How can you meet your professional goals?

Before the holidays, the Endurance Learning team shared our one-word resolutions. A recent New York Times article claims that 25% of resolutions will be abandoned by January 8th, and by the year-end, less than 10% of resolutions are fully kept. With that in mind, it is important to talk about how you execute on resolutions, and more specifically how you can meet your professional goals.

As with any growth, it is fairly unlikely that any resolution can be executed without a plan. As we embark on this new year, we must follow a plan to achieve our goals.

My resolution centers around the word growth. Growth is a personal goal, and it can also be a training goal. For instance, if an outcome takes practice and progress can be measured, like facilitation skills, management skills, or Photoshop proficiency, it is a growth goal. I mentioned the areas in which I want to grow in the previous post.

5 ways to meet your professional goals

In this post, let’s talk about ways to facilitate growth and ways to meet your professional goals; both personally and in the training room.

1. Create stretch goals

In my opinion, a good goal scares you a little. After all, you are growing and growing can be painful. A goal that doesn’t have at least a small chance at failure isn’t a goal, it’s a task. As you are setting an execution plan to achieve growth, or have a group of students setting goals, make sure your outcomes stretch comfort zones.

2. Find a champion

People who workout with partners are more likely to keep up their workout commitments. Similarly, people who commit their goals to a person who will support and encourage them in those goals, are more likely to achieve their goals. A champion is someone who connects you to your goals and holds you accountable. When growth is a goal of a training session, assign participants to be each other’s champions.

3. Schedule check-ins

The reason I call this person a champion is that they are there to get you to the finish line. Regular check-ins establish accountability and support the journey. Check-ins should be scheduled and can be over any medium, although I think some sort of social media or collaboration tool is a great way to go as others can also observe progress and/or failure.

Yes, failure. Failure is a very important element of growth. While skiing, my uncle used to tell me that if you are not falling, you are not learning. Let’s just say I learn a lot.

4. Make time for reflection

Growth can be hard to see at a microscopic level. Reflection on the big picture, where you were a week/month/year ago, gives respect to the process and facilitates a sense of accomplishment. When reflecting on growth, make sure to reflect on growth from the beginning of the process, not just recent accomplishments. Reflection can be guided by a facilitator or a regular journaling activity.

What are you doing to meet your professional goals?

Brian, Tim, and I posted our resolutions on Train Like a Champion, which already kicks off this process of accountability. A few of you posted yours as well, you are on the right track! Now let’s talk about the execution. Whether or not you shared your resolution in a previous post, how will you meet your professional goals in 2018? Let’s talk about it in the comments!


5 thoughts on “How can you meet your professional goals?

  1. My word is Discipline. Discipline is doing what you have to do whether you WANT to do it or not. If I am going to get where I want to go, I will have to exercise discipline. Make some plans, execute those plans and honor my word or promises to myself over my reasons to NOT do those things.

    • Ohhh, Discipline, I like it! I struggle with reasons not to do something, especially if I have something much more interesting drawing my attention. It is like a contract you make with yourself that needs to be fulfilled.

  2. STICKY was my word. My team has incorporated it into our work plan for 2018. A pilot project for how to make our leadership classes STICKER is being developed along with a way to evaluate that success at the end of the year and perhaps compare it with those same classes we did this year and other courses that didn’t get the STICKY treatment this year. Our group discusses projects like these monthly. So lots of accountability built in.

    Not sure it will work, but excited to give it a try and happy to have other teammate willing to help figure out how to make it happen. Happy to hear thoughts on how others make learning stick!

    • That is excellent accountability, Holly! It would be great if more training had that level of evaluation. I would love to hear more about your evaluation methods and the results they show as you progress through this project.

    • I’m with Heather, I’d love to hear what comes out of your monthly meetings, especially how you’re measuring stickiness of leadership development… drop us a line in a month or so (this could be an excellent guest blog post!!).

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