HARD Goals: The Secret to Getting From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

by Salary.com Staff - Original publish date: October 23, 2015

Think back to your biggest accomplishment. The thing you're most proud of which you still brag about to this day. Maybe you lost 100 lbs, climbed Mt. Everest or successfully finished that marathon. Whatever your goal was, chances are it was difficult and you were emotionally invested, which made the success that much sweeter.

Mark Murphy, author of "Hard Goals: The Secret to Getting From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be," is this week's guest on Salary Talk, and tells Aaron and Wendy that many people---and companies---have it all wrong when it comes to goal-setting.

While SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goals have been around for decades and are still in use today, they are no longer effective. Murphy advocates for HARD (Heartfelt, Animated, Required, Difficult) goals which involve a personal connection and pushing people outside of their comfort zones. For example, if you adopted a New Year's resolution to lose weight simply because your friends and family members bugged you until you relented, Murphy said that goal will likely fail because it's not truly of your choosing.

Likewise, in business, too many managers mindlessly hand down business goals and benchmarks without consulting employees first. The result is a goal the employee isn't invested in because he/she wasn't given any input into it. It is the boss' goal instead of the employee's goal.

And once you've come up with your own goal which you're personally motivated to achieve, Murphy describes the pitfalls that derail you such as procrastination, and how breaking off little chunks can keep you on track to achieve both short- and long-term success.

It's your life and they should be your goals. Get started today!

Purchase books by today's featured expert:

  • Hard Goals: The Secret to Getting From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
  • Hiring for Attitude: A Revolutionary Approach to Recruiting People with Tremendous Skills & Superb Attitudes
  • Hundred Percenters: Challenge Your Employees to Give It Their All & They'll Give You Even More
  • The Deadly Sins of Employee Retention

Learn more about Mark Murphy
To learn more about John's work you can go to Leadership IQ and the Hard Goals website. You can also follow Mark and Leadership IQ on social media outlets such as FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

Salary Talk Podcast with Mark Murphy by Salary_Talk

Are you one of the lucky few who loves what they do? Do you head to your office every day filled with passion and optimism? If you have an interesting job you love, we'd like to feature you in our ongoing "Dream Jobs" series. Send an email to salarytalk@salary.com detailing what you do, who you are and why our millions of readers will want to read all about you. We'll look over all submissions and get back to you if you're a good fit!