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Achieving Your Mentoring Goals…the HARD way

“People are not lazy.
They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them.”
(Tony Robbins)

The word “goals” is thrown around in so many different ways. We set goals to accomplish things in our personal and professional lives. We continue to set goals to achieve the mundane and uninspired outcomes, only to celebrate seemingly mediocre results.

We’re not doing it quite right

We are all familiar with SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. It’s a great way to add structure to the goal setting process. But this process is very restrictive and teaches us to be conservative about setting our goals. And let’s be honest, this method doesn’t get us excited and doesn’t really align us with real success. SMART is a process that helps us to achieve things, but not GREAT things. If our goals are something that we are going to do anyway, then they are not really goals.

Goals for mentoring

Anyone who has participated in a mentoring program knows how important it is for the mentor to help the mentee establish goals. Later this spring, we will be discussing this topic with our Graduate Mentoring Program, at our HRPA chapter launch event. We will align goal setting with their career, job search, landing their first HR role and building their professional network.

But we’re taking a slightly different approach. We’re taking a look at the HARD approach, a creation of Mark Murphy, Leadership IQ consultancy.

H – Heartfelt
A – Animated
R – Required
D – Difficult


No matter how evolved we think we are, we are ruled by our emotions. The more emotionally attached we are to our goals, the higher the likelihood that we’ll achieve them. The goal should be bigger than ourselves and will enrich others lives, not just my own.


You won’t be surprised to learn that “vision” is the driver behind achieving your goals. Your brain can’t tell the difference between reality and imagination. The more you replay the “movie” of your vision, the closer you will get to achieve your goal.


The more urgency you have around what you’re working toward, the more likely you are to get it. Maybe obsessive is too strong a word – maybe not.


There’s a reason we say that necessity is the mother of invention. The greatest achievements come from tough challenges, so don’t shy away from goals that seem out of reach. Leave your comfort zone to achieve your goals, and you will learn volumes along the way.

Our goals need to be inspiring; they need to motivate us to achieve great things. They have to be absolutely necessary and aligned with our priorities. Our goals should be so vivid that we can actually feel how great it will be to achieve them.
About the author

Tim Baker, CHRL is an HR Consultant, Editor of Learning at The HR Gazette, Mentoring Program & Social Media Committee with the HRPA, Blogger, & soon to be Speaker.


  1. Looking forward to sharing this info and getting some feedback from our new Mentees and new and returning Mentors at the HRPA York Region Graduate Mentoring program early next month.

    Thanks Tim!!


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