Last week, we discussed the importance of goal setting in helping to determine when it is time to make a personal or professional change. Today, we will be delving deeper into concrete strategies to approach goal setting. Specifically, we’ll discuss the importance of defining and measuring goals when moving from coping to thriving with challenges in the workplace.
What does goal setting entail?
Define Your Goals- Stating that you want to “succeed at work” isn’t enough- what does that mean? Maybe you’re already succeeding? But, since you never defined “success,” you don’t even realize it! Being specific helps you to know when you have met your goal.
Note: Part of defining your goal is making it measurable so that you can track your progress. Think about a metric that you can use to measure whether or not a goal is accomplished.
Phrase Your Goals in the Positive- It’s helpful to recognize that there is a behavior or situation that you want to change, but it’s also important to recognize what you want instead. When you want to change a behavior, you will need something to replace it with or else you wont know what you’re working toward (e.g., I want to stop yelling at my employees vs. I want to learn to speak more assertively when I’m feeling frustrated)!
Break Large Goals into Smaller Goals- Setting large goals is great, but it takes time to get there. Breaking larger goals into smaller goals that are more manageable allows you to track your progress, create benchmarks, and celebrate the wins along the way.
Brainstorm Steps That You Will Take to Achieve Your Goals- Think of ways that you can go about achieving your goal (e.g., steps that you will take to accomplish the goal, people you will speak to, and/or resources you will need). If it is difficult to think of these concrete steps, this may signal that you need to return to steps 1-3 to better define and breakdown your goals.
Consider Roadblocks- Proactively evaluate what may get in the way of achieving your goal. Then, plan ahead and proactively problem solve.
Evaluate Progress- In order to hold yourself accountable, establish a time frame for when you would like to accomplish the goal. Then, think about how often you will assess progress. Once you establish a time frame for progress monitoring, set an alert that will serve as a reminder to check-in with yourself about the progress that you are making…or the lack of progress that you are making, which is also important information!
Rework and Rewrite- Goals aren’t meant to be static! Don’t be afraid to redefine and rewrite your goals. We are constantly evolving, so this means our goals are also constantly evolving too.
Once you know what you are working toward, it is easier to know what you may be missing out on. If you notice that you are not making progress on your goals month-to-month, it’s important to ask yourself, “what is getting in the way?” If it is avoidance, procrastination, or another internal factor, this may require you to look at what thoughts, emotions, or behaviors may be impeding success. Conversely, maybe there are external factors getting in the way that are outside of your control (e.g., a difficult boss, demanding work environment, or few opportunities for growth). Whether roadblocks are internal or external, it may be time to consider what changes you can make to help keep yourself on track. This may mean looking for a work environment that is a better fit, or can better support your current aspirations. Change is difficult and it may take time to get yourself out of a challenging situation. However, once you are aware of what you want, and what is getting in the way, you will have a clearer picture of what changes YOU want to make.
See, I told you that you don’t need any articles like: “5 Ways to Know When it’s Time to Leave Your Job,” or, “The 15 Steps to Figuring Out if it’s Time to Find a New Career,” or, “The 30 ways to Know if You're Reaching your Full Potential." Instead, you can build a personalized roadmap by establishing goals, managing expectations, and planning for change.
Stay tuned over the next few weeks to learn more strategies and skills for thriving in the workplace.
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