What would happen if your company didn’t set goals each year? It would go stagnate and maybe even take a step backward in revenue and lose business to competitors. Just the same with you personally. Your brand and marketing will not grow if you don’t grow your professional knowledge and skills. How can you move onward and upward if you personally and professionally aren’t trying new things, learning and growing? Even taking up a new hobby can help you in your career.
Don’t rely on your manager or mentor to drive this area. You must make this a priority and check in on your progress often! You can do it! The best way to get there is to set goals in the key areas of your life and a develop a plan to get there.
Here are the key areas where I set goals each year:
- Professional Development. Includes taking a class, getting a new certification, attending career related symposiums or trade-shows, reading relevant books, finding a mentor, etc
- Fitness/Health. Includes trying new sports, taking new classes, running a 5k/marathon, etc.
- Finance. Includes how much you will save, put into your 401k, how much do you plan to donate, invest, consult with a financial advisor, budgeting, etc.
- Family. Includes spending more time with relatives, planning a family reunion, taking a family trip, planning an experience, etc.
- Home. Includes remodeling projects, organizing, de-cluttering, etc.
- Personal Growth. Includes volunteering, reading books for both professional and fun, taking up a new hobby, spiritual, starting your own website etc.
Think about your long-term and life goals both professional and personal when setting your annual goals (write them down if you haven’t already). Many of your annual goals should be relevant to the long-term. For instance, if you want to travel the world in 5 years or retire early, an aggressive saving and 401k or investment plan may be required.
Aim high when setting annual goals and shoot for 80% completion. It’s a myth that you have to share your goals to someone else to be more accountable. Just write them down and check them off as you go – you will get a great sense of accomplishment and it will help keep you motivated!
What areas do you set goals? Do you have some tips, recommendations or resources you can share in this area?