Today’s Guest Post of the Month was written by Jennifer over at Parent Smarter Not Harder….which I have to say I am a HUGE fan of. Jennifer has created a unique set of processes and time management skills to make our jobs easier.
This New Year, I’m sure you’ve thought about yearly goals at one point or another. Maybe you’ve even gone so far as to set one (or a few).
How do you know if you’re setting the right goals? And are those personal goals? Or professional ones?
Goal setting is both an art and a science. There’s a formula you can take to make sure you’re setting goals you can accomplish, but there’s also so art to it in that you have to go with your gut.
When making goals, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
You need personal goals. I know it’s really tempting to think that you can set professional goals and walk away, but you need to have a target to aim for in your personal life.
As a working mom, it can be really easy to get caught up in my business goals. Those are easy to spot and are exciting for me to go after. But I’m more than my job.
I’m a mom first, and it’s important that I set goals that reflect that. Being a mom is a huge part of my life, something that I need to feel like I make forward progress in.
What are personal goals? They are goals that exist outside of your “job” and are focused on personal development.
As people, we grow and change every year. How do you want to change this year? Isn’t it better to change in the way that YOU want instead of letting life take control?
Some personal goals might include spending more focused time with your children. You could set a goal to spend 10 minutes a day focused on “me time”. You could commit to more self-care this year. You might want to take a vacation with just your spouse. Or maybe you want to plan more fun activities with your children.
I like to plan goals in 12-week spans (I wrote an entire goal planning post about it) and I make sure that I have at least one personal goal every quarter.
Having personal goals makes you feel in control of your personal life and can help you feel less overwhelmed if you see yourself making progress toward a goal.
Now that I’ve made a case for personal goals, it can be tempting to skip the professional ones. But setting professional goals for yourself every year gives you something other than being a mom to focus on.
Professional goals are set around professional development. However, it’s easy to set the wrong type of goals.
Goals that are set need to be something that you have control over. Setting a goal to get a promotion for example, might not be the best goal to set because can you really control if someone else promotes you?
My first job out of college I set a goal to get a promotion. I worked my butt off and was told at review time that I had done the work to get the promotion, but because of a company policy, I was going to have to wait another year.
This policy was outside of my control and kept me from reaching my goal. I felt like a failure and it showed in the following year’s work.
So instead of setting a goal to get a promotion set a goal to accomplish the things that are needed to get a promotion. It’s a simple shift but it can drastically change the outcome.
If you do all of those things, then you might end up with a promotion, but if something outside of your control stops that promotion, you can still reach your goal.
It’s amazing how small mindset shifts can help you stay motivated to get things done.
You need both!
I’m guessing you don’t want to work your entire life. At some point you want to retire. If you’ve spent your entire life focused on just your professional life, what is left for you?
And I’m also guessing that if you are working, you want to grow in your professional life. If you own your own business, you want that business to grow. If you work for someone else, you want to do something that matters for the company (and maybe work your way up).
It’s all about setting balance. Finding that balance goes a long way toward being happy in life. After all, who doesn’t want to feel in control of their own destiny?