If you do not set goals and plan for success, how can you achieve it? As you prepare to embark on a New Year, prepare for your professional success so you can focus and achieve your aspirations. Write down your goals, avoid procrastination, and find the motivation that will keep you moving forward. Here is how to accomplish your 2020 professional goals.
5 Tips For Accomplishing Professional Goals
1. Use a planner
It sounds obvious, but many people ignore this easy step. Grab a hard copy planner or use the calendar on your phone to plan out each hour of your day. Block off time for focused work, keep a timed to-do list, and review goals monthly. Use the extra space in your planner—or the notes section on your laptop or phone—to take notes and stay on top of your tasks and responsibilities.
2. Tap into your emotions
It might be choosing a word to set your theme for the year or asking an “end of life” question—at the end of your life, what will you have wanted to accomplish? What gets you fired up? Pick a word that indicates fearlessness, risk-taking, ambition or some other inspiring concept. If you rely on an “end of life” question, use your answer to work backward. For example, if you want to become the president of your company before the end of your career, break down the smaller steps you must achieve to get there until you work back to where you are right now. Your professional goals should reflect your personal values.
3. Set specific and measurable goals
SMART goals. They are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and have a specific Time frame. As you craft your SMART goals, be descriptive and precise so you know when you have achieved them. Avoid setting a goal that is impossible or unrealistic. Doing so will set you up for failure, crushing your ego and pushing you backward instead of propelling you forward.
4. Reflect on past achievements
What helped you achieve professional successes in the past? Which skills, such as hard work and organization, or personality traits, including adaptability, confidence, creativity, and cooperation, did you rely on to succeed? Or, perhaps more valuable, consider what you can learn from those past achievements. What mistakes did you make? What could you have done better?
5. Understand each goal’s motivation
Once you have set your goals, consider the significance of each one. For example, is your third goal completely independent on your second goal? Or is the achievement of one goal a prerequisite for another? When you recognize why each goal is important, it will keep you motivated to keep going until you achieve each one. Or maybe you will discover that one of your 2020 goals is not as important as you originally thought, meaning that you can focus your time and attention on a different goal.
Tell other people—your boss, a mentor, a coworker or your significant other—about your goals so they can keep you accountable.
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