Expert Offers Steps for Goal Achievement

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CHICAGO--What keeps people from realizing their full potential?
Doubt. Lack of confidence. Lack of preparation and consistently repeating the same mistakes.
But each of these things can be overcome, said Sherrin Ross Ingram during the June 18 concurrent session, “The Essence of Strategy: Getting to the Heart of Getting Things Done,” at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conference & Exposition.
Ingram, a strategic planning expert, motivational speaker and CEO of the International Center for Strategic Planning, told hundreds of attendees that there are steps they can take to ensure that their projects are successful:
  1. Clearly identify the core goal you want to achieve. “Develop and diligently implement a new plan,” she advised.
  2. Identify false and sabotaging programming for your core goal. People often get in the way of their own success, she said, by believing myths about motivation. For example, they tell themselves that if something is important, it will get done. “Only priorities get done,” she said. “You have to distinguish what’s important and what’s a priority. Figure out what’s sabotaging you.”
  3. Identify supporting thoughts that will help you. “Overcome those thoughts and beliefs that undermine and sabotage the core goal—these are things that can get in the way of doing your best job,” Ingram said. She encouraged attendees not to “work on what’s wrong” but to instead “give energy to what’s right.”
  4. Decide what skills are necessary to achieve your goal. Ask yourself what practical skills you need to develop. “Lack of confidence comes down to lack of knowledge,” she said.
  5. Determine the core actions that support achievement. “Brainstorm a list of activities that support the needed thoughts, beliefs and skills” necessary to get the task done, she said. Examples: adapt, update and improve skills; read a book; take a class; and investigate past successes to determine desired characteristics to master the task.  Then “take time immediately to assess what you’ve learned. Ask yourself three questions: What’s the takeaway for me? How can I use the takeaway right now or in the future? On what date will I actively begin incorporating what I’ve learned into what I do? Studies show if you do this immediately, you are 80 percent more likely to use the information” and put it to good use, Ingram said.  “Meaningful reflection on your daily experiences is not a luxury,” she said. “It can keep you from repeating the same mistakes."
  6. Create a “mindset program.” Ingram said it is “a total myth” that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. “If you are trying to do something that is new to you… it’s going to take far longer than 21 days to form that new habit and, for some things, it’s going to be a lifelong endeavor,” she said.  As part of the mindset program, she encouraged HR professionals to “decide which core actions you’re going to focus on. Figure out the three to five things you think will have the biggest impact.” Make a plan, then periodically examine what’s working and what’s not.
Aliah Wright is an online editor/manager for SHRM.  To read the original article on, please click here.