How is your 2018 starting out? Mine is great! I don’t do resolutions, but I do set annual goals that advance the ball on my overall life objectives. A key to achieving any goal is to first tell someone about it and then have an accountability mechanism in place. This is it – I’m telling you all one of my goals for the year. I’m going to run a 10K by April. This now makes you officially my accountability partner and gives you the authority to ask me about progress. (And it ups the bar for my training schedule…I can feel my heartbeat increasing…)
I tell you this because we all need support, whether in achieving major breakthroughs or minor changes in our lives and careers. We can’t do it alone and we don’t need to do so. If you have a career or development goal for 2018 and would like support in achieving it, sign up for a complimentary coaching session to see if coaching is right for you.
If group development opportunities are your preference, then put April 6th on your calendar for the upcoming workshop, “The Art of Recognition”. Click here for more information.
May you achieve your 2018 goals with energy and fulfillment!
Here’s My 2018 Goal. What’s Yours?
You heard it here first! I’m going to run a 10K for the first time in my life this April. It’s a goal that will require a change in my workout habits. I’ll have to move from random workouts dependent on my mood to something routine and disciplined. I know I can do this, but there is a corner of my brain that has a little doubt. Not about the goal, but about whether I can maintain the discipline required to achieve it.
Whether a lofty goal or a simple step, changing anything takes deliberate effort. We know that even small changes in one’s daily routine can make a big impact, yet even small changes will encounter big obstacles. Most of us have heard about SMART goals. Goals should be
Timely (or some use Tangible).
Whether you’re changing your morning routine or changing your job, each part of the goal must be something you know you can do–something you have confidence in and control over.
But there’s more to changing than just setting SMART goals. We all need accountability and support to make changes and reach our goals. Here are other steps you can take to make changes stick.
Tell a supportive individual about your desired change. In addition to accountability, we also need an accountability partner to occasionally grant us grace. Choose your accountability partner carefully, because accountability alone will not get you across the finish line. Human beings have an amazing capacity to rationalize away what we do not do or do not want to do. My nephew is going to train for the 10K also, and we’ll support each other.
Understand your motivating force. What about the change you are about to make will energize you? What does the future look like if you realize this change? I’m motivated by my desire for vitality and health as I’ve seen friends and relatives encounter physical challenges. I’m also now motivated by the fear of failure having just communicated my goal to the world!
Create an external structure that introduces discipline. This may be an externally scheduled event, a new ritual or a connection with an individual. For example, a few years ago, when I was aiming to leave the office at a reasonable hour one day a week, I set a standing weekly appointment. This particular appointment was something that was in line with my desire to reduce stress and was a goal on my bucket list: learn to play the piano. Each Wednesday at the appointed time, I left my work to go to my piano lesson. It worked! I got home early one day a week, I engaged in a de-stressing activity and I achieved something on my bucket list. For my 10K goal, I am using a training app that tells me what to do daily. I just do what I’m told.
Replace negative triggers with positive triggers. The book, The Power of Habit talks about triggers for the brain. Our brain seeks out familiar associations. If your brain associates going past the bakery with your craving for donuts, then start driving a different route in the morning. If you can’t get time to work on your big project, yet every morning the first thing you do is open your email and get caught up in an endless email habit, then do something different when you sit at your desk in the morning. Eventually, your brain will associate the new, positive trigger event with the better habit.
Celebrate success. Pat yourself on the back, count your successes and reinforce your good behavior with something you like that won’t derail your goals.
By setting SMART goals, and following these few steps to instill accountability, we bring ourselves that much closer to our goals.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Trust Your Gut
We often hear about “women’s intuition”. When should we rely on it? Here are two resources to help you discern when trusting your gut is helpful in business decision making:
Susan Hodge created Women Leading Together in order to provide one-on-one executive coaching, seminars, workshops, and coaching circles to help career women move forward to create fulfilling professional lives. Visit our newly redesigned website at www.WomenLeadingTogether.com
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Susan Hodge is launching her 2018 workshop, “The Art of Recognition” on April 6th! Check the “Events” tab of Women Leading Togetherand Pink Petro for registration details.
Invite Susan to speak at your organization, conference, special event or women’s group. All presentations are an interactive experience where each participant will come away with something new to support her career. Click here for a sample list of topics.