Home > Challenges, Goals, Leadership > Are your goals boring you?

Are your goals boring you?

Some time ago, back in the days when I was an HR Business Partner, my boss asked me to (well,actually I think that was TOLD rather than asked!) me to run a quarterly Career Development Forum with the Board we were working with.  I was new in to the job but I guess I should have realised it was not going to be easy when he told me he’d been trying to get this off the ground for months and now wanted to hand it over to me!  To cut a long story short, it was a disaster.  They had no idea what I was talking about and I had completely failed to get on their wave length.  You can imagine how much I was looking forward to it when the next quarterly meeting approached!  I started to think of all kinds of diseases I might go down with, reasons why there wouldn’t be time to do it with, disasters and emergencies that might intervene and then ….STOP!

I suddenly realised how I was sabotaging myself and setting myself up for failure by thinking of everything negative about the meeting and all that could go wrong.   It dawned on me that to be successful what I needed to do was envision a successful meeting and me running it really well.

Visioning! such a powerful tool for all sorts of things – and especially to create exciting and motivating business and personal goals for yourself.  Of course SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound) has been tried and tested and is popular in many organisations.  But does it inspire you? does it make you want to get up in the morning, make you want to give your all?? exactly!  Visioning what you want to achieve and yourself being successful certainly can though.

Your mind cannot tell the difference between a real event and something you have merely imagined, so by vividly imagining  yourself as having already achieved what you want you are far more likely to succeed.

How to vision?Vision what you want

  • Find yourself somewhere to be alone and to relax – this is definitely best done in private!
  • Close your eyes and imagine with all your senses that you have achieved your goal, be it winning a new client, giving an amazing presentation, getting your dream job….  Imagine what you’re seeing around you, who is there, what are they doing, the expressions on their faces.  What are you hearing? what are they saying?  and what are you feeling – excited, exhilarated, proud, confident?  think of other times you’ve felt that sensation and really remember what it’s like – where do you feel it in your body?  how strong is that sensation?
  • Whenever you need re-motivating or you lose touch with what your goal really means to you repeat the process so that you’ve recreated the reality of it again
  • Your unconscious mind will help you find ways to achieve your goal when you really know what you want
  • Write down your goal or find a picture or object that represents it so that you can carry that with you at all times to remind you what you’re working towards.

So what are your tips for creating exciting goals for yourself and those you lead?  or how else have you used visioning? Please post your ideas below – what’s worked and what hasn’t worked for you?

Next time I’ll look at why you need to focus on what you do want, not what you don’t.  Join me then and I look forward to hearing from you in the meantime.

Photo:  Caroline Talbott.  Antarctica 2006.

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  1. August 17, 2011 at 09:25

    What happened at the Career Development Forum? it was a great success; I ran one every quarter with their active participation, in the spirit and letter of what we were aiming to achieve, and when I announced I was moving to a new job they gave me a spontaneous round of applause!
    Caroline

  2. August 17, 2011 at 11:12

    Hi Caroline,
    Thanks for sharing your ideas and experiences in another good artcle.
    My additional tip for the successful achievement of a goal is to ensure that it is self-maintained. The example that you give in your article implies that you did this when you imagined yourself running the meeting really well and, consequently, the outcome you set did not rely on anyone else and was instead entirely dependent on what you were doing and how you were being. In my experience, applying this simple criteria makes a huge difference.
    By the way, how is your blog matching up with your goal for it?
    Best Wishes,
    Mike

  3. August 17, 2011 at 12:04

    What a great tip Mike – and question! really living and exemplifying your own role of ‘coach’!

    You are quite right to stress ensuring that your goal is self-maintained and you explain what you mean by that really well, thank you. And indeed in my example it did just depend on me to create that – and the ‘hidden’ benefit was that my self-belief impacted on them and they were up for a positive experience as well.

    How is my blog matching up with my goal for it? In terms of enjoying sharing my knowledge and experience it’s doing very well. And I trust that by continuing to offer something which is useful I will attract more and more ‘professionals in leadership’ to read it!

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