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Setting Highly Effective Goals

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Sharp professionals know that achievement is the gateway to success. Of course, that success doesn’t happen overnight. We need to earn it—piece by piece, by achieving our goals. Before we can have goals, we need to set goals. But the act of setting a goal doesn’t necessarily set us up for achievement. We need to invest the time in both setting goals—and achieving them. When we spend some time setting a solid goal, we set ourselves up for a more successful execution. Here are a few strategies professionals can use to make their goals more effective:

Evaluate Often

Reflection is in order when setting strong goals. Take time to think about what you’d like to achieve without worrying about specific goals right away. What do you want your life to look like in five or ten years? Which areas of your work would you like to improve? See what comes to mind and let that inform the goals you set. Beyond an initial evaluation, it’s important to pause as we work towards a goal. Check in and review your current goals. Do the goals still align with what’s important to you? How are you progressing? Has your vision for your business altered? Stay open to modifying your goals and your process as needed. When you get in the habit of frequent evaluation, you’ll be better prepared to set a new goal each time you complete a current one.

Write Everything Down

There’s a real benefit in putting something in writing. While we might have an abstract goal floating around in our mind, once we put it down on paper it becomes more solidified. We’re compelled to articulate what it is we want to achieve. For some of us, jotting goals in a notebook is enough, while others get an additional boost by keeping these written goals visible. It might be a reminder near your workspace, or a note taped somewhere that you’ll see every day. Focusing your attention on your goals in this way can keep you connected to them.

Take Action Daily

You might have identified an ambitious achievement you’d like to complete in the future, but if you don’t break that down into actions you can take every day, it can be difficult to make progress. No matter how large or ambitious your goal, the only way you’re going to get there is through consistent work. It could be as simple as spending fifteen minutes each day on social-media marketing, or scheduling a meeting each month with a trusted mentor. The key is to identify the actions you can take that will get you where you want to go.

Reward Your Progress

When you set your goal, give yourself some progress markers that will let you know you’re on track. You can even assign dates to ensure you’re within your goal timeframe. This is specifically important for long-term goals. It’s easy for us to lose motivation if there’s no satisfaction along the way. Progress milestones are a chance to pause and look how far we’ve come. When you reward your progress, you give yourself a boost to continue moving forward.

The foundation to strong goals is in how we set them. As we define what we want to achieve, it’s important to take time to establish clear goals that will support the hard work we need to put in. 

If you’d like to talk more about goal setting, or you need help developing a strategy, please reach out. I’d be happy to schedule time to talk.

Don Riggs

VP – Retail Market Leader

NMLS 132702

303.249.8274

Don.riggs@cardinalfinancial.com