Mary P. Key Diversity Residents

Goals: Why are they so difficult to make and keep?

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There has been a lot of talk recently in libraries about the emphasis on setting professional and development goals.

Professional goals and development goals are not unlike goals in our personal lives. We have financial goals (saving for a vacation, a new home, a child’s education), fun goals (training for a race, learning something new), and the irksome New Year’s Resolutions (go to the gym, cook healthier foods, drink more water, floss). Sometimes we achieve our goals, and other times we decide that getting up at 5:30AM to go to the gym just isn’t something we want to do.

What makes goals difficult and why do we dread goal setting?

When goal setting does work, what successful stories do you have and how did you achieve your goal?

Please share your thoughts and success stories in the comments!

1 Comment

  1. I appreciate the post. It’s timely and will help continue the conversation needed to transform the OSUL performance management process.

    For me, goal setting is about reaching that ultimate objective, sure. But, I can “dread” goal setting because it can seem like a daunting undertaking to achieve the goal. I need to be reasonable in the steps and time lines that I make. The new goal process here at OSUL is intended to continue throughout the performance cycle with emphasis on the planning step to ensure that the goals are “SMART” and linked to OSUL strategic themes. The process also incorporates mid-year check-ins that encourages supervisors and direct reports to have frank discussions about what’s working, what isn’t, how to adjust accordingly and how to better support the effort. And finally, the process provides a “how-did-I-do” step that evaluates the achievement to start the process for the next cycle.

    Just like goal setting for the OSUL performance process, personal goal setting can incorporate these same steps. Taking the time to think about what I really want, does the goal meet my personal “strategic themes”? Checking-in with a friend for support, can he help keep me on track? Evaluating the results, is it time to celebrate or recalibrate?

    We understand the new process will take some getting used to and feel that by taking the right steps we can achieve the desired results.

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