Accountability is the key career advice here. When you write your goals and share them with others you are choosing accountability.
Writing your goals demonstrates your accountability to yourself. Written goals are real and tangible. Goals that you keep in your head most often are fuzzy and poorly defined, little more than wishes.
Taking the time to write your goals, and then making them S.M.A.R.T. (see my recent post) puts some rigor into the goal setting process. You end up with a set of well-defined goals on which you can build your career success.
Sharing your goals with others close to you is another way of choosing accountability. When you share your goals, you are making a public statement about what you are going to accomplish. This makes you more likely to do the work necessary to achieve them.
Let me give you an example. I have made a big effort to improve my level of health and fitness in recent years. A few years ago, I set a weight loss goal. I shared this goal with several of my friends, especially those who are committed to their own health and fitness.
One of these people is one of my clients. I was visiting his office one day. There was a big platter of oatmeal raisin cookies left over from a meeting sitting in an open area near his office. As we passed the cookies, I took one. I was beginning to take a bite when he turned to me and said, “Do you really want that?”
In the moment, I really did. But in the greater scheme of things and given my health and fitness goal, I really didn’t want to be eating cookies in the middle of the afternoon. I tossed the cookie into the trash.
Sharing my health and fitness goal with this guy helped me achieve it. By asking me a simple question, “Do you really want that?” he helped me make progress toward my goal. He helped me fight the temptation to do something that ran counter to achieving my goal. But remember, he never would have asked me the question if I had not first shared my health and fitness goal with him. This is one of the basic ideas behind the Weight Watchers program. This works for goals in all areas of your life and career.
Here’s another example. I was having a conversation with Doug Westmoreland, king of motivational videos. He and I were talking about email list building. I mentioned that I have a goal of growing my subscriber list. Doug asked a few questions, made a few suggestions and then said something really profound. “Bud, you’re a great guy, you give lots of value to your subscribers. It’s about time that you begin offering them the opportunity to reciprocate by making products available for sale in your electronic correspondence with them.”
Doug’s comment was really helpful. He got me to rethink how I communicate with my subscribers. I never would have received this great advice if I hadn’t shared one of my goals with him.
The common sense career success coach point here is simple. Successful people set and achieve high goals. They follow the advice in Tweet 28 in Success Tweets. “Write your goals. Share them with others. You are more likely to achieve goals that you write and share.” I have found that writing your goals and sharing them with others are two of the best ways to ensure that you achieve them. Both of these simple actions increase your personal accountability for achieving your goals. When you write your goals, they become more real for you. When you share them, you invite others to help you achieve them. You build a support network that can keep you on track and moving forward in creating the career success you deserve.