“Start with the end in mind,” and how you’ll feel along the way. You have to know where you’re going and why, of course, but a year is a long time. Maintaining the energy to drive your goals forward may not always be easy to come by. Combat that most dreaded state by infusing the energy directly into your goals.
To see how this might work for you and your team, look at the last goal you enjoyed pursuing. Pull it apart to understand what made it so fun, rewarding, or exciting. Summarize the goal and the effect it had. If that isn’t enough to pinpoint why you felt so engaged, explore what you did to achieve the goal. Your team could do this together as a brainstorming exercise, which may show what drives each of you individually. Whether it was the end result, people involved, or what you learned along the way, understanding why you enjoyed the work will help you choose other energizing goals.
Here are a few other things you could do.
Tie each goal to a larger goal
Goals that have a clear connection to something larger are naturally more engaging, because they pull you forward. They have a purpose.
Diversify your goals
If you set four goals, at least one needs to be in your comfort zone. It’s called playing to your strengths. Balance that goal with a one that feels more like a stretch assignment – a goal that will help you grow in a direction you want or need to go toward.
Identify meaningful rewards for success
Rewards can be great motivators. That is well-known. The key is to ensure they are clearly communicated and valuable to those you’re trying to motivate, including yourself.
Take time to give yourself a jump start
This jump start comes in the form of gathering the resources you’ll need before the achievement clock starts ticking. These could be physical supplies, a repository for related ideas and information, or reaching out to people you’ll need or want to work with. Get started as soon as your goals are set to avoid the mad dash and long days later.
In this case, a buddy could be someone who is better at something you’ll need to do in order to achieve your goal. This could also be a way to recognize others’ strengths or build healthier relationships between team members.
Make your goal-setting activities do double-duty – move your practice forward and motivate.