EP 28 // #AskAkua // Goal Setting Tricks

Ep 28

This episode of the Open Door Conversations Podcast is for leaders who are serious about conquering their goals. It's for the reluctant leaders, for the overwhelmed leaders, and for the leaders that find themselves somewhere in between. But most importantly, it's for leaders who are looking for tangible ways to be successful in 2022.

In today's episode, Akua shares how to make the most of your goal setting this year. She outlines mistakes she sees leaders make and offers a plan on how to reserve them. Sit back and listen as she shares a five-step system for leaders to keep in mind when setting motivational goals. If you find goal-setting icky, or maybe you only remember your goals last minute, what Akua will share today will transform the way you think about goal setting.

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What's Covered in this Episode About Reluctant Leaders

  • Overview about Leadership Mindset Course - how to increase your motivation in relation to your goals
  • The 3 basic types of leaders
  • The 5 mistakes that every leader tends to make and how to reverse that with Akua here five-step system.
  • Akua here five-step system for setting goals

Quotes from this Episode of Open Door Conversations

  • "Understand how you show up, understand how you thrive, and allow yourself to align everything in your work in your life, and in your business to support that." - Akua Nyame-Mensah

  • "Goal setting is such an important skill for all of us to learn." - Akua Nyame-Mensah
  • "Help, doesn't need to be people help can also be systems and software as well." - Akua Nyame-Mensah

Mentioned in #AskAkua // Goal Setting Tricks

Get to Know the Host of the Open Door Conversations Podcast

Learn more about your host, Akua Nyame-Mensah.

Akua is a certified executive and leadership coach, recognized learning and organizational development facilitator, speaker, and former startup executive. 

Since 2018, she has had the opportunity to partner with amazing organizations, from high-growth startups to multinational brands all around the world, to maximize people, performance, and profit.  Outside of her coaching and corporate speaking engagements, she is a regular mentor, coach, and judge for various entrepreneurship-focused organizations.

Stay in touch with Akua Nyame-Mensah, Leadership & Culture Advisor:

  • Read about Akua’s services if you’d like to learn more about how you can hire her to help you strengthen your organization’s culture.

  • Complete her contact form to jump on a call.

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Here’s the transcript for episode 28 about Goal Setting Tricks

