How to Set Effective Work Goals for the New Year
Goal setting is a common practice at the start of a new year. We always feel inspired to be better this time of year, and it’s a great time to create goals and ideals for the next twelve months.
Effective goals are those that are able to be accomplished, don’t cause too much stress or strain, and create a feeling of accomplishment. Read along for some actionable tips to set effective goals for an improved year.
The best goals are specific and measurable. For example, “get a new job” is a nice goal, but it’s not very specific or strong. Lay out your ideal job when creating your goal, as this allows you to see it in action more clearly.
Another example would be, “I want to earn more money.” Again, a great goal, but can you assign a specific amount? The more measurable the goal, the more concrete steps you can take to achieve it.
Although setting lofty goals is admirable, it’s important that they’re also obtainable. If you hope to get a new job in one week, but you don’t have a cover letter, resume, or any job searches out there, it’s not likely to happen. Although it can be done, goals are more likely to be achieved when the timing makes sense.
Give yourself a push with the goal, but don’t stress yourself out either! Becoming too focused on a goal can cause burnout – do your best but skip the rigid thinking.
Consult the past
What worked in the past? Maybe you’ll notice that a specific type of goal keeps popping up, or that one goal is always on your list, but never gets done. Consulting your past goals can help you see what works for the future, and what’s likely to get done and propel you forward in the year to come.
Check in weekly
Checking in on a weekly basis keeps the goals fresh in your mind. We tend to create goals on January 1st and stop thinking about them until the next year! Put them in your calendar, on your “to do” list, and every other place that you consult frequently.
Seeing and spending time thinking of your goals keeps them top of mind, which is the first step to successfully achieving them.
Do something everyday
Be sure you’re doing something every day that moves you closer to your goals. You’ll be checking in weekly on an official basis, but a daily reminder is even better. Create a vision board where you can see your goals visually, or simply work from a positive mindset when working towards career goals.
Setting and achieving goals is a challenging process, but one that is truly important to our personal and professional growth. Follow the steps above when creating your goals for this upcoming year, and you’ll be well on your way to new and exciting things in 2016!