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078 - Keeping Your Sh*t Together (aka. Goal Setting)

Yay! A new year means a new load of crap about all the stuff we think we should do… Give this episode a listen before you ‘should all over yourself’. Alexa and Tyson take on goal setting faux pas, personal preferences and some of what the research says. SMART is out, intention is in, and you’re gonna love our first fresh new ep of 2023!




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Alexa Baggio on Instagram, Tiktok, and LinkedIn

Tyson Mackenzie on Instagram at @hr.shook


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Book recommendation (affiliate link): https://amzn.to/3FOXuYp


Alexa

Happy New Year, Tyson.


Tyson

Happy New Year. 2023. We made it 23.


Alexa

We survived. Somehow it wasn't Y2K. 2022. Thank God.


Tyson

Yeah, no. Well, 2022. Yeah. Like, we're happy that that's in the past at this point, but.


Alexa

I in-a-row.


Tyson

I'm cautiously entering 2023 with reasonable standards of expectations.


Alexa

Okay, what? Define reasonable for me because we're about to talk about this, so. So let's just jump into it, Bucket.


Tyson

All right, let's do it. Let's do it. So I'm, you know, I'm a victim of the New Year's resolution. I love me.


Alexa

Why do you start?


Tyson

Because I feel. I feel like it's more of, like, a mental model. It's almost, like, therapeutic for me more than anything else. It's not truly about making myself there. I am very much the same person I was, you know, with a lot of learnings, but like, the things that you make resolutions about, you know, healthy, you know, various things, right?


Tyson

I'm still the same person I was in January. 2022, you know what I mean? Like, I'm not any healthier than I was back then. Yeah. So it's more of like a therapeutic refresh for me than anything else when actual like, change. Yeah.


Alexa

So I can see that.


Tyson

Yeah. Yeah. So that's why I'm sort of cautiously going into this new year with, with reasonable expectations.


Alexa

So I saw a meme recently that was online that said, Have I accomplished my goals for this year? No. But did I eat well and exercise often? Not in the least, but still I mature relationally and as a person. Buddy.


Tyson

So here's the thing. Here's the thing. And like, let's, let's dove right in when I'm doing my goals and like, I'm setting like my New Year's resolutions, I often pick out things that I already do pretty well. So like, for example, I actually am like a very sensitive Leo. I am. I actually am.


Alexa

I just picked the shit I'm already good at.


Tyson

Right? I am actually a generally I'm a pretty healthy person. Like, we eat healthy. I exercise, I get outside, you know, whatever. I, I try to meditate when I can. I don't do it often, but I'm pretty healthy. So like I call out some of these things that I do well and I write them down and then I build.


Alexa

More of this.


Tyson

Keep being amazing.


Alexa

Tyson, you have figured it out. My love. You have figured out the key to success and happiness and go sit down with your artist because that's what so.


Tyson

Like real talk.


Alexa

Yeah. So I think before we go to so yes, our episode today is about goal setting. Obviously, this is the first episode of the new year. So people do New Year's resolutions. So I will be honest with you, I am not a fan of the idea of a New Year's resolution. I don't think I don't really believe in it being a resolution.


Alexa

To your point, like this isn't Lent like I'm the same person I was a year ago. I am what I am, but I am a big believer in goals. I'm a big, big believer in goal setting a goal set regularly and from everything I know and we'll talk a little bit more about this in a second, it is a very helpful mental exercise, not necessarily because goal setting will automatic.


Alexa

By setting a goal, you will automatically be closer to achieving that goal. That's not necessarily true, but the research, at least majority of it, does say that it makes you feel more fulfilled and makes you feel better about motivating yourself. It makes it easier for you to motivate yourself to go do the things you say you want to do.


Alexa

So I realize that people think like, Oh, you got to set goals to achieve the goals. And, you know, we'll talk about Goggins and all that crazy shit in a second and what some of the research issues were says. But I think it is a really helpful exercise and I think we use the calendar changing is the excuse to do it, and I'm fine with that.


Alexa

I think humans need to do this stuff regularly. Anyway, to take a second to look at what you've been doing, look at maybe how that's different from where you want to be or think you want to be. I don't believe in shooting all over yourself, but just to take a minute and say, Where am I actually and where do I think I can get in a defined amount of time?


Alexa

And so I think that's a really healthy thing for people. I don't really believe in resolutions. Like I don't think all of a sudden you're going to wake up tomorrow and do the things you want to do to be a perfect human because it's January 1st you have to do everything for a two degrees of time. And we'll talk a little bit more about that in a second.


