It’s the end of the year. You know what that means for you, right? It’s time to set your goals for 2022.
Setting Goals Requires You to Reflect on What You Did and Did Not Accomplish in 2021
- What new tools did you learn to use?
- What new experience did you gain about working with clients?
- What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Take time to reflect on your wins.
Then Turn Each of Those Questions Around to Ask Yourself What You Want to Accomplish in 2022
- What new tools do you want to master?
- What new interactions can you have with clients?
- What accomplishments do you want to brag about at this time next year?
I’ve learned certain goal-setting strategies will help me — and you — be more successful. And as one CEO told me recently, “The difference between having goals and not having goals is results.”
Keys to the Process
Here Are Some Steps You Can Take to Focus On Your Goals:
- Gather your thoughts. Talk to your boss about what your goals at work should be. Get input from co-workers. Look at your last performance review for ideas to work on.
- Set a deadline by which you will have created your goals. Otherwise, you might be thinking about your goals much longer than you should.
- Write down your goals. You must write them down or they won’t be real. Seeing your goals in writing gives you clarity and focus.
- Break your goals into chunks. If you want to learn a new software, for example, you are more likely to succeed if you set mini-goals as priorities to help you reach the big goal.
- Create a timeline for meeting each goal. This is a good time to use a Gantt chart. Gantt charts are a good tool for managing projects.
Another aspect of setting goals is to make sure they are SMART goals. Knowing how to write SMART goals is vital if you want to improve your performance in business. Here are definitions and an example for SMART goals. Then read my story on how a moose taught me the value in setting SMART goals.
- SPECIFIC: You must be specific when you write SMART goals. It’s not just “I want to lose weight.” It’s “I want to lose weight on the Paleo diet.”
- MEASURABLE: You must be able to quantify your goals. “I want to lose 40 pounds on the Paleo diet.”
- ATTAINABLE: Your goal must be attainable. “I want to lose 40 pounds on the Paleo diet and by scaling tall buildings.” What do you need to learn to do in order to scale tall buildings? What’s your plan for learning that?
- REALISTIC: Your goal must be realistic. “I want to lose 40 pounds on the Paleo diet so I can wear a size 2.” If you’re a size 16, that may be an unrealistic goal. Make sure your goal will test you but is not beyond what can be done.
- TIMELY: Set time limits. This will give you a sense of urgency. It will help your unconscious align with your intention. “I want to lose 40 pounds on the Paleo diet by losing 5 pounds a month for 8 months.”
Don’t forget to check out the moose.
You’ll put a lot of effort and time into the steps outlined so far. Make sure you get to the finish line by embracing accountability.
- Check on your progress quarterly. It’s much easier to move forward if you keep an eye on your progress often. This is one way a Gantt chart can be helpful. If you set your goals in January, be sure to check in on them in March, June, and September.
- Find an accountability partner. I have a friend who lost over 100 pounds. That friend says he was able to do it because he had so many people checking on his progress. He had shared his weight loss goals with his extensive list of Facebook friends. They checked in on him often. He said their caring and outreach made it easier for him to meet his goals.
- Share your goals and progress with your boss. This is your chance to brag about what you’re doing and how you’re setting priorities. It also helps your boss recognize how you take initiative and carry your well-thought out goals through in meetings.
- Celebrate your wins!
About the Author Pamela A. Scott
Pam is an executive coach to CEOs and business owners, focusing on communication, managing people, leadership, and emotional intelligence. Her tagline says it best: “Numbers may drive the business, but people drive the numbers.”®
Pam started her company more than 20 years ago. For much of that time, Pam has coached engineers and architects to be leaders in their companies.
She brings more than 25 years of communications expertise and leadership experience as:
- A national award-winning newspaper editor
- A communications specialist writing for Congress
- A successful entrepreneur specializing in coaching clients to reach their full potential
Clients have ranged from solo practitioners to companies such as Turner Broadcasting System, Coca Cola, Federal Reserve Bank, and engineering firms such as Walter P. Moore. For 15 years, Pam was a member of Vistage, an international organization of CEOs.
Pam has a master’s in education and human development from George Washington University and a bachelor’s in communication from Bethany College. In Toastmasters, she has achieved Advanced Communicator Bronze and Advanced Leadership Bronze levels.
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on how to ask effective questions to get the answers you need.
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To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success