When setting your career goals for 2020, it’s important to be specific when writing them down, understand the motivation for each one, share them, and more.

It’s that time of year again. Researchers share that about 60% of us make some form of New Year’s resolution. While they also share that most of us don’t achieve our goals, at least the effort is made to reflect on self-improvement, whether it’s personal or work-related.

We’ve compiled some suggestions for how to set not only your career goals for next year but also stand a better chance of achieving them.

SMART Goal Setting

If you’re working on setting goals for 2020, the first thing is to make them SMART. That means the objectives are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • And Time-Bound

This means it’s no good to set a goal you can’t control or can’t measure. While being happier at work is a good goal, how will you achieve it? Specifically, what will you do to make that happen? What activities can you do that will make you achieve the state of happiness at work every day? Some SMART goals could include:

  • I will take a 10-minute walk twice a day outside.
  • I will avoid joining in gossip at the office.
  • I will turn in assignments on deadline.

Each of these goals has a metric attached to them. They are also something the individual can achieve every day. Setting a SMART career goal can help you achieve greater success in the job. It will make you more productive by identifying what you want to do and then tracking what you need to accomplish to achieve it.

Reflect on the Past Year

New Year’s career goal setting should always include a reflection on what you’ve achieved over the past year. Think about how far you’ve come in the job. What accomplishments have you achieved? Write those down. What have you learned? Write those down, too. Now consider, in your current environment, what behaviors and activities will you carry forward into next year? Think about:

  • Whether additional learning or training will help overcome barriers in your job?
  • Does your employer pay for educational training, and have you taken advantage of it?
  • Would joining a particular committee help you get ahead in your job?
  • Do the activities you do every day satisfy you?
  • What is it about your career that you value?
  • Do you still find it motivating, or is it just a job?

Taking time to reflect in all of these areas will help you determine your 2020 career goals.

Now, Write It Down

Once you’ve taken the time to reflect on the past year and created some SMART goals, write them down. Be specific in documenting what your career goals are and what tasks you will take next year to achieve them. As you write them down, think about your internal motivations for achieving these goals. Think about why they’re important to you as a person. Sometimes asking “why” can be the most powerful way to reflect on what matters to you. Always take time at the end of the year to reflect on how you can improve as a person and in your life.

If this reflection leads you to realize you are in the wrong job, contact IES. You have options, and we can help you achieve them.

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