Team Goal Setting: Weaving Meaningful Connections Into Your Personal Growth


Goal setting is hard and it can't be done alone; you need a team. Sometimes it's a team of people you have lost contact with and you just need to find a way to reignite that spark.

If your health, personal, and career goals are as blurred in your memory as your last handful of ‘right swipes on Tinder, you need to take a moment to put down your phone and do 5 minutes of reflection. As you start to slow down and unplug from the cloud of dizzying distractions hovering above, you might also realize that there are some important people in your life that you haven’t seen in person since last year – don’t panic, you’re not alone. Life moves fast but you’re behind the wheel so let's make sure you are steering the rest of the year in the right direction with the right people.

In the end of 2015 I was lucky enough to have some close connections of mine stretch across the car to steer the wheel away from me driving my life off a cliff. It snapped me out of autopilot and inspired me to sew together my goals and personal connections with meaningful offline experiences I call Team Goal Setting.

I define Team Goal Setting as when you leverage your relationships to guide and motivate both you and your personal connections to accomplish authentic goals through focused communication and real world activities. 

Team Goal Setting is something you likely already do whether you realize it or not. You naturally spend time with likeminded people with overlapping values, morals, professions, hobbies and everyday behaviours.

The most obvious example is when you commit to go for an early Saturday morning run with a friend because clearly you both have taken the initiative to set fitness goals. Before your run, you set your alarm clock, organize a quick meal, and although you might have gone out the night before, your conscience will not let you back out. It’s embarrassing and it’s not fair to your friend who likely did not party the night before so that this run could happen. Accountability and empathy are powerful drivers of human behaviour.

The next two drivers of human behaviour that encompass Team Goal Setting is our innate need to mirror people we respect and as a result, engage in friendly competition. What pushed me to take goal setting seriously this year was exactly this. A good friend of mine took the Landmark course last year and shortly after had asked me if I had put thought into my 2016 goals. I told him that I was thinking about it and that if he wanted to set them together I would be a lot more motivated to do them. As a result, we set a weekend in the calendar where we would go for a run on a Saturday morning and then set goals together.

I was now accountable to show up due to my respect and empathy towards him - there was no way I would let him down. I was also mirroring his ambition to set goals and you can bet my competitive side was making damn sure that the magnitude of my goals and even my running that morning were going to keep up with him.

The four human elements that drive Team Goal Setting:

  • Empathy
  • Accountability
  • Mirroring Others
  • Competitiveness

Team Goal Setting In Action:

The above human elements can be mobilized to create Team Goal Setting when used as the stitching that interweaves your goals with your team of life connections. What I have done is created a team of at least three people that directly relate to every goal I have set for 2016.

I have my running team, my triathlon team, my travelling team, my personal development team, and even my CEO coaching team. The list goes on of course but my point here is that there will ALWAYS be people who have mastered a goal you seek to accomplish, and/or are proactively looking to continue to take that goal to the next level. Your team members will naturally change over time and you will see some a lot more than others however, you should be finding an activity to bind you and your team members together whether it be a monthly Skype to share resources or a daily physical activity.

People are simply the best way to be motivated and to learn. They beat out any workout video or book and also have the added bonus of companionship.