Today I hope to pass on some knowledge about goal setting that I’ve gained through my rollercoaster of a leadership career and life thus far.
I’m sure we all have an idea about what goals are, so I will not bore you with the details. Instead, I am going to show you the two tried and true methods of goal setting that still use today in my professional and personal life.
How to Set Goals
1. The Glue Strategy
If you don’t know what your goals should be or better yet you know what you need to accomplish, but don’t know where to start, then you should try the glue strategy.
The glue strategy is throwing out a bunch of ideas and seeing what sticks. You gotta get yourself a white board or a piece of patter, set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes, and just start spit balling, writing down everything. And I do mean everything, the good the bad the goofy and the seemingly impossible. After that brainstorming session, you can start thinking deeper about the ideas that you’ve thrown out and begin narrowing down.
I find the glue strategy to be the best method for goal setting in groups to get the ball rolling, especially for groups that haven’t really gotten to work together yet.
2. The Tree Branch Strategy
If you tend to set big goals like I do, but struggle to follow thorugh and accomplish them, then you should try the tree branch strategy.
Think of a your goal as the huge trunk of a tree, the big branches that stem off the trunk and the leaves that stem off of those are the smaller goals that will help you achieve your big trunk goal. The tree branch strategy helps break down your goal into smaller and therefor more-acheieveable goals. The multiple smaller goals are more achieveable than one big goal because the little goals are more clear and task-oritentated.
This method is really helpful if you love to cross things off of a to-do list or track your progress.
So when you set your big goal, its usually broad and open-ended with multiple paths to accomplish it. The branches coming off your goal are the general steps or tasks that you need to get done on your way to accomplishing your goal and the leaves are those broken down even further.
Think of the tree branching stregety in the sense of a new year resolution to. You set a goal for the year to save $1000 (the tree trunk) and then break it down by saving $100 a month (branches), and then break it down even further into weekly or daily tasks such as putting aside $20 from your paychecks or switching from starbucks to making coffee at home (leaves). The tree branch strategy is great for year-long or semester-long goals of all kind.
How To Accomplish Goals
And that brings me to the second part of goal setting, which is how to accomplish these goals that we’ve set. I have two very simple yet instruemtal bits of adive in how to accomplish goals. And they are to give root to your goals and to create accountability.
1. Give Root to Your Goal
Thinking back to the tree branch strategy – a tree has to have strong roots to gown tall. Just the same, you goal must have strong roots and be purposeful to you or the group. Remembering WHY you want to achieve accrediration goals push you past the daunting bits.
2. Create Accountability
Creating accountability for your goals keeps you in check and encourages you when you’re feeling discouraged. You can make a pact with someone, or make a log or tracking system. Whatever is needed to keep you going.