to “see” the possibility of achieving it, enhancing our motivation and inspiration to pursue the goal.
- Break your goals into micro-goals. The key to achieving goals is to focus on one thing at a time. Ask yourself, “What’s the one thing that, if achieved, will make everything easier?” Drill into the why behind your goal, and you will quickly understand how to get there. Instead of, “I want to work on my leadership skills,” break that into smaller pieces that can be achieved in a few days, like enrolling in a training program or finding a mentor.
- Build a community. Tell your colleagues about your goals and micro-goals, building a coalition of peers who can support and guide you. If you stumble and find yourself needing motivation, having a community of people who can hold you accountable will give you the strength and energy needed to continue.
Ask for feedback. Recent research shows that creating a culture of feedback is the most critical driver of positive organizational outcomes. The challenge is how to make feedback less frightening. Neuroleadership Institute suggests putting the focus on asking for feedback from those you trust.
- Celebrate wins. As you start to reach your goals, including micro-goals, celebrate each one as a win. Build a sense of positivity as you make incremental progress, not just at the endpoint.
- Convince yourself you can do it. And if needed, “Fake it until you make it.” Grit is a key part of goal achievement – the perseverance to get up in spite of failures and mistakes and to want to achieve your goals regardless of your circumstances.
- Check in with your manager at least monthly as you work towards your goals. Solicit their feedback about what is working and what could be improved. Not only will this help you meet your goals, but it will build trust and connection with your manager.
Using these tips, set small micro-goals and celebrate progress along the way. As you build your path toward learning and growth this year, remember this is an ongoing journey, not a once-a-year commitment.