Top 3 Tips to Set Goals which Motivate

A Fresh Look at Setting your Team’s Work Objectives

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In this first offering of 2014, I am returning to the topic of work objectives as many of you are likely to be or soon will be engaged objectivein considering your objectives at work for 2014 and then discussing them with your line manager. For those among you familiar with these Career Tips, you may recall that I have previously written about the subject of setting work goals. You may find some of these articles of interest and they are available by clicking here.

Beyond the well-known techniques to set objectives – such as the SMART acronym – and then to stay on track, achieving goals – whether at work or at home – is all about motivation. The motivation to get started but, even more importantly, to keep moving until the objective is achieved, despite setbacks and obstacles along the way. As such, as self-empowered individuals but alsomotivation as line managers responsible for delivery, we need to identify goals which motivate because those will stand the most chance of being achieved.
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3 Steps to Setting and Achieving your Goals in 2013

A Recipe to Keep your New Year’s Resolutions

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Hello and a happy and prosperous 2013 to all! For many, January is the month of so-called "resolutions". And yet, I just read that one in four New resolutionsYear’s resolutions are broken in the first week, that is to say 7 days – at most – since they were made. Impressive! That is to say: impressively depressing!

So how can one do better and keep to more New Year’s resolutions in 2013 of course but also for the following years? Here is a small recipe with just three ingredients that will allow you to make the right New Year’s resolutions for you and to stick with them. I have been using it for years so I know it works!

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4 Steps to Effective Decision-Making

Taking your PICK™

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To all those of you who took a well-deserved break, let me welcome you back! You know, there is an interesting piece of statistics I always think about when it comes to September: September is the month when people make the most decisions. It’s not January despite that month’s association with New Year’s Resolutions. Rather, it seems that a lot of us take the time to reflect during a summer break and in September, we decide to do something about our fitness and join a gym, or to stop smoking or to really start looking for a new house.

So, with September being a bit ‘Decision-Making Month’, I thought I would talk to you about the process of decision-making so that you can self-assess how you go about making decisions today and see whether tweaking your approach could help be even more effective.

So, in the rest of this video, I will share with you the PICK™ model which is a 4-step approach to making effective decisions. PICK™ is also quite unique because you can use it in a number of ways to suit your style: it is a flexible approach which anyone can use and yet a robust method too.
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Beating Drudgery and Dejection Part 2

How Practicing Choice and Gratitude will Help you Stay Motivated

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In the preceding article, I was discussing Drudgery at work and its boon companion Dejection. With Drudgery, all sense of fun is lost and with Dejection motivation goes out the window. I gave you tips to spot Dejection and shared with you how you can use ‘what’ questions to beat it.

For more on spotting and beating Dejection, click here.

Now to Drudgery and giving it a good kick up the backside!
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Beating Drudgery and Dejection Part 1

Keeping your Spirits Up in the face of Adversity with some ‘What’ Questions

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The other day, a friend wrote me: "I am in a phase of life where everything is just plain drudgery, heavy annoyance and pain internally.…we are all struggling massively…." Does that speak to you too? This is a theme which may resonate with many of you considering the turn for the worse which the financial markets and the economy appear to be taking. The risk of a deepening Eurozone crisis, articles in the financial press about layoffs at the banks, all make for tough working conditions. My heart goes out to every one of you who may feel vulnerable in these current times. You may also feel vulnerable or frustrated if it looks like you won’t be able to complete all your work objectives for 2011, for whatever reason. So this video and the next one are about coping when things go wrong.

I’m sure many of you watching this would say that you work hard, possibly very hard but when it’s drudgery, then working hard becomes hard work, it’s no longer exciting, it’s dull, it’s like putting oneself through some kind of grind… Drudgery usually comes hand in hand with its good friend Dejection which is a state of mind where one is in low spirits. It’s an unhappy place where Drudgery and Dejection dwell. They work as a team to sap your motivation. First, Drudgery takes the fun out of being at work and then Dejection swoops in to make you think that you’re failing. In turn, this feeling of failure prevents you from taking action because you wonder ‘what’s the point?’
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Stretch to Impress!

End the Year on a High Note by Delivering on a Stretch Objective!

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

In my last post, I recommended you proactively take stock of where you are at with respect to your work objectives for 2011. Even if you had a midyear performance review, I hope you gave the ‘3 list’ method a go. Not only will it serve you well when the annual performance appraisal process kicks off in a few weeks but being clear today about where you at with respect to your 2011 objectives will make it possible for you to precisely focus your energy for the last 3 months of the year.

If you missed my article on the ‘3 list’ approach to work performance self-assessment, you can see it here.

