By Jayne Kowal
Successful people are goal-oriented. The formula for success is identifying your values, aligning your priorities with your values, taking action through goal-setting and daily choices leading to balance.
WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
Define and align. First you need to define what your end vision looks like. Which of the five pillars of wellness do you want to focus on (physical, intellectual, social, spiritual, emotional)?
Once you have defined your end vision ensure it is aligned with your values and priorities. When work-life balance is desired, it is important to identify both personal and professional values and ensure daily priorities line up.
Some examples: you value family, therefore a high priority in how you spend your time may be to focus more quality time with family. Your organization values financial stability, therefore priorities may be initiatives to increase efficiency, reduce expenses, customer retention and growth. This is important to goal-setting success as goals are aligned to those things that matter the most. It is easier to define benefits and commitment is increased.
WHERE ARE YOU STARTING FROM?
Describe your current situation in relation to the end vision to have a clear understanding of the gap between your predictable present and fantastic future states. This step sets the foundation for action.
Remember, goals are S.M.A.R.T – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and with a Time frame.
There is P.O.W.E.R in setting goals. P.O.W.E.R. means:
Pursuit – seeking to attain, chasing.
Ongoing – process, continuing.
Worthy – deserving of your effort, worthwhile.
Effort – exertion, an active process.
Recognize – acknowledge and accept progress, and being okay with small steps and minor setbacks.
A G.O.A.L allows you to “Get On with what you want and Accomplish a no-regrets Life”.
“Everyday you change the world. Today will be no exception. At the end of this day, things will be different because of what you have done. You will have an impact. What kind of impact will it be? How will you make use of this power you have to change the world?
There is no way to avoid it. The thoughts you think, the words you speak, the actions you take, will make a difference. Your choice is whether that difference will be a positive one. The choices you make and the actions you take will bring about results. You have the very real opportunity today to make your world a better place. Who are you to change the world? Indeed, who are you not to? If not you, then who?
This day is not a rehearsal. It is real. What you choose to do with it will have lasting consequences for you and for those around you. It is an awesome responsibility and a tremendous opportunity. Give it the best that you have.”
– Ralph Marston
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GET THERE?
You know where you want to go and where you are starting from. Now it is time to determine how to bridge the gap. There are four components to consider.
Proactively anticipate what hurdles or barriers you might face. By proactively anticipating these, the opportunity to create strategies for reducing or eliminating their impact increases, thereby increasing your chance of success in achieving the end result. Hurdles might be real or perceived, distractions or roadblocks. Some examples include: other people’s attitudes, differing or conflicting goals, physical barriers, finances, human resources, time, fears, etc.
Identify who you need to assist in attaining your goal and who can be used to motivate or champion your efforts.
3. Personal Talent
Do you have the skills required to attain this goal? If not, what is the plan of action – develop the skill or use the skills of others?
Clearly outline the benefits of achieving this goal. Write them down, post and revisit often. Use this list to keep yourself and others involved motivated.
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GET THERE? YOUR ACTION PLAN
Now it is time to get S.M.A.R.T and create your plan to get from the current state to the end result. If the gap is large, you will need many specific and measurable strategies. Write out all of the steps in positive, powerful language (i.e., avoid “I may” or “I want to” and replace instead with “I will”).
WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO GET THERE?
Take each action in your plan and attach time frames for achievement.
Remember, goals are S.M.A.R.T and there is P.O.W.E.R in setting goals. A G.O.A.L allows you to “get on with what you want and accomplish a no-regrets life”.
IS THERE CONFLICT?
This is a final reflective look at the end result and action plan. We all have multiple goals, personal and professional. It is important to ensure all goals are in sync to avoid conflict, which leads to imbalance and a feeling of frustration and stress. Here is an example of conflict: you have set a professional goal to achieve a professional advancement within one year. To accomplish this, your action plan consists of spending more than the usual amount of time at work and maybe some professional development courses. Simultaneously, you have a personal goal to spend more time at home with your family. Symptoms of imbalance will occur, as there is conflict in terms of time you hope to invest in attaining both goals. If you identify areas of potential conflict, return to your end result and/or your action plan and re-evaluate.
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WHEN YOU ARRIVE?
How many times do we achieve a goal and move quickly onto the next without taking time to celebrate success? This step ensures a plan to celebrate success along the way (whatever works as a motivator) as well as when the final destination is attained.
A secondary but equally important component of this step is to ensure plans to evaluate and re-evaluate along the way. Our lives change and our goals need to be fluid enough to accommodate these. At times you may come close to attaining your goal but not quite there by the anticipated time. Celebrate your progress!
Remember, goals are S.M.A.R.T and there is P.O.W.E.R in setting goals. A G.O.A.L allows you to “get on with what you want and accomplish a no-regrets life”. Set goals to maintain work-life balance as you define it based on values and priorities, personally and organizationally.