Alexa

But I do think it's a helpful exercise. I like the people do it. And I'm curious what are some of the before we sort of go into more of the research and some of our goals and how to do this stuff at work, what are some of the habits or goals that you tend to do or set goals around every year?


Alexa

So for me, it's like, you know, I usually set a goal around travel. I usually set a goal around finance. I obviously have goals for our business. Sometimes I set goals around relationships. What are other things that people set goals around?


Tyson

Well, I think I do a lot of the same. Yeah, fitness. I think one thing that I've been trying to focus a little bit more on is this idea of like keeping my shit together, like, you know what I mean? Like, how can I keep.


Alexa

My shit together?


Tyson

Keep my like, I'm in a stage of my life where I have a very busy job. I have all these, like, you know, extras that I do on top of my job. I have a young daughter, I have a husband. And, you know, it's very easy for that stuff to, like, get to be a lot. Right. And I think the biggest thing for me is like keeping like my my mind, right?


Tyson

Doing that. So again, I mentioned that I tried.


Alexa

Remembering that that's enough.


Tyson

Right? And like sometimes just like, you know, laughing at yourself for being in stupid situations and like just like being down to earth about like, you know, not getting, like, overly attached to something at work or letting it, like, take away from like the time that I'm having with my daughter. So it's really about this, like, idea of just, like, protecting my mind the way that I would like protect, like my body and like my health and my family.


Tyson

So that's like a big thing for me is just like my mental health, I guess is what I'm saying. I'm also as being a mom. Like, I want to make sure that I'm doing everything that I can with like to support my daughter and to to help her being a wife. You know, that's usually a one that goes to the bottom of my list.


Tyson

Of tattoos. But yeah, so like those are some of like the personal things, but then also from like, you know, a business standpoint as well. Like, we've got the podcast each hour shook as well. As my day job. So I set goals around all of those things and not, not goals, but after is it affirmation? Is that the word I'm looking?


Tyson

Not affirmation. What's the word when you like put it out into the world so that you get it right now? Maybe it's an affirmation anyways. I don't know. I'm putting out all the good juju into the world. So that I can achieve the great things.


Alexa

Okay, well, so that's a little different than goal setting, but we're going to talk about that in a second. So I do like the idea of using the framework of like, what do I want to be? What do I want to accomplish as a wife? What do I want accomplished sister? What do I want accomplished as a coworker?


Alexa

What I would accomplish as a manager? That's a really good framework versus just like I want to save a bunch of money, you lose 10 pounds, travel a lot and see my mom more like that. It does feel like really standard. And I feel like they also kind of just like aren't inspiring. No, one thing I know about human behavior at this point in my career is that people don't do shit they don't want to do.


Tyson

Yeah. It's really just about how how how do I, as Tyson want to show up in the various, like, roles in my life?


Alexa

Yeah, yeah, yeah. If I think about. So I write goals every year for, for New Years as an exercise. I can say maybe, maybe as I'm writing them for this year, I will look back on next year. I don't look back at them regularly, mostly because they're usually things that I'm all that are already in my head. They're not like brand new ideas.


Alexa

Like if you're going to come up with a New Year's goal for the following year that, like, you just fucking thought of, like, odds are it's not going to come to fruition. They should be things that are sort of already a continuation of existing efforts. And actually I'll talk about that the second a lot of the research sort of talks about that.


Alexa

But also I think it's, you know, it's important to remember, like we always overestimate what we can do and we always overestimate what we can do. In like a month. And while we underestimate, we can do it like five years, whatever that sort of thing is. And so you're like enough time to like think far ahead, but not so much time that you're like, I'm going to be a radically different person and my world is going to be upside down.


Alexa

Like it's 365 days. I'm trying to commit to something. So I think it's a good it's a good it's a good habit. And so I think we should talk for a quick second about maybe how you do some of this. Well, okay. So everyone is probably very familiar with what I would consider to be sort of like the most standard, sort of well known version of setting a goal, which is setting a smart goal, smart goals.


Alexa

So smart goals are like they're actually kind of like a thing of the past now, I think. But it was kind of the original research around like achiever culture and setting goals and so for those of you that don't know or don't remember, a smart goal is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. And it's basically a little acronym to tell people to be like, you you can't just say your goal is like, I want to lose weight.


Alexa

Like it's not specific enough for you to be able to achieve it. There's lots of mental reasons for that. We'll talk about that in a second. But it it has to be like, I want to it has to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. So I want to lose 5 pounds in six months. Or in three months.


Alexa

You know, you can even make it more specific, you know.


Tyson

By doing X.


