50 by 50 – what I learned about goal setting

When I turned forty, I decided I wanted to visit all fifty States of America by the time I was fifty and at the end of last year, I achieved the goal when I touched down in Honolulu, twenty-seven days before I hit my half-century.

Reflecting on the experiences of the last ten years, I find I have learned some valuable lessons about goal-setting that are equally useful in a professional environment.

Here are my top seven tips.

  1. If you put a deadline on something, you are far more likely to achieve it – it’s human nature to respond to the challenge
  2. Enjoy the process of getting there – be mindful of how the journey feels and have fun getting there
  3. It’s easier to achieve a goal if you have support from those around you – find colleagues whose aspirations match yours who will help and support you along the way
  4. However challenging a goal is, you will find a way to make it happen if you really want it – the human brain is capable of amazing innovation if you give it the chance
  5. Know the difference between challenging and impossible – if you’re five foot one, setting a goal to be six foot will only work if you’re thirteen years old and still growing. Believe me, it doesn’t work if you’re over twenty-one
  6. Recognise whether your deadline is immovable or flexible but don’t make a deadline so flexible that it ceases to be a true deadline – my birthday was not going to change but slipping the deadline when I finish my next novel is possible (though it does upset my publisher)
  7. Achieving a goal is like stepping up onto the next rung of the ladder – it gives you a better view but you know there are more rungs if you want the vista to be even more spectacular

I urge you all to set goals with deadlines, both at home and at work. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve if you give yourself a challenge.

What do you think? Leave a reply below or contact me by email.

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Jane Sleight

I am a Senior Service Management Consultant at Sopra Steria and an author of romantic fiction.

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