Are you in transition? Do you want to land your ideal job? Do you wonder why, despite being committed and talented, you haven’t been able to move-up the corporate ladder more quickly? What could be holding you back? Could it be that your mindset is keeping you from reaching meaningful goals?
Many people are unaware of how powerful their mindsets are. Rather than focusing on what they truly want, their focus and “self-talk” is often on what they don’t want. For example, you may want to be successful in your career, but you’re thinking about all the obstacles in your way. Or you may want a new and exciting position, but you’re focused on the lack of good opportunities. Our thoughts are so powerful because they drive our emotions. Emotions impact the actions we take and the results we achieve. Consider, for example, thinking about things outside of your control, such as the poor economy or your company’s lack of growth. Naturally, emotions such as worry, fear and anxiety will be triggered, which is distracting and can compromise your results. On the other hand, we are empowered to create what we want in our lives by maintaining a winning mindset which ensures that we communicate effectively and perform at peak levels.
So, the question is – how do we stay focused and on-track to our career goals, and not allow our daily challenges to distract us and throw us off-track?
In a study by Dr. Gail Matthews of the Dominican University of California, 267 participants from a variety of industries and backgrounds were recruited for a four-week research project. The participants were randomized into one of five groups. Group one wrote down their goals and achieved 43% of them. Participants in the other groups who were asked to write down their goals achieved 64% of them, or 34% more than those who just thought about their goals. The group that wrote and their shared goals, along with actions and progress with a friend, created the highest level of success, achieving 76% of their stated goals.1
Certainly, the data supports the benefits of writing down our goals and tracking our progress to enhance our focus, momentum and success.
This evidence is very motivating, but you may be asking yourself, “How do I do this?” You may have tried to write down and commit to specific goals many times before – unsuccessfully. Here’s a way to easily do this, and accelerate your goal achievement.
The first step is to choose one foundational goal that is most important to you right now – one that will positively impact many other areas of your life when you achieve it. It is important to select a goal in which you are absolutely ready to invest your attention and energy, and on which you are prepared to take daily action.
Once you have selected a goal, write it down as a “goal statement” in the positive present tense (as if it has already been achieved). For example: instead of “I want to be employed at a job I enjoy that maximizes my strengths,” you would write “I am enjoying a job that maximizes my strengths.” Another example is: instead of “I want to be promoted,” you would write “I am a successful … e.g. Managing Director, Vice President, etc.” When we write down our goals this way, we begin telling our subconscious mind that we have achieved it, and we begin to act as if by changing our actions to be consistent with that goal. How would a successful Managing Director act? Ask yourself this question daily, and begin behaving that way. How would someone act who was enjoying a job that maximized his or her strengths?
Secondly, rather than waiting until you achieve the goal, celebrate progress you are making each day toward that goal. Make note of all the little successes, such as getting an interview or meeting someone who provides you with helpful career information. Why? This allows you to maintain momentum, reduce doubt and increase your confidence.
Finally, it is important to take action every day – just one thing that will keep you on-track toward your goal. Rather than thinking about the overwhelming list of everything you need to do to reach your goal, prioritize the next step and move forward.
Make Creating Goal Momentum a habit by implementing these 3 steps each day. You’ll find yourself on-track to achieve your career goals more quickly than you ever imagined possible!