On day three of starting a role at a new organization, I had the opportunity to sit down with my CEO.  I had been looking forward to the meeting for over a month.  A month of building up the CEO in my head, a month of excitement, a month of anticipation, a month of worrying I’d say something ridiculous.

Sounds absurd, right?  Well, it’s not that often I get to work on a team that has direct access to a female CEO of a software company.  A leader in tech.  An amazing, stand-up-for-herself, make it happen, female leader in tech.  My dreams have come true!  Wait, have they?  No, not yet.

She was everything I thought she was and more.  At one point during our meeting, she asked a simple question, “What do you want to do when you grow up?”  I spit out an answer so fast I shocked myself!  I shared my goals and she didn’t even bat an eye.  In fact, she engaged me in a full conversation around my goals. 

These aren’t the type of goals we set inside an organization.  Those are table stakes.  You have to accomplish those, or else you’ll be out of a job really quick.   I’m referring to your life and personal goals.  Goals that could be something you are targeting outside your organization.  Things like starting your own jewelry company, becoming a wellness coach or writing a book.

There are some things you can actively do to increase your chances of achieving your goals.  Research conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews, a clinical psychologist who also works at the Dominican University of California, suggests achieving your goals 75% of the time when we write them down and communicating them.

Write Them Down
Grab a nice journal or planner and jot them down!  Once you write them down, you can start to fine-tune them.  It is easier to have a goal to take shape on paper versus in your head.  Your thoughts don’t even have to be fully thought out, just start writing!

Speak About Them
Yep, this is the scary part.  When you say something out loud it starts to become real.  The more you speak about your goals, the more crafted your message will become.  Share with those you feel will be supportive.  You do have to watch for the nay-sayers.  They will ultimately be jealous and want to hold you back.  Replace the nay-sayers with supporters.

Be Held Accountable
Your supporters will check in on you and ask for updates on your goals.  Be prepared to share!  They are holding you accountable for what you communicated as your dreams!  They are not asking to pry, they are asking to be supportive.

Break Them Down
When you first begin the exercise of writing down your goals, they can seem a bit daunting.  If you start with the end goal and then work backward, you will end up with many smaller goals that equate toward progress.  Checking off these smaller goals translate to progress updates for your supporters!

I’ve now enlisted the support of my CEO by sharing my goals with her.  As we both continue to inspire women in technology everywhere, I have no doubt she will help me achieve them.