Goals at work play such a heavy role at the beginning of the year. People can dive into goal-setting with a vengeance but without a clear focus of what they really want to achieve and how they want to experience their work. You need to understand both sides as part of the work goal-setting process.
Let’s dive into what you need to keep in mind when setting goals for work.
1. Is it an AIM goal or an end goal?
An “aim” goal is big, lofty, dreamlike, or inspirational. It guides you at a high level. “I want to be more balanced in my work and life,” is an aim goal. It’s like a high-level vision for where you want to go. An “end” goal, however, is specific and tactical and tells you what to do and when. If you wanted more balance in your work and life, what would you specifically need to do or what specifically would need to happen for that to occur? You’d set specific end goals that are stepping stones to that higher-level vision like taking 30 minutes at least 6 days a week to exercise or unplugging each day no later than 5:30. End goals have very specific and concrete outcomes. When setting goals in your career you need to have both; it’s the vision AND the roadmap to get there.
2. How do you want to experience your work?
Your work goals can be about specific objectives like getting a promotion, upleveling certain skillsets, or getting a certification or degree; but if you want to create a true passion for your work and move into this year with power and purpose, it also has to be about how YOU want to experience your work.
That means that you take some time to define your experience and incorporate that into your goals too. For example, one of the experiences I want to have in my business is one of ease. That I effortlessly conduct my business in a way that is more easy and less Rubix-cubing, overthinking, and ruminating. So while I am calling on clients, coaching, and delivering keynotes, it’s in a way that feels like a state of flow to me.
What do you want to experience in your professional life? More fun? Do you want to spend time at work giving back or helping others? Are you looking to do what you do in a more meaningful way? How about more collaboration?
It’s just as important to think about the experience you want to have in pursuing your goal as the goal itself. Don’t leave this part out!
3. Are your goals complete?
If you’re writing an affirmation each day in your journal or you’ve got index cards plastered all over your house to keep your goals in sight, that’s great but that can’t be all there is for your goals. You are painting a picture of what it will be when it comes to fruition. You map out what you will do to achieve it and how you know you’ve achieved it. I’ve got a list of questions HERE that can help you create very achievable outcomes and goals that are more complete. At the very least, consider the SMART Goal process.
S is specific. Make sure your goal is outlined clearly. Instead of I want to make more money, it’s I want to earn $100,000 this year.
M is Measurable. How can you tell that what you are doing is working? That the action you are taking is actually moving you toward your goal? If your goal was an advanced degree, then each course you took and passed would be a measurement of you moving toward that degree. Measurements give you feedback and allow you to course-correct.
A is Actionable. Your goal should be a guide and makes it easy to get you into action. It should be sufficiently detailed that you know what you need to be doing consistently to achieve it.
R is Realistic. But with a stretch. I LOVE big, audacious goals, but for some people, it can be so big that it renders them immobile. Your goal should be something that is achievable for you but with a stretch. Stretch is key too! You want to be consistently moving out of your comfort zone.
Finally, there’s T. T is for Timed. You have to put a specific date on your goal so you understand at a deeper level what needs to be done and when. Oh, and also because one day and someday never comes and there is always a tomorrow.
Would you hit reply and let me know what you’re pursuing professionally this year? I’d LOVE to know what you’re up to!
Until next time, here’s wishing you the Clarity and Focus you need to create powerful goals that allow you to create success on your terms!