All success stories usually come with a plan. Even the “overnight success” stories begin with a vision. If you are looking to grow anywhere, the question you should be asking is, “How do you plan to achieve your goal?” A thriving career is just one of many prime areas to get that goal-setting mind to work.
Lucky for you, we have tips and tricks up our sleeve to help you through your journey. But before that, we have to break down the importance of a goal.
In the game of soccer or football, players aim to kick the ball towards the net. Once they do, they yell out, “goal!” This refers to the fact that their reward of winning correlated to landing that feat. In the same vein, your career is a game that keeps on going.
Your career goals therefore are what helps you keep score and motivated towards what you ultimately want to achieve. Examples of career goals range from something short-term like finishing a six-month project to something more long shot like saving for retirement.
But why have goals in the first place? Adapting a goal-setting attitude pushes you to commit to achievement. Having a goal or a plan gives you purpose, and becomes the constant answers to your “whys” each time. Goal-setting helps you define your priorities and keeps you actively on your toes. It prevents you from getting derailed and off track.
However, big-picture goals can overwhelm people. With this in mind, we discuss the difference between long-term and short-term goals.
If long-term goals are the final destination, your short-term goals are the mini trips within reach. In order to understand them better, here are three key points to differentiate them:
|Short-Term Goals||Long-Term Goals|
|Anywhere between a week to six months||Six months to years|
|Straightforward||Thorough and well-planned|
While they may have their differences, did you know that they integrate well within one another? You may find ease in achieving your long-term goals through short-term goals as your points of action.
Now that you have a good grasp of the importance of goal-setting, we share some tried and tested tricks that can help you out.
Before you go off and execute your achievement plan, what doyouplan to achieve in the first place? This question applies not only to long-term goals, but to short-term goals as well. Having a vision in your mind makes your direction crystal-clear. You can best liken this to visiting a new destination and your goals act as the map that will get you there.
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Sometimes, you may take your goal for granted and just end up not doing it. The best way to keep yourself in check is to – well – check on yourself. Be it a journal, an Excel file, or your planner, giving yourself a regular progress update can help you stay on track. More importantly, you remember the reason why you began doing this in the first place.
To keep up with the changing times, sometimes we have to revisit these goals. As the days, months, and years pass, we succumb to change whether we are aware of it or not. And with that personal change, our goals could also grow or become stagnant. It does not mean that our purpose is lost – we just have to redefine them. Whether it be a change in the time, the place, or the reason, re-adjustment is necessary if not critical.
In other instances, we completely let go of a goal entirely. It is not because it is unimportant, but some goals become irrelevant or evolve. Such an evolution could, in the long run, be a completely different plan.
Although we are ultimately the masters of our own destiny, we cannot completely get by without a little help from others. Block off some time for a conversation with your colleagues or key people in your company. It is not about having someone else define your future, but embracing another perspective.
Not only that, they can also be your accountability partners. If you need help in keeping track of your goals, they can help you do that as well.
Whether it be keeping up with the trends or training for new skills, it is never too late to learn. The act of knowing is more important than anything else because it gives you an edge. This is especially helpful if you are planning a totally different career move. Education helps you adapt to any environment, whether it be fast- or slow-paced.
Unless your goals are bringing you down physically, emotionally, or mentally, persist. Getting over an obstacle is part of growth, and can be the driving force you need to get what you want. Persistence can also include taking a break and recharging, then getting back into the game again.
Part of achieving goals is a determination to see it until the end. Resistance is natural, but know that it is temporary, especially if your thirst for achievement is there. Minimize distractions as much as possible, but acknowledge them so you can improve on your weaknesses.
The best way to start formulating a goal is to break it down into five major parts. In this case, we take a look at this classic acronym: SMART goals.
What is the secret to an effective goal? It must have a thorough definition. What do you want to achieve? If it is a job promotion, what job title do you want? If you want a salary raise, how much money do you want ? Give a specific amount. Knowing whatyouwant helps you gain that determination and then ultimately secure it.
How successful is successful? While there can be subjective explanations for this, you can make your goals objectively successful through KPIs. Also known as Key Performance Indicators, these statistics can help you better understand the success or what needs improvement of a certain goal.
There is a difference between determination and delusion. While scoring goals can keep us on our toes, we have to be realistic. Can you really secure that position in three months? Can you get that bonus incentive with just two projects? Keeping your goals realistic can help you avoid burnout.
Now that we have a sense of what our goal is, we need to determinehowto achieve it. What resources do you need to secure its success? Do you need people, a certain place, or factors?
Aside from having a well-defined goal, how long do you think you can achieve it? We discussed short- and long-term goals. Define the timeline and be as specific as possible. How much time do you need to get that promotion? Sit down with your supervisor to get a sense of when you will achieve said goal.
Your goals are finite, not infinite. They are meant to be achieved, not stagnant and hung completely in the air. Whether it be a year or six months, having a strict timeline can keep you focused all throughout.
Planning your career goals may seem daunting and even overwhelming. But as long as you can define what you want from the get go, everything will run smoothly from there. Good luck!
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