Goals, resolutions, reviews, are you on track, did you stick with your plan, how do I get started, and on, and on, and on. These are the things that a person like me thinks about all the time! As we are now halfway through February, I am asking myself a few questions about my professional goals this year and how they tie in to my personal goals that I set for myself for the start of the year. I have the privilege of “talking” for a living; I talk to my family, my colleagues, my team, and guests. Of course the conversation about resolutions came up at the start of the year and recently work goals have come up. I am surprised how many people plan them and work toward them separately. While the measure of success for my professional versus personal goals is different, the basis of my goals and the way I go about the plan is the same.
Let’s explore goal setting. We have SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound), I recently attended a webinar and this was taken a step further. The presenter shared that she likes to make SMARTER goals! The same as SMART goals but add the ER, make them Exciting and Rewarding (the motivating part). I thought this was a great addition because you are most successful when buy in to your goals. Now, this may seem simple reading it but time and time again, individuals put together goals and they are vague. When you ask them how they expect to achieve the goal, the answer is “I am not sure”, well if I am not even sure of a path, how will I ever have a chance of actually achieving it. I like to bounce my goals off of others so they can ask me the questions and I can go back to adjust them. I appreciate this practice because it makes my goals much less private, I can’t hide them (accountability)!
Be realistic when you are setting your goals, this is the part that I think people just don’t get. I hear people say, I want to lose fifty pounds this year, while this is measurable and time-bound, if you weigh one hundred fifty pounds, I am not sure this is wise (solely my opinion, not a medical professional). Another example is, I want to save $5,000 this year, well is this financial plausible for your household? These goals are general, maybe you can step back and look at it as a percentage of your current weight or savings. I suggest also setting up levels of achievement. What is the minimum you will be satisfied with? Then what is the sweet spot number, the one you will be satisfied with? Then push yourself to a stretch goal, what does that look like?
In my profession, I see all levels. Every year, inevitably, I have someone say, I want to learn all of the financials of the hotel. What does that even mean? I ask myself and the individual, if neither of us can answer that, go back to the drawing board. On the flip side to that, some make their goals really complex- one goal has four parts and all of the levels I spoke of. When you go back to have a check in for progress, you are so confused about where to start. Try to find some middle ground. Are your goals give up goals or are they go up goals?
I love the saying “a goal without a plan is a wish”, I heard this many years ago and have repeated it constantly since. Sometimes in conversation, personal and professional, I hear people say “you are just more motivated than I am”. I am not, by any means, I just don’t commit to anything I don’t buy into. Once I buy into it, I own it, and I just work to get it all done, I even share some tips in an earlier post. The key to goal setting no matter the part of your life you are planning, you have to understand why it is important to you and what motivates you.