#18 Goal Setting with Catherine Clark

Goal Setting with Catherine Clark on the GrowCFO Show

Goal setting is something that should be very personal. As you move to senior finance roles you need to take charge of your own destiny. You set your own goals, independently. We believe that goal setting starts with understanding your why? Only once you understand your why can you move to the what? The specific goals you want to achieve. Setting the goal is all very well, but you also need to address the how? How exactly will you achieve your intention?

Do you plan for a whole year?

Both Kevin and Catherine agree that a year is much too long to plan. A year looks too far into the distance and there are too many unknowns. Catherine plans monthly. Goal setting for Kevin is the next 90 or 100 days, but then he breaks this down into months.

What is your why?

Both Kevin and Catherine believe you need to understand your purpose, your own particular why? Only when yo have this can you naturally start goal setting. Do you understand what motivates you? What excites you?

Kevin has a single motivating purpose. A single motivating purpose isn’t a destination its a state of being. Its expressed as “I wake up in the morning to do xxxxx in order to xxxxxx”

A number of resources to help:

If you are looking to better understand your own why? The following books will help:

Strengthsfinder 2.0


Unique Ability


Goal setting: around your strengths or your weaknesses?

Kevin believes you should focus your objectives around your strengths. Strengths are things you can develop to mastery, while weaknesses are things you are likely only ever to be mediocre in.

Catherine points out that to really develop you need to get out of your comfort zone, so don’t interpret strengths as just things you are comfortable doing. Think about new skills you might need to develop.

Goal setting. The what?

Once you understand your personal why? articulating the goals you want to achieve becomes easier. Catherine has two or three big goals. She breaks these down into intentions.

The goal describes the outcome you want Catherine writes down 10 intentions each month, written as if they already happened. The intention breaks down the goal

Affirming the goal is very important. You need to enjoy the journey to achieve your goals and intentions. If you believe in what you want to achieve you will achieve it

Goal setting. The How?

Think of goals as projects. Organise your tasks and activities as you would a project. Think also about people. Who are the people I need to engage?

Make your goal setting smarter:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timebound
  • Exciting
  • Relevant

Focus on one or two key things: Whats the most important thing to do today / this week?

Don’t have too many goals. Less is more. You can go an inch in a hundred directions or a mile in a single direction.

Further Reading:

Essentialism – Greg Mckeown


Dream bigger

Most of us don’t think big enough, we limit what we can achieve simply by thinking small. You need to dream big and have a great vision, the vision needs to capture your attention. Where attention goes energy flows.

How do I want to feel? Who do I want around me?

State your intentions to others, this puts accountability in place.

The power of your vision

Catherine shared her recent blog post:

The power of your vision is in seeing yourself doing the thing you want to achieve.

Be the leader, the director, the owner of a successful business, the person who helps others. If you can see who you want to become and why, you can be that person. You can step into their shoes and and stride purposefully forward.

Never lose sight of what you want to achieve, It is the glue that holds every small step together. It is the light that you keep moving towards, that stays lit even when your motivation fades. Your vision is what drives you but you must never forget that you are the driver of the car and along the way you can choose to go in any direction. There is no sat nav with a preset A to B, it’s back to the map and back to choice.

Your vision isn’t the outcome though because even the outcome is part of the journey. It is a successful achievement that becomes the stepping stone to something even greater.

It will take energy, dedication, determination and smart choices but if you surround yourself with those who believe in you and keep your dream alive you will believe in yourself and then anything is possible.

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