Do you have goals, a vision and do you know if your values are aligned with the work you are doing right now?
I had a lightbulb moment a few years ago when I was working with an external coach on defining where I wanted to take my career. The reasons I loved my job when I started out in executive recruitment no longer aligned with my values sixteen years later. I had achieved what I wanted to achieve and more, however, after having my children my values changed and no longer aligned with the values of my company. I didn’t change as a person; I was still ambitious, driven and loved a challenge but what I wanted in a position changed.
I identified my new core values as freedom, flexibility and autonomy. This prompted me to start my own business coaching women, working with companies on recruiting women for their leadership teams to help them achieve executive diversity and recruitment training to organisations.
Goals, vision and values are inextricably intertwined. Your goals must tie in with your vision which must tie in with your values.
Here are some of the ways in which your goals should be defined:-
- Write them down – when you write down your goals you are much more likely to achieve them. Even if it’s a small goal for the day such as ‘Do 30 minutes of exercise’, if you write it down, it becomes more concrete, you can refer to it and you can cross it off when you have achieved it, very satisfying!
- Break your goals down into timelines – your goals for this year and your longer term goals, aim for 2-5 years as this is more realistic than 10 year stretch goals. When defining your yearly goals break them down into quarters and months.
- Divide your goals up into different areas of your life – think of yourself as a whole person, your life encompasses:- Personal Goals, Wellness Goals, Career Goals, Health Goals, Lifestyle Goals, Education/Self Development Goals, Family/Friendship Goals, Religious/Spiritual Goals
- Put a score against each one from where you are now to where you want to be – i.e. 1-10, if you’re a 5 and you want to get to an 8 – what steps must you take to get you from a 5 to an 8? You can’t possibly achieve a 10 in all areas so choose 2 or 3 that will be your main focus for the year and write out the specific steps and measures you must undertake in order to move yourself up the scale
- Hold yourself accountable – get yourself an accountability partner or pin your goals up on your fridge, whiteboard, desk top so you see them regularly – make them visual if you’re a visual person by creating a vision board. Vision boards are highly effective in keeping your goal at the forefront of your mind; your subconscious mind will be figuring out how to achieve this goal if you continuously look at your goals in visual format.
- Celebrate your success – Celebrate each milestone reached with something that means something to you. It could be treating yourself to a nice massage, going out for a meal, a day trip or weekend away.
- Align your values with your goals – Review your values regularly. Your values can change over time so make sure that they are in line with your goals, otherwise you will feel misaligned and you will struggle to reach your goals
- Visualise your goals – do this regularly, either in the morning if you’re doing a morning meditation, or in the evening before you go to sleep so that your subconscious can get to work on creating it into reality for you
Outlining your goals is an important activity to undertake, giving you steering, a purpose and motivation for life. Goals help you identify what you want now and for the future and can help you gain clarity where there were none previously. I work with many individuals to define what they want in their career and this is always one of the first things I look at: who are you, what do you want, how are you going to get there? It’s the starting point on the journey of YOU!