Alexa

By doing X. Exactly. By going to, you know, SoulCycle four days a week and eating my broccoli or whatever you can make that one much more specific if you want it. But it's got to be tangible and realistic enough that you could do it. So if you're let's say you're 100 pounds overweight, you can't say, I want to lose 100 pounds in three months.


Alexa

It won't work. It's just it's just truly unrealistic. It's not it's not yeah. It's not realistic. It's not achievable. And so I think that's a really big pitfall for people is that using sometimes using smart I think people think if they're specific enough, they will achieve the result because it is specific and one of the things I've learned in doing a little bit of research around this topic just, you know, I've done, you know, shamed to admit I've done everything from like Tony Robbins coaching to I mean, you name it, I've done it.


Alexa

I've been an athlete for 30 years. I get all the facts, all the like go get them motivators like all of it. But there are some interesting research and some conflicting commentary around how you set successful goals. So an HPR article I was reading was saying that there's a few tips to setting more achievable goals and they are connect to your goal with a Y, so you need to give the sort of wise statement.


Alexa

I think that's a pretty common goal that's actually research supported too is you have to break your goals down. So this is another big one that if you've ever listened to like David Goggins talk or read any of the books about sort of like crazy high achievers or people who just achieve incredible feats, they have this ability to break down goals into like really Bite-Size nuggets that make the next step much easier.


Alexa

And I'm going to talk about another book and a second once I get through these these five that I actually think is worth reading if you're interested in goal setting, I'm about 75% of the way through it, but I give you guys the synopsis. The third tip is that you need to buffer time for your goals. So basically people will be like, Oh, I want to achieve this thing in a month.


Alexa

You think like a month is a realistic timeline and the research basically says that you need to give yourself almost 25 to 30% buffer on any of those assumptions, because if you don't, it's like it's severely demotivating, but also like you're probably just automatically underestimating the amount of time it will take you. So if you don't give yourself adequate time in the light timely part of the smart goals, it doesn't work.


Alexa

I think people always underestimate or want to do things more quickly for which is another one that's sort of continuation of a lot of the research I've been reading is focus on continuation, not improvement. So when you set goals that are based on a continuation, which you and I were just talking about, like.


Tyson

What I do.


Alexa

Exactly in places like I just want to be more great that I already know you're basically eliminating the problem that a lot of people have, which is when they say, you know, I want to lose 100 pounds in 60 days, they're basically treating their existing self as inadequate. And what you do when you do that is you basically you eliminate all the motivation mechanisms that are sort of natural in the process of moving forward towards a goal.


Tyson

Because like the happiness equation, I will be happy when.


Alexa

I've read that. Yeah, it's kind of like well, it's more, it's more it. I think you can create self-sabotage, right? So if you're kind of like, you know, I'm so far, I'm so far in debt why would I learn to save more money? Like, fuck it. It creates like the bucket mentality because you're like, Oh, well, I'm already so fat.


Alexa

Like 100 pounds in six years is going to work, so fuck it. Instead of being like, Wait a minute. Like, I'm just going to focus on doing this one thing better for a few weeks.


Tyson

Right? And I think there has to be like enjoying the process in that and being happy as you're like going through the process versus like this idea of like, I will be happy when I'm 10 pounds skinnier or then, you know, it just you never get it or like, I always copy when I've save $10,000. No, like there needs to be joy throughout that process.


Alexa

Maybe that's exactly what you're talking about, that. No, I think it's I think it's about enjoying the process, but that's about continuation. So the idea, I think, is to set yourself up for success. You need to pick a version of something you're already doing to do more of instead of trying to do something brand new or out of the box.


Alexa

So and then the fifth one from this, this sort of PR research pieces don't dwell on past failures. So basically, like if you fucked up and didn't do this goal last year, like let it go, like let yourself. Yeah, cool. Whatever I'm doing and I fucked up moving on. And I will say a lot of these things I did a nutrition program is a lot of people know probably two years ago or so.


Alexa

I'm a huge fan of it. Precision nutrition. I would rep these guys that's not a paid ad that's Alexa endorsement. I lost like 35 pounds I got completely shredded. It was just amazing experience for me. And a lot of the psychology in that program is the same as these rules, which is like, okay, like you eat a brownie, you're fucked up.


Alexa

It's okay. First of all, it wasn't a fuck up. You're human, you're out of a brownie, but like, just don't do it again at the next meal. Like, get back to the things that, you know, life all is not lost because Alexa, Ada, brownies. Like, you don't have to be perfect. You just have to be better over time, more and more than you were before.


Alexa

And so when you fuck up, like, you don't judge yourself for the brownie, you're just so. Yeah, cool. I had like, I had a brownie. It was great. And now I'm going to go back to eating my vegetables, my lean proteins and and not beat myself up for it. And a lot of.


