With some nice drinks in our hands, we welcome the new year and commit to new year resolutions. We set our personal goals and pretty soon, we’ll have discussions at work about business related goals.

This episode will help you to not only be ready for the discussions with your supervisor, but also give you tools to reach the goals with better probability than the usual vague new years resolutions.

We’ll start the episode with discussing some reasons for setting goals, which include:

  • Giving direction
  • Providing measure for prioritization
  • Helping to determines first step to get into action planning
  • Ensuring alignment with your supervisor
  • Avoiding drift in random directions
  • Helping you to get back on track

As business achievement represents only a part of your life, it’s important to also have all your other personal goals in mind beyond the business goals. What are your goals in terms of:

  • Spouse and family
  • Spiritually
  • Health
  • Intellectual development
  • Community support
  • Friends
  • Hobbies

In terms of the business goals, we break the process down into:

  • Where are you now?
  • What are your strengths?
  • How satisfied are you now?
  • Workload
  • Passion for the projects
  • Team environment
  • Supervisor
  • Development progress – trajectory
  • How does your project list look like?
    • Stable or flexible
    • All set already for your year?
  • For each project, how is your
    • Passion level
    • Skill level
  • Where do you want to be in 5 years?
  • How does it feel like?
  • Picture how a day looks like in 5 years?
  • Break this down into what needs to happen next year in order to achieve this 5 year goal
    • What skills (leadership, technical) do you need?
    • What knowledge (business, disease, processes, …) do you need?
  • Now look at your current work list and see, how it supports these development goals.
    • What are your degrees of freedom?
      • Any other projects, you can take on to get experience on the job?
      • Any trainings?
      • Can you tweak the projects to help them reach your goals?
      • Is there something you should better delegate to achieve your goals?
      • Anything, that you should stop as it is not aligned?
  • Now get into an action plan:

There’s much more about goalsetting and we can’t cover all the topics in detail, but you’ll have a very good understanding after listening to this episode.


Impress your supervisor by being super prepared for your goal setting discussion

Welcome to the Effective Statistician. You are listening to episode number 41, the first episode in 2019. Impress your supervisors by being super prepared for your goal setting discussions. Welcome to the New Year episode of the Effective Statistician with Alexander Schacht and Benjamin

And maybe you’ll listen to this on the 1st of January, but maybe later in the year. So anyway, welcome to the podcast. This weekly podcast is designed for statisticians in the health sector to improve your leadership skills, widen your business acumen, and enhance your efficiency. We are coming up with a very, very nice webinar. It’s all about leadership and how you can increase your influence at work.

sign up and register your interest in leadership at thee slash course. In this episode we give you all what you need in order to prepare your personal goals. We are talking about the wider personal goals and then more specifically about your business personal goals. And this is independent of whether you need to fill out any forms or

your goals, it’s really important for you to set goals in order to achieve what you want to achieve and avoid kind of drifting along and going somewhere and following some other person’s goals because that usually happens if you have no clear goals. This podcast is created in association with PSI, a global member organization dedicated to leading and promoting best practice and industry initiatives. Join PSI today.

to further develop your statistical capabilities with access to special interest groups, the video on demand content library, free registration to all PSI webinars and much, much more. Visit the PSI website at psieweb.org to learn more about PSI activities and join the PSI community today.

Hello, this is another episode that we are actually recording from Benjamin’s kitchen, like the last one, the Christmas one. Yeah, but it’s a new year now. Yeah. So I hope you celebrated the year good and between our last and this episode there’s only one beer for you. It was one week with lots of celebration and gifts and everything. So. Yeah. Hope you had a good start into 2019.

