Goal-Setting for Nurses

How can nurses increase the likelihood of reaching their goals?

According to a study conducted by The American Society of Training and Development, the likelihood of accomplishing a goal is only 10% if you choose a goal and 25% if you decide to pursue the goal. 

Yikes! Those aren't very good odds. 

So what can nurses do to increase the likelihood of reaching their goals? 

1. Develop a strategy and stick to it. 

There are a lot of different strategies to choose for goal-setting. The important thing is that you pick one and stick to it

You won't see the results you want if you don't commit to sticking with a specific strategy. 

Don't have a strategy? No worries. I will share the strategy that has consistently worked for me for YEARS. 

First, I recommend spending time in reflection prior to setting goals. Start by thinking about the past 12 months. What were "wins" that you experienced? What are things that you want to improve? 

Next, think about where you are right now in life and where you want to be in the next 5-10 years. What things are most important to you? In an ideal world, what would your life look like in 5-10 years? Your career? Your education? Your family? Your location? Your finances? Your IMPACT

Now reflect again on the past 6-12 months. What changes do you need to make to get you closer to your long-term goals? What things are you currently committing time to that should actually have less importance in your life? What are things you've been neglecting that need more of your time and attention in order to meet your 5-10 year goals?

Once you have spent time in reflection (yes, you are busy and may not think you have time to do this, but I promise the investment of self-reflection is so worth it!), now start thinking about the future. 

Brainstorm anything and everything major that you would like to accomplish in the next 12 months. Then put it in categories. For instance, the categories could be family, travel, work, health, spiritual, hobbies, etc. Or the categories could be more specific to your nursing career (I can help you more with that in the resources below...stay tuned). 

Once you've brainstormed, it's time to prioritize. I like to choose 2-3 major goals that I will work toward each quarter of the year. You may want to choose 1 major goal to work toward each quarter. Either way, I am a BIG FAN of the quarterly goals strategy because it allows enough time to accomplish major goals but not too much time that the goals are forgotten. 

Remember, SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. 

Now that you are focused on the quarterly goals that you've prioritized, write out the steps that you need to take to make those goals happen. Those steps become your monthly, weekly, and daily goals. 

2. Tell someone about your goals.

Your likelihood of meeting a goal increases to 65% if you simply share the goal with someone else. Yes, just sharing your goal out loud with SOMEONE in the universe increases the likelihood that you will actually do it because of the internal accountability factor. 

3. Have an accountability meeting.

Yes, that's right. If you make time in your schedule to meet with an accountability partner, whether that be a mentor or friend, your likelihood of reaching your goals increases to 95%! Wow! 

Ready to reach your goals and maximize your potential this year? Grab my free Nursing Career Goals Planning Guide and consider joining the Purpose-Driven Nurses Facebook community for more support and accountability in your nursing journey! 

Need a planner? 

Here is a link to the planner that I currently use, and the reason I love it is because it allows me to set quarterly and weekly goals and includes an area for reflection at the end of each month! 

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Categories: Tips for Nurses