Tyson

People go.


Alexa

Wrong I'm going to eat on behaviors. Yeah. That are a continuation of what I am, some of the things I already do. So I already eat a lot of lean protein. I'm going to work. I'm working more of that into certain meals or I already eat a lot of vegetables. I'm going to focus on eating more of a certain kind that will fill me up or whatever versus saying like, oh, I normally donuts and bonbons for breakfast I'm going to start eating broccoli for breakfast like those.


Alexa

The latter won't work. It has to be a continuation of something that you've already been doing or has a positive spin. Sorry to interrupt. Yeah.


Tyson

Yeah. No, like, this is all kind of sounding like work to your strengths and don't try to, like, reinvent the wheel so much because you will set yourself up for failure. Like you really need to make sure that you're making incremental changes and.


Alexa

Tutorials are.


Tyson

Right, just like adding things I think people call it habit stacking maybe is like another thing that is pretty popular and to some similar.


Alexa

Idea.


Tyson

Yeah. So like, you know, every morning I have a cup of coffee will maybe when I'm having that cup of coffee, I can put a podcast on. That's education that I can listen to, right? And so on. So for the next time I'm listening to a podcast, having my coffee, coffee and I've got a face mask on or something.


Tyson

You don't, I mean or I'm right, I'm stretching or whatever that looks like. So it's this idea of like, yeah, adding incrementally. I think another thing I recently saw, I think it was Warren Buffett there's a quote where he said, Write down the 25 things that are like that you want to achieve or that are important to you.


Tyson

Pick the top five and never think about the other 20 again. And I like that because it's like sometimes, you know, we go into this into the new year, let's say, or into any sort of goal setting, whether it be personal or in the workplace. And we want to you know, we see this in engagement action plans a lot.


Tyson

We want to achieve, you know, the moon and back like it's this huge amount of, you know, expectations that we put on ourselves and the best thing we can do is just do a few things really, really, really well. And that's more like that's yes. From a business perspective, from a personal perspective, but more so like from a business perspective is like focus, focus, focus and just execute.


Tyson

And I think that is is the key. And oftentimes like when I've seen goal setting in organizations like you have to put in five goals like these big lofty goals that are just like so ridiculous or like even more.


Alexa

Than my goals is to me.


Tyson

That people have these like huge lists of goals and it's just not worth it. Yeah.


Alexa

And possibly you can't focus on that.


Tyson

Well, that's what I mean, because then you hit, you know what, if you're it's the New Year thing, you hit February and you've already forgotten it. And also when we're talking about business goals, guarantee, and this is my issue with setting goals in a business landscape is that by February, everything is different. We have just really prioritized the whole kit and caboodle.


Tyson

Something happened out of our control and now everything is new. So this idea of setting like annual goals in a business, in a business context just doesn't seem realistic anymore for most businesses. Yeah, obviously there are some like high level goals. Like maybe it's like you know, the amount of profit or something like that, something like that that, you know, you might look at it from like an annual perspective is like, you know, we naturally do with like annual earnings and stuff like that.


Tyson

But all that to say is with business schools, like I just, I struggle with them because often we set these OKRs and then it's like a change so like we're doing something completely new.


Alexa

Yeah, I think it's really hard because it's and we could talk a little bit more about this in a second because I want to make sure to finish our, our thoughts here on a couple of these other ideas. But it's interesting because it's like you're always torn between and I know it's having, you know, many startups and younger companies like it's really easy to throw a fucking pie in the sky goal with the wall.


Alexa

And everyone kind of tells especially like current modern, you know, business acumen is like, you know, hairy, audacious goals, right? Like big, big, big, big, hairy, audacious goals. And it's like that's what we've all been told is like how you build big, fast, successful companies and how they scale quickly and like, you know, so-and-so had this ridiculous idea, this huge vision, and we just ran at it, and it's like, well, yeah, that's true sometimes.


Alexa

And in those unicorn scenarios. But for the most part, unless you're a fairly well-established business with like a couple decades of consistent performance or at least a big enough skilled, skilled business to have on a year to year basis, you know, a window of let's call it ten or 20% in each direction that that business is likely to hit.


Alexa

In terms of target, it's really hard to predict a lot of the shit you try to predict as a business. And to your point, it's like you don't ever want to give your like I set goals for my team all the time. I also realistically will tell them like these goals are going to have to change because this just isn't realistic.


Alexa

Like this X happened or this failed or this fell apart. We to shut that down or this went really well. So we're going to divert attention over here to, you know, for a longer term play or for, for your play, whatever it is, you're always between this this sort of like weird hard rock and a hard place, which is like you want to set goals so people know where they have to go and how to set a northstar for people.


