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How to meet the goals you set (3/5)

So far we’ve discussed uncovering our underlying “why” goals, and being realistic with our calendars. Today we move on to forming your plan of attack. For some of you this one is going to be obvious. For others of you this is going to feel mind blowing.

Tip 3: Break your large goal into smaller, specific action items.

Let’s say your goal is to move yourself up the corporate ladder. Your first smaller action item might be to research what role you want to aim for. Do your homework, talking to others that are currently in the role, asking what their days and weeks look like, what their daily challenges are, and what they wish they knew about their job before they began it. Next, identify what steps you need to take to get yourself there. Consider having an honest conversation with your supervisor about your desire to move into the next role and ask them to openly discuss what you would need to do to be considered, and even better what extra steps would be wise for you to take to be considered a shoe-in? Is there anything in your supervisor’s mind that might hold you back that you can work on? Are there educational requirements you can be working on, or roles in your current work that you can learn from? Perhaps broadening your work experience by taking on a different than typical portion of a project would be helpful. The responses you receive will influence your next action steps and your overall goal timeline. If your supervisor is not the hiring manager for the next role consider asking if your supervisor would be willing to introduce you to the hiring manager or if they have any other connections they would recommend that you initiate.

It may take a lengthy period to be ready to make your move up the ladder, but each small, specific action item can be accomplished one at a time, lighting your way to your goal one small success at a time. As soon as you have identified one or more roles you’re interested in, you’ve got a small win. Having an honest conversation with your supervisor is another. Addressing an issue they brought to your attention, another. In this way you’re not pushing off your goal completion to a distant future when you receive a job offer, every day that you work an action item you’re achieving your goal.

Every goal can be broken down into smaller steps. Often, it’s helpful to do this in stages by breaking your large goal into 3-5 broad action steps, and then breaking each broad action step into smaller specific action items. In the above example the goal was Getting A Promotion. The first broad action step was Identify what role to pursue. A small, specific action item within that step were to talk to people who currently hold the role I think I’m interested in. It could look like this:

Get a Promotion

1. Identify role I want.

a. Choose a role that’s been sounding interesting

i. Find people that have role that I could informationally interview

- Invite them to lunch/coffee for informational interview

ii. Create list of questions for informational interview

iii. Interview them

b. If their experience in the role sounds great, keep moving forward. If it doesn’t sound like what I want to be doing, Start over at 1a (choose a (new) role that sounds interesting.)

2. Identify what I need to do to get there

a. If role is within same company – talk to boss about my interest in new role

i. What do I need to do, learn, or increase my experience in to be considered?

ii. What would make me a shoe-in?

b. If role is outside current company – continue conversation with previously identified role-holders.

i. What do I need to do, learn, or increase my experience in to be considered?

ii. What would make me a shoe-in?

Do you see where I’m going with this? This type of breaking down actions steps and action items will continue throughout your goal. For some people this is an easy thing to do. Others want the help of a coach to identify what to start and what to follow up with.


Get help breaking down your goal into smaller action items – schedule a coaching session with me by clicking the image below:

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