Grab a pen and paper for your first go at setting your 2019 career goals– this helps your stream of consciousness and allows you to get messy. In the last step we’ll capture your goals and plans online where you can refer back to it.
1. Start early (start now!)
Starting now will give you more time for self-reflection (how are you doing on this year’s goals?) and time to plan how you will achieve them before 2019 starts.
2. Align, align, align
Your goals need to align with your overall career goals (how do this year’s goals bring you closer to where you want to be in 2-5 years?) and your team/boss’ goals, which should in turn align with your company’s goals. Showing your boss that you think about your goals in terms of his/her goals will show him/her that you’re thinking strategically.
3. Purge & Prune
Purge: write EVERYTHING down. Everything! Every little thing you would want to achieve in the next year.
Prune: now, prioritize. Which goals will bring you closest to your overall career goals? Which ones do you actually have time for? I mean, if you have goals to launch a side-business while working full-time, should learning Mandarin this year?
4. Create levels and then make them SMART
I don’t know about you but when I set goals, I’m tend to aim high. Why not? Well, then there are two outcomes: you overshoot, but stop there when you could’ve gone further or you miss it, feeling crappy for it.
Instead, I’ve opted for three levels of goals: minimum, good and great. Where great is a stretch goal. Create these levels for the priority goals you picked in step 3.
For each priority goal and level, make it specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (you can look up more on SMART goals).
5. Brainstorm your goals
Now you have some meaty goals, you can discuss with your boss, mentors and friends. Plus, you’re more likely to achieve your goals if you give updates to people about them. And when you share your goals with people, they help you make them happen. What’s there to loose?
6. Plan and capture
OK, now you have a clear direction– start planning! That’s the great thing about starting early, you can already start working towards your 2019 goals in 2018. Make sure you capture your goals in a tool you can access from anywhere– I use Asana.com or i’ve heard great things about todoist.com
7. Schedule check-ins
Grab your calendar and schedule check-ins for your goals. Doesn’t need to be long, just some time so you don’t loose sight of your big picture.
Let me know: how do you set your goals? What are your goals for 2019?