The World’s #1 Executive Coaching and Business Coaching Blog (2017-2021)
How Setting Goals Can Transform Your Personal and Professional Life
Goals give your personal and professional life purpose, direction, motivation, and satisfaction. As long as you align your goals with your personal and organizational values, define your desired outcomes clearly, and hold yourself accountable, you are highly likely to achieve your goals and improve as a person and leader.
As the leader of an organization, you probably understand the importance of setting goals and establishing a purpose for your company. As I have stated and often reiterated in my books, this purpose is the raison d’etre of your organization.
- It tells you and your reports why you do what you do.
- It gives your efforts direction.
- It determines where you want to see your organization in the future.
Organizational purpose is one of the cornerstones of leadership coaching and business planning.
Your personal life needs a similar compass. There is no reason why a common sense-rooted approach that works for an organization shouldn’t work in your personal life. You are the leader of your life. And your life needs and deserves good leadership.
You can’t find your way if you don’t know your destination.
Nowadays, goal-setting has become an overused, fashionable cliché. To avoid falling into the trap of empty, meaningless goal-setting, you need to be able to answer a few questions about your goals.
- What can you achieve by setting goals? What benefits can goal-setting give you?
- How can you set meaningful goals, and what can you do to make progress toward your goals?
Why should you set goals in your personal life?
Goals Give Your Life Direction and Alignment
When you have goals, it’s easier to determine what matters and what doesn’t in the short and long run. You can focus better and align your behaviors and values with your goals.
Goals lend your efforts meaning and stave off disappointment. As you accomplish smaller goals, you gain satisfaction and motivation.
Without a focus in your life, you waste your time, energy, and material resources on things that will be meaningless in the future.
Goals Prompt You to Take Action
In the context of leadership coaching, we use goals to spark action. It doesn’t matter how small or ambitious your goals are. As long as they get you to take action, they fulfill their purpose.
Without goals in your personal and professional life, all you ever do is drift with the flow. You have to live your life proactively, with intention, and not reactively. The best things in life may seem to be free, but they always require significant time- and effort-wise investments on your part.
Goals Eliminate Distractions
Keeping your eyes on the prize is only possible when you know what your “prize” is. Life has an uncanny ability to raise hurdles in your path in the form of distractions. And if you lack goals and a purpose, it is easy to give in to temptation and waste your life chasing meaningless gratification.
Without goals, you have no defenses against the temptations of instant gratification. Only meaningful goals can make you delay gratification and reap the benefits of an intentional, purposeful existence.
How can you avoid setting meaningless goals that you will toss aside like a typical new year’s resolution?
Define Your Desired Outcome and the Path Leading to It
Clarity is necessary to turn your goals from abstract concepts into actionable plans. As you progress, you can course-correct, but you need a rough outline to use as a starting point. Having a plan helps you:
- Identify skill gaps that may hold you back
- Ask for help where you need it
- Pinpoint habits that can hinder or help you
Set Value-based Goals
Your goals should reflect your values and purpose. If you set goals that contradict your values, you will defeat their purpose from the start.
Base your goals on your values, and they will bring you satisfaction.
Achieving such goals carries no satisfaction. Thus, you won’t find any motivation to pursue them. Executive coaching aims to connect clients with their core values at the beginning, to crystallize goals that won’t lose luster as the coaching program progresses.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Conduct periodic reviews of your current situation and your progress since setting your goals. Such reviews will help you identify the factors that help you and those that hold you back. Learning why you have failed is valuable.
You can tweak your approach based on this new knowledge and take more significant strides toward your goals in the future.
Executive coaching helps you set worthy, meaningful goals and find ways to achieve them.
Check out my books if you want to learn more about intelligent leadership, business coaching, and personal development.