When it comes to your career, knowing where you want to go, what you want to achieve and why is key to ensuring you get that raise, are offered the promotion, put on that project you wanted and even getting an interview with your ideal company. If you want your career outlook to change for the better, setting long & short term goals for yourself is a great way to stay in touch with your true intentions and gain control of your future. If that sounds like something you want, you’re in the right place.
These 6 strategies are key to achieving your biggest dreams and ensuring the road to getting there is manageable.
1) Make your goal(s) Meaningful
When setting goals for yourself do they align with your values? They should. Take a good look at what is important to you. Goals that don’t carry any significance to you will be extremely difficult, if not impossible to achieve. In contrast, if you have goals that are profoundly meaningful to you, the more likely you’ll attain them. You’ll also want to get clear on WHY you want to achieve these goals. WHY are they important to you? WHY do you want to achieve these things? Your reasons why will create a sense of connection and importance that will motivate you far beyond any to-do list. Going after your goals takes time, commitment, and perseverance, so the more attached you are with your personal reasons why you want to achieve your goals, the easier it will be to crush them.
2) Be Specific
Think of this as your road map to your goals. Be sure you get as specific and detailed as possible when declaring your goals & all the aspects of your goals. For example, instead of saying “I want a new job”, include more details like “By February of this year, I want to have the financial department manager position at ABC Company, and by year 5 I want to be earning $75,000.00/year”. Writing down every detail helps to get things crystal clear in your mind of exactly what you want to go after. This gives you precise directions for where you want to end up. If your vision on where you’re going is fuzzy, your path on how to get there will be too. So don’t hold back.
3) Be Realistic
This is the balancing part of goal setting. The key here is to strike a balance between challenging yourself without the goal being too lofty or unattainable. You do want to be able to accomplish your goals but they shouldn’t be too easy or comfortable. Set yourself up for success by recognizing what you absolutely could not achieve and what you can. Ensure it’s something rewarding to you, so that your efforts bring you big satisfaction.
4) Take Action
Now is the time to put some action into your plan. Just acknowledging your goals is not enough. You need to set out a plan of steps/actions/tasks that you’ll need to complete in order for you to achieve your goals. As you need to be specific about your goals, you also need to be specific about your action plan. Write down these steps with precise detail so that you can overcome any roadblocks when completing them. Once you’ve finished each task/step, check it off. This serves as a visual guide on your progress. Each task done is another step closer to your goal.
5) Be Accountable
Don’t leave your goals and action plan alone without checking in often. Establish deadlines for goals and action tasks. This creates a sense of urgency and allows for celebration when you have reached each milestone.
6) Stay the Course
It’s easy to want instant gratification in this area, but achieving goals takes time, especially if you’ve set some lofty ones. It’s important to keep going. Keep completing your tasks. Continue reviewing your goals and your “WHY’S” on a regular basis to reinforce your motivation. Your goals will most likely evolve and change over time. In fact, they should. If we want a fulfilling career & life, we need to continue to grow. And personal growth happens when we are challenged, when we learn and when we succeed.