Take Stock to Mark your Starting Point

Inventory problems.jpeg

Welcome to the second of my three blogs about Goal Setting. My first blog covered Phase 1, defining your  SMMART goal, now let's focus on your starting point. We'll cover how to create an action plan in the final blog in this series.

So you have a SMMART goal, it's specific, measurable,  attainable, results-focused with a defined end date and it's MEANINGFUL.  You are committed, and you're willing to do practically anything to reach it. Good, now that your endpoint is defined let's figure out your starting point.

We all have blind spots, and that makes it hard to get an accurate read on how we show up to others. We might believe we're patient when an employee asks for input, but our real feelings about the intrusion may be leaking out in our facial expressions or body language. It's important to get accurate information about our behaviors because we can't change what we don't know.

First, let go of defensiveness and replace it with curiosity. Start with trusted co-workers and explain why you need help. Encourage them to provide honest feedback, ask for specifics and keep digging until you get a complete picture. Prime co-workers to pay particular attention at your next meeting and report back on your team interactions. Family and friends may also provide insight but only ask if you're honestly willing to listen. You may also deploy a 360 evaluation and receive input anonymously from subordinates, peers, and supervisors.

Take steps to learn how you're showing up because you can change known behaviors. Stay curious when you receive feedback, and ward off defensiveness to get an accurate assessment of your starting point. Don't let ignorance sabotage your success.

In addition to learning more about yourself, you must also accurately inventory the resources available to support your goal. Most of us think of resources like money, business assets, experience, customer engagement, marketing prowess, time, etc. Understand what's available and calculate what you'll need to support your goal. Targeting a 10% increase in sales is only feasible if you have the customer base, the products, and the marketing in place. Don't fill in resource gaps with wishes.  Remember the A in SMMART is attainable.

Your community support is another critical resource. Encouragement from friends, patience from your family, kudos' from your co-workers can help you over the rough spots. You won't reach your goal in isolation and underestimating your community's influence is a big mistake. Studies have documented the incredible power of groups. Couch to 5K running programs encourage connections between novice runners, to create communities in support of new exercise behaviors. Unfortunately, old friends and colleagues can also undermine us if our changes threaten group cohesion. Take time to honestly assess how much help you can expect from those closest to you and if necessary, find alternative support systems. Your community is a powerful influence; it is a critical part of your resource inventory.

Finding your starting point gives you vital insight. It's the giant YOU ARE HERE star on a map. Learn which behaviors you need to change in support of your goal. Accurately inventory your resources, so you don't find yourself relying on a Hail Mary Pass and utilize a supportive community to keep you moving forward towards your goal. 

You now have your starting point and your end point. We'll cover linking the two through an action plan in my next blog.

Coaching can help you create and implement your 2018 SMMART goal. It won't cost you anything to begin the conversation. Set it up here

If you missed my first blog, you can read it here.

- denise