2019 and having a successful 2019 in terms of running in the right direction. Running in the right direction and the direction that your supervisor is hopefully aware of. Is he or she? Yeah. And actually, I think people very often misunderstand how much influence people have on their own goals. And

setting their own goals, setting their own objectives. It’s, some organizations of course, it’s pretty much a top-down approach, but I think there’s a lot of organizations where your supervisor is actually quite happy when you come up with specific goals, because that helps him in terms of his workload. He doesn’t need to think about these kinds of things with you, and if you come up with good goals,

He’s usually fine with that. And also if it’s a top-down mentality in the company, it’s usually just setting the frames within you can develop or you set your own goals and develop accordingly. So I think it’s either way, I think it’s a really good option to think about your goals and what you would like to achieve and where you see yourself in the future. And in terms of these company goals, to be honest, very often these goals don’t…

changed so much over the time. They are in such a way generic that you can probably align your goals very easily with them. You actually don’t need to wait until the… There are companies where these company goals only come in maybe March, April, May.

So you don’t need to wait until kind of…

nearly halfway through the year to set your goals for the year. That’s quite… So really I think it’s important to set goals early in the beginning of the year so that you can really work the complete year on achieving these goals. Yeah, so we already talked about the reasons for setting the goals. So we had the intervention to align with the supervisor, to let him or her know what your goals are and where you think you would be aiming.

add and kind of see and understand if this is in line with the supervisor. I mean honestly not all goals are necessarily to be accomplished in a company, whatever setting it is. So that’s why I think this is still necessary to align with your supervisor and the company goals. It’s always helpful if you can create win-win situations. So if you…

work on things that your supervisor is interested in, then you get easier support in terms of budget, time, funding, whatsoever, and also help directly maybe from your supervisor. So have a good alignment there is quite useful.

What else are the reasons why you should be setting your own goals or think about setting your goals? I think one of the big things is that you think from the end. You know in which direction you want to go. Thinking from the end is one of the seven habits of highly successful people that Ková talks about.

constantly go in the same direction.

each day a little step, you can achieve quite a lot. If you go each day in maybe even a bigger step but in all kinds of different directions, you don’t get a lot done. So what do you mean with aligning in the future? What type of goals would you set or what is the timely difference that you’re talking about? Well I think that in terms of coming from a time perspective, I think you need to have

long-term vision in terms of what you want to achieve, long-term goals. And there I speak more maybe about five-year goals. But it’s important to kind of break them down into one-year goals because that is usually the usual business company kind of setting. And also one year is kind of…

the cycle in which lots of our companies run in terms of business planning, in terms of maybe promotions, projects, all kinds of different things. Okay, and then there are some other reasons actually for setting goals.

It not only gives you direction, but also if you lose track, you notice you’re not working towards your goals anymore. Looking at the goals, it helps you to get back on track, which is actually quite normal.

easily kind of drift slowly away from them and get kind of guided into other directions just by this constant stream of other things coming your way in day to day life. That reminds me of the point of mentioning at least at this time that the goals are not about being set, then forgot about one year.

But this should be quite, not every day, but at least once in a while should be. Recheck your goals to really see your direction and your alignment and getting back on track for this. Actually, it’s quite interesting. There’s a couple of people that actually say it’s worthwhile to have your goals, have a look at your goals each day in the morning.

Actually, I have it, I started to have it in my morning, business morning startup routine to first look into my goals. Oh, after…

starting the computer and getting some coffee. The next step is to actually look into the overall goals so that I can for this specific day think about what are my priorities in terms of my actions and how to align with the goals. And you still do it every day? I currently do it nearly every day. 100% is quite difficult to achieve but very close to.

And so does it help you to plan your day-to-day? Yeah. So it helps me to kind of say no to certain projects if they don’t align with the goals. And it helps me to prioritize those that are really kind of working towards these goals. Okay, well, what actually… Now talking a bit more about the goals itself. So what is…

the setting for the goals. Obviously, we’re talking about business goals, but business goals shouldn’t usually be the only goals in your life. No. I think that’s one of the flaws in the system. If you have…

your life outside of business, not under control, that has an impact on your business life. And if your business life is out of control, that has also an impact on your family and all kinds of other things. So I think there needs to be a good balance in terms of all the different aspects of your life. And I’m not saying that I’m in balance there because…

The word balance actually says it. You need to kind of constantly work towards achieving it. It’s, you know, it’s, yeah, it’s balancing it. Yeah, you know, if you let it slip for a while, it gets out of balance very, very easily. So there’s other aspects of your life and that is, you know, very, very personal for different people. It also changes throughout your life as you have different.

you know, episodes of your life. You have, you know, of course, when I was a student, I had very, very different kind of areas than now having small kids or, you know, when kids are out of school and out of the house, then you have another episode of your life.

