🚀 Transformative Goal Setting: The Career Operating System that changed my life
Learn the process I use to set, achieve and review my goals every single month
Hey, I’m Reuben and welcome to my weekly newsletter. Each week I dig into the goals, habits, routines, and strategies behind the Elite Operators in the sports industry. All so you can accelerate your career and make an impact in sport.
This week is a special edition, I’m going to be sharing with you the system that underpins my career and some of the successes I’ve enjoyed. Since creating this system, it’s helped me:
Live my dream working & travelling the world
Licence my course in Universities in Australia and Canada
Grow my LinkedIn profile to reach 4M people
Grown the SportsGrad Community to 650+ Members
Even beat my half-marathon PB by 6 minutes (1:22:02)
If you’ve enjoyed learning the approaches of how professionals set their goals, you’re going to love this. I’m really excited to share my process with you, it’s the first time I’ve publicly let others in on what I do behind closed doors. But more than anything I’m really excited to see how you use it to hit the career goals you have in mind.
One caveat before we begin.
The best career operating system is the one you can stick to consistently. I created this for me based on what worked. If you find something that doesn’t work for you, feel free to tinker with your system and make it work for you. I’m constantly tinkering with mine, so feel free to take this and adapt it.
At the end I’ll give you access to the system so you can make a copy.
I’ve outlined the steps below, but if you want to go super deep, dive into the full recording of this live workshop I ran that explains everything.
Step 1: Who am I and what do I want?
Before we dive into setting any goals, it’s important to understand ourselves, this provides context to everything.
To do this, I draw on the ‘Personal Trademark’ approach coined by Leading Teams, famous for helping the Sydney Swans create their culture of “The Bloods”.
Your Personal Trademark is a memorable phrase that summarises a set of 4 behaviours you want to be known for.
3 behaviours you’re good at, and 1 that you want to work on.
To arrive at these, ask your friends and family “What are 3 words to describe me?”
Distill this down into 4 words that resonate with you.
Then create a tagline that makes it easy for you to associate with.
If you want to go deeper into this, check out our podcast with Gavin Mahony from Leading Teams.
Next, it’s time to answer ‘What do I want?’
To do this, break it down into what you want to BE, DO and HAVE in your life, and cast your mind forward 10 years.
Be: What kind of person do I want to become?
E.g. an excellent writer, a senior manager
Do: What are the things I want to achieve?
E.g. Working and travelling the world and meeting people in sport
Have: What things do I want in my life
E.g. Financial freedom to travel, a house in Melbourne
Finally, you’re going to combine these in a Personal Mindmap.
Simply take a piece of paper, write your name in the centre, and draw 4 lines out to the 4 words in your Trademark. Then in a different colour draw lines out to all the things you want in your life.
Take a photo of this, hang it where it’s easy to see, and let this be a daily reminder of the person you strive to be and the life you’re working to create.
Step 2: Vision
Answer: In 10 years from now, what do I want my life to look like?
When thinking about this, don’t put any limits on what’s possible. If money were no issue, and job applications were no barrier, what would you want your life to look like?
Close family, friends and sports industry community
Make enough money to live, work and travel the world
Buy a house in Lorne & in Melbourne to go between
3-hour marathon every year of my 30s
Go on regular adventures to events, cycle mountains, hike trails
Have a blog of 100,000 people with whom I help and share stories with
Step 3: Goals
There are many types of goals you can set: Health, Wealth, Happiness, Relationships and more.
Here we’re just going to focus on your career goals.
To do this, I break career goals into 4 buckets:
People - Who do I want to be connected with?
Skill - What do I want to excel at?
Project - What projects and results do I want to complete?
Brand - What online presence do I want to have? (e.g. LinkedIn)
I want to call out one goal in particular, the project goal.
So often we go through jobs and get to the end without knowing what we even did. By setting projects for yourself and tracking them to completion it forces you to document your work.
Now, when you’re next preparing for a job interview, if you want to know what you’re capable of all you have to do is scroll through your previous project goals.
