goal setting , compass



Have you ever left your house to go to a shop nearby without any item in mind that you intend to purchase? How did it make you feel? The multiple options that flashed before your eyes, the haziness of an unclear mental vision. Did you find yourself walking down the aisle, secretly hoping to stumble upon something that would ignite your interest?

Similarly, driving on a cross-country road trip without a destination in mind. You’re driving aimlessly, unsure of where to turn with every passing mile. Does that sound familiar?

Life and indeed work can often feel like that aimless trip to the store or being on a cross-country road trip without a destination in mind. Without goals, you wander through your days, unsure of where you’re headed and what truly matters. That’s why setting goals is like a compass guiding you through life’s journey, and it’s an essential cornerstone for achieving well-being – both individually and within organisations.

The Power of Goals in Cultivating Well-Being in an Organisation

Being part of an organisation with ambiguous goals can be challenging, resulting in perplexity and doubt. This may create issues during collaborative sessions and render it more challenging for employees to remain committed.

Goals offer you a sense of direction, purpose, and a framework to measure your organisational progress. Whether you’re aiming to focus on your staff turnover, job satisfaction, career progression, health, stable partnership, or personal growth setting clear goals is the first step to taking control of your well-being journey.

In this article, you’ll explore a simple mind trick that can make the process of goal setting feel much more manageable and achievable. You’ll also uncover how to use goal setting as a useful tool for your well-being strategy.

The Goal-Setting Mind Trick

The most effective mind trick to make the process of goal setting feel like second nature is to use a technique called chunking or the “chunking principle”. By breaking your overall picture into smaller, more manageable tasks, you can create a clear roadmap for yourself and reduce the feeling of overwhelm that usually surrounds any subject.

Do you struggle with remembering important numbers or passwords? It can be frustrating to constantly have to go back and fill in the necessary information. However, this can actually be a helpful technique for training your mind to set and achieve goals. Our cognitive functioning is better equipped to handle smaller objectives rather than constantly focusing on the big picture.

By breaking down your goal into manageable chunks, you’ll find that each step feels less daunting and more achievable. This approach helps you maintain focus, stay motivated, and build a sense of accomplishment as you steadily move toward your ultimate objective. Remember that success is built on consistent progress over time, and this technique can help you make that progress more tangible and attainable.

The Challenge of Choosing the Right Goal

There is a lot of uncertainty around how to choose which goal to set.  However, starting with a focus on well-being can be incredibly beneficial. If you’re interested in learning more about how to create a well-being strategy, we’ve put together an informative article that can help guide you. Check it out here.

A well-being strategy is a solid foundation for decision-making. By valuing well-being as a fundamental principle, individuals and organisations create a healthier, more sustainable, and ethical approach to achieving success.

When an organisation is under pressure, having a well-being strategy provides stability and support for individuals. Furthermore, a culture that values well-being fosters a positive work environment. Employees feel cared for and supported, leading to higher job satisfaction, better teamwork, and increased morale.

While other specific interests may change over time, the importance of well-being remains constant. Prioritising well-being allows for adaptability in decision-making without compromising the core value of individual and organisational success.

A well-being strategy ensures that promoting the physical, emotional, and mental health of individuals is fundamental in any situation. Setting your goals to achieve this strategy acknowledges the intrinsic value of well-being while recognising that there might be exceptional circumstances where other considerations come into play. When faced with decisions, you should consider how those choices impact your physical health, mental state, and overall life satisfaction. This principle encourages you to pursue self-care, maintain a work-life balance, and seek personal growth while allowing for adjustments in certain circumstances.

While individual well-being is crucial, it’s essential to acknowledge that life is complex and interconnected. There might be instances where fulfilling commitments to family, community, or society requires temporarily setting aside optimal personal well-being. For instance, healthcare workers during the pandemic needed to work longer hours, compromising their well-being to save lives. This demonstrates that well-being as a foundational principle doesn’t preclude altruistic actions or temporary sacrifices for the greater good.

On the other hand, organisations must prioritise employee well-being as a guiding principle. This entails creating a work environment that supports physical health, mental wellness, and work-life balance. Such an approach enhances productivity, reduces turnover, and fosters a positive organisational culture. It also aligns with legal and ethical responsibilities to provide a safe and healthy workplace. See NICE guidance.

Organisations must recognise that having a well-being strategy does not overlook the challenges of the workplace. There may be times when short-term work pressures require employees to take on more responsibilities or postpone their annual leave, which can have an impact on their overall well-being. In such cases, it is important for managers and team leaders to be empowered to make informed decisions that take into account the well-being of both the individual and the organisation. Your well-being strategy should clearly communicate these values and ensure that work output is balanced and transparent.

How do you set a goal for your personal or organisation’s well-being?

Use the IHI 3-Question Format for SMART goals.

1. For Whom? Or For What System? Identify whom the change is meant for. By capturing who the goal relates to or who it will influence, you’ll start to have a sense of who your stakeholders are.

2. By How Much? Articulate how well you’ll like to improve. By writing a measuring metric in your goal/aim statement, you can know when a change happens. It could be in percentages or numerical numbers.

3. By When? This will be a time frame your project can achieve the planned improvement. At the end of the set time, you should review your overall progress.

For example,

1. Hight Practice will achieve a 25% reduction in reported burnout levels, among their primary care providers based on daily staff feedback over the next 12 months.

2. Rise Practice will achieve a 30% reduction in the number of sick days taken due to stress-related issues among administrative staff within the next year.

3. Andy will dedicate at least 2 additional hours per week to personal activities outside work, resulting in a 15% increase in overall satisfaction with work-life balance within the next 3 months.


It’s essential to set goals in your personal and organisational circles. By breaking down what matters to you into small segments you are motivated to reach higher standards of improvement. Having a well-being goal to act as your foremost aim will centre your decisions. A good well-being strategy ensures a holistic approach that values both individual and collective welfare.

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