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Ten Steps for Setting Goals Your First Year on the Job

Tags:  Goal setting

How do you know if you've reached your destination if you don't know where you're headed? Setting goals – personal and professional – are an important part of what we do as adults in order to ensure we are on the right path.


Personal Goals


By the time you graduate college and accept your first full-time job offer, you may be thinking more about what you want to achieve in your career than in your personal life. However, goal setting should involve all aspects of your life. After all everything you do is intertwined and that includes your goals.


Personal goal setting might include things such as your home and leisure activities as well as your physical, mental and spiritual well being. That means if your dream is to travel, you may want to plan specific locales to visit and how you will finance your vacations. And that just may mean working hard, saving your money and using your accrued paid vacation time provided by your employer.


Professional Goals


When most people think of goals, they think of those defined by career aspirations. Things like promotional, educational, and training opportunities. The problem is that most people don't write them down; don't carefully plan out how to achieve these goals.


It's great to want to further your education, ""Someday I'll get my MBA."" And it's wonderful to dream about owning your own business, ""One day I'll work for myself."" However, it's quite another to actually put these desires into motion. Without a plan, you're just whistling in the dark.


Establishing Goals


If you feel like you are ready to develop your personal and professional goals, here are ten steps to help you do just that.


  • Determine your skills, abilities, and interests. You may have goals in mind; however, do you have what it takes to achieve them?
  • Define your ultimate purpose. Look at the big picture – like being a business owner – and then break it into smaller achievable pieces. What do you need to do over the course of the next year to move closer to your goal?
  • Develop short-term and long-term goals. Consider what you want now and what you want in the future. Divide long-term goals into smaller short-term goals.
  • Make your goals positive. Think of what you want to achieve not what you want to avoid.
  • Update your goals on a regular basis. People change with time, and so might their goals.


You may have already heard of the term SMART goal. But if you haven't, here is a great tool for helping you write achievable goals.


  • Specific: What are you going to do and how are you going to do it?
  • Measurable: How will you measure your progress toward your goal?
  • Attainable: Do you have the skill, abilities and interest necessary to reach your goal?
  • Realistic: Is the bar set high enough so that you feel challenged, but not so high that you feel defeated?
  • Timely: By when do you plan on achieving your goal? Three, six, twelve months?


Now that you know what it takes to establish goals, do you have what it takes to reach yours?



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