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Turning Your Goal Setting Process Upside Down

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In my books, presentations, and articles, I talk a lot about the value and importance of the goal-setting process. It is hard to reach your ultimate career position if you haven’t a goal in mind and a strategy in which to reach it.

Goal Setting Process

When we think of setting a goal, we usually start by writing down a list of tactics, to-dos, and items that we need to do, learn or buy to reach our goal. As you move down the list, checking off completed items, you ultimately reach that goal.

However, I recently read an article that turns that whole goal setting process on its head.

Start At the End

goal setting process

Brianna Wiest has a different approach to the goal-setting process in her article Learn to bridge where you are to where you want to be.

Brianna suggests that we start with the end in mind – write down your goal first. This way, as you tick off the steps to achieving your goal, you are moving UP THE LIST. Brianna explains it like this:

You’ll notice in the mental shift that what you have is at the bottom, and what you want is at the top. This is an important alignment because you want the experience of feeling as though you are rising to a greater outcome.

Determine Your Goal By Envisioning It First

In my article, Flex Your Risk Muscle When Setting Career Goals, I talk about the steps to determining what that goal should be:

Dream about your new career

Start with a vision of what that new career looks like. Picture it completely.

  • Envision what the office looks like.
  • What’s the company culture?
  • What are you doing each day?
  • Who’re you interacting with?
  • What type of people are you helping?
  • Think about the equipment you’re using.
  • Is there travel involved?

Really nail down a picture of what that future you look like.

Recognizing What You Have

As you think through what you have in the goal-setting process, make sure you quiet your self deprecating internal monologue. This is just you and a piece of paper. Be honest. Recognize your experiences, your successes, and the skills that you bring to the table. You may not be as far away from your goal as you think.

If you struggle to quiet that negative voice, check out my video on how to go from self-deprecating to “Yes I Can!”

Work Toward Your Goal Every day

Once you have the beginning and end determined, what do you need to do to achieve your goal? Whatever those steps are, and however long the process might take, remember to work on your goal every single day.

Ask yourself: What am I doing today to achieve my goal. Whether the goal is professional, financial or personal, there is always something you can do to help move in the right direction. Make sure you take a step forward today.

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