NOTE: Please excuse any errors in this transcript; it was created using an AI tool. Akua Nyame-Mensah 0:07 Welcome to the open door podcast. My name is Akua Nyame-Mensah Chaos respond to Aqua and I'm a certified executive and leadership coach recognised facilitator and former sort of leader that loves supporting reluctant buyer fighting and overwhelmed leaders. I've worked with them to help them clarify where they should focus their time and energy each and every day so that they can love themselves, love their work, and ultimately love their life. If you're looking to learn leadership information and hear different perspectives, you are in the right place. My aim in this podcast is to help you see that one of the most productive and profitable things you can do is deeply understand yourself. Understand how you show up, understand how you thrive, and allow yourself to align everything in your work in your life, and in your business to support that, think of this podcast as your weekly opportunity to receive leadership support. And remember, there is no one right way to lead yourself or others. Thank you so much for taking the time to join me today. Let's get started. Hello, and welcome to this hashtag ask Akua episode of the open door conversations Podcast. Today on the podcast, I am sharing my thoughts and all my tricks and all my tips on how to make the most of your goal setting this year. It's the beginning of the year. And I think it's a very timely question. So what I'm going to be answering is how do I set motivational goals, and I share the five steps you need to keep in mind. And honestly, these are things that I really use, whether I'm setting a goal for how I'm going to use the day, or I'm thinking about how I'm going to set goals for the entire year. Please note that this conversation is a repurposed workshop. So if I refer to slides, you will not be able to see them. I have however, added the link to the amazing workbook that goes along with this conversation. So please check it out and download them in the show notes. Really excited to be joining all of you today really excited about this topic. It's something that's actually part of my course as well. I think that goal setting is such an important skill for all of us to learn. Cool. Will you please shout out your current course on the account? Yes, definitely. All right. So this is actually my current course I wanted to make sure I put a slide in here and I had a tonne of fun actually putting this together. It's called a player's don't work for be leaders. And it's really all about that leadership mindset. So it's really about helping you think about how to first and foremost dismantle your stories. So that's really that mindset piece. And so I talk a lot about the importance of understanding interpretations and assumptions. And also thinking about limiting beliefs as well. And it's, it's such, I think, an important core part of being able to show up as a leader, an individual, just a human being. And I think understanding some of those pieces just makes your life so much easier. And within that course, I also talk about behaviours and finally results. And so with this particular presentation, I'm really going to be focusing on that results piece, right, calibrating your expectations, and really excited about what I'm going to share today. And I hope that it has a tonne of value for all of you here. I typically love doing a really interactive sessions, I know I only have 15 minutes. So it may feel just a slightly bit rushed, because there's a lot that I want to share with everyone. But if you've had a chance to download the workbook, there's so much more in there. And I think you'll really be able to follow along and get some additional value just by having that already already put this in the chat, please let me know if you have an issue accessing it. But it should be pretty easy. If you have a Google account, it should already create a copy for you. It's pretty straightforward. And so just a quick overview of who this session really is for I work with three basic types of leaders, the first set of leaders I work with tend to be reluctant leaders, so they're reluctant to set goals or maybe even reluctant to get the support to achieve their goals. The second set of leaders that I tend to work with are overwhelmed leaders. And so they either are not sure where to start or just feel like goal setting is just really tricky and difficult to do. Right? Maybe they're even focused on the past and how they set goals in the past and they were never able to achieve it right, the last set of leaders that I tend to work with, and I will say I sometimes fit into one of these categories, but sometimes two of these categories depending on how I feel, and what's happening in my life. But the last set of categories tend to be those leaders who just remember their goals when their appraisals are coming up when they have to think about whether or not they want to fire somebody. So it's not something that's constantly can consistently on their minds, right? And so what I'm be sharing with you today is a five step system, a five step process that I go through, and that I also teach my clients to really make sure that they're able to work through this reluctance. So they don't feel overwhelmed. And last but not least, they're not firefighting. All right. So I'm just really curious, anyone in here, just want to share maybe in the chat, which of those resonates? Do you find yourself being reluctant to set goals reluctant to get help? Do you find yourself overwhelmed by goal setting? Or finally, do you find yourself maybe firefighting in relation to your goals, you only remember them have the last minute for when it's time to actually get things done. And I think the key thing about what I'm going to share today is that it can work for you as that individual leader, or it can also work for you, as you're working with others. I think a lot of this content can be shared with employees, and people who are also supporting you. Alright, so thank you all so much for all of this in the chat. This is great. Brianna says I'm overwhelmed because I have so many goals and ideas. Yes, I do too, right. And I work with a lot of multi passionate leaders who have this issue, right, they have so many parts, I consider myself a project based entrepreneur. And so I have a lot of projects going on. So all those different projects also have different goals. And so I think what I'm going to share today will be really helpful for that, right. So what I'm be covering, Alright, first and foremost, the five mistakes that every leader tends to make in relation to goal setting. And I'm also going to show you how to reverse those right, the next thing I'm gonna talk a little bit about is how to increase your motivation in relation to your goals. This is something that not all of us think very much about. And this might be a little bit woowoo, for some of you on this call, but I promise you thinking through this will be incredibly helpful. And then last but not least, I'm also going to make sure that I'm infusing my simple five step process that I really put into a lot more detail in the workbook. So in the workbook, I even actually related to using and leveraging the SMART goal sort of system, right. And so I think all of these are very much compatible. So I should probably introduce myself, I know I just started without saying much about myself, but I always actually like to spell out my name. So it's a K UA, I respond to a PA. And so my dad is good man. And so that's what he typically calls me when he's angry at me. If not, he typically calls me cuckoo. My mom is