Setting goals and achieving them

Posted On Wednesday, 28 November 2012 08:39 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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 As we near the end of the year, the building industry reaches one of its busiest periods. Never is the saying 'under promise and over deliver' more true than at this time.

Lauren can you and your team be sure to set the right goals, and to ensure that they are achieved?

For many people, the word 'goal' is associated with pressure, performance, stress, something they have to do; rather than something exciting, inspiring and life changing. The key to shifting this perception lies inside asking the question 'why' rather than 'what'.

The first step to setting goals is to ask 'what'. What is the goal? The goal needs to be specific, measureable, achievable and time specific. To illustrate through practical application, let's use the following example throughout this article: "I want to lose 5kgs and lose 10cm body mass by 1 March 2013". This step is often as far as most people get. They try and then fail to stick to their commitments and so very soon fall off the bandwagon and think to themselves, well I tried – and so they feel better because they tried, but they didn't actually achieve anything. Recent research by Harvard Business Review also indicates that there is a strong correlation between keeping your goal to yourself, and success i.e. don't tell everyone about your goal (it makes you feel like you have already done it) – rather keep it to yourself and watch how you will be more likely to achieve it.

The next step is actually the most critical to achieving success: it is the question of why. Why do you want to lose 5kgs? It is because you want to look better than your best friend? Or because someone told you that have to? Or is it because you have realised that you are really tired lately, and are not looking after your body so are not performing as well at work? Understanding what motivates us to set a goal is integral to the successful achievement of that goal. Everyone needs to understand why they are actually doing something, buy into it, believe in it, see the value, and see the potential and what achieving that goal might look like. Without that deep belief, there can be no mind shift (this is critical to allowing yourself to achieve that goal). And why is mind shift important? Because without a mind shift, there can be no behaviour change.

The third step is visualisation – what does the end goal look like? Is there a clear picture of what success means to you? Find a picture of yourself where you thought you looked really great, happy, you liked yourself– and put it in your bathroom where you can see it every morning; and where you can repeat your goal to yourself.

The fourth step is implementation – this required very careful planning and milestone setting. Each milestone cannot be too far apart. Say for example you want to lose 0.5kgs a week – weigh yourself on a Friday. If you achieved your milestone reward yourself (like a massage or a round of golf with friends); and if you have not achieved it, refocus, remind yourself of the why and re-motivate yourself by thinking about your process (how you are slowly moving towards your goal) rather than the final outcome (which can sometimes just seem too far away)

And the final step is reward. What are you going to reward yourself with (or your team) at each milestone, and when the goal has been reached? Monetary rewards are often not the best incentive on their own, but can be very effective when used in conjunction with experiential rewards (weekend away) and public recognition (email out to the team highlighting the achievement).

Without knowing where we want to go, there is no way to successfully get there. So keep reminding yourself of where you are going, and why, and focus on the process (eating healthily each day) rather than the outcome (a thinner you). We all create the lives we have, so if your way of being, or your team's way of working is not as you want it to be – you absolutely have the power to change that..

Source: Lauren Ratcliffe from The Fresh Group (

Lauren is a strategic human resources consultant at The Fresh Group. She has an extensive marketing and communications background, with a degree in Consumer Sciences from Stellenbosch University; and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from UCT's Graduate School of Business. Transitioned from the world of marketing communications, to working exclusively in People Development, she is passionate about enhancing effective communication in organisations through teaching and empowering individuals and teams; and creating long term behaviour change.

Last modified on Thursday, 22 May 2014 14:34

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