‘Tis the season… To set goals

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by Chloe Taylor

With the New Year looming, many organisations will be thinking about their objectives for 2015. According to Terry Reynolds, regional managing director at RogenSi, the key to setting and sticking to goals is ensuring that they inspire your workforce to fuel ongoing commitment.

“I think that people should be considering what they want to achieve next year from the month of December,” he said. “So when the New Year kicks in, they have a plan in place – as opposed to leaving it and starting 2015 unsure about what it is they want to do. Before they know it they’re already half way through the month and falling behind, so it’s very important that we at least start to write down our goals now.”

In 1953, Harvard University conducted a survey of the students who were graduating that year. The survey asked participants whether they had their goals written down – and only 3% of the students answered ‘yes’.

Twenty years later, the university contacted all of the students who had been involved. According to the research, the 3% who had written their goals down in 1953 were worth more financially than the remaining 97% combined.

 “If you know exactly what you want, you obviously have a higher probability of getting it,” Reynolds added. “But there needs to be a process of getting them down and outlining them. Make sure that goals are tight – have a time association with the achievement of them, detailing how much time you intend to dedicate to each objective. Making the first step very simple makes finding motivation easier.”

5 top tips for successful goal setting 

1. Think rationally and emotionally
 
Think logically to create goals that are specific and can realistically be achieved – but remember to make them exciting, so that staff can connect to them and be motivated by them.

2. Use aspirational language
 
When describing what you hope to achieve, make it about moving towards success rather than moving away from failure. For example, “We want to be the most desirable place to work in our sector,” is more inspiring than “We need to reduce turnover.”

3. Visualise success
 
Envisioning a successful outcome and believing that it is achievable is a technique popular amongst high performing athletes.

4. Be clear on the first step
 
If the first step towards achieving a goal is clear and obtainable, it will make moving forwards easier – the greater objective will seem more achievable.

5. Celebrate success

Celebrate each milestone on the journey towards your overall goal. This is a technique used by high performing individuals and teams to sustain momentum.

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