Ever feel like your career is moving at a faster pace than you ever imagined? I know I’ve felt that way numerous times, especially in the last few years.
We’re inundated with information like never before. This makes goal-setting an essential skill that we must all have if we’re going to find the success we want.
Or is it?
Setting a meaningful goal to work toward can be important, but it can also lead us into two specific traps that can do more harm than good.
- It can cause us to be less adaptable to changing circumstances because we are so fixated on the meaningful goal we have set for ourselves.
- It can cause us to attempt too many tasks at once because we feel guilt, shame, or remorse for not being able to meet a meaningful goal within a specific period of time.
And I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough of working hard at hardly being productive. It’s time to make a change. That’s why I say that goals are nice, but let’s think twice before setting a new one this year.
Why Flexibility Is More Important Than a Meaningful Goal
Thinking about the future of your career is important. Don’t get me wrong here. Planning out a path of success should never be overlooked. It’s how we chart our course and then navigate toward our destination that I’m proposing we change.
When many professionals set goals for themselves, they are long-term in nature.
- “In the next 12 months, I want to accomplish…”
- “Five years from now, my goal is to be…”
- “I’m trying to save $100 per month so I can retire in 20 years.”
These long-term goals are nice, but they are also very rigid and unforgiving. You must follow a prescribed course of action in order to achieve the goal. If a roadblock is found or there are obstacles that come up, you have no method of finding a detour around the issue because you’re locked into this one path.
So instead of all these long-term resolutions, consider short-term goals instead. Let’s transform those three statements above so you can see what I mean.
- “This week I will work toward accomplishing…”
- “Five years from now, I will be satisfied with my career if any of these events occur.”
- “I’m trying to save $100 this month for retirement.”
By Staying in the Present Moment, You Can Accomplish More
Ever feel exhausted before you even make it to work? Wonder what happened to your life as you sit in your office? Dream of getting out of a cubicle?
When you have several long-term goals that you’re attempting to achieve, then you spread yourself too thin. There’s no way to focus on what needs to happen today because you’re so focused on what tomorrow will bring.
So let’s forget about tomorrow. Stay in the present moment instead and I guarantee that the stress or even regret you feel about your long-term goals will begin to reduce.
There will always be competitive priorities that we must face. By focusing on what needs to be done right now, we can let tomorrow worry about itself.
How do you set professional goals for yourself? Is there a method of goal-setting that you have found to be particularly effective?