It’s summer time.
We are halfway through the year. If you set annual goals, are working on things or working towards something, it’s a great time to check in. It’s also a great time to enjoy some vacation. Enjoy a slower pace. While in your summer mindset, take some white space. Think about Re-scheduling Your Schedule For White Space to reflect on you, your plans, your goals and your results.
Execution is one of the five steps of the Pivotal Leadership Model:
Execution, or getting it done, is often missing part of the result and your best success. Goals factor in here; it’s both the setting of them and the writing of them down that matters. Successful execution correlates to goals, discipline, self-management, teamwork, resilience and communication. Goals are the foundation to successful execution. Execution leads to performance and then to results.
"A dream or plan without goals remains just that."
What’s in a goal?
Goal defined: the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
We all have goals. We set goals to have a good day, to have the right mindset, to get a project done, to not get frustrated with a family member or team member, to go on a dream vacation, to spend time with family and friends, to try a new restaurant, to get active, to eat healthy, to have more fun, to get a new job, to retire… our list can be endless.
The goals for today are easier goals. The goals for a year or for 5 years are harder. Bigger goals or longer-term goals take planning. In planning your goal, you define what you want, what actions you’ll need to take, what you need to learn, who can help you and what steps are involved. The bigger the goal, the more planning to be done.
Goals are about both having them and writing them down. Athletes are the best examples of professionals who realize goals, in both their profession and life. Athletes work on their health, mindset, skills and practice every day. They have a goal, a plan and at least one coach. They know their best success comes from within themselves and they are relentless in the work and discipline to realize their goals.
If the term "goal" drains your energy, and some of our clients do dislike working with goals. Reframe your approach and work on:
a north star
"Your best success is realized with a goals habit."
Getting things done
When setting goals for myself, or for clients, I incorporate an action plan that embodies SMART goals.
SMART goals are an essential framework for effective goal-setting, incorporating five key principles: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. By following these principles, you can create goals that are well-defined, quantifiable, and within reach, making them more meaningful and motivating. With clarity in your goal-setting, you gain the focus necessary for success.
The feedback I get is that people are not consistently getting to goal setting in their work habits. You need to know your direction and destination. It is a must to your success. Figure out the system and terms that work best to energize you, your focus and your efforts.
Where to start?
The first step is setting a goal. Three goals. That’s the maximum number of goals you should set. Three personal and three professional. Any more than that and our ability to focus and work on them gets diminished. If you’ve set SMART goals, those three goals can be robust. There are also the associated tactics to go along with your goal. The tactics are especially important for your big goals.
Your goal habit
Here’s our System for Success. Your success plan should have:
A vision: Look to the future and plan how you want it to be
The destination: Design culture, strategy, goals, and aspired leadership brand
Prioritized success drivers: Identify the systems, process, and personality attributes to leverage
An action plan: Prioritization of goals, drivers and work to be done
Execute on change and activities: Focusing on activities such as learning, practice, training, coaching, and mentoring
Evaluate and practice: Check and re-check with self-assessment and feedback, formal and informal
Plan reflection and measurement: Assess qualitative and qualitative measures of success
Our Write Your Future Tool and Companion Resource cover our System for Success in detail.
Asking to help
To further support your success, consider sharing your goals. Two things that make an increased impact to goal realization is writing them down and telling someone about them. If you find your execution is falling off, ask for help. Leverage your friends, family and network. Find an accountability partner. A coach is always a great accountability partner.
Tracking and reviewing are important. This is the measure part of evolving your goal work. For many of us, it’s putting it in our tasks or calendars. Others find and use a mantra that remains displayed in a prominent place. If you are working on a habit and need check-ins, there’s an app for that (some recommended options.)
Habits are the hardest to change. Relationships are a habit. Leadership is a habit. Results are a habit. New habits are hard work. The resulting new habit and realizing of a goal are an amazing feeling and worthy of the effort you put into them.
The first thing that’s a must for your goal success is mindset. You have to see the potential yourself and want to realize it..The good news on your goal toolbox is there are tons of tools and resources to support your goal skills. Finding the goal and habit tool that work well for you and your style may take a little experimentation.
My personal approach is a combination of a journal dedicated to goals and planning, calendar reminders and folders with documents I work on for planning and tactics. My improvement opportunity is to work on Step #7, Celebrating Success. I tend to blow through a goal and get working on the next one. One of my team gave me the suggestion to also keep a success journal. I now write down the big and little success stories.
The middle ground
The mid point midpoint of the race or project can be the hardest point, the path to success always takes you through a messy middle.. Your energy and commitment may be taxed. Draw on your growth mindset and engage your discipline to get you to the year end finish line. Go back to your Why; this is what will keep you fueled for your work ahead. Enjoy checking in on your goals. Be energized by planning for the future. Be intentional in working on your best leadership.
"Take in your progress, resilience and success.Make goals the habit of your success.”
Lisa W. Haydon is a business leader and entrepreneur with over 30 years of operational experience leading teams in banking, capital markets, technology and professional services. Lisa’s instinct for sorting through business complexities, understanding distinctive leader personalities, and realizing results compelled her to leave a corporate career and become an entrepreneur.
Her company, Pivotal Growth, introduced a technology tool for leadership development assessment and planning. The suite of tools offers diagnostic capabilities to synthesize and accelerate people performance.
Lisa’s skills and the Pivotal Growth product help companies enhance their performance and support leaders achieving greater confidence and success.