Alexa

But you also don't want to be in the habit of like changing that goal so, so consistently that people go like, this doesn't matter who's going to change in three months, right? So it's it's a it's I think that's what good management, good leadership is for is like, here's the northstar in the northstar kind of stays the same.


Alexa

And then, you know, we've and it's why a lot of good larger businesses set five and ten year goals because they're like, we just can't the ship is too big to run, to change or to turn in one year increments. Like we're just too big a business. So like we've got to break this stuff down into like much smaller chunks, but keep our eyes on kind of like the bigger prize at the end of the tunnel, which is actually the reason.


Alexa

The last piece of research I want to touch on is a good Segway is a really big piece of that research. So there's a book and I write, like I said, I'm about 75% way through it, but I've read enough to know what's helpful for this conversation. It's called Clearer, Closer, Better By, I believe her name is Emily Balcetis.


Alexa

This bossiness I probably butchered that, but she's a researcher and she wrote this really awesome book basically about how successful people see the world and I highly recommend reading. It is a really easy reads a great audio book as well. Listen to half of it for the other. I'm reading the other half, but basically she goes through these kind of like big ideas around how successful people look at focus and look at things like goal setting.


Alexa

So the first one it's funny that you were just talking about it is basically about narrowing your focus to achieve goals more effectively. So she tells the story basically of this woman who's like, I think she was the first ever female Olympic marathon runner, and she basically they interviewed her and I think they've done a bunch of research and she was like, I don't think about 26.2 miles.


Alexa

Like, at no point during during a marathon do I think about that. I have to run 26 miles. I pick one person who is running in front of me and I try to beat them. And then once I pass that person, I pick the next person in front of me and I try to beat them. And she does that for 26.2 miles and she's like a, you know, world famous runner at this point, 44 Olympic marathon distances, which is 26.2 miles, which is a lot of walking miles.


Alexa

So it's funny because she sets like small manageable goals that are simplified to like just the person in front of her. So that's one. Another one is they talk a lot about materializing your goals. So like they talk about I think there's this famous swimmer that puts like his head as coach put the times that he has to be doing and practice drills on his kick board they like wrote they like write them on his keyboard.


Alexa

So when he's doing drills with his kick board and practice, he can see the times that he needs to be making and like visualize it. Obviously there's like lots of examples of Visualize and goals, but that's another big one. Like you're more likely to you're more likely to sort of be okay with things outside of your comfort zone and things throwing you off if you have a way to like materialize exactly what it is that you're trying to get to in a more tangible way.


Alexa

And then there are some other ones, but the ones I can remember are like, you know, I think holding yourself accountable to other people is super helpful. And then the other one, I think was interesting was basically like knowing where to direct your attention can keep you focused on a goal. And what's interesting about this, if you read the book, is that what they're actually talking about in the first set of takeaways is narrowing your focus to something very specific, like just the runner in front of you.


Alexa

But by the last take away what they're talking about is that you actually need to have a much bigger picture because otherwise you can't keep the unimportant or the radical shift in perspective, and it will throw you off So basically, highly achieving people and very successful people are constantly in a very efficient, very sort of scientifically studied way in the book, toggling between very simplistic goals, very focused right in front of them, and much bigger picture Northstar shit that keeps all of that in line.


Alexa

So they're constantly like successfully toggling between those two things. And it's really interesting to think about the juxtaposition of how we do that, especially when we're like obsessed with productivity culture. I feel like people get very like, right now today, look at my to do list, blah, blah, blah. It's like, I'd like Warren Buffett, like step back, write down the 25 things, pick five and tell her, you know, tell everybody else to fuck off.


Alexa

Like you've got to have a Northstar or you're just going to get lost in the bullshit.


Tyson

Totally. And how I've heard that spoken about is short term impatient, but long term patient So like getting shit done in the immediate end, like achieving, achieving, achieving, achieving, but then also like knowing that each of those little things that you're achieving is setting you up strategically for something that's long term, like a long term, like big goal.


Alexa

What happens if you're just always impatient? Yeah, like us. Like us.


Tyson

Yeah. But yeah, but yeah, I like it because there needs to be sort of like that bigger picture, like you said, like a bigger, more grandiose thing that you're working towards.


Alexa

Yeah. And the one thing I will say, and I think we should, we should move on to like personal and professional goals for people but the one thing I would say is like I can only speak from a personal perspective on this is like any time I have set a goal because I thought I was supposed to or because it sounded cool, it's never fucking happened.


