Setting Goals – That’s easy, right?
Setting goals and achieving goals. It seems like it should be a straight line…
- Set a goal
- Take steps to achieve it
- Achieve the result
Somehow it never seems that straightforward.
The first leap is setting goals in the first place. Let me share how avoiding goal setting has held me back in the past.
If You Don’t Set Goals, You Can’t Fail
For a long time, I refused to set any career goals.
Because what I really wanted was a full-time job as an orchestral flutist.
And, I eventually decided, there wasn’t much chance of that happening.
So it seemed safer and less scary to not have big dreams and goals.
I didn’t want to set myself up to fail with a goal that was too hard to achieve. My strategy was to avoid disappointment.
I was ready to be happy with anything that happened in my career. If you can be happy with anything, you can’t be disappointed. If anything good happened, that would be a bonus.
The Big Flaw in This Strategy
If you don’t have a goal, no one can keep you from it and no one can reject you from it.
But the downside is that you can really stagnate.
You can lose your enthusiasm for life and work if you’re not setting goals in your career to move forward.
How to Dream Big
The key is to go ahead and set those big goals, even though it may seem scary.
Dream Big and think about what you would really LOVE to do in an ideal world.
But combine that Big Goal with a lot of small stepping stone goals.
Keep that Big Goal in mind, but you have these smaller goals that are relatively easy to achieve.
Stepping Stone Goals are shorter term.
And you get to celebrate when things go well.
It’s not All or Nothing
Did I win the full-time job or not?
Pass vs. Fail
If you have a lot of steps along the way, then you can have goals on the way to the Big Dream.
- Did I do three mock auditions?
- Did I spend this much time on my goal in January?
- Did I do the score study – the thing that I always forgot to do?
Having those smaller goals along with a Big One is really key to keeping yourself on track, keeping yourself feeling good and making progress towards a bigger goal.
And something else that I didn’t understand when I was avoiding setting goals in order to avoid disappointment is that…
Your goals can be flexible
If you learn something new, you can adjust.
You may learn…
- “Actually – I’m not ideally suited to this kind of job.”
- “I found another kind of work that is exciting and working really well for me.”
- “We thought we were going to be this kind of ensemble but it turns out, we’re getting paid to do something else.”
You can change your goals.
They can be flexible and adjustable.
If something better comes along – then make the change!
Set Those Big Goals!
That’s my encouragement to you.
As someone who avoided goal setting for a long time because I felt like it was a dangerous activity.
You can Dream Big.
You can think about your Ideal Work Life and Your Ideal Financial Situation.
Then set those smaller goals and be flexible.
Are Your Stepping Stone Goals SMART?
Some people are fantastic at setting Big Goals.
Do you know exactly what you want? Are you clear in your mind on the outcome you desire?
BUT, when it comes to working on your goal, do you find some resistance?
Do you lack motivation?
In the day-to-day work, Stepping Stone Goals are so important to stay motivated towards your Big Goal.
Big Goals can be a little bit unmanageable when they are not broken down into small enough parts.
Those smaller goals should be S.M.A.R.T.:
- Time based
What’s your goal for today? This week? Is it S.M.A.R.T?
What’s Your Big Goal for 2020?
Write it down.
Write 5 Stepping Stone Goals to lead up to it.
Then share it with us in the iCadenza Facebook Community.
Author – Sarah Robinson