A couple of weeks ago I returned from a quick overseas trip to Hawaii. While I was there, my brother messaged me asking if I would be interested in running a marathon at the end of October. My first answer was no – while I have some level of fitness and a distant memory of cross country running, there was no way I could run 42km with no training. Over the holiday I gave the idea some more thought, and decided that a fitness goal of that calibre would make a pretty good story if I can achieve it. And as they say, there’s no time like the present.

With very little training up to this point, and only 13 weeks until the race, I am announcing that I will be participating in the Great Barrier Reef Marathon.

Now, for those who are wondering how to run a marathon, I actually have absolutely no idea…

But I do know one thing. There is no way I will be able to achieve this without firstly setting this as a goal. One of the most important things about setting a goal, is needing to be accountable for the goal. Far too often people will set goals but will not care if they are missed.

Communicating what you want to achieve is one of the easiest ways to do this. This will allow others to help hold you accountable but will also create a level of accountability for yourself. Having regular conversations around goals ensures you are on track with the smaller tasks that will allow you to achiever your main goal.

Now I’m not saying that every time you set a goal you need to write a blog, but making your goals visible to others and tracking the progress of them will help you stick to what you need to do to achieve them.

We probably all have goals that may seem like marathons. It could be a revenue target, or maybe trying to retain a few key employees in a fast moving market. Regardless of what your goal is, if you want to achieve it, you need to be accountable for it and having a conversation can help this. It is easy for goals to be misinterpreted if a proper conversation is not had. Without clarity, reality is just a perception of each person’s interpretation, and conversations bring people on to the same level.

Here at Optimum, we created a solution to this problem which enables conversations around goals and clear goal setting. My Employee Life™ is a way for organisations to improve their productivity by setting, tracking and talking about goals all in real time.

I think most people would have heard of SMART goals (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely) and it is essential to frame goals in line with this – and yes I know my goal is bordering on unachievable. Along with setting goals as SMART, breaking them down into bite size chunks makes them manageable and takes the focus from the bigger goal, to the individual steps that will make the main goal possible. For me, this is running a certain amount of kilometres every week so that the dreaded 42km doesn’t seem as bad.

Next time you set a goal, try and keep these tips in mind:

  • Stay accountable for your goal
  • Communicate them with others
  • Break them down into smaller, more achievable steps.

And if anyone is in Port Douglas at the end of October feel free to say hi, and hopefully somehow I’ll be able to achieve my goal!

Daniel Cosgrove – Consultant

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