Now you’re got your three lists, there are two main scenarios:

  1. You’re doing well. In this article, we’ll work on this assumption and look at making use of your restored energy to lift the bar a bit higher and thus end this year with a flourish!
  2. It’s clear that you won’t be meeting all your objectives for 2011. This delicate situation will be the topic of next month’s series so you can still have a decent yearend evaluation.

If you’re doing well with respect to meeting your 2011 objectives, this quarter could simply be about making sure that you steadily complete all outstanding tasks by their due dates. While you should clearly do this at a minimum, it is possible that you may also have the opportunity to raise the bar and exceed your objectives. You could set yourself one or more stretch objective. [Read more…]

14 Weeks to Christmas!

A 3-Step Performance Self-Assessment Formula

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

I hope that you had the opportunity of a longer break during the past months and that this article finds you refreshed after your summer holiday. Although the yearend performance appraisal process is still some weeks off, I want to invite you to undertake a proactive self-assessment of your performance at work.

This is because knowing today where you stand with respect to achieving the year’s objectives will allow you to focus your energy over the coming weeks so that you finish the year on a high note.

So, in this article, let me share with you a three-step process which is both simple and yet comprehensive so that you can perform a thorough self-assessment of your objectives. [Read more…]

To Achieve your Objectives, Stay Connected, Confident and in Control

The Secret to Achieving your Objectives is Staying "in the Zone"!

If you practised setting goals the SMARTEY way, I hope you found it helpful in getting clear about your goals, both in your head and in your gut so that you felt energised about starting to work on making your goals happen.

In my experience, the SMARTEY way of setting goals is not just a memorable acronym for a useful process, it is also key to staying motivated to make steady process on your goal and do whatever it takes for however long it takes until you achieve your goals.  

And this is because using the SMARTEY method gets you to a special space of comfort around your objectives from which you can draw strength and motivation until you succeed. I call that place the "zone" and when you are in the "zone", you:

  • stay Connected to your goals,
  • remain Confident about your success and
  • retain Control over your objectives.

Let me illustrate how staying in the "zone" will help you achieve your goals as well as share the pitfalls of not being Connected enough to your goals, not feeling Confident enough to achieve them and not being in Control enough. [Read more…]

How to Set Yourself Objectives — the SMARTEY Way

Why you want to set yourself objectives at work using the SMARTEY method

Once you have identified a personal goal or a work objective, it will make all the difference how you actually articulate it so that you are clear about your target and you feel energized to keep working towards it until you finally get there.

I want to show you how setting so-called ‘SMART goals’ can help you do that. There is no official definition of this very famous acronym so this is my reading of it but I hope it will be helpful to you.

  • ‘S’ is for ‘Specific’.

Let me illustrate this with an example: let’s say you set as your goal: "I want to lose weight". Now how what about if you said instead: "I want to lose 10 pounds between by the end of June"? What is the difference between these two sentences?

Simply put, the main difference is that, with the second sentence, you have told yourself what things will have to look like so that you can know that you are losing weight. So being ‘specific’ when setting an objective is about answering the question: "what does my objective look like for me?" and fleshing out what starts off as a vague discomfort (here around the current weight) or a loose aspiration into something tangible and therefore real. In that way, your goal goes from one which is shared by millions to one which belongs only to you.    

When you have a specific target, you are clear about what it is in your mind but you also feel it in your gut. A sense of capability emerges; you feel that you will be able to achieve your goal! This is why I also think that ‘S’ stands for ‘strong’ because when you set a specific goal for yourself, you will most likely feel imbued with the strength to pursue it! [Read more…]

What Are Your Objectives for 2011?

Back to basics: what is a goal anyway?

The start of a new year is typically a time when goals are at the forefront of many people’s minds. But January has come and gone so: did you set New Year resolutions? If so, did you make a start? And how about at the office: have you started to work on your objectives for 2011?

In my experience, setting goals is not always easy so, in this post, I want to reflect on what a goal is.

For me, the ‘G’ of ‘goal’ puts me in mind of the ‘G’ in ‘gap’.

In that sense, you can visualise achieving your goal as simply a way of filling a gap between where you are now and where you have identified you want to be.

Or who you are now and who you want to be. Or what you have now and what you want to have.

That gap can usually be expressed as ‘more’ or ‘less’ of something in your life.    

For example, after celebrating the arrival of a New Year, many of us might want to lose a bit of weight. So let’s look at the goal of losing weight and let’s rephrase it as "I want to weigh less" where ‘less’ is the goal to bridge the gap between your current and target weight. [Read more…]