Are you great at setting professional goals, yet find it hard to take measurable action? Do you get excited about how good it will feel to turn your professional goals into reality but don’t know where to start? Or, do your professional goals look great on paper but seem too far out to achieve?
Welcome to the stickiness that lies between goals setting and goal attainment. The good-ish news is the magical manifestation is in the midst of the mess. We gotta get our hands dirty. We need to feel a bit (maybe a lot) uncomfortable. It’s just part of the process.
Don’t get me wrong, I love setting professional goals. They keep me focused and intentional. And, it’s important to note the first step to crush your professional goals is to take stock of where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow.
Keep reading to learn the 8 ways to crush your professional goals.
First things first: Let’s start with resolutions?
A resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something”. Resolutions differ slightly from goals. A goal is “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result”. A resolution leads to goal attainment. You first must resolve to do something, from that resolve of action or inaction a goal is either attained or not. To resolve is to empower yourself to create change you crave most.
Consider this. . . what do you resolve to do professionally?
8 simple ways to crush your professional goals:
1. Start with a specific goal.
Sticking with a goal starts with the goal itself. This may sound obvious but often people set goals that are too broad, too varied, and/or too many. This can lead to what I like to call “goal fatigue”. You set out to do so much that it ultimately overwhelms you and then you end up not doing anything at all. To avoid this pitfall, I suggest you start small, be specific, and set 1-2 goals to start. . .max!
2. Pare down big annual goals into mini-monthly ones.
If there is a lot you want to accomplish professionally break down your big bigger goals into 1-3 micro-goals for that month with weekly action steps. For example, if you have a big goal to increase your annual revenue by 20%, write out quarterly or monthly revenue micro-goals that will support the big annual goal. It could be:
Breaking down a big goal into monthly ones makes it much more likely that you’ll stick to it.
3. Be honest with yourself about your time and resources.
We only have so many hours in the day. Be careful about what new activities you add to your plate. If your plate is full consider offloading an activity that isn’t generating results in favor of something new. If your plate is full and all your current efforts are yielding results, consider bringing on support such as an admin or virtual assistant to delegate tasks that someone else can handle.
4. Have your professional goals be about YOU.
Be sure when you’re crafting your professional goals, they are rooted in your desired outcomes, not someone else’s. We live in a very “other” focused society where it is easy to fall into the comparison trap of comparing our life with others. Just because certain professional goals are trending on social media or your coworkers are all jumping on the resolution bandwagon doesn’t mean you have to jump on with them. If your goals happen to align with friends, family, or coworkers, that’s great! Just be sure they originate and resonate with you first.
5. Be rooted in your WHY.
It’s important to be crystal clear on why you want the desired outcome of a professional goal. Being deeply connected to your why will keep you on track when you feel your motivation and discipline waning. Write out your why for each month and spend 60 seconds each morning reading it aloud to yourself. Repeat it mentally while you brush your teeth, meditate on it in the evening, or journal about it in the morning. Your why is what will get you to take the small steps each day to turn your goals into your reality.
6. Celebrate your progress!
As you create positive change with your intentionally set goals, be sure to celebrate your wins. Plan in advance how you will celebrate when a professional goal is achieved. It could be booking a massage or taking a class you’ve been interested in. It could be simply writing about your experience in a journal. Find something that resonates with you!
7. Ask for support.
If you have worked through these steps and still feel stuck, overwhelmed, or like you are self-sabotaging your efforts, seek support. There is no shame in asking for help. A skilled coach will guide you and teach you the necessary tools (specific to your goals and circumstances) so you can create positive change in your life with the goals you’ve set for yourself.
8. Be gentle with yourself.
Finally, if you have a day, week, or even month where you didn’t stick with your micro-goals, or you otherwise feel like you’re falling short, don’t be hard on yourself. Get curious about why things got off track. Consider external events that played a role. Was it a particularly stressful time at work? Did you have the flu? Was there unexpected travel? Learn from the past and make improvements and adjustments in the present without self-judgment. Turn disappointments into learning experiences that will not weaken you but make you stronger.
Setting new professional goals is exciting and the opportunity to expand and grow. Set yourself up for success by following these 8 steps. Change is within your reach friends. Cheers!
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Ashley Logan is a Certified Integrative Health Coach, writer and workshop facilitator who helps women create actionable strategies that support physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness for optimal health.
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