Strategy Associate Nicole Pollack’s 3 Steps of the Goal Setting Process

Nicole Pollack is a Strategy Associate at American Securities. Outside of work, Nicole hosts goal setting workshops to help women of all ages accomplish their professional and personal goals.

According to Nicole, you should follow these three steps when you begin the goal setting process:

1) Assess where you are today. To do this, you can think about your life in four main buckets: work, health, play, and love. Work is professional responsibilities. Health is your mental, physical, and spiritual state of being. Play is things you do because you enjoy them—not because it helps you achieve anything! Love is relationships and connections—family, friends, partners, pets, and most importantly yourself. Take inventory of how you are currently filling each of your buckets. Are you focusing too much on work and not enough on health? Have you been making time for play? Knowing where you are today, and how you feel about it, helps you figure out where you want to go in the future. 

2) Determine your North Star. Many people spend a lot of time chasing other people’s dreams. Your goals need to align with who you are. If you are unsure of exactly what you want or what is important to you, try asking yourself these questions: If you could play hooky for a day, what would you do? What did you like to do as a child? Long term, what kind of woman do you want to be? Once you are aware of what you want, set goals within your four buckets (work, health, play, and love). Whatever your goals may be, all of their achievements should align with your North Star. In order to maintain momentum in achieving your goals, it’s important to set goals that are within your control. For example, set a goal of working on a new challenging assignment at work or improving your writing skills, instead of getting a promotion—which is not completely within your control. 

3) Develop processes to get to your North Star. My preferred way to accomplish goals is to focus on no more than two at a time (humans can only handle so much change at once). When I determine what goals I want to achieve over the next 2-3 months, I identify what success looks like, set a timeline, and determine my accountability system. Your accountability system could be calendar check-ins, having an accountability buddy, or hiring a coach. Embrace an explorer mindset and test out different accountability systems until you find the one that works best for you. And when you aren’t making progress on your goals, don’t get down on yourself, just pivot and try a new accountability system—eventually you’ll find something that works for you!

Nicole Pollack is a Strategy Associate at American Securities. Prior to working at American Securities, Nicole was a Senior Consultant at Oliver Wyman. Nicole is also the Founder of NEP Consulting where she serves as a Career Coach advising clients one-on-one and through workshops on the end-to-end job search process, including job strategy, resume and cover letter review, interview preparation, and offer negotiation. Outside of work, Nicole hosts goal setting workshops to help women of all ages accomplish their professional and personal goals. She is a 2015 graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. 

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