I recently attended a Marcus Child course entitled “A Masterclass in Leadership”. Amongst other things Marcus discussed the different factors that motivate each and every one of us and the importance of setting and working towards definable and attainable goals. It got me thinking, how many of us spend time actually thinking through what we are trying to achieve and planning how we will get there? As Bill Copeland said “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” Below are my top 5 reasons to set goals;
1- Goals keep you moving forward
A natural consequence of having a target to work towards is that you keep propelling yourself forward. By understanding what you are trying to achieve you keep focused on the destination and ultimately taking the steps required to arrive there. It is so easy to become distracted or taken off course; a tangible goal pushes you forward.
2- Baby steps
If you break your ultimate ambitions into small, achievable steps it makes the whole journey more enjoyable. How many of us dream big but become intimidated by the scale of the task? Setting goals helps break larger, awesome aspirations into smaller, more achievable stepping stones. It is so much easier to stay motivated when you can achieve smaller goals along the way. How many of us set off running and find the last 1k the easiest…
3- The joy of achievement
How great is it when you have achieved something that you have been working towards? I remember how brilliant it felt when I passed my driving test. The first time I took my Peugeot 205 (called Penny with racing green stripes…) out on the road was truly freeing. Reaching a goal gives you that same sense of accomplishment. I hate clichés but here I will make an exception; it really is the journey and not the destination that matters.
Accountability seems to be the new buzz word (certainly at BCL Legal…) but I do think that if you set yourself a goal and ultimately fail you become accountable to yourself. That doesn’t mean that we should all be engaging in bouts of self flagellation, just regularly reassessing how well we’re doing and what we can improve upon. Call it healthy refection! Ask my husband, I take criticism badly but I actually quite enjoy a bit of personal assessment.
5 – Helps you determine what motivates you
It’s really important to understand what motivates you. I often talk to law firms and many assume that everyone is looking for exactly the same; progression and pay. In my experience of assisting lawyers with career moves, this couldn’t be further from the truth. What we look to achieve within our careers and life generally is personal to each of us; yes, pay and progression feature but so does culture and balance. The day you decide what is motivating you and you set goals is the day you take control of your destiny.
And so back to the course…as we sat listening to Marcus I realised that hands up, I was guilty. I had long since stopped setting goals or even really thinking about what I was looking to achieve. Like many, I had been working hard, focusing on doing a good job but never really assessing what I was looking to take out of my working life. I realised that really the only person I was selling short was me. So if you’re reassessing your professional goals in the legal profession get in touch, BCL Legal can help you get where you want to go.