Don’t Do It by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC

There is a lot of emphasis in leadership literature about setting goals, both on a personal level as well as for the business as a whole. While goal setting is essential, the way that goals are selected and the measure of goal achievement is often highly ineffective, leading to lack of follow through.

Instead of just choosing a goal based on what you think is the desired result, let’s look at a new option in goal setting. This is one that is based on connecting and linking your personal values and your business values (or mission statement or philosophy), with the achievements you want to see for 2019.

What Are Your Values?

A good place to start is in getting clarity on the values that are important in your life. Values are the principles that drive your choices and your behavior. When your values are in alignment with your goals, the steps to achieve those goals are natural, effective, and resonate with you and your organization.

Values are different for everyone. Before setting your goals, take some time to list the values that are important to you in your business and personal life. To get you started, here are some examples of values:

  • Compassion
  • Curiosity
  • Respect
  • Fairness
  • Happiness
  • Lifelong learning
  • Passion
  • Determination

Make a list of as many values as you can, then try to focus on the 10 critical values that are essential to who you are as a person.

Setting SMART Goals

SMART goals are not new, but they provide a comprehensive way of setting goals that align with the values you have identified. SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

When considering a goal, take a few minutes and think about how that goal aligns with your values. It should include at least one of your top 10 most important personal or business values. Then, with that value in mind, start to create a working goal. State the goal in a way that is clear, concise and significant.  Think along the lines of a “who, what, where, when and why” goal, but also add in the how.

A great example of this type of personal goal could be, “I want to make the time to spend at least an hour a day of uninterrupted time with my children to develop a strong family and to support them as a loving parent.”  This is much more complete and meaningful than the goal statement, “I want to spend more time with my kids.”

From this statement the other elements of the goal including how to measure success, what is needed to achieve the goal, the relevancy of the goal, and even when it can be implemented naturally fall into place.

Taking the time to align your values with your goals and then using a SMART goal process is a highly effective way to create powerful, sustainable goals throughout the year.