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September 26, 2012
Thoughts

Driving Towards Your Goals

Last month, I went to lunch with a friend who I hadn’t seen for a few years.  As most conversations go with people I haven’t seen for a long time, we started by covering pretty standard topics.  What’s new? How is the job?  How is the house?   Eventually, she smiled and said, “I guess not a lot has changed since we last talked!”  She went on to say that she had hoped to get a new job and to be in a new house, but the days seem to turn into months, the months into years while life remains status quo.  She certainly isn’t unhappy, but looking back there were some goals she would have liked to have achieved.

My guess is that most people reading this can relate to my friend and have been in her shoes once or twice.  In fact, research shows that only 3% of people actually set goals, and only 1% actually writes them down and reviews them.  Given these statistics, it’s not surprising that a lot of us find ourselves wondering why we haven’t met all, let alone, some of our goals.

As my friend and I continued to talk, I started telling her about a process we employ at Kenway Consulting to help our employees achieve their personal and professional goals.  The process is known as Roles, Goals and Tactics and can be completed in three steps.

  • First, identify all of the roles that you play in your life.  Some of these roles may be work related (Management Consultant, Recruiter, Mentor, etc) while others are personal (mother, runner, golfer, etc).
  • Next, set goals for each of the roles you defined.  All goals should be measurable and contain a timeframe in which they will be achieved.
  • Lastly, identify the tactics that you will use to achieve each of your goals.  Your tactics should be binary and should avoid any subjectivity.  At some regular interval, when you look back and review your goals, you may or may not have achieved them, but you should be able to use your tactics as a checklist to make sure you did each one in an effort to achieve your goal.

I’ve used this process several times, but most recently I used it to set some goals to improve my golf game (role = golfer).  Now, my golf game was pretty non-existent, so my goal to become a better golfer shouldn’t have been that hard to achieve. However, it’s not surprising that simply telling my husband I’d like to become a better golfer wasn’t doing much to improve my game.  So, with our charity golf outing quickly approaching, and my sister taking every opportunity to remind me how bad I did last year, I decided it was time to get a little more serious about my golf game.

At a high level, my goal was to become a better golfer, but I found this difficult to measure.  Therefore, I came up with a goal that I could measure and accomplish in a reasonable time frame.

  • My foursome would use more of my balls than those of my sister during the ‘Scramble Best Ball’ tournament at the Kenway Consulting Charity Golf Outing on September 14th.

Now that I had my goal, I came up with four tactics to help me achieve it:

  • I will sign up for a golf lesson no later than July 1st.
  • I will practice my swing once a week.
  • I will go to the driving range once a month.
  • I will play golf twice before the Kenway Golf Outing.

Going into the golf outing I couldn’t say with 100% confidence that I was going to meet my goal.  However, I did know with 100% confidence that had I not taken the time to lay out my plan using Roles, Goals and Tactics, I would have failed to achieve my goal for the third time.  Regardless of the role in my life or the goal I am setting out to achieve, taking the time to develop my Roles, Goals and Tactics yields the following benefits:

  • Makes me accountable for meeting my goals.
  • Provides a way to track and measure your goals.
  • Outlines the responsibilities within my roles.
  • Develops a plan to meet my documented goals.
  • Improves my work/life balance.
  • Increases the success in meeting my goals.

After golfing for the first time (part 1 of my fourth tactic), my hopes of meeting my goal were pretty slim.  However, I stuck with my tactics and by the time the golf outing rolled around on September 14th I was feeling pretty good about my chances.  In the end, my sister did edge me out (we used 13 of her balls and 10 of mine).  Technically speaking, I didn’t meet my goal, however, we used 10 more of my balls during the scramble than we did last year and I won the ladies closest to the pin competition!  Neither would have been possible without setting the goal and sticking to the tactics and I couldn’t be happier with my drive towards success.

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