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Your goals – a marathon not a sprint
Whatever your walk of life, chances are you have had people telling you about the importance of setting objectives. Quite often this is built into a career framework, particularly during the probation period or during annual reviews.
Having objectives to work towards is more than just a motivational tool. Ultimately, setting meaningful objectives is a way to achieve more in the workplace rather than just to work harder.
The key to being a high performer is to set your own objectives, something that is important to you. You don’t need someone to set your goals for you and you are much more likely to achieve them if it is a personal challenge you have set for yourself. Focus on your individual goals and find a way to link these to the workplace. This will help you set personal objectives that are relevant to you and will help you achieve your goals.
The question is what should your personal objectives be? The following suggestions are the most common areas that people tend to focus on when setting their personal objectives.
- Financial – What are you going to spend the money on? What will it mean to you when you have it? How do you generate that income? How long is it going to take you? How can your performance directly affect your desired outcome?
- Promotion – How do you get promoted? How long is it going to take? What are the milestones? Who are the decision makers?
- Skillset – What skills do you want to have? Why? What impact will that have on your role/career? Do you have to study? Who can teach you? How long will it take? How far is your skillset now from where you want to be?
- Work/life balance – What does this ideally look like? Is it available in your current company/role? Is it realistic? What will the extra time mean to you?
Ask yourself what you can do to impact the above on a day-to-day basis. To make this process more manageable, start by writing down the long-term objective and a realistic timeframe that you want to achieve this by. Then break it down into medium timeframes and smaller landmarks to aim for.
Once you’ve processed this, you can break it down even further to daily and weekly goals. These should feed in to your medium-term landmarks, thus driving you towards that longer-term goal. This is a great way of breaking down your long-term goal into achievable mini-goals and makes it easy to track your progress.
The benefits of setting your own personal objectives are threefold:
- Involve your manager in this process to prove to them that you are dedicated to your job and long-term career with the company – it is natural for them to want to help you achieve your goals
- By setting your own objectives you will be much more motivated to hit your own targets than if someone were to set them for you
- Ultimately, you are more likely to achieve what you want to achieve out of your career
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