29 Dec What does the moon landing have in common with goal-setting?
When Neil Armstrong took his first step on the moon and uttered those immortal words, I wasn’t around to experience the power and impact of those words on his generation. Having grown up several decades after that momentous event, when I watched the moon landing on the tele and heard his message to the earth, I could experience his sense of achievement minutely, but I couldn’t yet relate to it.
This changed when I signed up for a goal setting workshop recently. At first, I wasn’t exactly sure of what to expect, being the skeptic that I am. But I decided to attend it with an open mind and give it an honest effort. After all, the venue, at Verity, was chic, beautiful and exclusive; registration wasn’t blowing a hole in my pocket, as most of these workshops are famed to do; and I had heard very good things about the workshop facilitator, David Graham of Edge3, an executive and leadership coach.
I was one among a motley crew of new and seasoned business owners who specialized in mortgage, architecture, home renovations, nutrition, web design, music etc. While we were all from different walks of life and professions, we all had one thing in common, goal setting. We were there to learn how we could set our business goals for 2016.
It was one of the most productive and fulfilling evenings for me, professionally and personally, as I learned that goal setting is a necessary step not just for business success, but also for personal success. For most of you this might be pretty obvious, but for me I had never approached my personal life from a goal setting point of view. For me, life was a macrocosm that we fell into and how it turned out for us personally was just happenstance. Yes, we can control the outcome of certain microcosmic milestones within it, like our careers – hence the goal setting – but when it comes to personal life, I didn’t think I needed to apply goal setting techniques to better it. Boy, was I wrong! And boy, I wasn’t the only one who came out of the workshop feeling like we had stumbled upon a revelation.
Here are some of the key takeaways from Edge3’s Strategic Goal Setting Workshop:
- It is important to have a very clear vision of what your goal is. Writing your goal down on paper makes it more actionable.
- Answers to these questions will help flesh out your goal:
- Why is the goal important to me?
- What is the time frame within which I will make it happen?
- Who is going to hold me accountable?
- How can I immediately take the first step towards my goal?
- Identify your external and internal barriers – these could be your personality traits, your competition, lack of time, lack of money, lack of skills, or even the people you surround yourself with
- Identify your external and internal power sources – things you draw inspiration from and that push you forward like nature, books, your tribe (friends and professional network), your creativity, your successes, or your intuition
- Write down your strengths and what they enabled you to achieve throughout the year – acknowledging your strengths is a great way to further build upon them. Having a friend or colleague help you identify your strengths is a great way to not only validate your beliefs but also flush out the strengths you weren’t aware of
- Remember to have a concrete plan to celebrate your successes as was poignantly stated by Meaghan Hutchings, The Mortgage Coach “while I had already identified several business/financial goals prior to the workshop, I had not given much thought to personal goals or quality of life. It became clear to me (in the workshop) that I had not celebrated my accomplishments throughout 2015…something I will be mindful of in 2016.
- Long-term goals are great, but they tend to come in the way of smaller more achievable successes that provide the fuel to keep going forward. “I’ve always tended to focus on long-term goals (as in 5+ years), but it can in itself be a barrier to focusing on shorter term goals. After building the business up, I’ve decided to focus the following year on some very specific revenue & profit goals in 2016. The change will result in a more secure future for my family along with pride in what we’ve accomplished”, Brent Kobayashi, Kobayashi Online.
So what has the moon landing got to do with strategic goal setting? Small steps lead to big things. It all starts with taking time out, being honest with yourself and writing it down on paper, an exercise – I would like to think, Neil Armstrong practiced. Whether you want to start a blog to advertise your business, or do yoga every day to better your lifestyle, the first step is to analyze your needs vs. your wants and write them down on paper.
By- Sohini Bhattacharya
Note: An abridged version of this post was published in The Buzz,Professional Independent Communicators (PIC) December 2015 Newsletter.