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HomemibusinessSetting Quality Goals for Personal Growth

Setting Quality Goals for Personal Growth

When it comes to setting quality goals, people often look at the end point then become overwhelmed with the journey required to get there. Chunking down your goals into manageable steps can help you achieve them.

I often work with people who have reached a stage of their lives where they’re searching for new direction – whether that be in their professional or personal life.

They have a rough idea of where they want to go but they don’t know what path to take, or the steps just look too big to manage.

A few months ago I worked with a woman called Susan. Susan was in her late 40s and as a director of a national government organisation, was successful and well regarded in her career. She had a close knit family with teenage children and a comfortable home. But Susan’s father had died a year earlier and she’d been working through a lot of change. As a result she was feeling quite lost. She told me that she felt as though something was missing from her life – she had reached a point where both her career and her personal life had plateaued.

…to unpack the WHY behind your work can help determine WHAT you want and WHERE you want to go

Although Susan didn’t know exactly what she wanted to achieve from her next 10 – 20 years of work, she did know that she wanted to refocus and explore how she could take everything to the next level; she wanted to be stretched to her highest purpose and potential in order to leave a legacy.

The journey that Susan and I embarked upon perfectly demonstrates an effective way in which you can identify and refine your own personal and professional goals so that they become achievable.

Defining Purpose

Before we began work to identify Susan’s specific goals, it was important for her to articulate the purpose of the journey she was about to take: to unpack the WHY behind your work can help determine WHAT you want and WHERE you want to go.

Susan identified her purpose as: “to lead and drive change, to deliver meaningful benefits and value to the Australian Community”.

Susan felt very passionate about this statement – it meant a lot to her, and once we’d refined her purpose, she was really clear on the words “LEAD AND DRIVE CHANGE”. Consequently, this statement became a powerful place from which to set her goals.

Susan’s Goals

The goals Susan set in our first session were designed to put the balance back into her life. They were the essential first steps towards achieving her greater purpose. They were as follows:

Goal One

Yay! I know what I want to be when I grow up.

Susan wanted clarity and a plan for the next 10 to 20 years that she could throw herself into. Plus, she wanted to feel deeply passionate and aligned to her plan (starting point: 1/10).

She gave herself three months.

Goal Two

Our family is working as a team

Susan felt stretched because she was doing everything at home as well as at work. Her family wasn’t the sharing responsibility. She wanted them to work as a team (starting point: 4/10).

She gave herself three months.

Goal Three

At peace being present and comfortable in the now

Susan felt as if she had lost connection with herself. She wasn’t enjoying the moment. Instead she was constantly rushing, being busy at work then coming home and being busy again. Susan wanted to take time to spend in the pool, walk the dog, and catch up with girlfriends for coffee… even read a book on the couch (starting point: 2/10).

She gave herself three months.

Moving into the Next Phase

Three months on, Susan had achieved her goals and felt a great sense of satisfaction. She had her plan in place for the next 10-20 years; her family was working more harmoniously as a team and she felt more connected in her personal life. She was feeling balanced, on track and ready to take her life to the next level where she could really start making an impact. It was time to get back to the drawing board and establish more goals.

Susan and I worked together to identify the following goals that would take her on the next phase of her journey towards achieving her purpose:

Goal One

Influence and embed change through the team that demonstrates value through its deliverables.

At work Susan wanted to influence and embed change within her team so that together they would be able to add value for customers. To achieve this she needed her team to become more cohesive (starting point: 5/10); and it needed to deliver greater value (starting point 2/10).

She set a four month timeframe.

Goal Two:

Respected by rest of the leadership team as a professional and natural leader.

Susan wanted to earn more respect from the leadership team she was a part of. She wanted to be perceived as a professional and natural leader (starting point 7/10).

She set a four month timeframe.

Goal Three

Lead a national policy development implementation project.

Susan wanted to lead a national policy development implementation project.

She knew that this was the key step that would set her up to move into the next level of her career.

She set a four month timeframe.

Goal Four

I’m on a Disability Board driving change.

With a strong passion for a particular not for profit, Susan wanted to use the work experience she’d gained over the past 30 years to drive change. Her goal was to join the board of a Disability organisation. This goal directly aligns with the purpose that Susan articulated at the very beginning of our journey: to lead and drive change to deliver meaningful benefit and value to the Australian Community.

Susan gave herself 10 months to achieve this goal.

Goal Five

Feel balanced and complete.

Finally Susan identified that in order to feel successful, three key areas of her life needed to feel balanced. She created a wheel for herself that had three parts; ‘Me’, ‘Work’ and ‘Out and About’, then set about finding the balance. (Starting point 5/10).

How Does this Apply to You?

Susan’s goal setting journey highlights just how important it is to break your big picture goals down into clearly defined, manageable steps.

It’s worth stepping back and taking the time to consider… exactly what are your goals for the next three, six or even twelve months? How can they be clearly expressed in just one sentence… and how can you build on them to create the structure in life that you crave and achieve your greater purpose?

Rachael Pickworth is a multi-award winning entrepreneur who established, built and sold her own business before building MAD Leaders, to assist leaders to be the best they can be and make their unique difference. For more than 13 years she has worked with staff, teams and managers from organisations including PWC, L’Oréal Professionnel, Cities of Darebin, Stonnington, Kingston and Yarra, AGD Mining, Quix Foodstores, VicRoads, Orica, Myer Limited, Link HR Consulting, 3M, Orica and Telstra’s Top Talent Identification Team.

Visit www.madleaders.com.au