Creating Your Own Goals
Devising a strategy for reaching goals within your career gives you a much better chance of achieving them. It helps you plan better increases your motivation and imposes a strict discipline upon you in terms of a deadline by which you want to achieve something. You’ll probably be expected to hit targets and goals by your employer anyway but if you truly want to ‘get on’, it’s better to set targets so that you can exceed expectations.
Knowing Who You Are and What You Want to AchieveYou need to have a kind of ‘tunnel vision’ when creating goals at work. There’s often so much going on that your attentions can get diverted if you’re not too careful so you need to determine what makes you tick in your job and what you perceive yourself doing in 6 months, a year, 2 years etc..., and to work out a plan of how you intend getting from point A to B to C etc.
Write Down Your GoalsIt’s not enough to simply imagine what you want to do in your mind. You need to get it down on paper (or computer) as it represents a statement of what you intend to do and a timescale for Managing Your Work, as opposed to having a few half-baked ideas floating around your head which could get lost amongst the rest of the glut of information. Write down your goals with your perceived outcome for where they will take you along each step of the way.
Keep Your Goals Measurable and AchievableYour goals must be measurable otherwise you’ll have no real way of knowing if you’re getting any nearer to achieving them. For example, if you’re a salesperson, it’s no good simply saying that you want to be the best seller on your team within the next month. You need to be able to quantify that by saying something like, “I’m going to get 5 sales by the end of week 1 and increase that by 25% each week for the rest of the month”.
You also need to ensure that your goals are achievable. It’s no use setting yourself unrealistic targets or ambitions within a certain timeframe if the chances of you achieving those are minimal. If you set yourself unrealistic goals and don’t come even close to achieving them, you’ll end up getting demoralised and this is likely to lead you to give up with your goal attainment strategy altogether. As well as the nature of the goals themselves, you also need to set yourself deadlines for each step of the way.
Monitoring Your ProgressYou’ll need to set aside time to review how you’re getting on in order to gauge your progress. This may be done daily, weekly, monthly or every few months, depending on the nature of your goals and the timescale on which you’ve set to achieve each one of them. You should diarise a date on which you plan to do your review and it’s good to make notes at each review of what you’ve achieved in order to establish if you’re on target or not.
Sharing Your GoalsIt’s good to be able to share your goals with a confidante you can trust and who is supportive as they will be able to boost your efforts if you’re falling behind or are getting sidetracked in your pursuit. A trusted confidante will always be honest with you too and if you have deviated from your desired path, they should offer you constructive criticism telling you where you’re going wrong and giving you help and advice on getting back on track. Obviously, you should only do this if the person you choose is a true ally and will support you through thick and thin. Otherwise, keep your goals to yourself.
We’re all familiar with people who have achieved greatness in their chosen profession and they’ll all say that you can achieve almost anything if you put your mind to it. That statement is most certainly true but they’ll have almost certainly set themselves some goals in terms of how they’ve got to that point so it is crucial to appreciate just how important goal establishing is.