I’m a big fan of setting goals, because how do you know if you’re on track if you don’t know where you’re trying to go?  Now, I get asked all the time, “How big should I dream when setting my career goals.”  This is an incredibly valid question.  If you make your goals too easy, it won’t mean much when you achieve them.  If you aim too high and fall short, this can negatively affect your self-esteem.  I mean how do we feel when we can’t something done, pretty crummy right?  Imagine the impact if you continually come up short on your goals.

So I recommend a two-pronged approach.  First, dream big when setting goals.  Figure out what you really want in life and then put it down in writing.  Part of the process I teach also includes evaluating your goals to see if they are achievable.   One thing you analyze is if you have the knowledge, skills and abilities to achieve your goals.  Now, you might have to take some action to acquire, for example, the skills you need, but that’s part of the process of figuring out what you need to be successful.

Second, create sub-goals that are natural markers on the road to achieving your big goals.  Each time you achieve one of these sub-goals you get the motivation and confidence boost that are a natural by-product of completing something that is important to you.  Plus, you know that you’re that much closer to attaining your big goal.

John Ryan

Host of Key Conversations for Leaders Podcast, Executive Coach, Consultant, and Trainer

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