Staff productivity
May 5, 2023

Why learning is the real goal of goal setting

Mark Topps reflects on the best benefits of goal setting, and how it can improve outcomes for the people you support, your teams and for yourself.

Mark Topps
Mark Topps
Regional Business Manager

Table of contents

It dawned on me last week whilst writing the blog that we often talk about setting and achieving goals, but we don’t ever focus on how it can develop us individually.  

Of course, it’s obvious that personal goal setting improves our outcomes. Losing weight, buying a car, getting a new job – these are all going to develop us. But how often do you stop, reflect and think about what you learned during the process?  

I often think the growth element is the biggest goal we achieve, yet the part we fail to celebrate.  

In this week’s blog I look at how goal setting can improve outcomes for the people we support, our teams and for ourselves.

Benefits of learning for ourselves and our teams

Personal and professional growth

The first outcome from setting goals is personal and professional growth. In the early stages, we are able to assess our own competencies and figure out which new skill or knowledge we need to learn or adapt to achieve. This is how we can identify our strengths and weaknesses.

We often don’t get to use trial and error in our everyday lives, especially not in the workplace due to:

  • Risk assessments
  • The expectation to get things right
  • Not having the autonomy to take risk

Achieving goals is a great way to write this off and to experiment with new approaches or a goal setting strategy. Once you have the goal, you must try different things and figure out the best way to achieve it.  

Resilience and self-reflection

Resilience and self-reflection can be born out of setting and achieving goals as, all too often, we do not achieve things straight away, and setbacks are inevitable.  

Right from the start, we think about what it is we want to achieve, how we can achieve it and why we want to achieve it. When you think about these things, you subconsciously think about your values and priorities, and what is important to you.

Setbacks will allow you to:

  • Identify obstacles
  • Find ways to overcome them
  • Build resilience to keep moving forward

These skills can be applied to a wide variety of things within our lives.  

The biggest benefit of setting goals and achieving them is the learning that comes from it. As you work towards your goals, you will be acquiring new skills, connections and insights which will help you develop as a person, both professionally and personally. This, in turn, will allow you to set bigger goals and better targets, helping you achieve more over time.  

Aside from the lessons that goal setting and achievements can provide to us, there are also several other character-building benefits, including empowerment.  

Benefits of learning for the people we support

Person-centred care

Looking at how goal setting can benefit the people we support, the biggest one is that it puts people at the centre of their care.  

It allows people to identify their own unique goals and aspirations, which ensures that care plans are person-centred and tailored to the individual.

Many people we support lack motivation, and this is often driven due to the lack of control over their lives. However, allowing people to decide on their own goals ensures that they have a clear idea of what they want to achieve, why they want to achieve it, and will ensure that people are invested in working towards achieving them.  

Ultimately, this gives the people we support the power back, which, in turn, motivates them to achieve.  

Increased motivation

Increased motivation has other knock-on effect which we may not necessarily think about, such as:  

  • Increased self-belief
  • Improved confidence
  • Feelings of being empowered
  • A sense of freedom

All these things lead to better outcomes for the person in terms of health, wellbeing and quality of life.

Studies looking at relationships in the care sector have found that staff who work closely with people increases collaboration and trust, which is important for us to have with the people we support.  

To work closely, we need to ensure that we have good communication skills with the person receiving care, but also with the people that are important to them such as family, friends and other healthcare professionals. Looking at the larger picture, if we can build trust and rapport, we can also build confidence in building new relationships – which, ultimately, leads to be better outcomes.  

In summary, goal setting can be a powerful tool. So set your goals high, and focus on the journey of learning and the growth that comes with it.  

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