So, but generally I think there’s a couple of different aspects that you need to have in mind when setting your goals and maybe you should have goals for these other dimensions as well. So things like… You don’t have to put the goals in there, it’s just more that you should choose your goals and you know… Keeping these other things in mind. But you could, you know, just for yourself, of course, not with your supervisor, you know, discuss about what are your goals for your marriage.

or what are your goals for your family, or what are your goals for your health or something like this. Yeah, but I think it’s good to have a little bit kind of in mind that you need to balance these things with your family goals, with your maybe spiritual goals or health goals or maybe you have hobbies or a community that you are very active in or you want to spend a lot of time with your friends.

How do these kinds of things balance versus your business goals? Don’t ask for weekly travel to conferences if you have five kids at home. Or maybe because. So then wait for them being old enough. So

In terms of the business goals, I think it always helps if at first you start with an assessment of where you actually are. What’s your current status of all the things that you do?

you would like to achieve. But actually this is usually part of the, you know, if you have the review of the last year. So it’s not that you start from scratch for this one. It’s really kind of should be aligning once into the ones. You should be aligning from last year’s end year review into the new, into the setting of the new year. But it’s the basis to really set goals to understand where you are at the moment. Yeah. And so completely agree. It’s kind of, you know.

After performance management is before performance management. And the better you are prepared for your year-end reviews, the more prepared you come into the new year, of course. And yeah, we had a very nice episode.

early December about that. So basically it’s just like it’s basically the same topic. It’s really just from looking towards the end of the year and then looking back to the beginning of the year. So it’s really basically the same strategy that you need to align for when preparing the planning for the next year. So what do you do? What are the points to consider when you say, so where are you now?

I think the first point is you need to have good assessment of your strengths. So are you very good on the technical side? Are you very good on the communication aspects? Are you very good on organizing things? Are you very good in maybe improving processes? What are you passionate about?

Are you a good presenter? Are you a good someone that is good on working on the details? What are your specific strengths that you have as a statistician to move forward with your overall goals? Okay, but isn’t the strength more like a part that you receive as a feedback from the year-end review so you basically know what your strengths are? And isn’t it more the question of…

Does it satisfy you?

I mean if you’re a good technical expert but you’re actually not really interested anymore, would like to become something else or so isn’t it more like a satisfaction which is the setting the ground for the next step? I think there’s two things. You need to be, you need to have a passion for it and you need to be good at it. That’s where you want to be. If you are a very, very good statistician from a technical perspective and you do lots of technical things.

I would like to work with people, but because of my technical work, you sit behind your PC the whole day and work in isolation.

then you’re very good but you’re not very passionate about it. On the other hand, maybe you’re very passionate about a certain topic but you have no clue. Well, that’s also not a good situation to be. So I think the best situation is if you are passionate about a topic and you are also really knowledgeable about it. Well, that’s how you identify your strengths.

Well, it also helps you to see how the development goals are for you and which kind of projects you would like to work on. Wouldn’t it be like if you’re passionate about something and not very good at it, isn’t this a goal to be achieved, to get better, to develop into this? Yeah, exactly. Exactly. That would be a goal. And then you could see which kind of projects are there that you need to take. And the same with, you know…

If you are very good at certain things and always see things come your way because you’re good at it, which very often happens, work goes to those people that get the work done. Maybe you’re very good at it, but you’re not passionate about it because there’s no development curve anymore. It’s just for you to become standard work.

then maybe these are projects that you maybe want to delegate in the future or that you know maybe you want to find someone that you can train up to take over this position. So that’s something to have in mind and think about.

