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What Every Career-Minded Woman Ought to Know About Effective Goal Setting

1st step in goal setting benefits of goal setting goal setting motivation to set goals why is goal setting important

How are you taking ownership of your career success? 

Ultimately -- the choice is yours: a career by design or default. 

Without effective goal setting, you are essentially leaving things to chance, which is 100% counterproductive. Far too many women with career aspirations allow others to influence or determine their choices – handing over control.

By allowing other people to make decisions about your career, you are not engaged and not invested in yourself. Often women are influenced by managers, employers, or even well-meaning family members and friends. 

Ask yourself - Who is in the driver’s seat of designing your dream career?

If it’s not you, put yourself back in the driver's seat for a better and wiser way forward. You are accountable for your career outcome, and you need to be true to yourself and your values and set your goals. 

Why is goal setting important to career-minded women?   

You know goal setting is a way to determine whether or not you've gotten to where you want. In other words, when you set a goal, did you achieve it? 

You can set many goals over time – both short-term and long-term goals. Either way, you won't know if you're on track to get to where you want to be unless you are setting those goals, taking action and tracking your progress.

Regardless of your goals, just having them keeps you motivated and helps you focus your attention and energy in the direction to achieve what you really want. 

When you hit your goal, you experience self-satisfaction, a reward for your achievement; these feel-good thoughts prime you to set even more goals with enthusiasm.

Goal setting keeps you on track and intentional in your career, rather than just accepting what comes your way. 

Inspire the Motivation to Set Goals

The truth is, you're not going to be very motivated if you set a goal that is not aligned with your values or something you want. Your partner or best friend may want you to go after that vice president title, but if it's not what you want and you want instead to be an artist, you won’t be very motivated. 

Your internal drivers and values inspire the motivation to set goals that you are driven to achieve.

What does your goal mean to you? Does it excite and inspire action on your part? If not, what's the point? Who are you trying to please or appease?

The First Step to Setting Goals is _____

Understanding your why. As so many leaders and companies learned by following Simon Sinek, the first step to setting goals is to understand why. Want to know more? Read Start with Why by Simon Sinek, which was the basis for his wildly popular Ted talk that garnered over 58 million views.

Why are you choosing a particular goal? 

And who are you doing it for? 

Why do you want to be a vice president?

Let's say you want to make a certain annual salary. Why do you want to make that amount? Oh, because you want to buy a bigger house. Why a bigger house? Because you want to grow your family. 

When you break it down, your why is that you want to be financially secure enough to raise a family. Once you've uncovered your why -- that is something you can work with; it's a huge motivator. 

So the first step to goal setting is to gain clarity by defining your why.

Know that your motivation may dip after you start working toward your goal as you reach that middle part. In those moments of doubt, that's when you must remind yourself of your why to keep you going and reignite your motivation.

Insider Tips on Effective Goal Setting Techniques 

Traditionally, in corporate settings, you set annual goals, and more often than not, time slips away, and you're not staying on top of your goals. Then as your achievement deadlines are closing in, you regroup and take a stab at it but often barely meet the minimum. There's a better way… 

According to Parkinson's Theory of Time Management, your work will continually expand to fill the time allotted for completion. 

If your manager says she needs a report completed in five days, you will take five days to complete it. If she asks for the same report and gives you only two days, you will find a way to complete it in two days. You will take exactly the amount of time given. You've likely experienced this phenomenon in your own work-life. This is human nature; we all do it. 

The good news is that you can get more done in less time IF you manage your time differently. Incorporate this knowledge into your goal setting process by giving yourself less time to achieve a goal.

For a great resource on goal setting and execution, be sure to read 12 Week Year by authors Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington. The book redefines perspectives on goal setting, execution, and implementation, giving you a competitive advantage.

Essentially, the authors propose a year to be considered 12 weeks. With this in mind, each week is a month and each day is a week. It facilitates your ability to focus intently on one or two things that will make a difference in hitting your goal. More importantly, you'll hit your goal in a much shorter time frame—that sense of accomplishment fuels you to move forward to your next goal. By year-end, rather than barely reaching four of your six goals, you will hit all of your goals. You'll find the method proposed in 12 Week Year to be a highly effective goal setting technique.

Benefits of Goal Setting With a Coach

Working with a coach means that your highest potential and possibilities will be fully explored and supported. You are guided to set intentional goals and stay on track. The benefits of goal setting with a coach include:

  • Clarity: Getting clear on what you want and why you want it
  • Accountability: A coach keeps you on course and accountable for your actions
  • Challenge: A coach will push you to do a just a bit more than you thought you could 
  • Tools: Teach new ways to best reach your goals
  • Motivation: Motivation to keep going!
  • Celebration: Taking time to celebrate your achievements.

To experience what you can accomplish with a coach, be sure to register for the free Design Your Dream Career 3 Day Challenge.                 

Take your career and goal setting to the next level! Get back in the driver's seat and take control of where you're going!

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