American, she calls me Akua. And for the most part, I grew up in Francophone West Africa and also North Africa. And they typically say aqua, so I'm not picky about it, I respond to any and all. So I'm a certified executive and leadership coach. And my favourite thing to do is really to support leaders so that they can focus and connect to scale. I'm a former startup leader. So I have like a lot of experience building things from nothing and completely understand what happens when you're overwhelmed. Do you think that everything is important, I have my own consulting company, that's called a nn. Co. And what we do is work with leaders who are juggling a million responsibilities. So through my content, through my products, and through my services, I'm helping them clarify where they should focus their time and energy each and every day. And I find that goal setting and getting really clear on how you'd like to set goals in a way that resonates with you can really help you focus, right and can really help you save your energy as well. So I'd love for all of you just to take a second and just write down a goal, right. And I know in the workbook, there's space for this write down any goal. And I think that's a really great way for us to use our time together to make sure that you're making the most of this presentation, right. And so as we go through the steps, I'd really love for you to think about how to leverage these steps so that you can really move forward and have something by the end of this conversation. So I like starting with the mistakes simply because sometimes this is where we tend to be stuck. So for so many of us, one of the biggest goal setting mistakes that we make is that we have no real connection to the goal. Maybe we're focused on what we think we should do, right? Or maybe we're focused on these really big goals, because that's what someone who looks like us or sounds like us needs to do. And so if this is one of the things that's coming to mind, you really might want to think about your why and really reflect on what you've written down. And why why is this something that's important? What is it actually connected to? Right? Is this connected to a bigger vision? Is this something that you want for yourself or something that someone else wants for you? And so these are just some really simple questions that you can ask yourself, right. And once again, as a coach, my work is primarily inquiry based. And even when I do consulting work, I spend a lot of time sharing with my clients how they can ask themselves questions, so they can also coach themselves when they get stuck. Right? So with that particular goal that you wrote down, what is so important about this goal? Why is it important for you, right, what is possible if you're able to achieve this goal, and how is it connected potentially to your bigger why? Or your bigger vision? If you have an opportunity to actually take my leadership course, I actually walk through some of the things that could actually limit you when you're setting goals, right? Because some things might come up for you when you're setting goals. Some stories might come up for you, right? You might be telling yourself, huh? Yep, people who look like me can't do that or or maybe you say at my age, that's not possible, right. And so if you feel like some of these stories are coming up, I would definitely recommend that you take a look at my course. And you take a look at that leadership mindset piece, because there are lots of different questions in there that you can walk yourself through, to really help you get to a point where you understand where you need to focus. Alright, so that's really the first step of my five step system in terms of setting goals, defining your why, right, and making sure it's something that's really connected and important to you. The second thing that I sometimes see leaders make is this idea of setting goals that are unrealistic or overwhelming, right? Once again, I come from the startup space, we love setting big, massive goals, right? I spend a lot of time working with entrepreneurs on their pitches, and they'll come up sometimes with these massive, and I think sometimes incredibly unrealistic, like market sizes and assumptions that they're making. The important thing to keep in mind about this is you have to know your audience, right? So maybe pitching to a VC telling them about your business, it makes sense to have these big, massive goals. But when it comes to actually doing it within your business, and trying to communicate with members of your team, it's so important that you're able to break it down into achievable chunks. And so the second step at my system is all about setting aspirational, but achievable goals, right. And really recognising that you can have a massive goal, but you can break it down into smaller chunks that are so much easier for you as a human being to actually wrap your head around. Right. So one of the things that we do as human beings, if something is super big or super overwhelming, we simply will check out or procrastinate. So really recognising that we can do ourselves a service just by breaking it down. And I think that using the SMART goal sort of formula is a great way to do that. And I have a quick example on here, right? So your big awesome goal might be something along the lines of getting this new job, how can you break that down, you can break it down into the pieces that you would need to complete in order to get that job. So these are smaller subsets of goals. Another key thing to keep in mind is that when you're setting goals is also recognising the part that you actually have control over the inputs that you actually have control over. A big thing a lot of people always talk about, especially at New Year's is I want to lose weight. Here's the thing, you don't have complete control over how much weight you lose, just like you don't have complete control over how many clients that you can get. But what you do have control over is how often you show up how many times you go to the gym, the types of exercises maybe that you do. And that's the same also in your business, you have control over how many times you show up live on social media, how many people you do outreach to write the number of people that you're actually asking to invest in you. So really recognising that a huge part of setting aspirational but appropriate goals is focusing on what you have control over right, you don't have control over whether or not you get the job. But you can make sure you set yourself up for success by really focusing on the things you have control over the number of things that you apply to what your resume and your cover letter look like. So really recognising, that's a huge part also about being able to set effective goals. And this is also something I think that we can teach to our employees if we have them, right, really recognising that they should be focusing on what they can control. And what they can put input into this next one that I have here is really not defining success, right. So once you have your why that's great, I think that can be very motivational, right? Once you get an idea of you know where you want to go, that will really take you to the next level. And when I'm thinking about defining success, I really would recommend that you go beyond the quantitative, right. So beyond whether I've done it or not that checkbox of yes or no. And I'd recommend that you think about actually embodying success. Alright. So as I mentioned before, this might be a bit rude for some of you on this call. But I think that this can be incredibly motivating. And I'd recommend that if you have