Are you interested in setting and achieving your goals at work this year? Would you like a roadmap that helps you accomplish everything you know you’re capable of? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you the top ways you can achieve your goals at work.
First things first — you might enjoy the following video from my YouTube channel which has been called one of the top 8 business YouTube channels in the nation by Wishpond. The video outlines 5 tips (along with a 6th bonus tip!) to help kick things off.
Below the video are 10 additional tips that you can put to use right away.
First things first: There are several things you can do to ensure that the goals you set for yourself are actually achieved. By now, you’ve probably heard of SMART goals. S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-bound.
Here’s a quick graphic that summarizes SMART goals brought to us by our friends at Venngage.
Okay, now that we understand that, let’s take a look at the top 10 ways to achieve your goals at work.
1. Build and Improve Professional Relationships
The key to building and improving professional relationships is through building trust.
This can happen both at work, and in the greater community of your profession. Expanding your network beyond your place of work does not mean that you are cheating on your employer or even looking for other jobs. That said, those resources can come in handy years down the road.
Joining a local business association is a good way to start growing new connections.
At work, volunteer for extra opportunities, join in on projects that could benefit from your skillset, or even offer you the chance to learn something new.
Finally, engage in open and honest communication. Being a good listener is critical in good communication but so is assuming positive intent. Good thoughts lead to good actions which produce good outcomes.
2. Improve Your Time Management Skills
The skill of multitasking has been a desired trait for far too long. Cognitive science now shows that multitaskers do less work and don’t perform at their peak.
Instead, try working in focused time segments and focus on just one task at a time. The results will be more productivity and efficiency, as well as much less stress overall.
Start by prioritizing your tasks, performing the most important tasks at the beginning, in dedicated time segments while avoiding interruptions. You may want to start by timing yourself doing certain tasks without distraction, before setting your time boundaries. There are a variety of time management apps and systems available to help you get started, they allow you to focus on the work, rather than the clock.
3. Improve Your Emotional Intelligence
Understanding your own and other people’s motivations, emotions, and behaviors is what emotional intelligence (EQ) is all about. It is essentially, self and social awareness, and being good at it is what sets many successful people apart from the rest.
This is not to be confused with our intelligence quotient (IQ), they are different and not linked.
The first thing to do is assess your current EQ. There are a variety of online options to do so. Once you are aware of your level of self-awareness, then you can work on improving it.
Merely reflecting on EQ will likely bring about more questions of self-reflection and recognition about how you react in different situations.
When you encounter particularly challenging situations, take time afterward to review what happened, look for things that may have triggered you, and consider other ways that it could have played out. Consider asking others for constructive feedback, providing you are open to hearing what they say.
Remember that improving EQ is not an overnight process, it takes time to develop the soft skills involved.
4. Find New Challenges
Working on personal development will also support your work goals. There are lots of ways to find new challenges, it could be as simple as becoming more mindful about your posture, paying someone a compliment daily, or re-evaluating your daily work priorities.
Consider waking up 30 minutes earlier and notice how much better your day goes when you don’t start out in a rush. Perhaps there is a professional certification that interests you and would benefit your position or work organization.
Provided you are already getting your regular work done, most employers would be thrilled to support an employee looking to gain more skills and experience. Many of these ideas require moving out of your comfort zone but the rewards are worth the efforts.
5. Grow Your Network
Business is as much about relationships as it is about anything else. Every business is different, but in many cases, money is not always the bottom line. Relationship and trust are pivotal. This is why growing your network is so significant in achieving your work goals.
This is something that takes time, it’s never too soon or too late to start. Networking can be done both in-person and virtually. Utilizing tools such as LinkedIn or Clubhouse continue to grow in popularity.
Depending on your type of business, there are many other social media platforms that can also promote networking.
While more and more technology support digital networking, do not underestimate face-to-face interaction. Being able to see someone’s body language and make eye contact will grow a connection faster than any app could.
6. Improve Upon Your Weaknesses
Step one, identify your weaknesses. This involves a certain level of vulnerability. There are a variety of tools such as strength finder tests that can help you do this, and they may help identify ones you were less aware of. This can include soft or hard skills, and the experience of improving will support your EQ development and likely gain the attention of your boss at the same time.
To improve on a skill once you’ve identified it, you need to make a plan. You can’t just one day decide you’ll run marathons; you need interim goals to get there.
The best thing to do is to sit down and map it out, where you are now and where you want to. With the marathon it is easy, first, you need to start training, then aim to do a 5K, before taking on a 10k or 15K and eventually a marathon. Not every goal is this easy to map out though, so be open to seeking advice from others that may have been in similar shoes.
7. Learn How to Motivate Others
You may or may not have your sights set on a leadership position. Regardless of your intentions, learning to motivate others is a useful life and business skill to have in your toolbox. Leveraging someone’s intrinsic motivation means building inspiration and self-worth while focusing on extrinsic motivation can end up feeling like manipulation or control.
You get more flies with honey than vinegar, meaning sweetness rules over-acidity. First and foremost, believe what you’re selling, if you aren’t jazzed about a project, why should anyone else be? Next, be a good listener. Everyone has a different drive, take the time to listen and learn about what others find motivational. Include everyone, make a safe space, and listen to their ideas.
8. Engage in Self-Care
You can’t pour from an empty cup. Prioritizing your own needs means that you have the capacity to support a greater effort. Self-care looks different for everyone, it could be scheduling time to read your favorite book or taking a warm bath.
It can also be waking up 30 minutes early to get a walk-in before work when you know the rest of the day is going to get away from you.
Prioritizing the basics like nourishing yourself, getting fresh air, and exercising should be the norm, but in our busy world, they can easily slip to the side. When you put yourself first, for even 30 minutes a day, you will feel lighter, happier, and ready to serve others when the time comes.
9. Be Proactive
Are you proactive or reactive? Even NASA plans for failures. It is not about being prepared for the unexpected but being equipped to respond well. Being reactive is reacting to the past, which doesn’t change anything, so it is basically a waste of time and energy.
If you sense a co-worker is frustrated with you, don’t wait for it to blow up, approach them with openness and kindness, before emotions are running high. Being proactive means you are taking control of the narrative in your life. Proactive people don’t blame, they take responsibility for how they perceive and respond to situations that arise. This takes practice.
10. Say “Goodbye” to Toxic People
The people in your life can lift you up or bring you down, you can’t change who they are, but you can choose how you spend time with them. Just like the self-talk you need to control in your own mind, you are also strongly affected by the noise around you.
If you want to become a better version of yourself, surround yourself with people that are supportive and encouraging and say goodbye to all toxic influences. This isn’t easy when the negativity comes from family and close friends, but you can start by creating better boundaries.
One great boundary is to stop following toxic people on social media. Once you establish a boundary, be consistent. Some toxic people will revolt and complain about new boundaries, while an occasional few may be drawn to your new outlook and follow you into the brightness.
It is not the adaption of one thing on this list that unleashes the potential for reaching your work goals, but an accumulation of continual self and professional improvement that pays off over time. The rewards of applying these new skills and habits will be visible in both your personal and professional life.
About Jamie Turner: Jamie Turner is an internationally recognized author, university professor, and management consultant who speaks about leadership, persuasion, and marketing at events and conferences around the globe. You may have seen Jamie in Inc., Entrepreneur, Business Insider, or Forbes. He’s also a regular guest on CNN and HLN, where he delivers segments on marketing, persuasion, and leadership. Jamie’s YouTube channel was designated one of the “Top 10 Business YouTube Channels” in the nation by Wishpond.com.