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iManage, Issue #36 - How To Set Goals That Work - 3 Steps To Success
January 30, 2013


How To Set Goals That Work - 3 Steps To Success

January is the month where people traditionally focus on goals.. a new year, a chance for a fresh start.

If you had great intentions this month, but have not made much progress to date, maybe it is time to rethink your approach to setting goals. Here are 3 steps to achieving great results.

Step 1: Ask yourself: Can I really do that?

I once saw a forum post from someone who set themselves a target to "write a blog entry every day for the next year".

My first reaction was.. what if you get a bad flu? or you are busy with your child's birthday party? or you go on holidays?

It is great to have good intentions, but better not to commit to something that stands a high chance of not happening. Maybe a goal of "every day for a month" might be more effective.

Step 2: Ask yourself: How am I going to do it?

A goal that I often hear managers decide on is "to talk less and listen more to my team". A very worthy goal.. but often not fully developed. What exactly are you going to do to make that change? How are you going to know whether you have achieved it?

Think it through and aim for clarity. For example, you might decide to set aside an hour of uninterrupted time with each of your team members on a regular basis. This could be for coaching and feedback, giving you the opportunity to listen more.

Consider using a 360 degree feedback process - where you measure how people perceive your listening skills over a period of time.

Step 3: Ask yourself: How am I going to stay motivated?

A lot of goals fall by the wayside due to the fear factor. We all have a natural resistance to change and prefer the comfort of what we know.

For example, early in my career I had a goal of delivering a group training session. It sat firmly in the pending tray for a long time. I had a deep fear of speaking in public.

I ended up running that training session for a group of 4 friendly co-workers and survived. Then I trained progressively larger groups - so the fear factor was manageable.

If you find yourself procrastinating over a worthy goal, think about what is holding you back, and set smaller goals to get you going and keep you motivated.

Spending a little time reviewing and perhaps rephrasing your goals could make all the difference to you and your business.

I hope you have a great year :-)

For more ideas on practical management skills, join our webinar on Tuesday, 12 February at 7.30pm GMT.

Details to follow!

For a comprehensive guide to managing people and yourself in the workplace download our Essential Management Skills Workbook Collection

Best wishes

Ann Halloran

Practical Management Skills

Practical management skills advice for business owners and managers. Get best practice tips on a personal development and people management skills such as time management, leadership, communication, managing change and more.

Content based on 30 years management/consultancy experience gained in a wide range of business sectors.

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