Goal setting

By GSR2R Admin | 24th November 2020

Why some people achieve and others fail

I was in the gym this morning wondering why there were so many people; then I realised it’s January and of course everyone’s number one goal for the year is fitness. 

However, I’ve been going to my gym for 15 years, and by the end of January, I’ll just be seeing the same familiar faces, which started me thinking about work and why some people achieve their goals and others forget what they were. 

If you’ve recently set yourself a couple of goals that you want to smash this year – I want to share with you some strategies that will make all the difference between you meeting (even exceeding) them, rather than falling into the trap of forgetting what they were.   

During my time, both initially as a recruiter and now as an MD, I’ve had plenty of experience in goal-setting and achieving. I know what works and what doesn’t. So, let’s get started.

1. Avoid Being Vague When Setting Goals 

You’ve set your goals, great. But have you really set them? 

Vague and non-specific goals are no use to anyone. Did you know that 92% of people who set goals never achieve them, and this is in part to do with the fact that they are so unspecific that people don’t know where to start? Overwhelm kicks in before some people get going! 

Do you want to increase billings? By how much? A number, or a per cent? Do you want to ‘improve’ on last years figures? By how much exactly? And in what time-frame? 

The very best way to guarantee that you will meet your goals is to be 100% clear on what they are. 

You can do this by mapping out your year, dividing it into halves, then quarters, months, and weeks.  

Each time frame should have a specific goal, which you display somewhere where you will see it daily. This way, your goal stays front of mind, and you are reminded of your accountability every day.

2. Find the Purpose 

One of the biggest problems with goals is that they are set arbitrarily. People are far more likely to work hard to achieve their goal if it genuinely means something to them.  

Each of your goals should have a result which makes you not just vaguely happy, but overjoyed.  

It is easy during the daily grind to forget about the bigger picture, but remember that every one of your small goals fits within a bigger purpose. 

You know that you want to improve your candidate pipeline on what it was last year – does this goal make you feel ecstatic? No, probably not. But the run of billings you get from it in the second quarter will. This may mean you qualify for promotion or gain access to a specific development opportunity which is related to a bigger purpose you have for your career. See how the two are connected?

3. Procrastination 

It’s essential in the hectic world of recruiting to remember not to overwork or burn yourself out – breaks and downtime are important. However, a vast amount of people never achieve their goals down to the fact that they procrastinate on them.  

Showing up every day and giving 100% is what recruitment is all about.  

If you’re a serial procrastinator who wants to kick the habit, there’s a great article on how to overcome procrastination by Mind Tools which you can find here

4. Negativity 

Negativity is a huge drain, not just on your targets, but on the whole team, and your mental health. Avoid negativity like the plague, and stop yourself before your negative thoughts turn into beliefs. 

However, negativity often comes from external sources, too. 

When you work with negative people, it may have a knock-on effect and can seep into your belief system. My advice – keep negative people at arm’s length and avoid engaging when they are complaining about how it’s the market’s fault that they missed their target this month (for the fourth month in a row). 

Instead, invest in time with people who believe in you, and will support you achieving your goals. 

5. Focus on the Process, Not Just the Outcome 

Every day we turn up to work is a learning curve. 

A sure-fire way to miss your goals is to never admit that you are wrong, and refuse to change your approach when things aren’t working out. A famous characteristic of many successful people is their ability to admit that they don’t know everything. 

In her recent Ted Talk, Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy explains the psychology behind missing your goals, and how to turn this negative into a positive.  

An unachieved goal or an only-just-missed-out-on target is tough for anyone to swallow. But think of it this way – what have you learnt along the way? 


Feel like you’ve got a bit more direction to set your goals? Do you now need to go and revisit the vague aspirations you scribbled down on a post-it note on your first day back? 

If you follow these guidelines, you will discover how easy it can be to achieve your goals, and you’ll probably wonder why you didn’t implement these changes sooner! 



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