And okay, this is now about your personal strengths, but what about when you try to find out where you currently are? What else is on the…what else would you need to prepare, understand what the status is? So I think another point is you need to have a good assessment of your current workload.

What are all the different projects that you’re working on? What’s your team environment? How’s your relationship with your supervisor? How does that work? How is your kind of trajectory in terms of development progress? Yeah. Is, are you, do you have a steep curve and you really learn a lot of new things and that keeps you motivated? Or are you, you know, on a.

decreasing slope and you learn less and less each day, that’s probably not where you want to be.

these things without having some feedback. So I mean you can prepare yourself, that’s fine, and you have your self-assessment, but is it standard that you would go to your supervisor or your colleagues maybe to just check back on this at certain points? Of course there’s kind of standardized tools like Strandsfinder or stuff like that, that you can get for very little money or maybe your HR department even pays for that.

But it’s also having mentors, having feedback from peers, having feedback from the supervisor. Maybe your supervisor’s supervisor, you know? These kind of things are really, really helpful. Having a mentor is really helpful in there as well. Yeah, I think mentoring is actually one of the…

best things that you can use to understand your development or your career path and get an idea of things that you are lacking of, like strengths that you are lacking of and so on. So that’s a mentor because it’s not your supervisor who’s responsible in a way for you and also you’re kind of depending on your supervisor. And it’s not necessarily a colleague that you’re working day to day but it’s somebody else a little bit outside. So that’s usually quite objective.

opinion that you get. Yeah and you get also pretty direct feedback, hopefully. And by the way, it doesn’t need to be just one mentor. You could have a couple of mentors potentially, that you talk with different aspects about your work and you get feedback from them on how you’re doing and…

That could be quite helpful as well. There are companies that set up mentoring programs for their stuff and then you can choose or get an idea of what tasks or what direction the mentoring should be, so let’s say management or presentation or interaction, communication and so on. There could be one mentor for one of these areas.

Or maybe you want to become very, very good in multiplicity adjustments or something like this. And you find a mentor that works on that and work together with him. And sometimes even these mentors don’t need to be in the same organization. So and you could have formal and informal mentoring.

That’s kind of maybe a topic of its own. Okay, but now we talked about setting like the basis, but what about… What’s the next step then? So where are we… You know, what do we set as a goal? I think it’s always good to first go into kind of a little bit of long-range planning. And for me long-range planning is five years.

Okay. Because five years is still something that is kind of in a reasonable range. You know, it’s kind of if you start to, with universities, that is kind of, you know, this five-year range or, you know, if you think of promotions, maybe, you know, that’s a five-year range or something like that. That’s, you know.

From me, a reasonable amount of time that is far enough in the future so that you can dream a little bit bigger. But it’s still not so far in the future that it’s kind of completely out of range. To be honest, I couldn’t have said 10 years ago where I would be now. That’s kind of… It’s…

life is on a different planet. I would actually give one exception for this is for example if you’re a new starter to your job. So if you’re really new, then five-year planning is really over the top because it is giving you a save one, two years to just get an idea of where you could possibly go. Yeah, okay. Completely agree. For people experience in the area that they’re working and I think five years is quite reasonable

midterm, whatever, planning of your career. And I think in terms of having a vision for that, it’s not so much about to have super specific goals there. That I want to earn exactly X amount of money and have Y amount of people that are reporting to me and have that amount of papers published or whatsoever.

a picture, a feeling of how a day would look like. So imagine in 2023 or 2024 and you walk into the office early January. How would you?

they look like then. What would be your task be? What kind of project would you work on? With whom would you work on these kind of things? How would your calendar look like? What kind of emails would you receive? What kind of topics would you work on? Have a kind of feeling on these kind of things?

so that you can assess whether that is the right future for you. Still seems difficult. I don’t even know what I’m doing in January next year.

No, I agree. I think if you have the possibility or have a good idea about how this would look like, then it’s definitely the right thing to do. But you can look into people that are maybe where you think they are five years ahead of you. How do they work? That’s an easy exercise. If you’re really somebody who you are aiming or you set yourself as a goal.

