3 Steps Process to Simple Goal Setting for Your Professional Development Goals

How often have you tried different techniques for simple goal setting only to drop it during the year?

Maybe setting professional development goals got too cumbersome or complex to monitor?

Maybe it took up too much time?

Well, there is a way out - by following the three step process:

  • Bundle up all your goals
  • Keep them simple and high level
  • Access them easily and quickly

Sounds simple, right? It is!

Actually, this is something I have been personally doing for the last few years and the simple goal setting process has worked very well for me.

At the start of each year I write down all my high level goals - including my professional development goals - on a piece of paper which I keep with me at all times. That way, I can see, reflect and review them all the time.

It keeps me on track and helps me produce better results.

1. Bundle up all your goals

Apart from career goals most of us have many other things to think about, focus onand get done in our lives.

So, it kind of makes sense to have broader goals that consist of not only your careergoals but other things you would like to achieve and bundle them up as part of thesimple goal setting process.

Your broader goals can include career, finance, family, health, and community goals.There can be others too.

Doing this brings balance and perspective into your lives and takes care of the whole personthat you are.

It also enables you to bring together all your key goals in one place so you can reflect onthem regularly, review your progress and make adjustments as necessary. After all, thedifferent parts of your lives function as a system and what happens in one area usuallytends to impact on others.

I would even go as far as saying that if you have not identified goals that are broaderthan your work or career then it is time to step back and ask why. Are you compromisinggrowth and development of your broader self because of just your career?

If you need to do some work in this area then I would highly recommend a simple exercise. You will be amazed with the results!

Once you have identified these broader goals your next challenge is keeping them simple.

2. Keep them simple and high level

I like to keep things simple and try and take a high level view of things. This is a foundation to simple goal setting.

Over the years I have tried many different approaches and found that the more complex and detailed the career goal setting process becomes the more difficult it gets to maintain it and integrate it with other goals.

I am now going to contradict myself and say that you still need some level of detail when it comes to developing specific action plans for each part of your life but this level of detail is not necessary when you look at all your goals as a whole.

To further explain this, let us say that this year you would like to improve your fitness; become a better dad; improve your chances of a promotion at work; and buy a new investment property; then it is perfectly ok to have these as your high level goals. This level of simplicity is desirable and will help you keep track and maintain momentum during the year.

Once you are able to do this you then need to keep your goals in front of you.

3. Access them easily and quickly

One of the most important things to consider in simple goal setting is to keep your broader goals in front of your mind.

Doing this helps you maintain focus, keep that line of sight to your actions and see how you are progressing over time.

You can do this in many different ways.

An approach that works well for me is writing down my four or five broader goals for the year on small piece of paper, usually the size of a business card and then gluing or sticking that paper to an actual business card. In my case, I take my own business card and stick paper to both sides. On one side I have the goals and on the other I write down a few questions that I ponder upon during reflection time.

Once I have done this I then carry this dual purpose goal and question card with me at all times - usually in my pocket so it is always easy to reach, pick up and review, any where and at any time!

My own goal setting process was getting too complex and I thought to myself that there should definitely be a better way to do this - and that is how the idea of using the business card came to my mind!

This is simple goal setting in its simplest form.

Think about some ways you can do this too so your goals are always there in front of you - like a goal post to guide you and help you achieve your objectives.

Here are some of the questions on my card:

  • What am I reading to support my goals?
  • Am I building quality relationships with others?
  • Am I focusing on the most important things?

What are some ways you keep your goals simple and in front of you? Why not share it with others and get your story listed here?

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