Professional Goal Setting

Successful professional goal setting can happen at any time, any day of the week. Therefore, we often start by enthusiastically working on our goals. Hence, soon after, we stop working on them. There are many reasons we set goals without being achieved. 

Do any of these reasons resonate with you when it comes to setting goals?

  • Unrealistic goals – they’re just too big
  • Too many purposes or lacking focus
  • Goals were not significant enough
  • Goals were unclear or complex
  • Goals were not measurable
  • Lack of drive, motivation, or discipline
  • Planning only once a year
  • The all-or-nothing attitude
  • Rationalization – justifying why not to do it
  • Lacking plans and actions to accomplish goals
  • No tracking – out of sight, out of mind
  • No accountability

Individuals who continually set, work toward, and achieve professional goals are more successful and have more direction and purpose in their lives. The following techniques will help to improve your goal-setting results, so you don’t become victim to un-achieved goals.

Balanced Goals & Priorities

When setting goals, consider all aspects of your life to create a balance and increase the likelihood of achievement, such as:

  • Work
  • Family
  • Finance
  • Physical and Health
  • Education and Learning
  • Spiritual
  • Personal

Maintaining balance will help to eliminate voids, keep you well rounded, and helps build overall success. Begin by brainstorming possible goal categories and the goals you want to accomplish in each group.

Next, select the top two or three goals for each group. 

Depending on your goals and circumstances, it might be useful to narrow it down to the number one goal in each category. Avoid the tendency of setting too many goals, which can cause a loss of focus or a feeling of overwhelming. It is best to focus on areas that can have the most impact, eliminate the most pain, or bring about the greatest joy.

Train managers to focus on employee communication based on goals.
Be transparent about goals.
Communicate goals regularly.
Empower employees to translate goals and responsibilities

Defining Why

 Determining why the goal is essential to you can help in prioritizing goals and creating sound internal commitment. If you don’t care about accomplishing it, your drive to see it through is doomed to failure. For any purpose you want to achieve, it’s vital to keep the compelling reasons why you want to get it done at the forefront of your mind. Create a clear picture of what your life will look like once the goal is achieved. In the workplace, setting goals can bring you great happiness in knowledge, professional credibility, earning potential, recognition, confidence, and job satisfaction in your position.

Source: Sandler Training, Goals, Goals Everywhere by Howard Goldstein and Sandler Training Class with Mike Neklason.

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