These tips for setting goals at work will be effective in all realms of your life. Here, a life coach and best-selling author reveals five simple steps that will help you achieve your life goals.
There’s no secret for changing your life…just simple tips and hard work!
“It’s important to remember to review your action plan weekly,” says Lisa Mininni. “You want to review your goals not only to identify what to celebrate but at the end of the year, you can see how far you’ve come!”
Mininni is the president of Excellerate Associates and the author of Me, Myself, and Why? The Secrets to Navigating Change. Here are her tips for setting and achieving goals at work and beyond…
5 Ways to Set and Achieve Goals at Work
According to the Franklin Covey Time Management Firm, about 33% of people surveyed will break their New Year’s Resolutions by the end of January. Nearly 40% don’t achieve their goals because they have too many other things to do, and 33% simply aren’t committed.
People who do achieve their goals follow four simple steps:
- Set specific goals;
- Create a plan of action, with specific steps and specific time targets;
- Keep their plans realistic; and
- Adjust their plans when necessary (such as letting go of unachievable goals).
If you stick to those four simple steps, you’ll achieve your work goals in less time than you think!
One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to achieve their goals is setting goals that are too broad. It’s very difficult to focus your efforts if your goal isn’t specific. It is important to define the who, what, where, and when of your work goals. For instance, if you want to spend less time filing, then you need to research systems that make filing easier or options that reduce the papers that need to be filed. Don’t just think, “I want to spend less time filing.” Instead, carve time out of your day or week to figure out a better filing system.
To move ahead at work, Minninni recommends setting SMART goals:
1. Start working toward your goals before the launch date. Why not start before January 1? For example, if your goal is to get a raise and promotion by summer, then start before your “launch date” (which is January 1 for most people). When January 1 comes, you’ll already have a head start on your goals.
2. Embrace slow, stead progress. The old adage, “how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time” holds true for goal setting tips! Many people bite off too much and feel discouraged too soon. For example, if your goal is to start working out during your lunch hours, then you may set an action step that has you working out for an hour, four days a week. Going from no workout at all to all that exercise can leave you feeling tired and sore….and less motivated to stick with it for the long haul.
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3. Add fun when you’re setting goals! If your goals aren’t fun, they won’t get done. Ask yourself, “how can I make my goal fun?” That simple question helps to identify all the possibilities when you’re achieving your work goals. It switches your brain from dreading a task to looking forward to making your career dreams come true.
4. Rejoice in even the smallest successes. To keep yourself motivated to achieve your goals, celebrate even the smallest achievement. While you may not want to celebrate with a counterproductive gift (like a hot fudge sundae when you’re working out during your lunch hours), you could buy a new piece of jewelry or outfit. This reinforces your actions, keeps up the momentum, and invites new things into your life.
5. Track your results (this is a crucial goal setting tip). It’s imperative to review your action plan regularly — perhaps even weekly. Reviewing your goals helps you identify what to celebrate and shows you how far you’ve progressed. Some new work goals become a lifestyle, while others always seem to be obstacles to overcome. Either way, tracking your results will help you see how far you’ve come and where you need to go next.
If your career goal is to get a better career, read How to Quit Your Job When You’re Scared.
If you have any thoughts on these tips for setting goals at work, please comment below…
Lisa Mininni helps people take control of their lives and careers. For more info, visit Excellerate Associates.