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A Complete Plan for Setting Goals: Align Actions With “Why”

As each year comes to a close, there are numerous articles about setting goals and objectives for the New Year. Let’s focus on continuing to build your brand in 2021, though these techniques work for setting goals for your business as well.

Setting Goals: Where do you want to be this time next year?

After 2020, it seems crazy to try to anticipate what you want to accomplish by December 2021 or specifically how you plan to move forward in your business or career.

Just like a roadmap that shows you the way to your destination, determining where you want to be and what goals you want to accomplish in the next 12 months is critical to creating a personal brand that future-proofs your executive transition.

Imagine yourself at this time next year. Are you sitting in the VPs chair at your target company? Are you getting asked to speak at industry events each month? Are editors requesting an article on your area of expertise?

Think about it. Imagine it.

Write down what you imagine, using specific language. For example: “I transitioned into the VP position at my target company.” “I’m writing an average of one article a month for industry publications or blogs.” “I’m speaking at industry or local events an average of twice per month.”

For more information on goal setting, check out this article on North Star Objectives.

Build Your Plan

Once you’ve articulated the final results, it’s time to plan how to get there.

There are many different elements to a plan. If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that the best plans can be thwarted in an instant.

You can still look ahead and see how you’ll get to your result. Here are a few examples.

Setting goals for social proof

It’s important to keep working on enhancing your personal brand. Do this by providing value in to those in your network. Point out interesting articles and act as a resource in your sphere of influence.

social proof

Work toward getting more testimonials for your business or endorsements for yourself as a professional. Start volunteering to do talks to industry groups or, if speaking isn’t your strength, write for industry journals or volunteer in your industry association.

Just get out there and in front of your peers.

Document your success

Consider keeping a journal to keep track of your successes. So many of us are confident that we’ll remember all the good times and the details of our successes.

Oftentimes that is not the case.

Try to set aside a few minutes each week to document your successes, and maybe even what went wrong that week. Don’t feel that you must write pages and pages. Jot down the main points to jog your memory later.

These stories form the backbone of your personal brand, giving you material for those speaking gigs and articles you’ll prepare.

Plan your periodic goals

You can research other goal-setting techniques. Some like to set goals weekly or monthly. This is your choice – whatever keeps you on track.

Try to create your plan near the beginning of the year. Remember, this is your roadmap to success.

Some find weekly and monthly a bit too fine a point. You may try setting quarterly goals.

For example: If your goal is to secure the VP position at your target company, who do you have to meet, where do those people hang out, and who do they know? How can you come to their attention?

Particularly if you’re already holding down a more than a full-time job, maybe your goal is to attend three industry events in the first quarter, and volunteer to speak at one of those.

After speaking, collect the feedback and offer to speak at least two times in the next quarter.

Grow your sphere of influence

Commit to connecting with your network. You could consider reaching out to 20 people per month. Depending on your location and your industry, meet new people at industry occasions, cross-industry networking events, or at the company picnic.

If your company is a large one,  meet new people in other departments. These people have a different view of the company and may be able to offer new insight into the company’s future growth.

By the second and third quarters of the year, commit to meeting and working with individuals at your target company on a project or event, perhaps by volunteering at your industry association.

If you need help in getting to 2nd and 3rd conversations with your network or are interested in more ways to for introductions to grow your network, find out here.

Execute your plan

Now that your plan is created, it’s time to execute. Keep your plan visible at all times. It’s easy to lose sight of what you want to do. Many people like to keep their plan on their phone for easy reference in those moments of downtime.

When you’ve finished the tasks, check them off your list, and feel the satisfaction of accomplishment.

Avoid being too hard on yourself. There are days when your plan seems doomed.

Just keep going – do one more task, reach out to one more contact with a kind word or piece of interesting information.

You can do this.

Simply setting goals

We are all busy. When setting goals for the following year, keep them relevant, specific, and doable. Set yourself up for success by staying positive and not letting the bad days overcome the good. Keep track of your successes and the lessons you’ve learned.

By this time next year, you’ll be surprised by what you’ve accomplished.

Want a bit more help developing or strengthening your personal brand? Check out our Concierge Program and be sure to request access to the CareerConx app.

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