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Welcome to 2024 week 4. Today, we continue January’s theme of goal-setting.

January: Goal Setting

Week 1: Daydream about what you want to achieve. click here to read it.

Week 2: Ask “why” to understand the reasons behind your goals. Read that here

Week 3: We got S.M.A.R.T. Read that here.

Clear goals go a long way to helping you achieve the goal. But there is one step that will make achievement a LOT more likely. The secret is don’t keep them a secret.

Goals you keep secret are so much harder to stay committed to.

The goals you talk about are harder to give up on.

Nothing is more motivating than telling the right people about your progress.

I learned this at the point in my career when I was first leading projects. I was responsible for preparing the weekly status report to send to the leadership team. The reports always included what we had accomplished the prior week, if we were on track to the plan, if we were facing any risks or issues if we were on a budget, and what we would do next.

At first, it was scary to send that out every week. I would inevitably get a lot of questions and if there were risks and issues, then there would always be “urgent” meetings to talk about them. “What are we going to do about this problem, Ellen?”

It was scary because I didn’t always know what we were going to do (no one has that answer all the time, by the way)

What happened as a result of this status report? I learned to start thinking about the status report on Monday (I sent it on Friday). I worked to resolve any risks and issues, or ask for help early if I needed it. I made sure that I talked to key people about problems before I sent that report out. Starting on Monday gave me time to work with the team to address any problems.

The fact that I was responsible for telling someone how we were doing with the goal made me 100 times more committed to making good progress on it every week.

As a result, we had fewer risks, issues, or budget concerns. As a team, were more successful simply because we were telling others how things were going.

The goal was a project.

The project was defined as a smart goal.

I knew why we needed to do it and the team did too.

But the real drive to action came because we were telling other people about the progress. Without that, the progress would have been slower.

It’s important to pick your person

At work, it’s easier to decide who. It might be a project status meeting or project status report.

It might be a weekly email to your boss.

A one-on-one meeting.

Pick someone who is invested in your success.

Plus:

Share goals with your boss and get agreement.

Share them with your team and peers.

Share them with anyone you will need to get help from and ask if they are committed to helping you.

For your personal goals, maybe you can post a chart on the refrigerator where your family will see it.

Tell a friend and agree to be accountability buddies. Text them your progress every week, and agree to nag each other if you skip a week.

Or maybe you add a short status to the bottom of a newsletter that you send to your blog community and share your progress there (haha)

What do you need to share?

As I mentioned the process of creating your status is more powerful than sending it. So you want to share things that keep you moving forward. You can keep it simple. I recommend the following.

  1. For your metrics. What did you measure and what are those numbers? I.e. I walked 8k steps 6 out of 7 days.
  2. Celebrate at least one thing for the week. Yay, I met my goal this week!
  3. What got in your way? And what can you do about that next week? I was not motivated to walk in the morning so I was often cramming steps in after dinner. Next week I want to do a minimum of a 15 minute walk before lunch.

Your homework

So this week, decide: Who are you going to tell about your goals?

It might be someone different for each goal.

  • I told my husband and kids that I wanted to achieve a “Dry January” – (now I’ve told you, too)
  • I wrote down my work goals and sent them to my boss. I will publish them for our whole team to see.
  • I am telling YOU about my goals for walking, reading, one-on-one fun time, and living Anti-Hustle

Once you have your person for each goal, decide how and how often you will update the person(s) on your progress.

Personally, I like weekly updates for most goals.

Today, decide who you are going to tell about your progress how often you are going to tell them, and what you are going to share each week.

Then, start to share that status on a weekly basis.

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P.s. here is how my goals are going.

Walking: How often did I walk 8K steps? – 5 out of the last 7 days. Many days I scrambled after dinner. This week I will try to get to 4K steps before lunch.

One on One Fun: Did I have one-on-one fun with my family this week? What gets im my way? I keep picking up my phone and looking at social media and the family does too. It’s time for a phones down game night

Hustle or anti-hustle? I’m tracking this daily on my planner. This week 6 of 7 days did not feel frantic (aka- like a hustle). This is good for this week.

Reading? Stamped from the beginning by Ibram X. Kendi. This week I read from page 238 to page 323. Average of 12 pages a day. Progress.