Shefali Raina is a leading Executive Coach

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How to set Goals this September to maximize your ROI

It is September - as busy executives, we are deeply absorbed in trades, deals, meetings, markets and the relentless logistics and frequent frustration of work and life, August long forgotten.

Whether you are a business leader, trader, PM, banker, or in any other role, you pride yourself at being curious and ROI driven, and marvel at your ability to see the big picture and the end game. Yet, when it comes to your own life, you are likely defaulting to auto-pilot, giving zero attention to your personal endgame for both your work and your life. I know this – I did this for 20 years of my career.

September is a great time to shake things up and elevate your game - regroup, reassess and (re)craft your 2018 work + life goals. You have 3+ months to create results and finish 2018 strong.

Why are Goals important – Goals give you clarity about the results you want to see in your work + life. They help you get to the essence of where you want to go, what you want to change, how you want to improve. Empowered by the clarity of your goals, you can focus your energy on execution and create forward momentum. Understanding our goals and striving to achieve them contributes to our sense of purpose, well being and satisfaction. Without goals you are operating directionless, replicating your days and weeks and even years, rudderless in the passage of time.  

Here are my 5 Tips to maximize your ROI on goal setting and goal achievement:

1. Get clear on the outcomes

As a first step, ask - what outcomes do you want to see in your life by the year end and why. To keep it simple, identify outcomes in three buckets – work, relationships and self. This could be about results you want to achieve, skills you want to develop or behavior you want to change. For example, a client who is a Fixed income trader set goals of a) strengthen leadership game at work (why = get the next role), b) be mentally present during family time (why = enjoy focused time with kids), and c) work on stress management (why = have less emotional volatility and feel better). Another asset manager chose to elevate his team management skills at work so that it was less draining, re-energize his network which he had wanted to do for ages, and get healthy. You get the picture - what will you pick as the outcomes you want to see by the end of 2018?

 2. Choose 2-3 Important + Achievable Goals

Look at your outcomes and ask two questions for every goal

  • Is this goal so important to you that you will make it a priority? If no – eliminate it

  • Can you achieve this in the next three months? If no, deconstruct the goal to a sub part that is more realistic

Now select your highest impact, highest priority, highest ROI 2-3 goals. Nothing stops you from setting bigger, more audacious goals, and more of them but we are talking specifically about the year-end goals here and want to set you up for success.

3. Have a Specific Game Plan and write it down

For each goal you identified, have a specific game plan that drives the outcomes:

  • What Result do you want see? Be specific.

  • What Actions are you committing to, achieve that result

  • What is your Logistics plan to prioritize these actions

  • What is your Mindset plan to overcome your discomfort and motivation volatility

  • What is your Accountability plan for setting accountability and dealing with your weak moments

This is not rocket science. But the gap between knowing to do something and actually doing it is often harder than we can imagine. You know this. Which is why you need a strong game plan in your toolbox. Most of my clients are Type As with very busy schedules, and two things we specially focus on are the Logistics plan and Mindset to overcome the aversion of being outside one’s comfort zone.

4. Make your goals a priority every day    

Make your goals a priority. Dwell on them, talk about them, give them your focus, your energy and attention. Be greedy about using tools to fire and wire those neurons - Morning routine, vision board, visualization, affirmations, intention setting – experiment with them and choose the ones that work best.

5. Take Action

Take action. The only way to do it, is to do it. Whether you want to get smarter on a subject, strengthen your network, get healthy, get a new job, manage stress better, get a promotion, learn a new skill, feel better, anything you want is achievable when you set that goal, commit to a gameplan and execute on it one step at a time.  

Final Call: Do this now. schedule time to create goals and build a gameplan. September Goals + 3 months of committed action = you finish 2018 strong.   

Shefali Raina