The best starting point is to look at your past performance in a given area and stretch yourself from there, Ms. Wright suggests. For example, as a runner, her fastest pace in a half-marathon is eight minutes and 23 seconds per mile. “It would be unrealistic for me to expect to run seven-minute miles for my next half-marathon, but at the same time it would be sand-bagging to set a goal of nine minutes per mile,” she says. “If I want to set a goal of running a new personal record for my half-marathon, I could shoot for running eight minutes per mile.”
In any area of your life, look at what you’ve done in the past and how you can improve, Ms. Wright recommends. If you’re doing something for the first time, you can use past practices to set a goal, or you can make finishing a task a goal. Be realistic when you’re setting goals, and keep in mind that you’re probably capable of more than you think.
By developing an academy of medical educators at HSS, Dr. Paget set himself up for the next phase of his career. The work makes him tap administrative strengths that he gained over time, uses his experience as chair of medicine/rheumatology and requires information that he gained in his master’s program. “It’s important to note that when one door closes, another one opens. You just need to be tuned in to your professional environment so that you can find that door more easily,” he says. “Activities that I could not have done as chairman of rheumatology, I now have the time to do.”