Alexa

Like I only joined that nutrition program because I had finally gotten so tired of being fat in photos that I was like, It's time to fix this. My goal was not to lose a certain amount of weight. My goal was to get into a program that would help me be better. And I did that. So I achieved that.


Alexa

But because I was finally at a place, it's like when you say addicts like you can't help addicted, doesn't want doesn't want to be helped. Like you got to want to thing like don't put lose 5 pounds on your fucking New Year's resolution because you think you're supposed to want that. Like, if you want to eat cookies more than you want to lose 5 pounds and don't put 5 pounds on is a goal.


Alexa

Like do the things like focus on two or three things like you really fucking want or that would really matter to you if you could focus on and that's.


Tyson

That's the key like that they matter. So like you can say like lose 5 pounds and that just it's such a surface level like artificial goal, so to speak. Like, it's like it's just Is that really going to mean that much more?


Alexa

Is the goal like feel better about how you look and feel yeah. Every day and be more confident because that's a very different goal that was.


Tyson

Very, very, very different.


Alexa

And one might cause you to eat better and exercise more than the other. And I bet you it's not the 5 pounds.


Tyson

Right? Because if you ground yourself in like what you truly want and like the why behind the goal, then like, you know, I want to eat better because I want to be like healthy. So I live a longer life so I can spend more time with my kids or you know what I mean? Like, they're just like.


Alexa

I just want to do the best that I can look, which might not be down 5 pounds, might actually be up 5 pounds of muscle like you. Just everyone's different totally. Especially, you know, shout out to the the skinny bitch females like Tyson who just have it naturally. But, you know, some of us don't it's not our gym. It just isn't going to be how we look, you know?


Alexa

So I think people have to be a little more thoughtful because the goal of this is not to set yourself up for failure, right? If you're going to do this like do it, set yourself up for success, like start slow. It's something easy that you're already kind of doing that you want to focus on Yeah. And I would say like, you know, to Warren Buffett's point, like Peter Pan out on like the five things or three different things that like you want in your life in general.


Alexa

And then bring them into like, what can I do this year to make those possible?


Tyson

Yeah, exactly. And and if, you know, you have a slip up just like, you know, start out like it just it's not like we're going to get a thing. We're going to go green. Just giving again and again.


Alexa

Again, again for your meditation dorks. We're going to go cool so let's talk really quickly, just as a last thought here. Let's talk really quickly about and obviously want your expertize on this, Tyson, a little bit about how to discuss work goals.


Alexa

So two things. One, I think how do you you know, when you're filling out that stupid fucking like what are my goals for the year to be that shit anymore? What do you do? How do you do that in a way that is productive and effective? And then my second question, which we'll get to is just like, what's a good way to talk about goals with a manager or a boss when you think maybe there's some misalignment.


Tyson

Right? Okay. So for the first thing, I think the best thing to do is set up a way in which you are relooking at these goals on a regular basis. So whether it's like every six weeks or monthly or whatever that looks like you can't just sort of like post and pray with goals like right and pray that they come true.


Tyson

Right? Although I sort of do that from a personal perspective, like when I put a business hat on, like we really have to make sure that we're constantly iterating on those goals. So that they align. Another thing, a common fallacy, I think would be this sort of like recency bias as it relates to goals. So you might put you might know for example, let's say we're setting them for January, you might know that you have like these three things to do in January, and then you make those your goals and then boom, boom, boom.


Tyson

To you and you like it doesn't you really have to sort of like be cognizant of that if you're looking more long term, which like I actually question or not whether you should I think that you need to look a quarter out and to the best of your ability to try to understand like like what is the work that you're going to be doing and how like how you're going to measure success in those in that work.


Tyson

I think that you need to paint a picture of what good looks like and what success looks like. I said how and then like again, you can kind of like pull in the Y from a business perspective as well. Where I would coach managers in terms of the Y is like, why the hell are we working on this?


Tyson

And does it achieve the goal or is this fluff work we want to make sure we are hyper focused, do a few things really well. Nothing else matters. Okay, so I would, you know, work with the manager in terms sort of segueing into your next question in terms of like identifying like big picture, what is that Northstar like you mentioned like what is like our main goal?


Tyson

Like what is the outcome of what?


Alexa

Right, right. And as a manager, you should be able to paint that picture both. You should be level as well as your team's version of that picture. Right. And if you can't get the fuck out of management.


Tyson

Yeah. So it's this the main outcome, like what are we trying to achieve? And then I think you mentioned it in one of the research that you pulled out is sort of like pull out from there, like what needs to be done to achieve that. And then again, if you're talking like from a manager perspective, it's also really important to identify who is responsible and like who are the stakeholders so that we know who is accountable for the results.


