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Dream BIG, Set Realistic Goals

Updated: Jan 29, 2023

Yes, I want you to dream BIG + set realistic goals to achieve those dreams.

dream big, set realistic goals; man with arms raised in triumph on a mountain top

Hopefully friends, you've put some thought into the strategy you plan to engage this year. If you haven't, pause here and read up on setting your talent strategy and then how to build your talent management plan. Once you've put thought into what you need to tackle, it's time to set a handful of goals for your talent development work this year.

Dream BIG

I want you to dream BIG about what you can accomplish with a tight talent development strategy that moves business results forward. Dream BIG about not just tracking 75% completion of performance appraisals. Dream BIG about improving the performance of a business unit by 1%. A 1% improvement in business performance, BTW, typically yields pretty smart financial gains. You'll be a hero to you customers!

Think Realistic

Then I want you to break down those BIG dreams into smaller goals that you can accomplish today, this month, this quarter, this year. You know what they say about eating an elephant… one bite at a time. You can accomplish what you dream, you just have to portion out what you're going to tackle.

Remember, SMART goals win. I met a new friend from Creatly, Amanda Athuraliya, who shared an article she wrote about setting goals. It's a detailed one, and great if you'd like to dig in or need a primer on SMART goals.

And according to Charles Duhigg, in his book Smarter, Faster, Better, if you go one step further and first set a BHAG (aka a stretch goal) and then use SMART goals to break it down into actionable steps, even better. You're more likely to stay motivated on specific tasks, while also staying focused on the "why" behind a goal. More about Duhigg's recommendation in this Book Brief.

The key to great goals, in my opinion, is specificity and achievable-ness. Specificity helps with clarity and accountability and achievable ensures that it's realistic. I'd like to see you set three really great goals that move the needle on your BIG dream. Set goals that you can confidently share with your customers and partners. I want you to successfully deliver on those goals so that you gain credibility and a few extra resources each time you show you're delivering results.

For Example

I'll share a few personal examples with you. I'm still learning my new role, company and team at this point, so I'm keeping my goals to a higher-level than I might otherwise. Here are two sample goals for my team and then two for this site:

For my Talent Management Team,

  • Conduct talent conversations with two executives by year-end to set a baseline for the performance and potential of their teams and identify top talent

  • Set a learning strategy by year-end that introduces a learning culture

For Simply Strategic Talent Solutions, I want to

  • Figure out my balance, juggling full-time work and supporting this site with excellent content

  • Launch a new support product by year-end

Now it's your turn. I think if you'll try setting a goal or two for the year or half-year or quarter even, and then posting them in a visible location and/or sharing them with your partners, you'll find that you make progress this year. And then... we'll celebrate!

Post your goals below. I’m eager to see what you have in store for the year.


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