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What Are Your Goals?
The best time to plan was yesterday. The second best time is now.
The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.
Every new year comes with a resolution, at least for most people. And that includes me.
It's a fresh start, and we want to start on a good note.
We want to forget all our disappointments, failures, and setbacks in the previous year and look forward to an exciting beginning.
It's not too much to ask for.
For most people, usually, the best time to hit this reset button is the start of the year. It's when energy levels are highest and motivations are at their peaks.
If you are reading this, I wouldn't be surprised if you have a thing or two that you are already looking forward to. I bet you have probably set some personal goals and achievements that you want to attain. You aren't too far off if you have already done this.
I have one more request - add a career goal to your list.
Why Add Career Goals?
“Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy goal or ideal.” —Earl Nightingale
Our career forms a significant part of our lives. An average person spends roughly 80,000 hours at work.
That is considerable time to spend outside of family and daily personal routine.
That is a huge chunk here; therefore, it's worth giving every attention you can afford to provide it.
As individuals, we plan for everything.
You probably planned for your Christmas holiday and made a list of your favourite places to visit and friends and families to see over this break. Like me, I bet you smashed the record by completing these tasks because they were fun activities and enjoyable.
Unfortunately, many professionals leave their career goals to chance. They do little or nothing to plan for them. They accept whatever comes their way and go about them as they come. They leave the career on auto-pilot - like a plane heading from Chicago and Tokyo.
Don't let this be you. You can do more by taking charge of your goals and working towards them.
There are lots of benefits to setting and working toward your career goals.
Direction And Focus
“Stay focused, go after your dreams and keep moving toward your goals.” – LL Cool
Having a career goal gives you direction and focus.
Imagine going to an unknown destination without a GPS.
Have you ever thought of this at all? How do you think you would fair on the road going to an unknown destination without a guide or compass?
Would you feel safe and confident to head out on this journey, or would you panic with each passing kilometre or mile?
Whatever your decision, it's probably not a good idea. It's the same with career goals too. If you do not decide where you want to go, then everywhere looks like a good choice. You might have travelled a hundred miles before realising it wasn't the right path. The danger is that you sometimes waste time, resources, and energy following an unknown path.
So, as you go into the new year, ensure you set your career goals. Direction and focus are critical as you kick off this new season. Don't go without a career goal.
Here are a few questions to consider as you plan your goal:
What do I want for my career next year?
Where do I want to be this time next year?
What specific tools or training do I need to achieve these goals?
How can I accomplish this goal using SMART objectives?
Remember to write down these steps to help you remember. Do not assume they will stick by simply having them in your head.
Tracks Progress Towards Goals
“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” —Andrew Carnegie
There are about 365 days in a year. Every day comes with challenges, lines and stages to progress onto the next stage.
It's like a game of Tetrix. You move on to the next stage once you accomplish the task in the current stage.
Your ultimate goal is to complete an individual milestone and attain the final destination: to become a winner.
You can consider a career goal the ultimate milestone you want to hit. But how easy would you do it to work towards your ultimate goal without breaking down steps to help you measure your progress towards these goals?
“Goals are not only absolutely necessary to motivate us. They are essential to really keep us alive.” – Robert H. Schuller
A career is a significant part of our lives
Setting a career goal is one of the most important activities you can do for your career and life.
It will give you direction and focus on what you want.
It will also serve as a compass and help you achieve your ultimate goal.
Remember to be flexible in your goals, as you will most likely encounter bottlenecks, and you will need to circumvent these new challenges to stay ahead and keep moving.
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