Tyson

Again, like it could be the manager or it could be a situation where if they're sort of project planning for their entire team, like certain individuals are taking on certain things and then of course, communicating that so I think in terms of if there's misalignment like aligning on the vision, the Northstar to begin with, everyone needs to be able to do that.


Tyson

And then from there it should be easy enough to like set goals that achieve that again for the short term and then constantly like touching base in terms of like how things are going do things need to be updated? Has there been some sort of major shift that would result in those goals changing?


Alexa

And so what do you do when you get given when you get handed down a goal from the higher ups that maybe feels unreasonable or feels misaligned or, you know, maybe even isn't your manager's fault, but like how do you deal with the like I just got my I just had my annual goal setting meeting and WITF.


Tyson

So we used to actually do this in one of my previous companies. It was called Gold Cascading so basically the CEO would set his goals. And then from those goals, his leadership team would set goals that were this aligned but relevant to the work that they did and so on and so forth until it got down to us.


Tyson

So we actually.


Alexa

Talked about.


Tyson

Just aligning our goals to leadership, but making it our own. And I would say that that is actually the right thing to do in a sense because like if you as an employee, an individual contributor are not aligned with the goals of the leader, then that's really problematic and we should all be working towards the same thing again.


Tyson

If we are hyper focus and working on the right things to achieve big picture, your goals should be aligned. Now, if it's some bullshit goal that a leader like a leader gave you, then that's that's a little bit different. But there should be alignment to ensure that we're all sort of paddling the boat in the same direction.


Alexa

Yeah, I think that gets missed a lot, though. I think that's why I like heaven forbid, I use the word, but like disengagement that's so rampant in certain places, it's because you're like, I'm just doing this. Like, let's be honest, a lot of jobs feel menial. If you sit, then you step back and said, What am I adding a civilization to that you'd be like, I wrote a lot of fucking emails.


Alexa

It's why the internet is rampant with memes about how all we do at work is writing emails, right? Right. So it's really easy to get disengaged when you haven't set when you haven't been set up to think about what you're contributing as contributing to the larger lattice of people who have to accomplish things. So if you walk into those meetings with your manager and go, My job is to help you do X, when you start slacking the fuck off, you're going to be like, Oh man, I'm going to keep Joey, the manager from getting to Joey's goal, or I'm going to keep I'm going to hinder the whole team from contributing this project that this other


Alexa

team needs to launch this big thing. And that affects a lot of people, right? Like you just can't put any perspective on it if it hasn't been painted to you as like you're helping achieve the following thing that's bigger than you.


Tyson

Right? And I think what's interesting is like Google cascading kind of got like a bad name in the industry. Like people just thought it was very like stuffy and corporate and like, you know, it's just really it kind of anti.


Alexa

Stuffy to me.


Tyson

Right? So it kind of about this bad name, I think because it was used by like like more corporate places versus like fun startup places. But then bring it.


Alexa

Back.


Tyson

When we look at things like engagement surveys and we see questions that are like, I know how my work contributes to the goals of the overall company, that question scores low and people are like, we're all just sort of like running around like without any direction. And I actually think that obviously it's not like a situation where we're just saying, okay, Tyson, these are your goals X, Y, and Z.


Tyson

But it's like, Hey, Tyson, I'm your leader, and these are my goals. I want to share things transparently with you so that you can align to them and think about ways. And we can think about this together, ways in which we can use these goals that have been cascaded from my leader and from their leader and then put a spin on them.


Tyson

So it's relevant to the work that you're doing specifically.


Alexa

Right. So there's really I was actually just talking to a friend who decided to leave a company because a new manager came in, was a sales guy doing a bunch of shady shit, pulling, moving people around and all kinds of unexplained things as only terrible managers do. And he was explaining to me that basically he was working on a big client deal.


Alexa

There's going to be a big fat check for him, and his new manager came in and pulled the deal from him, which is like, if you have ever manage salespeople, that's a no no. Like you don't pull somebody is you're like one of your best salespeople, biggest deals from them. Like you just don't fuck with people's money. That's sales one on one.


Tyson

Right, right.


Alexa

But what's interesting is that when I asked him, I said, hey, like, what are your in this case, the Lord, the regional manager or whatever was it was a woman. I said, hey, what are her goals? Like, what is what is she gunning for? Here besides obviously, like, you know, I'm assuming you guys are like a team revenue number.


Alexa

Like, what are her goals? What is she get paid on? And he was like, I have no idea. And I was like, that's a problem. That's a problem because you can't interpret anything she's doing accurately without that. So all you see is like, this chick doesn't like me. She's fucking with my money. I got to go. When all you all it could be is like she's trying to restructure territories because, you know, A, B or C is coming down the pipeline.


