Why are so many of us good at achieving work-related goals and not personal ones? It might be because we’re not strategizing in the same way. Here are some suggestions.

by Tom Wilk
January 24, 2022

It is that time of year again where many of us proclaim our resolutions for the new year. A new year’s resolution is really nothing other than personal goal-setting, but many of us don’t think of it this way. I bet most of you reading this must do some sort of goal-setting for your job, whether it is for yearly performance appraisals, projects, or bonus incentives. Most of us set goals for work and have been doing so for a long time, so why is it so hard to set personal goals?

Even though January 1st has passed, you can still set goals for yourself, but first make sure it is something you really want to achieve, and not something you just say because it is that time of year again.

Where to Start

Get Support

If you have been around HDI long enough, you may have heard the term accountabilibuddy. This is a person, whether it be a friend, spouse, or coworker, who you can depend on to help you achieve a goal. Let them know what your goal is, how you want to achieve it, and what your success looks like. And if you really want them to keep you on track, incentivize them, as well.

I should add that the inspiration for writing this post is to help me start one of the biggest goals of my life. I want to officially start a business for training, consulting, and public speaking. This will certainly require an accountabilibuddy, not to mention help from my network and HDI community. Long conversations with my accountabilibuddy, my wife, led to me finally setting the wheels in motion.

Have a Plan

Even if your goal seems simpler than starting a business, talking it out with your accountabilibuddy will help you. Your accountabilibuddy can give you advice on how to reach your goals, point out resources, or give you ideas you did not think about.

One suggestion I would give you is to use a method to set your goal, whether professional or personal. Make sure it is specific enough so you are clear on what you want to accomplish.

That being said, make sure your goal is achievable. A challenge or a stretch goal is fine, but trying to bite off more than you can chew may lead to failure. Be realistic, and make sure you have the time and ability to be successful. If you are trying to lose weight, for example, you may have to set time aside for planning, shopping, and cooking instead of going out to eat a lot. And finally make sure you set a realistic timetable for your goal.

Stick with it

Time is why most people fail to reach their goals. After a few weeks or a month, many of us lose that drive to accomplish our goals. Remember that reward at the end and use your accountabilibuddy. Review your goal once a week or more, and keep track of your tasks and milestones to accomplish your goal.

If your goal is something that will take time (like earning a degree, writing a book, or changing careers), make sure you break it down into manageable parts. Create those tasks and milestones, set regular check-ins with your accountabilibuddy, and remind yourself of the incentive when you succeed.

I mentioned in this article that I am starting a new personal goal in 2022, but in reality it is something I have been working on for many years. I want to thank a few of my friends in the HDI community for being my mentors and accountabilibuddies and helping me realize I can do this. Thank you, Doug Rabold, Ben Brennan, Rae Ann Bruno, Gregg Gregory, Manley Feinberg, Kirk Weisler, and all the others who have helped me along the way. I truly appreciate your friendship, help, and believing in me to succeed.

Tag(s): best practice, tools, motivation, supportworld

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