But that’s unusual as well, that you have directly worked with people. You may have a skill set or some attitude or aspect of somebody else’s work life that you can use as you go. But that may help you, but not necessarily. No, no. But it’s kind of maybe a surrogate. Yes, a surrogate. It’s a surrogate for where you can get to. And in terms of the goal?

I think we can dream a little bit bigger there. Because I think people get surprised of what they can accomplish in five years. Just thinking back, five years before I actually finished my PhD, I would have never thought about even starting one. So it’s, you know.

Yeah, yeah, that’s… No, indeed, I mean, this is really about developing. And obviously, developing is part of the whole exercise. Otherwise, it’s not… And of course, you know, if you dream big, then you also have something that actually pulls you into that direction. There’s no point in having a goal that’s not, you know, something worse to go after.

If you have goals that you think, well, I just show up every day to work and I reach it, well…

It’s not really a goal that you want to go after, isn’t it? No, no, I agree. Just when we talk about the five years, so I mean obviously the planning is now set for one year and even one year is quite, might be in the quite vivid world of all the changes that we see in the pharmaceutical area primarily. So what is the real, what’s the best way of breaking the five years down into

steps that you actually can measure and can better plan or directly plan. Just one thing regarding changes. Of course, you know dramatic changes can happen and then you need to adjust your plan. But it’s better to have a plan that gets adjusted to have no plan at all. Easier to adjust.

In terms of breaking it down, I think the next step to break it down is now this one year cycle. Then you can break it down and what’s happening in the next three months.

and then you can break it down next week and then you can actually break it down and what do you do today? And I think that is what you need to do more or less every day. You need to look into, okay, what’s the next thing that I need to do to achieve these kind of long goals? What’s the next thing that I need to achieve to achieve my weekly goals, my quarterly goals, my yearly goals? And if you…

constantly go into the same direction you actually will be amazed by what you can do. Many companies do also offer or have these

quarterly or like regular feedback rounds, at least we do have it. So this is also quite convenient then in order to do more breakdowns in terms of your actual planning or also just measuring progress for what it is. Yeah, and of course it’s great if your supervisor supports you in that and kind of reminds you on things. And

I myself being a supervisor, I know that I sometimes forget about this and get sidetracked. But in the end, you are responsible for your career and your progress. Make sure that you check on your progress.

If you have your supervisor support you on that, that’s great. But it’s primarily your responsibility. Because it’s your career. It’s not your supervisor’s career. Your supervisor might be gone in the next year. He might be part of your career, but still it’s your career. He can help you, but it’s not his job. Okay, so…

In terms of looking into what now happens in the next year, I think it’s important to come from a kind of development point of view in terms of what you want to achieve and first think about your development goals and then to see how you can put that into action with the different projects that you need to work on.

So that’s usually where I’m coming from. And of course, there is then on the other side these must-do projects that you need to manage. But sometimes you need to assess where are the degrees of freedom that you can tweak to arrange your workload in such a way that you have optimal progress in terms of your development.

Because in the end, I think it’s a win-win situation. If the employees develop, that’s a win for the company as well. No, I agree. Just maybe a little bit.

for everyone to understand what are then the, we talked about setting the basis and planning and setting goals, but actually I think what I would be struggling with is sometimes to really find the…

items that then you actually put into your goals. So what is it then, you know, I mean you can’t say, well, I’ll, you know, everyday look into what I’m doing today. It’s not a goal. It’s how you work with the goals. But what are actually the points or the aspects that are then being, or that you are going to agree with your supervisor on?

Yeah, I think that comes very often to the so-called SMART goals and I think we talked about that in episodes in 2018 a couple of times. But I think in terms of dimensions, it’s first important to think about these. And it’s my strong belief that if you want to be successful in your career as a statistician,

good skills and knowledge in four different areas. The first one is you need to have very good leadership skills. And here I’m speaking not about supervisor skills, but influencing skills. The second thing is you need to be a very good technical statistician and be innovative.

