The problem with professional goal setting

Still reeling from the strong dose of Necker Island inspiration?

If you’re anything like me, learning about exciting entrepreneurs taking on the world has left you pumped up, motivated and ready to rock!

Filled with a freshly-baked can do attitude, you might be tempted to set some lofty goals for your professional life…

And while there’s nothing wrong with shooting for targets, if you set professional objectives the wrong way, it can actually leave you burnt-out and unfulfilled.

So today I’m sharing my 16 personal principles for long-term success, then I’ll take you through my professional goal setting process for long-term happiness.

Next month we’re diving into performance reviews, so this is the perfect time to hone your professional goal setting skills (because to run an effective performance review, you need to know how to set meaningful goals, for yourself and for your staff).

Let’s get into it!

Paulette’s 16 Personal Success Principles

1. Define what you want

“If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree.”

2. Be clear on What it is! 

“Clarity is everything. To perform at your very best and double your productivity, you must be absolutely clear about what it is you want to accomplish.” – Brian Tracy

3. Think of yourself as successful

“Whatever you focus on expands. So choose your focus wisely.”

4. Surround yourself with the right people

“Life is like an elevator: sometimes on the way up, you have to stop and let some people off.”

5. Identify and take on your fears

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield 

6. Proactively work on your weaknesses & stories

“Your weakest key-skill sets the height of your income / success. Work on your weakness and master it and your whole life will change.”

7. Forever feed your mind and develop yourself

“Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are seeds. You can grow flowers Or you can grow weeds.”

8. Take responsibility 

“Your life is a result of the choices you make. If you don’t like your life, it’s time to start making better choices.”

9. Manage your time effectively

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”

10. Get out of your comfort zone

“Don’t limit your challenges. Challenge your limits.”

11. Learn from others but ride your own race

“The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday.”

12. Know your standards and values

“The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept.” – Lieutenant-General David Morrison – Australian Chief of Army

13. Take action 

“The difference between who you are and who you want to be – is what you do.”

14. Just get IT done!

“Note to self… Someday is not a day of the week… end of note.”

15. Remember, we all have some bad days

“Some days ya just gotta put your boots on and dance anyway…”

16. Get back up again

“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.”

Paulette’s Guide to Professional Goal Setting

On the back of such an inspirational month, this is a great opportunity to check-in on your own goals.

While I’m certainly an advocate for professional goal setting, I often see it being done completely wrong. This is the approach many people take:

They set a professional goal, such as ‘earning a million dollars a year’, yet before long find themselves frustrated, unmotivated and burnt-out.

That’s because there’s no alignment between personal and professional life. And do you know which always wins? What’s in your heart.

You can’t do professional goals until you define your personal goals.

Here’s a more effective goal setting hierarchy:

You need to set your definition of long-term success.

Imagine:When you’re 85 and sitting on the balcony, what will you be look back on and say ‘I’m really glad I did that’? Is it your house, that you’ve given your children the best possible education, the contribution you’ve made? What does that vision of success look like?

The trick is to turn this vision into personal goals.

I want…. to take those kids on an overseas trip once a year… to have a holiday home on the coast… my children to grow up happy and healthy, etc.

Now for the things you want, those things that really light you up, what does that mean you need to earn and create in your professional life? This gives you a guide to align your professional goals.

And if there’s a difference between your personal and professional goals, what are you prepared to prioritise?

Get all of your goals (both professional and personal) in alignment, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you will grow and achieve the things you want!

* This is applicable to both yourself as a business owner or manager, AND your staff. It would be a great idea to go through this exercise now, because next month we’re looking at performance reviews, the cornerstone of which is effective goal setting! 


Any questions?

If you have questions on this topic or any others, feel free to reach me by email or set up a free one-on-one consultation session, or drop me a comment below.

Thanks for sharing!