Taming Your Hairy Audacious Goals: The power of micro goals

Posted April 10, 2014 in Career Management, Latest News & Insights

I have never been one of those people who has been particularly good at setting goals. I feel like I tend to stumble along in life.  Sometimes the goals feel too overwhelming (I have to lose HOW many pounds??) or too far in the future (I don’t know what I’m going to be doing next week, never mind where to I want to be 10 years!).  However, what I’ve learned over the past 7 years of self-employment is the power of setting both a vision for yourself (the “big goal”) and then engaging in “micro goals” to help you get there. Here’s how it works.

Typically, if we set a goal, we put it out there and then procrastinate about it. I have met countless leaders who tell me they want to:

–          Build their networks;

–          Get better life balance;

–          Get their health back;

–          Become more focussed at work, etc etc

A year later, most of them have done very little.  In my experience, the linchpin to achieving your goals is in the habits you put in place to actually reach that goal.  These “micro goals” are what will get you to where you want to be.

For example, leaders who want to build a network could establish a micro-goal of taking every Wednesday lunch hour and meeting with someone they wanted to connect with and stay in touch with.  At the end of the year they would have initiated close to 50 relationships.  Or, they could take 30 minutes every Friday morning to send out 5 notes to people they want to keep in touch with.  Or, take 30 minutes on Monday mornings to review their LinkedIn feed and comment on a minimum of 5 individuals’ stories and status updates as a way of staying in touch.

After a few weeks, your micro goal will become a habit and you can add a new one.  Small things can make a big difference.  By the end of the year you may be surprised by what you’ve ultimately accomplished.

Happy leading!

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