Setting goals

January 2019 is all about setting goals so you can be more satisfied, advanced in your career, and prepared to better serve others. When you’re achieving career goals, you’re inherently making the lives of those around you better because the company is growing with you. I’m going to be very realistic about goal setting and want to make clear that this is how I set goals. Tweak and adjust this to your personal style.

There’s not going to be anything about SMART goals or the M/go method. There will be other articles like that this month, as these are tactical and useful methods. What we’ll talk about in this article is setting things up for yourself so that goals become easier to set and things can become more clear for you as you set up goals for 2019 and beyond.

I think about goals for my life in the following order.

  1. Personal health
  2. Marriage/Family
  3. Personal goals
  4. Professional goals

This is all for good reason. If I’m not mentally stable, I’m not good to anyone. If my marriage isn’t on solid ground, I’m distracted by goals. If my family isn’t right, I’m not focused. If I’m not doing the things that make me happy, I resent work. If I’m not hitting work goals, I’m going to get fired.

When you’re younger, you might put your professional career first (like I did in a lot of ways) and that’s fine. Take time to put things in order and prioritize them.

From here, decisions are easy to make. If I feel like I’m breaking under the weight of work, I need to find a way to get myself feeling better. I like to camp, hike, write, read, or just take an evening and sit with my thoughts. These become my goals.

When setting goals, think about all the different pieces and steps that must be completed along the way. I sit daily and reflect on what I did and what needs to be done over the next week and see what I can piece out. Goals should be something you’re able to break up into pieces and monitor your progress. This is why I sit every day and write out my “One big thing” (OBT), the thing that if I got nothing else done that day, I’d be thrilled.

You should also never have more than a few daily goals. Some people will have one, and it’s big. Some people will have 5 that are small. Some people will have 10, and that’s too much. Take time to understand who you are and what motivates (and equally, demotivates) you. If you’re like me, a list that goes 9/10 goals complete at the end of the day makes you feel like you didn’t do enough. I’ve found 5 things is pretty attainable and still makes you stretch. You’ll likely do objectives outside that 5, but making a list of my OBT and then four other key objectives for the day makes things clear and easy to hit.

Use this method to prioritize yourself in 2019 for stronger growth and let us know how things are going for you!

Joe Huber is one of the co-founders of the Chicago Customer Success Podcast. He is currently a Customer Community Strategist with Sprout Social.

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