I’m a big believer in the power of planning. It’s that time of year again when many of us look back at our progress over the past 12 months, reassess our path, and develop a plan for making the most of the year ahead.
An article in Inc. Magazine by Aha! CEO Brian de Haaff talks about the use of planning to achieve success in business. Here’s what he says: “Successful people take a methodical approach to setting career goals. It starts with defining what ‘success’ means to them, then building a career roadmap to achieve that vision.”
It all starts with a plan that defines where you want to go. de Haaff suggests that you come up with a career sentence—the overarching vision for your professional life. “Your sentence could be specific, such as ‘Help build software that changes the way people interact with their doctors.’” Or it could be more wide-sweeping, like “Provide world-class customer service.” Once you’ve set your destination, you can focus on the goals that will get you there.
Here are Brian de Haaff’s five steps to setting career goals.
1. Make it real.
Making measurable career goals and setting success metrics will help ensure that your career roadmap is realistic. With those benchmarks in place, you can track your progress in a meaningful way.
2. Push yourself.
Your career roadmap should be a challenge, not a cakewalk. If your goals don’t make you at least a little bit uncomfortable, then it’s time to set your sights higher. Push yourself in your overall vision and in the tasks that will carry you there.
3. Write it down.
Research shows that people who write down their goals are significantly more likely to achieve them. One of the many benefits is that it forces you to think about what you want to achieve in a concrete way. If you have a hard time finding the words to explain your goal in a sentence or two, you probably have not thought it through.
4. Share your plan.
Another benefit of writing down your goals is that it makes it easier to share them. Once you’ve told your friends and colleagues about your goals, you will feel a sense of disappointment if you do not follow through. Accountability is a great motivator.
5. Visualize your success.
A common practice of high achievers is visualizing success. Sports psychologists teach elite athletes to picture themselves connecting with the fastball, kicking the field goal, sinking the putt. You can do the same with your long-term career goals and the efforts that will get you there. Use positive visualization to motivate yourself to work harder.
Read the Inc. article here.
Take the first step in driving success in 2019 by creating your career sentence and then setting your goals. After that, it is all about commitment and follow-through. Establishing a set schedule to monitor your progress, whether that’s daily, weekly or monthly, will help get you there.
If you’re looking for someone to share your goals with and hold you accountable, connect with me and I’ll do the same. firstname.lastname@example.org