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Goals Shouldn't Just Be About Work

Updated: Jul 22, 2022

At the start of last year I had BIG goals! They included mapping the moments that matter for a large organization, refining my executive communication skills (already a strength) by attending a multi-day workshop, and rolling out a new workshop-based inclusivity program for one of the largest US general contractors.

By the end of the year, none of these goals happened.

I don't mean to say that 2020 didn't have its own achievements, but they weren't quite the goals I started the year with. Last year I helped one of the largest US general contractors implement a pulse survey to capture the voice of the employee during a time of crisis, I read over 20 books, and I became the best water-skier I have even been.

As I set my goals for 2021 I am taking my learnings from this past year and have shifted my thinking. My goals are smaller, focused, and deliberate. They are also not just about work. They intentionally fall into three categories: personal (for me), life (those around me), and work.

Best practices for goal setting include:

  • Making goals specific and measurable - how else will you know that you accomplished them at the end of the year?

  • Writing goals down - this can help you create a vision in your mind of the future

  • Build flexibility in the process - if 2020 has taught us nothing else: things can change and it is important to adapt

There are many more best practices that could be listed, but none of them say to just focus on work. This past year has blurred the lines between work and home in ways we didn't think were possible and that isn't going to snap back any time soon.

As you set your own goals for 2021, and work with your employees to set theirs, you shouldn't just establish work goals. Ask yourself:

  • What are your goals outside of work?

  • How are you achieving fulfillment in your personal life?

  • How can work support that?

Then, ask the same questions of your employees.

By asking these questions you acknowledge the whole person, not just the one you see in the office or on the Zoom calls. By connecting these personal and work goals you also create a sense of meaning and purpose for yourself and your employees,

In case you were curious, here are a few of 2021 goals:

  • Personal: Walk/hike 6 new parks

  • Life: Take a weekend trip with my brother

  • Work: Improve employee listening programs at 3 construction companies


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