Innovative doesn’t necessarily mean only on the statistical side. It can also be on the leadership side, on the excellent side, on quality improvements, process improvements. So next thing is I think you need to have a sound understanding of the overall business, your disease area.

things like that. And finally, it’s about doing quality work. It’s about doing work on time, on budget, with quality. These kind of things also, of course, are the foundations to do.

Yeah, just be a good professional every day. I think that’s important. So these are the four dimensions. And if you can think about what that means for you. Maybe it means for you that you need to become very knowledgeable in how to interact with regulators.

and be knowledgeable about that because you want to lead phase three programs, then that’s important. Or maybe you need to be very knowledgeable about translational medicine because you want to work in that area and you want to understand everything about…

essays in that area and methodological studies in that area and you need to know about these kind of things. Or maybe you see yourself more as a supervisor in the future and really as a manager. You want to…

know about change management, you want to know about people management, you want to know about these kind of things. So have specific goals on these topics. You want to actually get, acquire knowledge and skills in these kind of settings.

And maybe if you’re very, very new in your career, maybe it’s more about certain basic skills that are presentation skills, actually. Maybe not a basic skill, something that you can actually improve and improve throughout your whole career.

Becoming a good presenter, I think, is really, really important. Yeah, or communication, for example, in general, in many ways. I mean, we had the discussions about emails, we had the discussion about face-to-face meetings. So I think there’s a lot of skills that are set as a basis to be successful, and depending on the…

Let’s say how far you got in your career path. I think you could be setting some of these goals as well for the next years. And I think the important thing is that you need to create win-win situations with your kind of day-to-day work. You need to see how you can, with your projects, achieve that by doing these kind of projects.

So is there anything within the project that you can do to set them up in such a way that they do?

help you with your goals. So just an example. So maybe there’s a process improvement that you wanted to work on, to show your skills in that area that you can actually drive change, that you can update maybe an SOP or something like this. Or maybe you want to improve on your communication skills.

base lock coming up and you will present the data. Maybe not just only to your study team, but also to more senior management and have a presentation to all your stats colleagues about it. I think there’s a little bit of creativity needed to actually…

marry together your development goals with your day-to-day work. Yeah, actually there are often more people involved in one study or in one of your projects so that there’s also a good chance that you pick part of the tasks that even helps you to develop in a way you see you have a lack of strength or you would like to develop in. Yeah, or maybe you need to just set up the projects a little bit different. Maybe you need to hand over projects or maybe you need to transition projects or maybe you need to…

take on other projects. Yeah, I think that’s one point what I was going to mention is really that it’s not necessarily about just the set projects. I mean, we often see ourselves in a position where we have been provided with projects, we have been delegated to tasks and things, and there’s hardly anything to change. I mean, it’s true for the moment, but still…

there will be other possibilities, other projects coming, there are other tasks that will be coming your way that you possibly could take on. So therefore always keep it in mind as well to not only work with the existing projects to develop your strength, but also to see and be aware of new projects coming to help you.

develop your strengths. For example, if you would like to move in a different therapeutic area, then raise your hand at the right time. Yeah, speak to the right people now, basically. To see that people know what you want to do, because if you don’t tell people, then they will not know.

But they are the things that are just your projects. I mean, there are, for example, trainings. Yeah, of course there are other things. Projects is, I think, pretty much the bulk of the things. It’s probably 70% of how you can get work done. But of course there are other things like trainings. If you need to improve your knowledge about a disease area, you go to a medical conference or…

Maybe if you need to improve your presentation skills, you can ask your supervisor whether he supports you doing a presentation training. Or maybe you want to submit an abstract to a conference on something that you want to work on, a special project. Or maybe there’s, you know…

are something that you supervise an intern.

Yeah, be a mentor or get a mentor. Yeah, so I think there’s lots of things that you can do and think about from this development perspective. And that’s about the leadership, innovation, knowledge, excellence kind of directions. Think about these four pillars and then write your goals down.

