Are you living someone else's goals out rather than your own?

  • Goals

Goal setting and achievement have varying degrees of effectiveness due to a wide range of processes and know-how.

People often talk about the best way to set goals and how they need to be SMART. I agree, but there is something far more important than any of that and it comes right at the beginning...

I was talking to a client the other day about some of his goals for the year and he sounded bored and uninspired. He kept trying to solider on and discuss how he could achieve them. He mentioned to me that he struggled to find TIME to work on his goals.

There are only two reasons why people blame time for not achieving things:

  1. There is a fear of failure/not being good enough, not having the right skills and something being too big for a person to achieve.
  2. The goal is someone else’s goal and therefore motivation is required to achieve it. There is a lack of INSPIRATION being felt as the goal does not resonate.

Area number one is easy to overcome. The key here is to start at the end. It may sound crazy, but asking yourself why you wanted to have this goal in the first place and what it will feel like, look like, or sound like when it’s achieved will refocus you onto the inspiration you had for the goal in the first place.

If it does, then the goal needs to be chunked down into manageable bite-sized pieces so you can avoid feeling overwhelmed. I was working with a girl on this exact scenario today; she got quite teary when I started speaking about the goal itself and her why. She felt overwhelmed, and this was why she was struggling.

If this had not occurred and she had no inspiration behind the goal, then it would have turned out to be someone else’s expectation of her rather than it being her idea.

In the case of my client this week, it was the latter. He was curious about what I meant given that he had written his own goals but what I was saying was true. He had written them, yes, but they were based on someone else's values system. They were based on someone else's career goals and not his own. They were not based on what he wanted to achieve for his own satisfaction and certainly not in a way that he was going to feel comfortable with.

At Vouch, we spend a lot of time looking at goals in varying areas, whether it be individual goals, company goals or goals based on strategy. They all have the same themes in common, they must resonate with the people who are responsible for their success.

It is quite possible to have work related goals that match people’s individual goals. Career goals are one of the many areas that make up an individual’s goals for any given year. Mental, financial and vocational goals also directly relate to a person’s career.

There will always be goals that need to be met by different people in different roles. For example, sales-based targets and conversions. This may not be a person’s favourite area but if they love what they do the key is to find a way to document a goal in sales that resonates with the individual who will be striving to meet it. The strategy must be different for each person.

Going back to the basics of an individual’s values system and what matters to them is key. When people can resonate with why they are setting a particular goal, the how component of the goal will be far easier to document, break down and achieve.

Values are not behavioural words like honesty and integrity, good customer service or hard work. Values are whatever you perceive as being most important to you in life: the things that people don’t have to motivate you to do or care about and focus on. These can be worked on as a collective for a company as well as individuals within the company and then linked back.

‘Therefore does it not make sense that figuring out your values is essential to ensuring that your goals resonate with what you perceive as most important? After all, work is part of your life and will be affected by all in your life. Think about that’…

As always, remember, 'Energy equals outcome, so make sure that you are focusing on the right things'.

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