‘Own Goals’ Are Only Bad In Football Matches!


As we rapidly approach the end of the year it is important to take time out to reflect on your achievements. Make a list of all the great things you have done in 2013, targets hit and/or new skills mastered. Think of new relationships formed and bridges mended where conflict had previously existed.

Check your performance against your personal goals for the year (I’m sure you reviewed progress throughout the year as well) and tick off those hit. For the ones that you didn’t hit, ask yourself why? In many cases it will be that the goal was not really that important to you, or perhaps it was too ambitious. Often people say “That wasn’t my goal, I was told to put that in by my manager!”

I read an article a few years ago that stated less than five percent of the UK working population had clearly defined business and personal goals. In my experience I think the actual percentage is one percent!

When I review people’s goals they usually consist of work related targets like promotion and the personal goals consisted of material things such as houses and cars. Very few of them consist of ‘softer skill’ goals like improving communication or being more empathetic. The reason for this is simple, it is easy to pick obvious and clear targets and we definitely know when we have hit them but how do we know when we have hit a ‘soft target’?

In previous Management Training & Development blogs we have looked at elements of goal setting and how to keep on track when things don’t work out as we planned. If you missed those look back through the archives and use the ‘tags’ to search.

In this blog I want to focus on some good solid basic rules to help with your planning for 2014 goals. Here are my top tips for 2014 goal setting:

  • Do NOT set a New Year’s Resolution unless YOU are willing to commit 100% to it. In surveys just 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolution and 50% don’t even last a week
  • Goals are ‘personal’, do not list any goal that isn’t something YOU really want to achieve
  • Only choose goals that motivate YOU
  • Make a public commitment and tell other people what YOU will achieve, if they doubt you then use that as extra motivation
  • Plan mini goals as ‘stepping stones’ to the larger goal! YOU cannot climb a ladder that has no rungs
  • YOU must not only write your goals down but also have pictures to represent them
  • When talking to other people about your goals YOU must be able to clearly explain the why, as well as the what?
  • Once set YOU must ‘immerse’ yourself in your goals, have them written/pictured in numerous places, where you will see them on at least a daily basis
  • Be bold but also realistic each goal MUST be something YOU have the capacity to deliver, or the capacity to learn to deliver
  • Remember that the only person responsible for all of the above is YOU!

Hope that helps YOU get the picture and good luck with all your goals in 2014.

Mark Williams

Head of Training

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