I’ve experienced this personally for several years, since I began meeting annually with a group of 5 other women for a retreat/review/goal-setting session. We perform this amazing feat in a spectacular setting (a friend’s condo near a picture-perfect beach) and mix lots of fun, relaxation, and conversation into the more serious introspection and sharing.
What I’ve found is that simply avowing my goal for the year seems to make it happen—like magic! Perhaps it’s knowing that I’ll have to “report back” next year that gets me off and running. I don’t want to disappointed my friends—or myself.
But I think it’s more than that. A specific goal is a powerful guideline that helps us, both consciously and unconsciously, as we move through our days, weeks, and months.
For executives looking to make a career transition, goal-setting is an important first step. Where do you want to go? Why is that the best choice for you right now? What do you have to offer that will make you a prime candidate?
With a goal that is clear and specific, you’ll find it’s (relatively) easy to:
- Prioritize your daily, weekly, monthly activities to move toward that goal.
- Articulate your value proposition (the why behind the what) to set yourself apart from others.
- Be resilient in the face of obstacles and setbacks, because you have your eyes on the prize.
- Keep strategically important activities at the top of your mind and the top of your action list.
- Say no to opportunities that aren’t in line with your goal.
- Tell others what you need and where you’re going and let them help you get there.
Of course, achieving a big goal is never a simple task. Nor is it usually swift. It requires effort to get the payback we seek. So it’s important to have realistic expectations for the time and effort required to make a change. But starting with a goal—beginning with the end in mind—gives us guidelines and direction that help us reach the finish line.
P.S. Since I’ve begun my annual goal-setting retreat just a few years ago, I’ve stated and accomplished the following:
- Sold 2 of my businesses and refocused on my private practice.
- Traveled outside the US at least once per year.
- Had a personal essay published in a major metropolitan newspaper.
- Learned to swim.
- Completed a triathlon.
- Started a personal travel/experiences blog with entries at least weekly.
- Co-wrote and self-published 2 career books; launched a publishing bookstore.