Setting realistic goals often are your last priority at the beginning of each fiscal year. You do it to yourself. I do it, too. And the organizations we work with are right there, alongside us.
In very short order, it is far too easy to become exhausted. Chasing bright shiny objects – squirrels which pop up – and less than realistic goals. Dug the Dog from the Pixar movie UP never quite succeeded in capturing what he was in hot pursuit of. (I love that move. But I digress. ;-))
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Before you burn yourselves out by the end of the first month of this year, prioritize goals before they consume you. Here is what I recommend.
Realistic goals are set by prioritizing You.
If you are not your first priority, I guarantee you certainly are not your employer’s or your clients’. The world of work is a whole mind-body activity, no matter what your level of education, pay grade or job title.
When you do not prioritize the value of setting realistic goals, you are neither able to recognize or prioritize professional opportunities. Each opportunity looks like another squirrel, instead of a door opening to your next career move.
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Distractions prevent setting realistic goals.
When you find yourself falling short of fulfilling KPIs and quotas, it gets easy to chase squirrels, instead. These squirrels, or bright shiny objects, represent another webinar to sign up for (and a non-billable hour to lose off project time). Because the topic sounds interesting, yet does not really require your live attendance. Because you will receive a recording, if you register. Listen after work. If the webinar is a dud, you have not disrupted your daily workplace momentum.
Or engaging in work that makes you look busy to employers, like chasing unqualified sales leads or creating a side project to clean up files. While the activity creates an adrenaline – and endorphin – rush, the outcome is unproductive.
What unprioritized distractions do you engage in, each day, and equate them with productive and profitable work? What are you avoiding, in chasing these distractions?
The realistic goals with the greatest professional impact are strategic.
Workforce profitability results from groups of employees who set big picture, realistic and strategic professional goals for themselves. When you and your team understand the aggregated value you create for your employer and your clients, over time, each day is an opportunity to flex your professional muscles.
Setting these professional goals involves understanding what it takes to commit to these goals, each day: self-prioritization. Which also involves setting limits.
Implementing these professional goals not only limits distractions, but allows you to evaluate the strength and validity of Other People’s tactical and strategic priorities. Are there alternative approaches?
Executing outcomes on your professional goals frees up your physical and emotional energy. Explore innovative options, because you now prioritize your goals. And can identify all the squirrels lurking around the workplace.
What are you waiting for? Take these next strategic steps forward.
- Planning your next corporate or association meeting? Engage me to deliver one of my speaking programs or workshops for a refreshing change from the same-old stuff. Catalyze your mindset and skill sets!
- Stuck in a professional rut? Book a 45-minute strategy session with me. Gain tactics to help you better serve yourself, so you can better serve customers.
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Babette Ten Haken works with organizations and associations, like yours, who want to leverage collaborate business models and a profitable workforce to retain the customers and members you work so hard to win. Her One Millimeter Mindset™ programs focus on innovative strategies and tactics for business growth, workforce profitability and professional development. Babette is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Babette’s Playbook of collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Her professional speaker profile appears on the espeakers platform.
Image source: Dug the Dog®, Pixar