January 6, 2021

Goal Strategies that Work

I'm Melissa
I'm a Career and Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech. I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.
Get the proven strategies your boss or HR don't want you to know that are proven to work (even with budget cuts, restructuring, and if you've been told "no")
Download now

70% of people fail to achieve their goals but people that have them are 10x more successful. So, what are the goal strategies that actually work?

If you’re working toward goals because you think then you’ll be happy, then you’ll be less stressed, then you’ll make it, that’s just not true. It’s a bandaid. You’ll feel better for a moment and then you’ll go right back to the next big thing.

Our lives are happening right now.

These small moments, waking up in the morning, your morning routine with your family or on your own is all part of this glorious life that is yours.

Your purpose is to be you.

You can have goals, I would argue you should have goals, but the difference is – can you feel happy and content while you’re working toward your goal or only once you achieve it?

What You’ll Learn

My 3 strategies for goal setting that actually work

The missing step that will make all the difference in how you select and make progress toward your goals

Why goal setting is important

How to enjoy the process between setting your goals and achieving them

Featured in This Episode

Apply for 1-1 coaching with Melissa.

Take the free quiz: Are you in the right career? and get a free bonus guide.

Note: The Navigating Your Career Facebook Group and workshop mentioned in this episode are no longer open.

Rate, Review, and Subscribe in Apple Podcasts

If you are loving the podcast, please consider rating and reviewing my podcast! This helps me support more people — just like you — get happier in their career and their life by making the show more visible.

Click here, scroll to the bottom, tap to rate with stars, and then select “Write a Review.” Let me know what you loved most about the episode!

Also, if you aren’t already, be sure to subscribe to the podcast. If you’re not subscribed you can miss out on any bonus episodes! Subscribe now!


Happy New Year!

This is the first episode of 2021.  I took my first vacation in my business and spent the time between Christmas and New Years home, playing lots of board games, watching movies, and becoming one with the coach more and more as each day progressed ☺.

I rang in the new year at home with my wife and kids, watching the new years eve specials on tv, playing cards, and putting our dogs in ridiculous new years hats. We also watched Soul twice over the break.  

If you haven’t seen it – I swear it was written by a Coach.  It is made by Disney Pixar and streaming on Disney+ right now.  The movie is so good on so many levels but the overall message I want to share is that we spend our lives chasing accomplishments only to find we keep raising the bar with every accomplishment.  We think if we just had more money, a better job, a big break, then we would feel differently.

What Soul teaches us is that the purpose of our lives is to live it, in the small moments and big moments.  You see, when you get that job, you will start working toward a bigger better job, more money or promotion.  When you get a nice house, you’ll eventually start wanting a bigger house, a nicer house.  We just keep chasing.

But our lives are happening right now.  These small moments, waking up in the morning, your morning routine with your family or on your own is all part of this glorious life that is yours.  Your purpose is to be you.  You can have goals, I would argue you should have goals, but the difference is – can you feel happy and content while you’re working toward your goal or only once you achieve it?

If you’re working toward goals because you think then you’ll be happy, then you’ll be less stressed, then you’ll make it, that’s just not true.  It’s a bandaid.  You’ll feel better for a moment and then you’ll go right back to the next big thing.

So I want to approach goals differently with you.

Most people can agree that goals are important.  They are an essential part of company strategy and the performance review cycle.  There’s good reason too.  People that have goals are 10 times more successful than those without goals.  

However, setting goals doesn’t make them as good as done.  70% of people fail to achieve their goals.  Without understanding what it takes to achieve your goal, your goal can collect dust like a failed new year’s resolution instead of creating the lasting change you are capable of.

I’m going to share 3 goal setting strategies that will help set 2021 up for success.

But first…

Have you taken time to celebrate not only getting through 2020 but all of the things you actually accomplished?!

You lived through a whole new world.

Work was different.

Relationships were different.

Family was different.

School was different.

You handled it all AND I bet you accomplished some pretty big projects at work and crushed some personal goals too.

So before going forward with 2021 goals, grab a journal or notebook and write down your answers to the following questions.  

These are going to help you reflect and celebrate 2020.  I know you may not be in a position to write these down right now but rest assured you can come back and jot these down or you can get the transcript to this episode and copy and paste them.

Let’s dive in.

What did you do or overcome that you never thought you would? (hint: virtual learning and wearing masks everywhere counts!)
What are you most proud of from 2020?
Did you have goals for 2020? What were they?
What were the results from your goals?
What is the biggest lesson (or lessons) you learned in 2020? (about relationships, work, life, school, anything)
What are 3-5 wins from the year?
Is there anything from 2020 you would have done differently?
If so, what was the lesson you learned?
How was the lesson worth it?
Would you still have done it differently?

I bet just hearing these questions you had some things come to mind.  It’s so easy for us to skip right to the next thing, to the things we haven’t done, the things we are still working on but it’s important to remind our brains of all the good too.  It helps program the success into our brain so when we go toward big things, we have something to draw on.  We have a success that our brain will be more likely to remember to encourage us rather than tell us it isn’t possible. 

It’s why I start my client sessions with wins from the prior week.  My clients tell me it is transformative for them to do this simple thing because they normally wouldn’t even think of them.  They wouldn’t take time to register and celebrate their progress week to week so it helps them see just how awesome they really are. 

So Celebrate.  Take a moment to appreciate your wins, your progress, and everything you are proud of in 2020.

Now – that you’ve celebrated, here are 3 strategies you can incorporate into your goal setting that will help you be on the positive side of the statistic.

#1 Get Clear on the Why

Fast forward to a year from now.  When you look back on 2021 what do you see?  Close your eyes and tap into your future you.

