“On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced a goal: America would put a person safely on the Moon before the end of the decade. Many thought this was impossible. To people’s amazement, Kennedy’s ambitious goal was achieved on July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon’s surface.” Turkay, S. (2014). Setting Goals: Who, Why, How?
Research shows a correlation between documenting your goals and achieving them because the process increases motivation and achievement. As a savvy business executive, you likely document your project-related goals at work through a charter, project planning tool or business plan. Why not use this same discipline in your job search? In fact keep your documented goals close at hand—in your pocket or in your phone; where you can readily refer to them – often.
Many of my clients struggle with this exercise because there is an imposed sense of perfection and accuracy in this exercise. We feel as though we need to get it right immediately.
However, just get the words and ideas down. Don’t worry whether it all makes perfect sense immediately. Get the gist down on paper and then you can course-correct later just like airline pilots course-correct as they get closer to their destination.
Add a powerful catalyst to this exercise using imagery with your goals. Envision what the goals will look like, taste like, and feel like when you get to your targeted destination.
If you are currently conducting an international job search with the intention of moving back to your hometown, imagine being there. Imagine what it looks like to leave your new home on the morning of your first day on your new job. Imagine the smells around you—the leaves on the ground in the autumn or the sound of the birds in the trees.
If your Mom, Grandmother or other special person likes to bake pies (like mine), imagine the aroma and taste of a blueberry pie piping hot from the oven. Imagine sitting at the kitchen table with her while you eat the pie. It is powerful.
Or, maybe it is the magic number in your bank account when you land your next new opportunity. Can you envision that number and imagine what it will get for you? Perhaps you feel desperate to get on a much-needed vacation or to climb the mountains of the Andes. Whatever your ambitions, if you can imagine—with all of your senses—you will be closer to achieving them.
Consider this example:
“I will find a job in my hometown.” vs. “I will feel happy [free, content, relieved] in my new job in my hometown.”
Although I have encountered skepticism about vision boards, I believe they help make progress and achieve goals. And as Mike Dooley says, “Don’t mess with the cursed how.” Simply by setting the intention, you will create momentum to achieve it. Here is an excellent article on creating a vision board.
Good luck with your job search!