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Webucator's Free Goal Setting and Time Management Tutorial

Lesson: Implementing by Building a Support System

Welcome to our free Goal Setting and Time Management tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's Goal Setting and Time Management Training course.

With SMART goal setting strategies under your belt, you've made the right start in your goal setting journey. Now you need to make sure you have an excellent support system in place to help you accomplish your goals.

You'll be happy to know that most of the elements of the support system you need already exist. All you need now is to identify the areas you need support in, find the right enablers and put your support system in place.

Lesson Goals

  • Learn how to find supporters.
  • Learn how to turn your social network into a cheerleading network.
  • Learn how to bring it all together.

How to Find Supporters

You will greatly increase the chances of success in your goals by finding the right supporters. These are people, resources, or support groups that provide the much needed external support that will help you make your dream a reality.

Great leaders throughout history have always been smart in leveraging the expertise of others in their own pursuits of a dream, vision, or a goal. The fact that they did not have expertise in a certain area never stopped them.

In order to find the right supporters for your goal, you first need to have a clear idea as to what areas you need support in.

Understand Your Strengths and Weaknesses

In the context of goal setting, the importance of knowing yourself and, more specifically, what your strengths and weaknesses are cannot be overstated. The more accurate your self-assessment is, the greater the chance you will have to be successful.

Pay attention to compliments and criticisms you receive from people you live and work with. These can help you identify areas of strength and weakness that you may not even realize you possess. Whether a strength or a weakness, you are better off knowing about it than being ignorant about it.

Identify Skills You Need

You may need to develop professional skills in order to accomplish your goal. For example, suppose you have been working as a computer IT professional and your goal is to start your own real estate firm.

Because you have no professional experience in the real estate field, you need to identify the professional skill sets and qualifications you need in order to practice as a real estate professional.

Once those additional skills are identified, you need to take the steps to acquire them.

Different Types of Supporters

Based on your particular goal, you might need different types of supporters to help you. If your goal is to advance in your career, your chief supporter might be your immediate supervisor. Maybe you have a certain financial goal for which you might need to seek the services of a professional consultant.

Recognizing who or what these people or resources are and actively engaging them to help you accomplish your goal will increase your chance of success.

Supporters at Work

Supporters at work can be found at different levels across the organization.

  1. Team members and peers. Your colleagues with whom you work every day can be valuable as a sounding board for your goals. Engage them actively. If your goal is to advocate a new testing methodology, use your colleagues to identify any issues and remove them before you take the proposal to upper management.
  2. Bosses. You can seldom advance in your career without the active support of your boss. If your goal is to advance in your career, make sure your goals are aligned with those of your employer, and then consider telling your boss your goals and asking for his or her assistance.
  3. Office support staff. Never underestimate how the office support staff might help you. These are typically administrative assistants, secretaries, and receptionists. They are often powerful gatekeepers who have access to different departments within the organization.

Professional Supporters

You may want to seek help from professional supporters.

  1. Consultants. Leadership coaches, fitness coaches, and financial consultants are examples of professional consultants. If your goal is to build more financial security for your family, and you don't have any prior experience with financial investments, a good starting point is a financial consultant.
  2. Training. If your goal requires a certain amount of skill in a particular area, you should seek to acquire training. With online training becoming more common these days, you can get practically any training you need over the Internet.

Support Groups

Support groups provide two main benefits. Not only do they provide the needed support in accomplishing your goal, but they also provide a means of making new friends with similar interests as yours.

For example, if you are passionate about running and have a very ambitious goal of running a marathon, one of the smartest things to do is to join a group that's preparing for a marathon. Not only will it remove the monotony of training alone, it will give you access to other people with a similar goal and likely with lots of helpful ideas.

Find the Supporters

Duration: 10 to 20 minutes.

In this exercise, you will answer the following questions about finding supporters.

  1. How does knowing your strengths and weaknesses help in your pursuit of your goals?
    1. It helps you to recognize areas in which you need to improve.
    2. It can help you identify where you need extra support to accomplish your goal.
    3. It can help you better align your goals toward your areas of strength.
    4. It increases your chances of success in accomplishing your goals.
  2. Which of the following is true about supporters?
    1. There are supporters all around you - you just have to find and engage them.
    2. You always have to pay to find someone to support you in pursuit of your goals.
    3. You need to build and maintain good relationships at work in order to make others want to help you.
    4. Supporters are critical for successfully accomplishing your goals.
  3. Solution:

    1. A, B, C, and D.
    2. A, C, and D.

Turn Your Social Network into Your Cheerleading Network

It is important to turn your social network into your cheerleading network for your goals. The kind of support base you need to build should:

  1. Support you.
  2. Cheer you on.
  3. Encourage you during setbacks.
  4. Help you keep focused on your final objective.

Being Selective

Build the Right Support Base

The most important criteria in selecting a person or group to share your goal with is to gauge whether they will impede your progress or actively support it.

Look for people who will:

  1. Encourage you to aim higher.
  2. Encourage you to never give up.
  3. Feel vested in your success.

But, don't just look for those who agree with everything you say or do. Also look for those who can provide critical feedback and can be a devil's advocate and point out flaws in your approach or plan.

Whom to Avoid

Avoid people who will:

  1. Ridicule your goals.
  2. Try and block you from achieving your goals.

Some people are eternal pessimists and they can tire you down with their persistent talk about all that will go wrong. There is nothing to gain from sharing your goals with such people.

Sharing Your Goals

Your journey toward your goals can have many milestones, bumps, twists, and turns along the way. By sharing your goals, you will reap the following benefits:

  1. Much needed encouragement during your journey especially when you face setbacks or when the results are not immediate.
  2. Satisfaction from inspiring others. Sharing your goals with others can also serve as an inspiration for them.

Make Yourself Accountable

You can also use your support base to hold yourself and/or your team accountable in the pursuit of the goal. An example of how to do this might be to set up regular meetings with your team to discuss the progress you have made.

If your goal is to increase productivity in your department and halfway to the deadline you set you see you are not where you should be, schedule a meeting with the team to explore the reasons why and then either revise the deadline or put a process in place that will help meet that goal.

Turn Your Social Network Into a Cheerleading Network

Duration: 5 to 10 minutes.

In this exercise, you will answer the following question.

  1. What attributes will you look for in your support base?
    1. They should always agree with what you say or do.
    2. They should critique your approach or your actions.
    3. They should be positive about your chances of success and encourage you to go for it.
    4. They have your best interests in mind.
  2. How can you make yourself and your team accountable while pursuing your goal?
    1. Hold regular progress meetings.
    2. Use Gantt charts to schedule tasks.
    3. Ask for help when needed.
    4. Revise deadlines if necessary to achieve the goal.
  3. Sharing your goals is a good idea because:
    1. Others will ridicule you if you fail, spurring you on to try harder.
    2. Others may be inspired by your success.
    3. Others will provide support and encouragement when the going gets tough.
    4. It is really not a good idea to share your goals until you have achieved them.

Solution:

  1. B, C, and D.
  2. A, C, and D.
  3. B and C.

Bring It All Together

Duration: 15 to 25 minutes.

Now that you have learned key elements needed to achieve your goals, complete the exercise below.

  1. List the top two goals in your high priority list.
  2. Why do these goals matter to you? Give at least two reasons.
  3. Write them down again so they map with the SMART framework (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound).
  4. List your strengths and weaknesses pertaining to each goal.
  5. List the supporters and cheerleaders who will help you achieve these goals.
  6. What changes are you ready to make in your daily activities or habits in order to achieve these goals?

Solution:

  1. View the presentation in the next activity to see an example of a goal setting document.