The start of a new quarter is always a time for renewed company goals — targets to hit over the next three months. It’s also a time to set personal goals.
It’s important to set goals. Ever hear the Lou Holtz quote “in this world you’re either growing or dying”? To get better at your job (to set yourself up for a promotion, or a raise, or more responsibility), you need to set goals for improvement.
Once you have those goals set, you then need to break them down into actionable steps, or bite-sized pieces.
I’m a big fan of dividing your goals into small, measurable pieces. Dividing a goal down into quarters, and then months, and then weeks helps turn big goals (“I want to get promoted to account executive”) into actionable steps (“I need to fill 10% more than my quota for the next month”).
“I want to get promoted from SDR to account executive” is a good vision, but it doesn’t give you a starting point. It’s hard to take a bite right out of the middle of that goal.
“I need to fill 10% more than my quota for the next month” is actionable. You can tackle that right away.
In a recent Praxis workshop, we talked about setting goals (and thinking about growth), identifying action steps for your goals, and setting up a schedule for making measurable progress.
Step 1: Think about Growth
If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll stay where you’ve always been.
— many smart people
If you want to grow, you have to become better than you used to be. If you want a promotion, you have to outgrow your current role. If you want to take on more responsibility, you have to grow to a place where you can handle it.
Think about the way a potted plant grows. It outgrows its pot and needs to be replanted in something bigger. You need to outgrow your role to move into something new.
In everything you do, there are two parts to success: meeting expectations, and then progressing beyond them.
Exercise: write down your goals for the next three months. Be as specific as possible. What does accomplishing these goals look like? How is it different from what you’re doing now?
Step 2: Get Specific
Knowing where you’re going is really important. The more specific your goals, the easier it will be to take action on them. Once you’ve set your goals, get specific about what obtaining them will look like.
If your goal is “start working in the marketing department,” what does that need? What do you have to know how to do that you don’t know how to do now? What actions will you be taking on a regular basis that you don’t currently take?
Exercise: answer the following questions:
- What skills do I have to gain to hit my goal?
- What specific actions do I have to take to hit my goal?
Step 3: Take Action
It’s time to put all these goals on a timeline and a schedule.
Having goals is only valuable if you have specific steps to hit them, and in turn, having specific steps is only valuable if you have a gameplan to tackle them.
Break them down by:
- Quarter (where do you want to be in the next three months?)
- Month (what do you want to accomplish by the end of each month in the quarter?)
- Week (what do you want to accomplish each week this month?)
Once you have your goals broken down into weekly steps, you’ll be ready to take action!
This is a written version of a workshop we completed with Praxis participants for Praxis Monday. If you liked this, why not take part in the full education experience? Apply today.