Set Personal (Weekly) Goals for Long Term Success in the Workplace

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Goals are an important part to achieving success in the workplace.  They serve as a guide to keep you on course and prevent you from becoming distracted.  If you want to achieve long-term success at your job, the best way to do so is by deciding your long term goal and then setting personal, weekly goals that keep you on the right path.

It’s easy to state a goal, but actually achieving it takes hard work and determination. Here are a few important tips to help you set reasonable goals to increase your chances for success.

Be specific.
Because your short term goals are a method to map out the requirements and milestones for meeting your long term goals, they need to be well-defined and specific.    For example, saying “I want to achieve success” may mean becoming a senior level employee to one person, while it may mean getting positive feedback from a client to another.  You need to be able to easily put the goal into words when explaining it to someone else.

Set only measurable goals.
In order to know if you’ve successfully met a goal, you need to be able to measure the outcome of it.  You’ll also want to set a time frame in which you need to achieve it.  In the case of setting weekly goals, the time frame should be sometime within the next seven days.  For example you might say, “I want to have my expense report completed by Wednesday at 3pm.” 

Be positive.
Your goals should be something you want, not something you want to avoid.  Instead of making it a goal to “not be at work late this week” set a goal to “come in early and focus, so I can get home by 6pm”.  You’re more likely to achieve your goals if you set them in a positive light rather than a negative light. 

Don’t be unrealistic.
The personal goals you set should be compatible with your abilities and skills.  You can’t become a senior manager overnight.  You need to make sure you have the proper resources to get the training and experience you have to move up within the organization.

Work against a time frame.
Make sure your goals are achievable within the time frame you set.  You may have to break a goal up into smaller sections across several weeks, rather than complete it in a week.  While you should work hard to achieve your goals, you don’t want to set yourself up for failure by making unrealistic commitments.

Set actionable goals.
Make sure there is an action tied to each goal you set.  If you’re not proactive and actually take the steps towards achieving your goals, you’re only setting yourself up for failure.  Create a to-do list for each day of the week and formulate a plan of action for getting things done.

Be flexible.
Even when working with short term goals, you’re going to encounter barriers that impede against your progress.  Don’t let that stop you from pressing onward.  Instead, modify your goals accordingly and move on. 

If you continue to set weekly goals and continually evaluate your direction, you’ll be on the fast track to long-term success at the office.  One completed goal will lead into the next, and before you know it you’ll have achieved your long-term goals!

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