The first step to reaching your goals is to set the right ones. Follow these guidelines to make your goals motivating:
- Choose meaningful goals. Set goals that excite and energize you. Build in the desire to succeed.Example: While earning an MBA is an admirable ambition, that alone probably isn’t enough to motivate you through the work that earning an advanced degree will require. Think further, about what the degree would allow you to do, to find a meaningful goal.
- Check your reach. Give your goal a reality check: Is what you are attempting to do within your control?Example: While you would like to reduce turnover in your department by half this year, people’s decisions to leave may be based on factors you can’t influence.
- Define your aim clearly. Leave no doubt what success will look like. Example: While you may want to be “a good manager,” you will have difficulty doing that because it could mean many different things. Describe your goal in specific terms, such as “to connect with each team member once a week.”
- Break it down. Lofty goals remain unreachable if you don’t identify the steps required to meet them. When you set a goal, also write down the first three actions you will take. Then do one before the day is over.
Tip: Set your goals for 2010 now, and start taking action. By New Year’s Day, you will be well ahead of others on the road to success.
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