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How to Set Effective Goals

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If you haven’t noticed, we’re pretty darn determined to make 2016 your best year ever. And, this month’s theme happens to be creating your best year in leadership. As event planners, we’re looked to as thought leaders on so many topics. From venue shopping to branding and design to budgeting, we’re our clients guides and gurus throughout the entire planning process. (Are you starting to feel the pressure yet?) But, though we are keepers of mega amounts of information (and super glue…and safety pins…and wine) we can’t really offer up our best selves without having clear goals that we’re working toward. Setting (and–the hard part–working toward) our goals is an important part of being a true leader. So, today, we’ve broken down three tips to help keep you on track when it comes to accomplishing your goals.

Set realistic goals

The biggest problem with goal setting (just like with New Year’s Resolutions), is that people often go too big. Don’t get us wrong, we’re all about dreaming big and working toward achieving something difficult. But, if you’re new to goal-setting, start with something realistic and achievable. Take inventory of the time and resources available to you and decide what goals fit within that framework. Are two of the five work days each week extremely busy for you? Take that into consideration–set a goal that asks for your efforts on those three days when giving extra time to something is more plausible. We also recommend setting a mixture of performance and outcome goals.

Prioritize your goals

If you’ve rounded up a solid list of goals you’re trying to achieve or benchmarks you’re working toward this year, that’s great. The more, the merrier. But realize that, with more goals, come more chances to stray. We recommend prioritizing your goals to avoid missing the ones that are most important to you. Which goal is going to have the biggest impact? If your goal is to organize your office this year, you probably have about twenty to-do items that fall under that category. If updating your files is the task that will make the biggest impact on your goal of creating an organized work space, put that one at the top of your list. Others, like re-ordering the books on your bookshelf and buying cute matching notepads can probably wait. Also, think about which is going to require the most resources? Perhaps that becomes a long-term goal–one that you chip away at a little each week–while other, smaller tasks become short-term goals that you complete every Friday, for example.

Create accountability

Have you ever noticed the gym or workout dates you don’t break are the ones you’ve made with others? Or perhaps the ones you have written down on a calendar that’s hanging on your wall for all to see? There’s a reason for that–accountability is your best friend when working toward certain goals. We recommend two main ways to ensure you’re holding yourself accountable: (1) The buddy system: just like with the gym, share your goals with a friend and ask that they check on you weekly. If your goal is to write more, have a partner who you promise to send a piece to every Friday, for example. And (2) Write it down: We’re not just talking on a legal pad on your desk that no one will see besides you. Write it down on your family calendar, on a large sheet of paper that you hang next to your bathroom mirror, somewhere where there’s a chance others will see it. Are you attempting to go for a run four times a week? Write “Run, Run, Run, Run” each week on a calendar that you hang in a common space, and cross each one off as you complete it. The idea of a week where none of those words are crossed off, hanging in a space for all to see is probably enough motivation for you to make sure that doesn’t happen.
When it comes to goal setting, those are the three most impactful pieces of advice we can offer. We hope they’ll help you work toward having your best year…in leadership and overall. Have any goal keeping tips or tricks you use? Share them with us–we’d love to hear from you!

About the Author

Gillian Griffith
Gillian Griffith

As Aisle Planner’s Contributing Editor, Gillian knows there’s nothing as deadly as a woman with good grammar, great nails and a strong backhand (think: tennis). She is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada, where she spends the sunny days with her family, her Louisiana Catahoula pup and, her ultimate love, a 1939 typewriter. Follow Gillian on Instagram @gigi_the_girl

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