The difference between professionals who successfully achieve their goals at work and those who do not can generally be traced to the goal-setting process, rather than their innate abilities, level of motivation, or self-discipline. To make significant progress with all of the efforts you put forth, you must develop a comprehensive strategy for your goals. Check out these tips for how to set and achieve goals at work:

  • Consider Your Big Picture

The goals you have accomplished in the past likely had a common factor: a clearly defined and deeply fulfilling reason as to why you wanted to pursue them. Before you set work goals, consider your big picture. What your core values (i.e., passion, achievement, creativity, etc.) and what do you want your overall career path to look like? Use this information to determine what goals would be most effective at personally motivating you and pushing your career in the right direction.

  • Create a Detailed Plan

Major goals can be overwhelming and seem so far out of reach, making it difficult to put forth consistent effort or even get started. Break down each of your goals into small steps, so you have more easily achievable actions to take.  Once you have the steps necessary to achieve your goals, make a commitment to success by creating a detailed plan. Prioritize the steps, decide how you will measure your progress, and set specific deadlines to help you maintain consistency.

  • Get in the Right Mindset

Your attitude is often an influential factor in how likely you are to achieve the goals you set for work. If you tell yourself how difficult it will be or that you don’t have what it takes, you won’t be as successful at being motivated and persevering than if you approach the goals with the right mindset. Be positive – remind yourself that you are capable, that these goals are meaningful to you, and it will be worth it all in the end. Consider your roadblocks, or the factors most likely to distract you, and develop solutions ahead of time to keep you in control of your mindset, even when willpower starts to fade.

  • Take Action Regularly

The downfall of goal achievement is often due to the interference of urgent, time-sensitive tasks that can make you prone to put off pursuing your goals whenever you can “find the time.” However, if you don’t assign your goals as high of a priority as your other work, you won’t make much progress, and you will waste valuable willpower in restarting after extended breaks. Take action regularly on working toward your goals, such as by assigning a daily time limit or blocking out time on specific days of the week. To hold yourself accountable in achieving your work goals, you can also schedule ongoing progress meetings with your boss to receive feedback, ask for advice, and adjust your strategy if necessary.

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