In my last three posts, we discussed the first three steps in the SMART goals framework (if you’ve missed them, you can catch them here)
So: you’ve mapped out your journey. You have a specific destination, your metrics are defined, and you’ve made sure your goal is achievable.
Many of my clients take pause when I ask them about the relevance (the next step) of their goals. I typically want to know if their goals are
- in sync with their values,
- their long-term plans and
- the strategy of their organization.
Here’s the skinny: if the goals aren’t relevant to the first two, you’re likely not going to meet them. Why? Because the “Why” is missing. Picture yourself chipping away at something you really don’t want to do. Maybe it’s putting together a report that you don’t find particularly useful or enjoyable. All of a sudden, doing the laundry and cleaning the bathroom will seem to be very appealing options!
Think about our fearless driver, making the trip from California to New York City. Let’s say he has no interest in going to New York City. But here he is, making the drive. He’s got the iTunes queued up, a cooler full of healthy snacks, it’s a brilliantly sunny day when he sets out. But he’s miserable because he also hates car trips. Now you might be saying, well, Nancy, maybe he HAS to go. Of course. We all sometimes have to do things we don’t want to do, and in ways that we don’t want to do them. Our goals, however, belong to us, and they are supposed to be things we want, not something people think we should be doing.
If you are setting a work-related goal, and you answered “no’ to the third item, you’re gonna be spinning your wheels. Yes, the goal may be important to you, however, if there is no strategic alignment or leadership support, you either have to revise your goal, or understand that achieving your goal may be very difficult or not attainable at all; and may cost you political and relationship capital.
As you are moving along in this goal setting process, think about the “WHY” of your goal: does it align with your values and long-term path? If it is a work-related goal, will you have the sponsorship and support you need to be successful?
Stay tuned for the final installment. Until then, keep driving!
Photo Credit: Sachin Tandale via https://www.unsplash.com