Have you even thought about what you want to achieve in your career in 2016? If you being to think about this in January it takes away a whole month of planning and worse still you will set goals with too much of a sense of urgency and will probably not give it enough thought! That is why the next couple of months is a fantastic time to think about your career goals and put some targets in place before Christmas starts and parties and end of year deadlines start to take over your time and diminish your ability to think clearly!
Here are some tips when you start to think about what you want for 2016 both in terms of your career and your life…..
What will you ask yourself at the end of your life?
As you get towards the end of your life what will you want to have achieved both in terms of your personal life but also your career? Write down 10 things that most come to mind. Then ask yourself the question “Why is that fundamentally important to me?” This will allow you to start with the end in mind and work backwards from there.
Let those 10 things become the category for each goal
Most of us set goals, hoping they will deliver and give us what we want out of life. Choose your main aim, and then let the goals flow from there. For example, one of your main aims might be “Achieve something amazing with my life” and your Why might be “We only live once so you have to embrace every moment”.
Then, your goals might be about putting yourself out there, being uncomfortable, stretching yourself, learning something new, etc. Goals will come to you easily when you tackle it this way, rather than the other way around.
We have all heard of the SMART principle with goals. It stands for: – Specific – Measurable – Attainable – Relevant (to you) – Time Driven
This stage is simple – just ensure each of your goals meets all of the above.
Set quarterly check points for your career ambitions
The goal killer is setting aims so far in the future that you can never identify how far you have come in terms of attaining them. Individuals that are best at achieving their aims really chunk it down into small bite-sized chunks. Set yourself quarterly check points, and even try to set weekly and monthly guides as to where you should be.
Download a mobile Goal APP
There are some great apps out there now that allow you to input, track, measure, and review your goals. Strides and Lift all do similar jobs for you – keeping your goals and habits top of mind.
Pick a Buddy and catch-up regularly
We all seem to get fit more speedily with a personal trainer; and goals are no different. Have someone in your life to hold you accountable. A weekly / fortnightly check-in call or catch up where you share what progress you have made will keep you on the right track.
A lot of individuals create goals, start off enthusiastically, and then give up after a short time. Make a sincere commitment to yourself that you will not allow this to happen.
It may feel slightly premature to start setting your 2016 goals, but then again, setting them in January is probably too late? At least this way, you are giving yourself some decent time to really think through what you want to achieve at work and in your personal life in 2016. By the time January 1 comes around, you will be “chomping at the bit” to get into them and will probably have made headway already on many of the targets.
If you are unsure about your career goals checking in with your favourite recruitment consultant or career coach is a good way to clarify things and get you started on the goal setting process.
As the saying goes “Fail to Plan – Plan to Fail”.