Alexa

Like, no idea. But that's, you know, that's that's what good managers do is they fill you in and they they make you part of it, part of the conversation when.


Tyson

There's a lot of change without people understanding the reason why that fucking pisses people off. That's like.


Alexa

Yeah. And I get it. Deservedly so.


Tyson

It does. That's what I mean. It's totally is, it's, that's one of the hardest things I think that we need to do a better job also, like in the scope of goal setting, like, why can't I know what my manager's goals are? It doesn't make any sense that.


Alexa

You couldn't like if you can't know what they are, then they, then there's like a problem. That's right. It's like, this is that drug cartel like.


Tyson

Right, right.


Alexa

Like, unless my managers goal involves a body count or illicit behaviors, like, why can't I know? Odds are it has something to do with, like, engagement dollars clients or like, product releases, like the ones not that complicated, or.


Tyson

Why wouldn't they want me to also be working towards that goal? I think that's the other thing that like, you know, it's think of a goal setting is like a team effort here. Like this is just like every and I know in like a lot of like it's a rat race out there. I get it right. Everybody's trying to like achieve the goal so that they can be seen and get promoted, etc. But I, I really would like to see this sort of as like a team effort.


Tyson

Like we're all working towards the same thing but obviously, like, put your own spin on it. I also think like from an H.R. perspective specifically, it can be really hard to measure our goals. And also like going back to a smart goal, it can be really difficult to measure them and it can be really difficult to have a time bound goals because oftentimes, like what I always found was my goals were sort of like ongoing.


Tyson

It was like, okay, I'm going like you don't just like do it, check it off and say you're done. It's not like a sales target. Right, where you're just like that. Reach the target done. It's like there is a way that we need to, like, continue to show up and partner and like achieve. That's like very continuous and fluid.


Tyson

So I'm kind of like anti smart goal because I don't believe that, like, we're not making widgets. It's not just like checking the box. So I would encourage people like I always used to say, like I used to have to make smart goals. And I used to always put this like the time the time section. I would say like ongoing like this, but.


Alexa

I'm not dependent on this.


Tyson

It depends. Yeah, yeah.


Alexa

TBD, yeah. Yeah. I think that's the, the limitation too smart is it's like a little too rigid and I just am not I think smart goals are really good for when the goals are task oriented, when the goals are highly measurable, when the goals are pretty short term, as it says, timing is one of the, you know, is the tea and smart.


Tyson

You know, a lot of this stuff actually originated from like factory workers, like the whole process of like Google setting and like we haven't really changed it. A lot of companies.


Alexa

So like H.R., like it's away from. Yes, exactly.


Tyson

The same.


Alexa

Precedence. Is a bitch tiresome. Yeah, but no more. It's a new year. New things come in. Yeah, we're going to do this all better together collectively. As the peeps community here listeners, you're now being held accountable to doing this shit better because Lord knows, the corporate goal setting process is a nightmare. Cool. All right. Well, any last thoughts on goal setting for the exciting year ahead?


Alexa

I don't.


Tyson

Think so. Yeah. I think we.


Alexa

Have lots of exciting stuff planned for people so thank you for joining us for another year of People Problems. We've got some documentary club episodes coming up, like the Abercrombie episode we did, so maybe even a book club episode. Got some exciting guests, got all kinds of stuff coming up this year. So our goal, we're like, we're.


Tyson

Actually in contact.


Alexa

Yeah, yeah. That's one of our goals. That until like 400 X, our listenership, you know, super.


Tyson

Is to spread the word, help us spread the word to our guests.


Alexa

Yes, it's attainable to ask our listener chapters we young guys love you. All right, guys, that's a wrap. And don't forget to join our community. The people up society pops is our listener and people pro community members can use the forum for peer feedback, download awesome resources and templates written by peers, connect with thought leaders in the benefits space and get access to free courses all included in your membership.


Alexa

Use the code people problems at people OP Society Ecom to get 20% off your membership today, use the code people problems at people OP Society RT.com to join our community people problems is recorded and mixed by Emma Parker A Chicken B Films with production assistance by Anna Parker People Problems is managed by Emily Middleton Lemons. For more information and to sign up for our weekly newsletter where we dove deeper into hot topics and share our great finds, go to People Problems Podcast.


Alexa

Please make sure to follow us on all things social at People Problems Pod. Follow Tyson at.


Tyson

H.R. Dot Shook and follow me Alexa Baggio.


Alexa

At the influencer spelled with an H. R.


Tyson

Thanks for listening and catch you next week.



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