By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC

[email protected]

As an ambitious executive, it is important to set goals.

But do you find your goals motivate you to action?

Many people set new goals as another year rolls around and soon forget what they were planning to achieve.

Goals can be hard to stick with. But they are much easier to track with if they are powerful goals that mean something to you.

Not sure how to set goals that connect with you on a deeper level? Read on.

Set Big, Ambitious Goals

One of the reasons your goals may not be motivating you is because they are too small.

If the goals are too easy to reach, they will not require a lot of time and effort on your part. That makes it easy to procrastinate. Moreover, smaller goals do not require the help of others.

As a leader, one of your jobs is to inspire others. When you have big goals, it is much easier for your team to catch your vision and get on the same page to help you reach your objectives.

Accountability plays a significant part in sticking to your goals.

Break Your Goals Down Into Smaller Action Steps

A goal is just wishful thinking unless you have a plan detailing how you are going to achieve it.

Can you break your goals down into smaller action steps? If not, it means you do not know how to achieve those goals. Either you need to revise that goal or research the steps involved in making it a reality.

We are all crunched for time, but it is easy to spend 10, 20, or 30 minutes daily on meaningful action steps. If that is all the time you have, you need to know exactly how to spend it to reach your goals.

Think Long-Term, but Be Willing To Adjust

It is important for leaders to be thinking five to 10 years ahead.

The challenge today is that in this fast-paced world, it is harder than ever to keep up with changes in customer demands, the market, technology, and so on.

So, it is more important than ever for executives to recognize the importance of adjusting as they move closer to their goals.

Your goal may be relevant today but could mean very little to you a year or two down the line. Tweak your goals based on the changes and shifts you see taking place.

Ensure Your Goals Are In Alignment With You & Your Career

As a leader, you must be thinking big picture.

It is fine to have personal goals, but if they are not in alignment with your values, you are not going to be motivated to achieve them.

Likewise, you will need to set career goals, but if they are not aligned with business objectives that have already been identified, there could be some dissonance between what you want to accomplish and what needs to be accomplished.

You will have a much better chance at sticking to goals that matter to you and the people around you if they are well matched.

Revisit Your Goals Regularly & Track Progress

It is all too easy to write goals down in a notebook you never look at again.

It is much more effective to keep your goals out in front of you, whether it is on a blackboard, whiteboard, a piece of paper pinned to a corkboard, or otherwise.

If you track your progress, you will get to review the steps you have taken so far and will be more likely to stay on course. You will be encouraged by the steps you have taken.

Final Thoughts

Goal setting does work. But oftentimes, you will require the help of others to make them a reality, even if it is just in the form of accountability. It helps to check in with your coach or mentor on a regular basis, as they can steer you in the right direction when you feel off track.

Let’s get to work!

If you have questions about your executive career search, please contact me at 203-323-9977 or [email protected].