employees that you have them start to think about it from this perspective as well. So quick example, right? You get that new job? How will that feel? What would that make you feel like? What would you see? Right? Maybe you would feel incredibly successful, you would be surrounded by employees and by colleagues who make you feel good, right? You feel like a member of the team write that you don't have to put on airs, that you can be incredibly genuine, and that you can actually provide constructive feedback to your employer. So thinking about it from this perspective really allows you to step into what it would look like right, or what it would feel like if you actually were to achieve this goal. And once again, that can help to refresh your motivation, right, and also help to motivate you so that you continue to move forward. So these are just some of the questions that you can ask yourself, but I'd really recommend that you start to really think about goal setting from both this more quantitative like Have I done it, am I not right? What do I have control over and inputs and also how you'll feel because once again, that will be very motivating. And it's also a really great way to refresh you and keep you moving, especially if you're working for yourself. Right so I work for myself. And sometimes I get down on myself, I haven't made any progress. But if I step into what I'm trying to create, and how it will feel after I work through some of these more difficult things, it's so much easier for me to show up for myself and show up for my clients, the fourth goal setting mistake that we tend to do as high achieving leaders, right, we don't need help, we can only get help maybe from people who've done exactly what we've done, how paths look a certain way, I can't afford to get the support I need. So really just recognising that these are limiting beliefs that really may not be serving us. And so the fourth thing, the fourth part of my system is really around asking for help. And I just want to reiterate that, or just really emphasise that help, doesn't need to be people help can also be systems and software as well. So asking yourself, Who are what can I leverage to achieve this goal. And this can be a team that you have, right? Potentially, maybe it's actually getting a runner, and that can actually help to hold you accountable, and help you move forward? Is it having a co founder and accountability partner that could also be in your personal life, a coach, a mentor, right. And as I mentioned before, it also can be software, I have some clients who simply just learn to use calendars, and they're just so much more efficient. They told themselves don't like technology, it's not something that I do. And they were able to create something for themselves. And it actually really allows them to show up and they feel a lot more refreshed. And they're able to actually create space within their schedule, so that they're not, you know, booking things back to back and they feel so much better, right. And that really allows them to show up and achieve the goals that they have for themselves. So asking for help is a really important component of being able to show up you metre and most importantly, achieve your goals. This last goal setting mistake, and this is probably the biggest one that I see. And I know this was something that I had a really hard time with when I was running a team running a business and I had so many other people that were dependent on me never checking in. Alright, so if you want to make sure that you're able to, to succeed, if you want to be able to even check in to see whether or not you've achieved your goals. It's so important that you track progress. All right. And within that workbook, that worksheets, I think I gave you some ideas on how you can do this, leveraging the start, stop and continue method. That's something that I actually will do on a monthly basis. And sometimes even on a daily basis. If I'm feeling overwhelmed, I just want to check in like, Am I doing the right things? Is there a way that I can pivot, right, and then also making sure that you're putting dates on things. So when we're thinking about it from that smart sort of goals perspective, making sure things are time bound, can be incredibly empowering, right, and really allow you to check in with yourself and see how far you've gotten. So I'd really love to recommend to everyone that they review goals at a set time period, right? Not once a year. And if you run a team or you have a business, you're doing appraisals, don't do them only once a year, right? Think about it from that perspective, maybe the will bit more often than that, because that's the only way that you're going to get things to change, and to really be able to provide, I think, an effective cadence for change. Alright, so some thoughts that you can ask yourself are some things that you can, yeah, some questions you can ask yourself, How far have I gone? What have I achieved? achieved? What is missing? Right? What resources do I need? So you can go back to that point about asking for help? And most importantly, is this goal still relevant? Right? I think so many of us sometimes get caught up and doing doing doing that, we actually don't take the time to really reflect on whether or not we're doing something that's actually getting us closer to some of these bigger goals that we might have. So making sure that you're putting time in your calendar, whether it's weekly, whether it's monthly, whether it's quarterly, I'd recommend all of those, I actually would recommend doing it on a daily basis, in a small way before you start work, if that's something that resonates, just to make sure that what you've set for yourself to do is still relevant. And it's actually helping make progress on some of your bigger goals. Right. So that's honestly all I really wanted to share with you all today. Right? So really making sure that you take the time to define your why right, thinking about how you can leverage some sort of goal setting system. Like I mentioned before, I love the SMART goal. I also put that in the workbook rate so that you're setting aspirational, but appropriate goals, really stepping into what success can feel like asking for help. And lastly, and probably most importantly, setting aside time to track progress, and of course, evolve if necessary. So thank you all so very much for taking the time to listen, I really enjoyed having the opportunity to share this content. As I mentioned before, I'm sorry, I kind of was just powering through it. I usually like take questions and go through it that way. But I would just recommend if some things are coming up for you and you want to have a better idea or handle on how to work through some limiting beliefs. Some opinions that might be coming through that aren't serving you really check out my course A players that work for be leaders. And last but not least reflect on your goals and definitely write them down because if you write them down I think research shows that you're more of like 20% more likely to actually achieve them. Alright, so thank you all so very much. Thank you very much for taking the time to listen to this episode. If you enjoy this episode, please take a second to let me know by connecting with me on social media. I would also love for you to leave me a review as well. Last but not least, you are welcome to share a question with me. You can find the form to submit a question in the show notes. I'm happy to share my perspective on pretty much anything. Thank you again and I hope that you enjoy the rest of your day.


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