Many of us (myself included) absolutely LOVE a new year. New resolutions, fresh paper agendas, personal goal setting, etc. etc. It is also a perfect time to make some personal career goals. Now, before you right this blog off as “not for you” if you’re not job seeking - this IS for you.
The new year is a perfect time to set professional goals to meet and exceed. The problem is, like new years resolutions, sometimes following through is difficult. Completing the goals can be overwhelming when there are so many other priorities grabbing for your attention.
I’ve listed out a couple tips and tricks to create your goals and help you meet them!
Brainstorm small yet impactful goals
Creating small, attainable, goals is the most important step of this process. This will look different for each person. What this is not: “get a promotion. make more money.” Why is this not what I’m talking about? Because these aren’t small or attainable. They aren’t specific enough to work towards it. And if you don’t achieve them, it feels like a massive failure. However, if they are smaller and achievable then it will just progress you to the next milestone. Some good examples: volunteer to lead next quarterly review, attend x number of higher up meetings to take notes and learn, offer to have lunch with every executive at company for informational interviews and learning, sit down with my manager weekly for on the spot feedback. This will look different for every person. There could also be creative goals for you to achieve and expand your experience testing those skills. The ski’s the limit! Just make them attainable, specific, and small.
Write them down - visibly
Once you’ve identified the small goals, write them down. If you’ve been around here you know I am a huge proponent of physically writing down thoughts and ideas. This is the same concept here. The goals should also be posted somewhere you can see everyday! Not in a word document, not in excel, not on any other computer software or hidden in the back of a spiral notebook. It needs to be posted on the fridge, on a post-it by your workspace, on the door you leave out of every morning - you get the idea! It’s crucial to be reminded of what you’re working towards every single day.
Keep the timeline short
Ensure there are many goals that are to be completed in the near future. It’s hard to motivate yourself on goals that all take an entire year. It’s helpful to have some that will be completed within a month, week, 6 months, etc. You want to have varied goals with varying timelines! This keeps you on track and constantly striving.
Meet with your mentor
This is KEY. All of us need accountability. Find someone (either in your company or outside) that you consider a mentor. Show the mentor your goal list and plan to meet up monthly! It doesn’t have to be super formal. It can be over lunch, in your office, etc. But it will keep you on task to focus on the goals because you know you have to discuss it every month.
Pick a celebration activity / reward
The most FUN and also important step. Pick a celebration activity / reward to treat yourself once you achieve each goal. It doesn’t have to be anything super expensive or time consuming. As an example, a reward may be taking a mental health day at home, going to get a Venti Starbucks Latte, splurging on a new pair of jeans, margarita night with your friends, etc.! Visualizing this celebration could help you get to the finish line - even something as simple as a special coffee drink!
Go Forth & start crafting your career resolutions!