Being goal-oriented doesn’t come naturally to everyone. If you are not naturally goal-oriented at work, here are five ways you can keep yourself on track toward your work-related goals.
It’s not enough to have a goal; you have to know what it will take to accomplish it. That’s where planning comes in: For each goal you set, sit down and write down every task that needs to be done to meet the goal. These might be short-term tasks — such as sending an email or purchasing a supply — or long-term projects, such as completing a course or landing a new client. Once you know the steps you need to take to meet your goal, you can organize those steps to use your time most effectively.
Manage your time
Time-management is the ability to plan and prioritize your time, and it’s key to meeting your goals. To manage your time effectively, you need to know how long your plan will execute, then assign any tasks accordingly to make the most of your time and energy. (Sometimes, it’s helpful to assign tasks on a calendar or write your to-do list in order of the time of day you need to accomplish each thing.) Don’t forget to schedule breaks; they can help you refocus and regroup before starting your next task.
Track your progress
Just like you need to know the steps necessary to reach your goal, goal-oriented people also know where they stand about their goals. In other words, they take the time to evaluate if they’re on track and decide whether they need to pivot or reallocate their time and resources to reach their goal. Be sure to schedule periodic check-ins with yourself and honestly answer the question: Am I where I need to be to meet my goal? If the answer is no, it’s time to re-evaluate your plan and make needed changes.
Keep yourself accountable
Goal-oriented people don’t necessarily have will powers of steel. Instead, they stay accountable to themselves. If you struggle with motivation and accountability, then consider getting an accountability buddy — a coworker or friend who is willing to help you stay motivated by checking in with you every day. You’ll update them on your progress, and they’ll help boost your motivation toward your goal.
Meeting your goals can be tough work! But staying positive can make the work toward your goals a little easier. When you’re working toward a goal, give yourself positive affirmations, such as, “You can do it!” or “You’ve got this!” Or create a vision board you can look at, and that will remind you of why you want to reach your goal. For example, if you’re vying for a raise, perhaps a picture of a beach — where you plan to take a vacation with that money— will keep you motivated and help you stay positive.