1. Consider making each one of your goals SMART-E, goals which are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timebound and of course exciting. Test out each one of your goals with this framework. Rather than saying you will build a more robust network, get specific on this - what will it look like? How can you track your progress? What's exciting about it?
In the work that I do with leaders, it's the excitement factor that usually makes the big difference between a "nice to have" goal, to one that does get achieved.
2, Consider how each one of your goals connects to the team, organizational and personal level. If you are a team leader, what is the connection between your goals, your team goals and your organization goals. How do they differ? What's the overlap? Where can you get some leverage by working on one, or the other?
3. What's going to be a stretch for you? it's important to have stretch goals which will support us in moving forward in comfortable ways. This links us back to the A of SMART-E. How are your goals Achievable (with some stretch)?
Getting just the right amount of stretch is going to look different for each one of us - too much stretch may lead to inertia, to little stretch may mean that it becomes another check-box activity. What stretch is going to be supportive of your growth at this time?
4. Create an accountability partner - Who will you share these goals with? Who will hold your "feet to the fire" or cheer you on though the peaks and valleys of the year. This is where a lot of leaders I work with enjoy the Teams365 Coaching Groups, a peer group focused on supporting you with your goals, learning and successes.
Who will support you throughout this year as you move forward? When will you be revisiting your goals throughout the year?
5. Keep your goals visible - Keeping your goals visible creates a regular reminder, and conversation point, about what is important. Yesterday I included a one-page downloadable goal sheet from the Inner Biz Leader(TM) Virtual Business Planning Retreat. I hope that you will enjoy using it to keep your top 3-5 goals visible throughout the year.
What other tips do you have about making goals more effective, based on your experience?
Have a great back to work day!
Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC
Supporting Team Leaders to do their best work, one conversation at a time
Coaching | Teamwork | Leadership
Author of From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Looking to create your plan for 2015? Participate in the on-demand Inner Biz Leader(TM) Virtual Retreat Program - 7 hours of structured activities to support you in developing your vision and one page plan for the next year!