What have you accomplished? What have you stopped doing?  How are you feeling?  Then work backwards.  What did you have to focus on to make that a reality?

We often set goals that we think we should instead of the goals we really want.  Instead of creating goals your boss wants for you or you think you should do to get ahead, spend some time thinking about what you want to achieve.  

Is it status, promotion, more work/life balance, improved communication skills? 

Where are your pain points? What would make a big difference for you? Ask yourself why this goal is important to you. 

What would it mean for you (and your family) to achieve it? What will happen if you don’t achieve the goal? 

Spending some time understanding why the goal is important and crafting your compelling reasons for it will help you not only achieve something that will have a greater impact but will help you stick with it.

#2 The Goldilocks Approach

You want the right amount of goals and the right scope.  

Too many goals will cause overwhelm and little progress.  A goal that is too far out of reach or too easy will either seem impossible or not be impactful enough to help you move the needle.  

I suggest having no more than 2-3 goals.  Think about it. If you take 10 steps in 10 different directions you won’t make enough progress to make a difference.  

Now imagine taking 10 steps in less than 3 directions.  You will have more wins and that will help you make progress and stick with it. Your scope should be a stretch. It should be realistic, but something that makes you feel energized and excited but also a bit scared. If you’re not a bit uncomfortable, it’s time to think bigger.

#3 Expect Resistance & Plan for It

Change can be hard. Expect resistance to come in the form of limited time, resources, lack of support, and you.  You are one of your biggest obstacles because your brain only knows what you’ve done in the past and when things get hard it is a common response to convince yourself you don’t need the goal, or it will be ok if you don’t achieve it. 

Remember when I talked about celebrating your wins. Your brain helps you make decisions based on probability, to protect you and make things efficient and easy.  It doesn’t want you to take the long way or the scenic route and if you’ve ever had a hard time or obstacle come up that is what your brain will remind you of.  The more you celebrate your wins, the more you can rewire that thinking.

You have to believe in a possibility you haven’t created yet. Brainstorm all of the obstacles that could come up as you work toward your goals. Now develop a strategy for each of those obstacles.  What will you do when you want to quit? What will you do when you have to work late and can’t do what you planned? What will you do if your boss doesn’t support your growth?  Create unwavering commitment to your goals.

Decide it is as good as done.  Treat it like a baby.  If your baby is hungry, you don’t decide your baby doesn’t get to eat that day.  You give your baby want it needs and you prioritize it. Do that with your goal too.  Are you willing to commit no matter what?  What is going to come up that could stop you?  Figure that out and plan for it.

Practicing these strategies will help you create your best year yet.

Now I said 3 strategies but I’m going to add the bonus strategy. The one that I think is so important and much bigger than your goal itself.

It is to enjoy the journey of meeting it.

Your goal may take longer than you plan.

There may be days you’re tired.

We can’t plan for every thing that will come up.  No one planned a pandemic for example.

So how can you enjoy your life while you are working toward your goal?

Like the movie Soul, the main character Joe Gardner, thought it would feel different when he accomplished his goal, but it was really the same, just a different circumstance.  Learning to enjoy the journey, enjoy the ups and downs and savor those small and big moments in life make a big difference in your overall satisfaction with your life.

Joe says in the movie…

We only have a short time on this planet. You want to become the person that you were born to be. Don’t waste your time on all the junk of life. Spend your precious hours doing what will bring out the real you. The brilliant passionate you, that’s ready to contribute to something meaningful into this world.” 

That is living.  Just be the real you.

I just scratched the surface on this topic and there is so much more I’d like to help you with.  If you want to participate in a hands-on workshop that will help you know what goals to focus on in 2021 and how to make them happen, join us in the Navigating Your Career Facebook Group.

I’m hosting a 3 day workshop January 13-15th. It’s no cost.  It’s my new years gift to you and the members of the group.

To join the group head to Facebook and search for the group Navigating Your Career.  I’ll put a link in the show notes.

If you want to explore 1-1 coaching to guarantee you achieve your goals, you are welcome to schedule a call with me so we can discuss your goals and where you want to be. Go to www.melissamlawrence.com to book directly. 

Have a wonderful week.  Talk to you soon.

Share this Episode

+ show Comments


Top Posts

Organizational Psychologist
Career & Life Coach
Fierce Advocate
No longer settles for “good enough”

Hi, I’m Melissa.

Career & Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech

I'm a former Talent & Development leader in Pharma/Biotech turned CEO and Certified Professional Career & Life Coach. I also host the podcast, Your Worthy Career.

I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.

I'm leading a movement of women in the industry who are figuring out exactly what they want and shattering the glass ceiling. The very real ceiling in the industry, but also the one that we impose on ourselves. 

So long, imposter syndrome and overthinking. It's time to step into the impact and life you're worthy of having.

Free Guide!

*Downloading the freebie will subscribe you to our email list, You may unsubscribe at any time, though doing so means we cannot contact you or provide you with more free resources, trainings, and tips.

4 strategies including when to use each one and a deep dive on putting it into action

bonus tips proven to work to get you more interviews and dream job offers

career advancement strategies specifically proven for women in pharma/biotech

Get the 4 hidden strategies you can use right now to advance your career as a woman in Pharma/Biotech. These are industry specific strategies that work even with budget cuts, restructuring, or if your boss already said "no" to your request.

4 Hidden Ways (shhh)
to Advance Your Career

- Margaret

"Wow. I wish someone had told me these strategies were an option earlier in my career."

    Group coaching

    beyond the ceiling

    Private coaching

    1-1 Coaching

    tune in

    Listen to the podcast