Next, you want to set time-bound parameters around these goals.
I set 3-year goals that seem aspirational, but not too far away. Then I break it down into a 1-year goal. From 1-year, I break it down again to quarterly 90-day goals, and finally 30 30-day milestones.
For example, let’s break down a ‘People’ goal.
3-year goal: “I want to be able to travel to every continent in the world and have sports industry contact”
1-year goal: “I want to have 50 contacts in London and Paris”
90-day goal: “I want to have 10 coffees or Zoom calls with European contacts”
30-day milestone: “I want to send 20 messages to interesting people this month”
Now, you can see how over a long enough timespan, if you keep hitting your monthly milestones, it’s not so farfetched to achieve some lofty goals.
But let’s make it even easier with daily habits.
Step 4: Habits
“I fear not the man who has practised 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practised one kick 10,000 times” - Bruce Lee
Day by day, what you do is who you become.
Therefore, based on your goals, think about what habits will take you to your vision.
When setting habits, pick any number that works for you. The most important part is that you stick to it. Doing 2 habits every day for a month is better than doing 15 habits for 15 days a month.
Get good at showing up before you get good at many habits.
Here’s a list of daily habits that can take you closer to our set of career goals:
People Goal Habits:
Send one message to a new person
Practice writing outreach messages
Identify a new opportunity to meet people (event, past contact etc.)
Skill Goal Habits:
Write for 15 minutes every day using prompts as a guide
Complete Google Analytics University for 30 minutes
Practice designing slide templates on Canva for 30 minutes
Project Goal Habits:
Block out 4 hours for deep work
Read a book related to my project for 30 minutes
Spend 5 minutes to plan the next day each night
Brand Goal Habits:
Post one piece of content each day
Comment on other people’s content each day
Review content performance
Health Habits (not mentioned, but important):
Push ups / Sit ups
Step 5: Track & Review
All of the above will be in vain unless you can remain consistent. I created this system because consistency was my biggest issue. To deal with this, I created a digital home.
It’s my Career Operating System.
My Career OS reminds me of my vision, the person I strive to be, keeps a log of my goals, stores my habit tracker, and files my monthly reviews.
However, the most growth comes from my monthly reviews. Every time I complete these I learn more about myself, optimise my habits and goals, and run my life through a set of questions that help me iron out the bumps of life very quickly.
The key to my development… I never miss a review.
The way I did this was by ‘making it attractive’, thanks to James Clear.
Each month I book 1 night in an AirBnb and complete a set agenda to review my Career OS. Once I arrive, I HAVE to do the review.
Agenda item number #1 is ‘book the next Airbnb’. This way I’m financially committed to it. As a result, I’ve gone from never reviewing my goals to never missing a monthly review since January 2021 (31 consecutive reviews at the time of writing).
Typical Airbnb review: “Reuben was very quiet and kept to himself. Welcome back any time”
The tracking and review system is better explained via the workshop. So I’m going to leave you here, and handball you to the workshop recording.
Inside I’ll also walk you through my Daily Cheat Sheet.
This is a one-page document I complete every single day that helps me plan my day in the context of my 90-day goals and 30-day milestones. My most important habit is to complete this, otherwise, the rest of my day falls flat.
But before you go, click here to get a free copy of my Career Operating System made on Notion. Inside you’ll also find the Daily Cheat Sheet.
I hope you enjoy it.
But one final thing.
To change my life I had to change my lifestyle. If delving into your life doesn’t lead to some dismantling of your current life then you won’t be able to create the new life where your vision begins to become a reality.
Let this excite you, not scare you.
Oh and if you decide to use it, let me know how you progress. I’d love to hear from you.
Btw… If you enjoyed this post and want to grow your network and career with a group of like-minded young professionals working in the sports industry, you might be a good fit for the SportsGrad Pro Community.
Inside are people from the AFL, Cricket Australia, Netball Australia, Golf Australia, Tennis Australia, Australian Olympic Committee, NRL clubs, A-League clubs and many more.