Where it used to be the annual setting of New Year’s resolutions, we’re now confronted with a constant feed of what goals to set for our bodies, minds, relationships, and careers.
Goals are a fantastic way to get motivated – until they’re not. Life has a way of throwing curveballs that can derail us. Where we once had high hopes fuelled with inspiration, we’ve now lost momentum, can no longer see the finish line and, in the wise words of Dr. Seuss, “And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump. And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.”
Be flexible with yourself
It’s easy to feel discouraged when things don’t go as planned. A missed workout, an unexpected work project, or even just a day when you’re not feeling it can seem like a setback. But it’s not. Take these little hurdles as a reminder that our plans need to be flexible. Your goals are yours and should suit you.
New Year’s Day may have come and gone, but new goals can be made at any time. Don’t box yourself in. Want to take part in Inktober but can’t keep up with a drawing a day? Just keep posting at a pace that suits you – you’ll still get the same sense of satisfaction on completion.
Consider how you measure success
In business, measuring success can appear much simpler, like meeting quarterly sales targets. But just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so too is personal success. What will success look like to you? Keep track of your small steps of accomplishment along the way.
A personal trainer once told me that the scales weren’t the way to go – take a photo instead. It’s things like healthier hair and a happier smile, that can’t be captured in a number. Our Group Manager Payroll, Claire Formby, has kept a success journal on her desktop for many years. “Any really meaningful messages of praise and thanks get dropped into that folder. It’s a great way to reflect on how much I’ve achieved professionally so far, and where I else I want to go”.
Find what works for you
There are a lot of goal-setting theories out there. SMART goals appear to have made a resurgence in recent months, while Mark Murphy advocates his HARD goals stating, “One factor that separates the people who become top executives from everyone else is the extent to which someone sets really difficult goals vs. a more achievable goal”. Whether you stick to a specific theory, combine a few, or make up your own, it’s all about finding a method that works for you, keeps you motivated and doesn’t cause you to give up if you don’t meet your personal deadline (note the word ‘personal’ here – you make the rules, so you can bend and break them as you need).
Setting SMART Goals
Specific: Set a clear goal
"Develop leadership skills to transition from a frontline call centre role to a team leader position."
Measurable: Make it quantifiable
"Lead at least two team projects or initiatives successfully in the next six months."
Action-Oriented: Include actionable steps
"Volunteer to spearhead a new customer service initiative and participate in a leadership development program."
Realistic: Ensure it's achievable
"Begin by taking on small leadership roles within the current team to build confidence and experience."
Time-Limited: Set a deadline
"Aim to be ready to apply for a team leader position within the next nine months."
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You can’t do it all at once
Or rather, sometimes you can’t see it all at once. Make time to regularly reflect on what you’ve achieved so far. If you’re focussing on what you haven’t done, bring in a friend or colleague and ask their opinion. Sometimes, we miss the small achievements, and that can be enough to think we’re not achieving.
In the end, goal setting should be less about ticking boxes and more about guiding our personal and professional growth. The key is to find a balance: set goals that challenge us but are also flexible enough to adapt to life’s realities. Whether it’s advancing in our career, improving health, or learning a new skill, what matters most is progress, not perfection.
TSA are Australia’s market leading specialists in CX Consultancy and Contact Centre Services. We are passionate about revolutionising the way brands connect with Australians. How? By combining our local expertise with the most sophisticated customer experience technology on earth, and delivering with an expert team of customer service consultants who know exactly how to help brands care for their customers.