Meet my new best friends – Goal setting and Discipline
Self-discipline – a term we may have all once upon a time rolled our eyes at when mentioned by our teachers or parents. It is something that, as an adult, has become a significant part of our daily lives. We attempt to practice discipline in various areas of our lives, by avoiding binge eating or achieving our career goals. Self-discipline has become more real for me as I embarked on my own entrepreneurial journey when I set up DukeMed.
As many of us sleepwalk through life at some point, we awaken and step up to the challenge. For many of us, others set our goals. Management decided the targets you need to achieve this month, strategies are put in place to ensure we meet those targets, and with a well mapped out road map, you set on your way to achieving those goals. But what happens when we are left to our own devices? What happens when nobody else is there to guide us and hold us accountable? This is where goal setting and discipline are your best friends.
No matter where in your career you may be, the following five principles of successful goal setting, as defined by Locke and Latham in their book A theory of goal setting and task performance, can help improve your chances of success.
The 5 principles of goal setting for success
Have you ever felt that fire in your belly? That strong desire to want to achieve something? That’s the first sign of commitment. When we want a project to be successful or achieve a particular goal, we become committed. We will do anything in our power to make it work. The anticipation of achievement motivates us even further to complete what we started, which requires discipline and focus.
Knowing what you are setting out to achieve will put you on the direct course to achieve it. Hence, SMART goal setting is crucial. If you need a reminder, SMART stands for
SPECIFIC:What do you want to accomplish, why, and how?
MEASURABLE: how are you going to measure your progress?
ACHIEVABLE: Be realistic with yourself. Is it achievable? Do you need to adjust the goal or the timeframe?
RELEVANT: How much does this matter to you? Is it a priority?
TIME BOUND: Set yourself a date for completion. Ensure the deadline you set yourself is realistic and achievable.
Have you ever found yourself lose interest when working on a project? Well, it may not come as a surprise to learn that we are more enticed to stick with something that poses us with several challenges. However, there is a fine line between a challenge that improves performance and one that leaves us frustrated. When considering the level of difficulty, ensure it’s workable so you can put in place strategies to help you overcome them with ease whilst growing your skillset. Refer to your SMART goals here.
You may be thinking this is the same as challenging. But it’s not. Here we’re talking about the timeline you set yourself to achieve a particular goal. Without a timeframe, the drive will falter. Think of your deadline as the one that’s holding you accountable to carry out the necessary tasks to help achieve your goals. Without it, your project can go on forever.
While setting your timeline, it needs to be realistic and achievable. Setting too tight a timeline can lead to unsuccessful endeavours.
Constant review of your progress is essential to ensure you are heading in the right direction and are on target. This allows you to reflect upon your abilities and set new attainable goals if necessary. You can evaluate what’s working and where improvements are needed. The lack of review and feedback can lead to delays in progress.
So, there you have it, the five principles of goal setting. But all of these are redundant without their partner in crime - discipline.
Discipline and dedication
Having goals in place is all well and good, but they are nothing without the discipline and dedication to make them happen. Mastering the art of discipline is essential, as discipline is what leads to success.
To be disciplined involves
· Accepting frustration as part of the process.
· Putting in the hard work.
· Putting your health first. A healthy you equals a healthy mind.
· Having the right mindset.
· Being patient with the process.
· Having the will to listen, learn, work, and adapt your ways.
· Valuing time includes valuing the time of others as well and punctuality.
· Being organised.
· Taking accountability for your actions.
· Being flexible and resourceful.
Don’t forget to reward yourself!
Sometimes, we can be our own worst critics. Lighten up and reward yourself at every milestone you achieve during your journey. Celebrate the small wins like taking the first step. After all, these are what make up the big win.
Find success in your Medtech career
If you’re looking for a new career or considering a step up, with DukeMed, you can be sure as eggs you'll love your next role.