Connect 2016 Goals with Values and Purpose for Greater Success

This Coaching Tuesday guest post is from Blanchard network coach Antonio Estrada.

a goal without a plan is just a wish - motivational handwritingI’ll bet you have heard about how a large percentage of New Year’s goals are no longer priorities—or even remembered—by the end of January.

Here’s a formula that can help. I’ve used it successfully with clients and it might also help you succeed in reaching your goals.

SMART Goals multiplied by Connection with Values and Purpose multiplied by Taking Relevant Actions equals Impact

Let me explain how this works, using as my example a client who works for an international development institution whose mission is to alleviate poverty.

SMART Goals. At the beginning of the coaching engagement, my client, his supervisor, and I (as his coach) agreed that one of my client’s goals during our coaching engagement would be to expand his influence outside his specific area of expertise. During our first session, we carefully validated that the goal was SMART: Specific, Meaningful, Attainable, Relevant, and Trackable. In our discussions, my client also realized that the goal was fully aligned with one of the competencies for his position: influence across boundaries. Therefore, it was definitely Meaningful and Relevant for both my client and his organization.

To make the goal more Specific, Attainable and Trackable, my client determined it would be helpful to envision actions that would support the goal. Although he understood the idea, he had difficulties imagining useful actions. Among the roadblocks we identified and overcame during an envisioning exercise was that one of my client’s key values—honesty—seemed to be in conflict with his concept of influencing people outside his own function. He felt that influencing across boundaries might mean interacting with his colleagues in a less than transparent manner.

Connection with Values and Purpose. In our discussion of the connection between my client’s goals and his values and purpose, he realized that the main purpose of his work—helping others less privilegedwas integrated with the organization’s purpose of alleviating poverty. At that moment of realization, my client’s energy shifted. He started to see how, by improving his leadership influence across boundaries, he could mobilize resources—relational, technical and monetary—to expand his organization’s project support and implementation.

That moment in which my client connected his goal with his values and purpose brought him to an Optimal Motivational Outlook: which is where people move from extrinsic, or imposed, reasons for doing tasks to intrinsic motivators that are based on values and purpose.

In coaching terms, the combination of SMART goals with connection to values and purpose is what we call the thinking or the being of what we want to do.

Taking Relevant Actions. This factor of the formula is what we in coaching call the doing of what we want to do. No relevant actions means no impact. In this case, after my client shifted to the Optimal Motivational Outlook, he was able to easily identify five actions consistent with his desired impact. For example, one of the actions was to participate in technical groups both within and outside the organization to share and expand his knowledge about projects and potential market opportunities. We co-determined examples of groups that my client could join as well as the timing by which he could complete this action.

My client understood the relationship between the elements of the formula when noticing their multiplicative effect on the impact.

What are your goals for 2016? Have you connected them to a higher value or purpose? Creating this connection can help you work through potential roadblocks, just as it helped my client. Use this formula when reviewing your goals for the coming year and create the impact you want in 2016!

About the Author

Antonio Estrada HeadshotAntonio Estrada, MBA, Engineer and Certified Professional Coach is a member of Blanchard Coaching Services network of executive and leadership coaches.  Since 2000, Blanchard’s 130 coaches have worked with over 14,500 individuals in more than 250 companies throughout the world. Learn more at Blanchard Coaching Services. And check out Coaching Tuesday every week at Blanchard LeaderChat for ideas, research, and inspirations from the world of executive coaching.

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