CCL has been studying leaders and their development for 39 years. Many of our practices have become “tried-and-true” ways to develop leaders and leadership. Here, we highlight ideas, strategies and tactics that we have developed and refined over many years and by working with many thousands of clients.

Setting Goals? Start With Your Values

Too often people set goals based on their thinking alone. But you are more likely to achieve goals if they align with your values. Bring your heart into the picture of goal-setting this year by taking the following steps:

Reflect. Take stock of exactly what your values are. How do you spend your time and energy? What are you passionate about? What do you need to do more of? What should you cut back on? What is missing? Take time to think about your values and to process your thoughts and feelings about career, self, family, community, spirit. Consider feedback you’ve been given. List five things you would like to change or do differently. Write them down as possible goals.

Focus. Select one goal out of the five to focus on first and add enough detail to make it a SMART goal:

  • Specific. Write down your goal with as much detail as possible.
  • Measurable. Identify quantitative targets for tracking your progress and results.
  • Attainable. Make certain that it is possible to achieve the desired result.
  • Realistic. Acknowledge the practical requirements necessary to accomplish the goal.
  • Timed. Build in specific deadlines.

Plan. Break down your SMART goal into small, specific steps that will move you in the right direction. Begin by listing at least one action to take in the next week. Schedule a time to do it.

Enlist support. Think about family, friends or co-workers whom you can inform of your new goal and ask for support. Carefully select whom you tell and when you tell them, so as not to undermine your motivation or progress.

Revisit. Each week revisit your goal. Keep focus on your values. Assess your progress and decide what action you will take that week toward achieving your goal. Set new milestones as needed.

Adapted from Setting Your Development Goals: Start with Your Values by Bill Sternbergh and Sloan R. Weitzel.

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