Goal Attainment: Making Your Goals Tangible and Achievable
We all have dreams, but are you doing anything to make them come true—or to set you on a career path to success? I'm not talking about fairytale dreams, but dreams that are within your control to become achievable. The most effective way to see your dreams become reality is to set goals and to build a plan to attain these goals. Clinical psychologist Dr. Chloe Carmichael recently led an Ellevate Jam Session to show us how to make our goals attainable.
Set your sights on success
The first step is to choose and define your goal. Make it measurable. A goal may not be just to get fit, but to work out X times per week. Make it an appropriate and manageable goal. If you are conducting a job search, choose a goal that will position you for success such as “I will reach out to 5 people per week on LinkedIn or practice mock interviews.”
Be a project planner for your goal. List the components and tasks. Break it into subtasks and set them on a calendar timeline. Is your goal going to be a six-month process or something you can achieve in six days?
Build self-care initiatives
How does the prospect of working towards your goal make you feel? Are you anxious, excited, confident or overwhelmed? A specialist in anxiety, goal attainment, relationships and body-mind connection, Dr. Carmichael urges us to identify some “self-care initiatives we can take” and integrate how to address them into your timeline. For example, my goal is to write a novel. If I were feeling stuck, one thing I would add to my timeline would be a free writing session. Dr. Carmichael used the example of getting into graduate school, and says if you're feeling judged, have a friend read a draft of your application essay. If you're feeling excited, plan a party to celebrate the completion of your goal.
Value your goal—you deserve this
Once you set your goal and decide you’ll pursue it, spend time on it. This will free you to put your back into the goal. I admit it—I can be a procrastinator when it comes to my personal goals. I always prioritize work or spending time with family, which Dr. Carmichael says if very common. But setting a timeline and finding ways to address obstacles gives the goal credence, importance and priority.
Cross the finish line!
Dr. Carmichael gives advice on how to see our timeline to the finish line. Consider having an accountability buddy, plan rewards at certain milestones, and post your timeline so that it’s always visible and top of mind. Before you know it, you'll have run that marathon, written that book, or started your own business.
Do you have trouble seeing your goals to the finish line? What is one of your goals and what steps have you taken to attain it?