And now we talked about taking on additional things. There’s also a good way of sometimes saying no and stop things. As they may not fit into your, or do not line in with your goals. Exactly kind of what we earlier talked about. If you as a go-to, became the go-to person for certain types of projects, that always end up on your desk because your supervisors know, then it gets done.

You’re completely impassioned about it and you see no growth in there. Then maybe that’s a project that you need to get rid of.

have a talk with your supervisor, whether you can train someone else. For them, maybe it’s a development opportunity to be trained in that. That’s what we mentioned before with win-win situations. I mean, this is also leading to the question whether you should not only stop doing some work, but also really delegate work. I mean, delegate as part of your development in leadership, but also part of creating situations where other people…

can reach their goals or develop into further with passion while you say okay that’s fine I’m where I want to be but let’s get somebody else for that one. And of course you want to get rid of all those things where you are neither passionate about nor you have skills.

Okay, but I think in terms of achieving the goals, what we really underestimate is the day-to-day habits to actually achieve your goals. There’s a saying by, I don’t know exactly from who it is originally, but it’s not that we perform.

reach our goals, it’s more that we fall to the habits that we have every day. That is much more that moves us forward in terms of, we may look into our goals maybe each morning, but if our habits don’t support us through the day to actually get to them.

will never achieve them. So I think the important thing is now to develop an action plan and have that very, very habit focused. So what kind of habits can you create in your daily and weekly routines to make sure that you go into the right direction? What exactly do you mean with the…

with the habits. So it could be, yeah, so a couple of habits. Workday startup routine where you basically look for example in your goals every morning. Or a habit that you want to have.

meetings only if you are clear about the purpose, if the meeting has an agenda, if you can contribute something to the meeting, you only attend these meetings. Habits like that. Or you check your email only twice a day, you know.

so that you don’t get distracted throughout the whole day. Or a habit, you know, sometimes a habit can be quite easily achieved by just kind of turning all your notifications on your smartphone off. Then you can, you’re not longer triggered to, you know, look at your smartphone every other minute. Yeah? So you can be more concentrated and have more kind of, you know, deep work doing.

So these are habits that you can look into. Maybe if you want to read a book about a certain topic, maybe it’s a habit to every day read 20 minutes in the book or something like this. It’s very similar to health habits or eating habits or something like this. You need to…

You put these habits in and it takes of course several weeks, probably months to kind of get into that. But this is really where you get major achievements. If you set up routines, set up habits and you set a line to your goals and then you work on these habits.

Yeah, I think that’s a good point. I mean, especially, I mean, okay, some people don’t get to the nutrition habits that they want to live, but it’s just… No, no, I agree. It’s a good way of re- just take your time to reconsider the day-to-day, the daily things really, what you are falling into or what habits you fell and consider whether they actually help.

I mean not necessarily only because of the goals that you’re setting but also in general if there are routines which are unnecessary or just distracting. As you mentioned for example having the mobile, just getting notifications every time. So in terms of sets there’s actually two books that I would recommend and you can find them also in the show notes. The first one is The Power of Habit.

Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. Very very important book and a very similar book was written by James Clear just recently. It’s called Atomic Habits and it’s kind of based on Duhigg’s book but gives even more practical.

So if you want to learn more a little bit about the science and everything behind habits, then I would recommend Charles Duhigg’s book. If you want to get really kind of very, very practical approach, you can directly go to James Clea’s book about atomic habits. But what are the steps that you should be doing now? So in terms of steps, if you have written down your goals.

which we talked about earlier, it’s now about creating action plans. And the first action plan is looking into what happens in the next three months. Write specifically down what you will work on the next three months. What does that mean for the next week?

So if you really listen to this and implement it on the 2nd of January, so what do you want to achieve by the end of the week? And then what can you do today? And start with that. And basically, it boils down to every day. Well, it seems that I fear that I don’t have the time to do that.

Well, I think it’s actually quite nice time invested in that. You mean the time that you gain to do this is bigger than… Yeah, yeah, yeah, because you waste… You know, how long does it take? You know, two, three hours? Maybe maximum, yeah? If you have a good preparation from your last year PM, then it probably takes you an hour.

