How to smash your work goals in 2019 by Lauren Chiren•
Posted on March 11 2019
Now you’ve settled into the idea of a new year, why not use February to re-evaluate where you’re at career-wise and set goals to help you achieve your work dreams – maybe you'd like to become more productive? Achieve that promotion? Or perhaps enter 2020 a little bit richer!
Goal setting is imperative if you’re to achieve the success you crave, whatever shape that may come in. I swear by it, and want to share my five steps to setting them and smashing them.
Before we start, I know all too well how menopause symptoms (anxiety, fatigue, lack of concentration, to name a few) can impact on heavily on achieving your goals. Maybe work moveable meno mornings or afternoons into the plan outlined below – time you can use to take a break when things get too much and which – as they’re already accounted for – won’t leave you feeling needlessly guilty or stressed.
Step one – TIME TO REFLECT
Firstly, consider what went well in 2018 from your perspective and – depending on what field you work in – perhaps the viewpoint of your manager, clients or customers.
Next, ask yourself what you enjoyed last year – when did you feel that everything flowed, achieving goals came easily and you were not only doing the best for yourself but were truly present for your loved ones?
Finally, if you’re self-employed, think about any tasks you found yourself procrastinating over and maybe consider outsourcing them – it will free you up to do more of what you love and do well. Perhaps there are tasks you can retire – tasks that left you and your clients or customers unsatisfied?
The same questions are relevant if you are in an employed role. Ask yourself what parts of your job you’d love to do more of and enlist the support of your biggest cheerleaders in switching up your role. Alternatively, look for a new role internally or even, deep breath, externally?
Step two – GIVE YOUR GOALS A HOME
Create a one-page roadmap of all your ambitions, dreams and desires for your lifetime. Then map out where you wish to be in three years’ time. Now ask yourself: ‘Where will I be in three years’ time, in one year’s time and, finally, the next three months?’.
Start a new page and write out your three-month goals and create a list of all the steps needed to achieve each of them. Add due dates, details and list any help you might require (further training, for example). Add all the steps you have created for each goal into your calendar or diary, so that they have a home – a place and time that is dedicated to them being completed.
Step three – BE ACCOUNTABLE
Pick a time/day of the week (ideally a Monday) that works for your broader schedule and book in a recurring appointment… with yourself!
Each week, at this time, develop the habit of creating a list of your intentions for the week ahead. This list should include all your daily non-work responsibilities too (e.g. school runs, self-care time, household chores).
Ask yourself: 'If I could only do one thing this week and still feel accomplished by the end of it, what would that one thing be?' Once pinned down, ensure it gets ticked off.
This is the structure I use to keep myself on track. You could even ask a friend to do the same and you could meet online during this allotted appointment to talk through your progress and offer each other support.
Step four – MONTHLY APPRAISAL
At the end of every month, appraise your progress, just like a boss would. Here are some questions you should ask yourself to help validate whether you are on the right track or in need of a plan rejig:
- What was the best part of my month and why?
- What lessons did I learn?
- Am I happy with how I distributed my time? Did I prioritise well? If not, what needs to change next month?
- How am I different this month from last month?
- Who or what am I grateful for this past month? (Ideally, list a minimum of three to six things)
- Which three things will I improve on this month and what concrete actions do I need to take to make this happen?
- And, last but not least, if I had to mark myself for effort and application over the past month on a scale of one to 10, what would be my score? This really helps you build a picture of peaks and possible troughs in energy levels and attainment across the year.
Consider writing up your answers in a journal.
Step five – REWARD YOURSELF
Come on, you didn’t think all this planning would go unrewarded? When I’m laying out my work goals for the year ahead, I think about my end reward for achieving them – a weekend away with friends perhaps. This is my reward for giving it my all – well, mostly, none of us are superwomen!
It wasn’t always like this – goals set + goals smashed = reward. In the past, I’d often find December looming and my dreams and goals remained just that – dreams and goals. It was only when I started to plan, that things turned around… and I more than deserved my reward.
And don’t forget, as well as filling your diary with work-relating goals and actions, populate it with quality time with family, friends and self-care. I used to be notoriously bad for not taking time off and neglecting myself and everyone around me.
Keep in touch
I'd love to hear how you’re getting on with goal setting; maybe you can share your tips, successes and even failures (we all have them) in the comment section below?
If you’d like even more help in setting your career goals, you can schedule in a one-to-one chat with me here.
Lauren Chiren is a Corporate Menopause Educator and Executive Health Coach. Part of her work includes advising companies on protecting the wellbeing of menopausal women in the workplace.
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