Reaching your career goals starts in your mind. With the right mental outlook, you can achieve your dreams, but you have to know where to start. The Make It website offers this psychological advice on accomplishing your goals:
- Define your objectives. Many people start with only a vague sense of what they want to do with their lives. Set a clear, concrete, specific target for yourself, something you can monitor and measure so you can see yourself making progress.
- Manage your goals. Break your ultimate goal down into a series of steps so you know what to do. Establish a timeline to keep yourself on track, but allow for a margin of error. Each milestone should be ambitious but realistic so you can achieve them within your timeframe.
- Set your strategy. Figure out how you’re going to approach each step. You may want to work with your current manager to align your goals with your organization’s mission. A mentor can also help you plan and make the most of your opportunities.
- Be accountable. Set firm deadlines, and let other people know about them. This makes it harder for you to procrastinate or make excuses. Schedule regular check-ins so your friends or mentors can see that you’re making progress, offer support, and nudge you when you’re tempted to slack off.
- Be willing to say no. To achieve your goals, you’ve got to avoid distractions. Obviously you have to do what your boss tells you to, but in the end you’ll have to be picky about what tasks and projects you agree to do. Say “no” to anything that will take you in the wrong direction or take too much time away from your goals.