Writing Mentoring Goals and Objectives
"Life is a journey, not a destination." —Ralph Waldo Emerson
As this quote reminds us, life is ever evolving and changing for all of us. As we travel on life's road, let's take the time to consider what we want to accomplish along the way. In order to create the kind of career you want, it helps to have a clear picture of where you're headed, your personal mission. It's equally important to carefully plan how to get there—how to make your dreams come true, one day at a time.
Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. It focuses you, and helps you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the very most of your accomplishments. By writing down goals and objectives for yourself you are taking a big step toward making them happen. The next step will be to actually do these things, and keep a record. This is something you and your mentor can work on together over time.
The Value of Mentoring Goals
According to Mentors, Inc., goal-setting is a powerful technique for helping you develop a solid foundation for future planning and organization. By having an ultimate life goal, you are better able to concentrate on related goals and areas for self-improvement.
Consider these actions as part of the goal-setting process:
- Establish a relationship of trust.
- Establish confidentiality as a prerequisite.
- Directly involve the mentee in setting goals. With the mentor's guidance, the mentee articulates each goal, and it must be genuinely his/her goal.
Tips for Successful Goal Writing
Be Specific. What do you want to accomplish?
Make sure it is something you really want. To make it happen, you need dedication and commitment. Think about your goals and confirm whether you are willing to sacrifice the time and effort to achieve them. Also, weigh the achievement of your goal to the sacrifices that you will have to make to achieve it. If it's worth it, Great! If not, reconsider your goal.
Break up your goal into smaller sub-goals. If you have a large goal it is a good idea to break it up and make little goals that are easy to achieve. Breaking up your goals not only makes your goal list less intimidating, it gives you more motivation to succeed.
Think S.M.A.R.T. When setting goals, a good system to go by is SMART. Writing a blurb for each letter and recording it with your goal could help you focus on your goal in the future.
Specific/Significant: It is great to have a clear concise title to your goal, but you should also describe it in more detail. For example, "further my education" could be described with "Identify the schools that I want to attend and research why the programs are good choices."
Measurable/Meaningful: Try to write a goal that you can measure numerically. A goal can be much more motivating if you can track and record your progress, and see how you are doing.
Achievable-Action-Oriented/Realistic -Relevant: Can your goal really be done? Think not only about the goal, but about your personal circumstances.
Timely/Trackable: How much time will you have to put in on a regular basis to achieve this goal? How long from now do you plan to achieve this goal?
Reward Yourself. Give yourself credit for what you are accomplishing.
Categorize your goals. It is generally good to categorize your goals into areas of your life that you would like to improve. Some of the categories you can use are: Health & Fitness, Family & Relationships, Enjoyment & Recreation, Social & Friends, Financial & Career, Educational
Write them down! Probably one of the most important and most ignored steps to effective goal setting is to write it down! If you don't write your goal down, you will not remember it. Writing your goals and reviewing them daily will give your mind sub-conscious cues that what your writing is important, and will help you succeed.
Review Goals Daily. Writing your goals and then setting them aside to collect dust won't do much. It is important to review your goals daily or weekly. Think about them when you wake up every morning. Take a look at your goal list when you check your email/facebook/twitter. Think about what you could do that day to help achieve your goal(s). Also, when you are winding down for the evening, mentally go through your goals and think about 3 things you have done recently that have helped you in one area, or a couple of things that you would like to do soon to help you get closer to achieving your goals.
Get your family and friends involved. Let your family and friends know what you are doing and ask for their support, motivation and any resources they can assist you with.
Tips for Achieving Your Goals
It's important to track your goals success to know when you have reached them. It sounds simple, but it's important to track the progress you are making. There are several ways in which you can achieve this.
- Keep a Calendar: Keep your goal schedule on the electronic device of your choice. Take your goals with you wherever you go. Your laptop, PC, smart phone or tablet can help you mark off the days in which you have made progress in the direction of your goals.
- Keep a Journal: Write in your journal daily about the steps you have taken toward your goals as well as the feelings you have on those steps you have taken.
- Keep a List: Make a list of your goals and cross them off as you accomplish them.
- Use a goal chart: Use a goal chart or graph to chart the progress of your goals.
Choosing the Right Method to Track Your Goals
- Any method will work. The important thing is that you choose a method that works for you. You can decide to use only one of the methods mentioned above, come up with your own method of tracking goals, or use a combination of methods.
- The biggest thing you want to keep in mind is that you want a tracking method that keeps you focused and motivated. You can start with a list, then take that list and make a detailed goal chart. Then hang that chart up where you can see it every day and chart your progress as it happens.
- Goal charts are great motivators, and they are easy to follow. Having it up where you can see it every day will keep you motivated to keep pushing forward.
- The important thing isn't how you track your goals; it's that you do track your goals. So, choose one of the goal tracking methods above, or create your own, but make sure the method you choose can keep you motivated.
Positive Thinking Toolbox
6 Killer Tips for Effective Goal Writing