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My love/hate relationship with goals

October 4, 2013 at 1:41 pm

The management team here at Strovis Payroll has been focusing on goals the past 10 weeks.  I guess we always focus on goals, but this is different.  We read a book, created long and short term goals, and we have weekly meetings about where we are and how we are feeling.  It’s horrible.  Actually it’s wonderful, and I am probably more focused on the things I need to accomplish than I would be otherwise.  But here’s the awful part – I’m learning to hold myself accountable.  And those days/weeks when I’m not fully meeting my goals are terrible.  Which is probably good because that terrible, guilty feeling motivates me to meet my goals the next week.

What I’m describing is my love/hate relationship with goals.  I love them because they motivate me and I need them to add direction to my work.  I hate them because if I am really holding myself accountable, I’m going to feel bad when I don’t make it.  I feel disappointed in myself, and disappointment is a terrible feeling!  But in the end I need goals.  The keep me on track, keep me motivated, and keep me going.  And when I reach my goal (or maybe exceed it) I feel great.  Accomplished.  Empowered.

The key is to have realistic goals that stretch you – push you to do your best and just a little bit more than you thought you could.  Let’s focus on short term goals.


  1. What do you want to achieve?  Define your goal. Make it measurable.
  2. By when do you want to achieve it?  Set a time limit, not further ahead than 12 weeks.  If it takes more than 12 weeks, it is no longer a short goal. And your reward will be too far ahead.
  3. What do you need to succeed?  Define stuff that gets in your way. If you need to work out, make sure you have the equipment and time to do it. Maybe you need a friend to push you? Maybe you need to shut off your phone. Find the things that will hinder you, get it out of the way. Find the stuff that will help you, and get it ready.
  4. How will you know that you succeeded?   Visualize the destination, what will it look like? How will you know that you made your goal? Make a checklist or use visual aids, like putting four post-it notes on your refrigerator and remove one for each workout during the week.
  5. Hold yourself accountable.  Keep score and talk to someone about your progress (or lack of it).
  6. Celebrate!  Make sure to reward yourself.  This can be anything, a movie night, candy, a shopping trip. Your choice.
  7. Repeat


Categories: Human Resource Consulting.