Seven approaches to establishing which goals to pursue

Establishing which goals to work toward can often be a difficult task for professionals. There are so many different options out there, and twice as many paths to get there. And even after figuring out the “what” and “how,” you still need to decide on the “when.” For instance, which goals should be a priority for the current year, and which are longer-term ideas?

Below are some approaches on how to decide what personal- or business-related goals to focus on, as well as guidelines to establish a framework to get there.

Create your game plan

Have you ever left the house, got into the car, started the engine and didn’t have a destination in mind? No. So, why would you run a business without a destination — a goal — in mind? Start by listing the most important priorities that must be completed this next year in order to stay on track. These will become your one-year goals.

Look at your ‘why’

Helping you define your goals starts by looking at your “why” and getting in touch with your values. An effective and creative framework is storytelling, using previous successes and accomplishments. It opens up your ability to think about possibilities, surface what you want to achieve and then brainstorm ways to achieve them using past experiences.

Deep dive reflection

Reflect. Do a deep dive into your “why” for what you want to achieve. Think about what has kept you from getting there in the past. Have your goals address your obstacles, too. Create a vision of what it will be like when you achieve your goals. Figure out what it will take for you to be in your most resourceful state of mind.

Work toward your passion

When thinking about goals, take time to think about your passions. Working toward what you’re passionate about is motivating and exciting. It increases the likelihood that you will finish what you start. When planning, think about how achieving a goal will benefit you and others. Don’t get bogged down in details. Take action and use your creativity to solve problems as they arise

Envision your company’s future

From the business perspective, one of many tactics that seem to work is to create a current organizational chart, then build a second organizational chart of what you want your company to look like in three years. You then determine what has to happen for that vision to become a reality. Visualising your desired future in this way often clears the way for what is possible.

Purpose aligned goals

Effective goal setting should be considered and engaged from within the context of one’s purpose. A carefully crafted statement of purpose will illuminate and bring clarity to new ideas and goals. The framework for this process includes defining the purpose, creating the structure, executing with discipline and developing a changed mindset.

Define what goal means, then look at priorities

Be clear on the specifics of what makes something a goal. Then define each goal, then rate the importance, on a scale of one to five, of achieving each goal in the next 12 months. For the top two goals, write the top one to two obstacles to achievement.