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Setting and Achieving Goals: A Guide to Success 

When considering the notion of success in the workplace, leveraging strengths, prioritizing well-being, and nurturing workplace engagement are indispensable allies. Intertwined with the above is the achievement of goals, and today, we're looking at the importance of intentionality in goal setting and the transformative potential of strengths-based goal setting and well-being in the quest for professional success. 

Intentionality in Goal Setting

The story of a survey conducted among senior-year students at Yale University serves as a reminder of the power of intentionality in goal setting. 

The survey revealed that only 3% of students had committed their future goals to paper. Remarkably, two decades later, this 3% cohort had surpassed their peers financially and professionally and excelled in terms of happiness and self-confidence.

Though the story may lack validation, its core message remains profound: the manner in which we set our goals often eclipses the goals themselves in shaping our success.

Understanding the Barriers to Goal Setting

Goal setting can be an endeavor filled with challenges. These include:

1. Perceived Unimportance: Many underestimate the significance of mentally acknowledging and committing to changes in behavior or practice.

2. Retroactive Goal Setting: A common approach is to view achievements as goals realized only in hindsight, with the work preceding goal setting.

3. Past Failures: Previous setbacks can breed fear, dissuading individuals from setting new goals for fear of reliving failure.

4. Fear of Failure: Perhaps the most pervasive impediment, the fear of falling short and enduring embarrassment, shame, and disappointment paralyzes many.

5. Fear of Success: Surprisingly, the fear of success can also hinder goal setting. The prospect of achieving one's aspirations can be daunting, raising questions about the impact on one's life, responsibilities, and expectations.

Asking the Right Questions

To overcome the above-listed barriers, it is beneficial to adopt a structured approach to goal setting guided by specific questions:

  • What: What do you want, need, or love? 
  • Why: Why do you want, need, or love this?
  • When: When do you want to reach this goal? 
  • Whom: Whom is it for? 

These questions pave the way for a tangible, step-by-step action plan, shifting the focus from uncertainty to intentionality.

Overcoming Self-Limiting Beliefs

A prevalent hurdle to setting goals lies in the belief that pursuing personal attainment or advancement is inherently selfish. This erroneous perception hinders many from realizing their full potential. Individuals can overcome self-limiting beliefs by directing mental energy toward their goals and asking pertinent questions, enabling self-actualization.
In our upcoming blog post, we'll explore the concept of strengths-based goal setting, a powerful strategy that can significantly boost personal and professional development. This is where Gallup's research becomes particularly illuminating, as it underscores the pivotal role of strengths in not only improving traditional performance metrics but also in nurturing overall well-being and adaptability.

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