Setting Individual Goals: 9 Tips for Success

Performance evaluation season is almost upon us, and it’s time to begin identifying individual goals for next year. Below are a few tips to get you started and keep you going.

1 – Invest time now. Spend enough time to be sure you know what you want to achieve, the steps needed to achieve it, and how you’ll know when you’ve successfully reached a goal.

2 – Map out your career path. Whether you’re hankering for larger projects, increased supervisory responsibilities, or more focused expertise, you should know exactly where you want to go.
3 – Write it down. Putting ink to paper can be great motivation. Consider posting your goals somewhere conspicuous, repeating your goals out loud every so often, or even creating a 10-second “why this goal is important” statement.

4 – Keep track. Pick a workable interval and make notes on your progress. Identify potential obstacles, formulate a plan to overcome them, and keep moving forward.

5 – Set stretch goals. Choose a couple of goals that will require some serious dedication and focus—they’ll be instrumental in giving you the skills and expertise necessary to score future promotions.

6 – Be realistic. Know the resources—time, money, energy—you have available, and don’t underestimate how much of each you’ll need to achieve success.

7 – Set good timeframes. Establishing both short- and long-term plans will help you reach large goals while avoiding burnout.

8 – Recognize your accomplishments. Take the time to reward yourself. This is also a good opportunity to evaluate the rest of your goals and confirm you’re still on track.

9 – Remove outdated goals. If life or career changes render a goal obsolete, don’t hesitate to remove it. Consider your new situation and either update your existing goals or identify new ones.

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