And you know, it’s also this is kind of a habit to continuously update that and monitor that and then it takes far less time. Of course, if you first need to kind of have your whole life kind of restructured, that takes maybe two days or something like that. Maybe you need to take a weekend off or something like this.

already, since it doesn’t take so much time. And, you know, how easily do we waste two, three hours throughout the year? Very easily. Yeah, and working on the wrong project for a couple of weeks or months? Yeah, long time.

is, you know, I think it’s pretty good to be aware about what you want to say no to and what you want to say yes to.

Yeah, and also, as we mentioned before, it’s a lot about the goals and about passion. So basically, this is an investment in your satisfaction at work. So if you move into the wrong directions, go to work every day, let’s say, extreme without any passion. And, I mean, that’s a waste of time. Yeah. That’s why. Yeah. It’s a waste of time. And we’ll have, you know…

consequences on your personal satisfaction and that will have consequences probably on your family and things like this. If you come home every day kind of completely bored and frustrated, that’s not a good situation to be in. Okay.

Okay. I just want more points like my practical question is then, you know, how does this then actually look like in real life? Because I mean, I know that, you know, I would imagine that a supervisor, if you were a supervisor, if you were a supervisor, Alexander, and somebody comes to you, you will be understanding the goals, maybe the questions behind and the preparation and, you know, and support it and see the benefit. But what is it in real life?

Okay, not every supervisor is perfect. Well, no supervisor. Exactly. But, okay, so imagine your supervisor doesn’t care so much. Maybe he wants to just wait until the company goals are broken down to the business unit goals, broken down to department goals and so on until he has his goals from his supervisor,

April, you don’t need to wait for that. You can just, you know, it’s your goals, it’s your career. Set up your goals, your career, and if your supervisor doesn’t care, well, then he doesn’t care. But at least you know in which direction you want to go. Yeah.

I think the goals do not, I mean, definitely, or reaching the goals does definitely benefit from the support from your supervisor, but it’s not the one and only support that you need and you can get. And this is really set your goals, make yourself clear about what you’re aiming for and see, you know, where.

see where this gets to and how you can reach it. Preferable with the supervisor, but you need to set your goals yourself. Yeah. There was a little bit of an unusual tone in the background here. But just one last thing. In terms of HR forms that need to be completed, don’t get hung up on that.

get changed over time anyway. And there’s quite a lot of organizations that at any given point in time are changing their performance development goals, forms, and just fill them out. But really the important thing is that you for yourself.

are clear about your goals. And I think with that we can conclude here. If you listen to this really on the 1st of January, then have a happy New Year and otherwise have a great start into 2019 anyway. And if you listen to this at any time in the future…

You can basically change your goals at any given day and if you don’t have one, do them now. Thanks so much. Thanks a lot for listening. So we talked about development a lot in this episode and one key area of development is leadership.

We are providing some leadership webinars later this month and early February and you can sign up for this at thee and just leave your interest in leadership there, just by entering your email address there.

It’ll be awesome. I’m pretty sure you’ll take a lot away from these webinars. And of course, these webinars are for free. This show was created in association with PSI. And next week, we’ll have an episode with Gary Sullivan all about leadership. Thanks for listening.

Join The Effective Statistician LinkedIn group

I want to help the community of statisticians, data scientists, programmers and other quantitative scientists to be more influential, innovative, and effective. I believe that as a community we can help our research, our regulatory and payer systems, and ultimately physicians and patients take better decisions based on better evidence.

I work to achieve a future in which everyone can access the right evidence in the right format at the right time to make sound decisions.

When my kids are sick, I want to have good evidence to discuss with the physician about the different therapy choices.

When my mother is sick, I want her to understand the evidence and being able to understand it.

When I get sick, I want to find evidence that I can trust and that helps me to have meaningful discussions with my healthcare professionals.

I want to live in a world, where the media reports correctly about medical evidence and in which society distinguishes between fake evidence and real evidence.

Let’s work together to achieve this.