Goal Setting: Are You Doing It Properly?

Setting targets to achieve is nothing new. For many, it may feel as though you have set an abundance of new targets, but only reached one or two, if any of them. Amongst the 35,000 decisions we make every day, bombarding our minds with complex targets without planning the steps required to achieve them, can result in more stress and being more unlikely to achieve them.

Create a realistic workload

It is recommended that you only have three main goals at any given time. Ultimately, this will depend on the size of the task you are setting yourself. However, setting multiple goals of equal difficulty can create ‘goal competition’. This essentially blocks your progress as it increases the likelihood of spreading your focus across too many subjects, therefore limiting how much of yourself you can apply to one goal. Instead, once one goal is completed, substitute in another.

Reward yourself when necessary

This may also seem like a no-brainer, however simply setting and achieving goals won’t guarantee you will maintain the same level of motivation or enjoyment of each target. One way of maintaining motivation is finding a way of enjoying the task at hand; for example, studying outside or with friends, or listening to music whilst finishing the task. Harvard Business Review conducted a study which found that focusing on the immediate benefits associated with completing aspects of a goal or target alongside creating a sense of enjoyment surrounding it, makes you more likely to stay on course to complete the full task.

We all need to set goals during our careers, whether they are short-term or long-term. Inevitably, you should use a system that works for you; this could involve having several short-term goals and one long-term. If you are struggling with goal setting, executive coaching can assist you in setting, monitoring, and maintaining your progress whether it is related to work or a hobby. Anne Taylor is an accredited executive coach, who has years of experience offering one-to-one sessions throughout London. If you feel your career could benefit from a motivational spark, or if you would like to speak to Anne regarding some of the other coaching services she provides, feel free to call on 02031 516 830.