At the beginning of a new year, many business owners are ready to jump, list in hand, with goals for the coming year. That kind of spirit is the reason I love my work as a business consultant and executive coach. Business leaders are doers. They want change.

But often, their goals get derailed before the year is out, even though they thought they were prepared. Why? Because setting a goal isn’t the place to start.

Don’t start with what you want

Usually, goal setting is centered on desire. But to achieve a goal, business owners tend to look outside themselves—to the revised budget, the new hire, the latest diet, the gym.

When they don’t meet a goal, they assume it’s because they didn’t stick to the program.

Name your values

But often, that’s not the root cause at all. Their goals are derailed because they haven’t made a personal change at the values level. Success originates inside.

If you’re a business owner, try this. Instead of setting your goals for the year, turn inward to clarify your values.

What’s important to you? What motivates you? What helps you access the effort and stamina required to make a personal change?

Assess the current (and future) state of affairs

Once you understand your values, it’s time to look at the current reality and envision a different future. Think of something you’d like to change. What is happening around this issue right now? How would you like it to look in the future?

When you acknowledge the current state and picture the future state within the framework of your personal values, you’re ready to set goals that are not only achievable but inspiring.

Blogs are intended for CEOs, Entrepreneurs, Managers in pivotal positions, and others in organizations who are looking for answers to common problems often experienced in isolation. Please request topics and provide feedback about this one by emailing Terry and Ed.

Terry Taylor is an Executive Coach and facilitates the Red Table, a peer coaching group, with Ed Johnson.

Red Table


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