With the start of a new year comes new aspirations and new goals. You WILL lose those last 5 pounds. You WILL kick that smoking habit. This year’s your year!
Along with a plethora of personal goals comes equally as many professional goals. ‘Tis the season to resolve to be more organized, tackle bigger projects, earn promotions, etc. With all of the professional goal setting and KPI’s being established in offices across the country, it is important to make sure you are setting realistic goals, and outlining the proper steps to attain them.
Below is a great article by Maureen Moriarty with goal-setting tips to start your year off on the right professional foot!
- Specific — What does success look like with this goal?
- Measurable — How will I track my performance?
- Achievable — Is this goal reasonable and realistic vs. “pie in the sky”?
- Relevant — Would achieving this goal make a true difference? The goal should matter to you.
- Time bound — What is your “by when” or time in the future by which you want to accomplish this goal?
- Consequence — What does achieving (or not achieving) your goal look like? Is it building your dream home, sending your kids to college or using your creative talents to better others’ lives? Whatever yours are — you need to get clear about them.
Consider, for example, the difference between a goal of “to be successful” and one of, “I will be in a director role of our company by June 2009, which will increase my salary by 25 percent and allow me to build our retirement home on Orcas Island.” The second goal is much more powerful, compelling and focused.
The difference between “pie in the sky” and achievement of goals is coming up with the specific action plan. Your action plan is your personal road map to success. What are the daily or weekly steps you need to take this year to meet your goal? For some it will include new job tasks to gain experience. For others it may be taking the necessary steps to achieve an advanced degree or conducting informational interviews with professionals in the targeted field. Be honest with yourself about what you can realistically accomplish in the coming year. Identify the “must dos” vs. the “would like to do” to achieve your goal. Remember to anticipate obstacles to success and build in your plan how you will overcome them!
The hard part comes next — actually doing the action steps required and staying on your path. To help, write down your goals, share them with others and use visual triggers that represent attainment of your goals that you can see every day (some use vision boards or screen-saver reminders). Remember to celebrate small successes as you go along, and to use temporary setbacks as learning opportunities vs. reasons to give up.