• Tracie L James

The Missing Element in the Goal Setting Process

This time of year there is a lot of conversation around goal setting. So many different approaches to accomplishing the goals we set each year. Many of us struggle and never figure out what’s really blocking us from consistent success.

The traditional model of setting goals and working backwards to create a the smaller day to day tasks requited to achieve them is great, but there’s something missing from the equation… establishing a foundation of what strengths you possess that will enable you to accomplish your goals.

I believe the key to consistent success is to have a clear understanding of the strengths you and your team possess that will give you the edge you need to make the goals you’ve set reality. Teams often fail because people are not being utilized properly. When you just look at work experience, you can miss key natural abilities. We all bring certain talents to the table and success is contingent upon us using them effectively.

As a leader, it’s imperative that you learn how to build this foundation. Here are a few tips for identifying the strengths needed to accomplish your goals.

You need to go through each of these steps yourself and have each member of you team do the same. This is a great team building activity. Before you take these steps, be sure you’ve already identified your goals. You will need them to complete this process. Don’t just think about this… be sure to write it down in a notebook or type it on your computer/tablet. Take some time to really think this through. Give your team time to do this as well.


Often, we overlook our natural talents because it comes so easy to us. We don’t consider it a big deal, but others struggle in this area and look to you for help. First Question: What favors do people ask of you all the time? What talent does this correlate to?

  • Are you the organizer or planner?

  • Are you the peacemaker?

  • Are you the writer?

  • Are you creative?

  • Are you logical?

  • Are you the teacher?

  • Are you the leader?

It doesn’t matter what it is. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s a big deal. If they’re calling you for it, then you’re making a difference in their lives by providing your strengths to help them accomplish their goal.


Then dig in deeper into the strengths. These questions will help you to embrace your strengths so you can walk into them confidently.

Answer the following questions:

  • What are you great at? What areas of your life have you been consistent?

  • In your mind, what’s the most challenging thing about operating in your strengths?

  • What’s the most challenging aspect of seeing yourself as an expert?

I encourage you to step into the power of your strengths. You’re exactly the person the world needs right now to make change for the better happen.


This exercise will bring the first two steps together. You will need a blank piece of paper.

  • Write each of your goals across the top of the page. Draw a line down the page in between each so you can create a list under each one.

  • Using your list of your strengths, write down the strength that would be beneficial to accomplishing each of your goals. (FYI – you will write some of your strengths down under more than one goal.)

  • Once you have completed listing your goals, take moment to assess what else you will need to accomplish your goals then list them under each of your goals.

Once you and your team have completed this process; you’ll be poised for consistent success. Focusing on strengths will provide a boost to employee confidence and engagement. An engaged team is more productive and successful consistently.

Your goals for the new year will hopefully add to a higher quality of work life not just for you, but for your team, too. You can be the inspiration they need to take similar steps! Shift the environment by giving your team the unexpected… you will be amazed at what your team does once they feel appreciated, acknowledged and empowered.

You can do this!! It’s not impossible… it just requires consistent, focused effort. Identify the strengths and build your goal strategy around them. This way you know you have what it takes to accomplish your goals. #ZeroExcuses Allowed!!

Let me hear from you. I want to know how this helps you improve your ability to be a better leader. Reach out to me on social media (@iamtracieljames) or email me at Hello@TracieLJames.com.

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