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Goal Getter

Goal Getter

Every year in January we do performance reviews at my workplace. The weeks leading up to this I am a nervous wreck. I never believe I am a success. Never I think I am doing a good job and believe 'this is the day they are going to fire me.' Yes, I am insane and possibly paranoid. Every year my performance review is perfectly fine, I get my goals laid out for the next year and learn what needs improvements.

In 2018, I decided to teach myself how to be a goal getter to help battle this anxiety. I decided to track my achievements and set a plan in motion for everything that I wanted to achieve by the end of the year. Was I successful not entirely, but I was able to track and see my wins as they came and honestly, even though I wasn't perfect I felt good about my accomplishments. Here is how I achieved this.

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Create a Goals List

At the beginning of the year, I decided to write down five goals I felt I could achieve. I tried to be specific as possible about what I wanted to do and write something that I believed I could accomplish in a reasonable amount of time. For example, instead of writing Travel the World! I'd say Travel to Italy. Seeing a goal that seems vast is daunting and will stop you from progressing. I think it's important to know the difference between a bucket list and a goals list. A bucket list should be where you are writing your aspirations, things that seem far-reaching that cannot be completed in an entire year. Your goals list should be things you can achieve within a year or less and will be impactful on your life. Once you have your five, write down the steps to get there. You could have six steps, or it could be twenty steps, it depends on what you are trying to achieve. Try to figure out what you will need and how long it will take you. For example, if you want to travel to Italy, you should write down that you need to book travel, hotels, figure out your budget, etc... I found that once I knew the steps roughly and had a timeline, the goal didn't seem that scary or daunting. I could do this, and I could succeed.

Track, Track Track

As I moved towards my goals, I tracked my successes and failures. Tracking made me feel accomplished, especially on the longer term goals that are a bit harder to visualize at the moment. Tracking my goals also gave me insights into where I needed to improve. For example, a goal last year was to bring my lunch to work four times a week. I kept a tally of every time I brought it and noticed patterns. If I had a work event the night before, I was less likely to pack a lunch because of laziness or simply just running out of time. On those nights, I'd ensure that I had planned ahead and either made double portions of something or woke up earlier to put something together.

Find Your Weakness and Improve
Tracking my successes and failures allowed me to identify my weaknesses further and begin to improve upon them. Knowing what you are good at and what you are not so good at is hard for anyone. By tracking successes and failures you begin to notice patterns, these patterns will tell you where you need improvement. I've always been a believer in 'you don't know, what you don't know,' and have strived to figure out what I don't know. Figure out what needs to be improved to reach your goals and go and try to learn it. Ask for assistance and don't be afraid to say 'I have no idea what I'm doing,' chances are most people are in a similar boat.

Ask for Help
For years I believed that asking for help is a sign of weakness. I never wanted assistance with anything. I felt like I should be able to do everything all by myself. I know now this is the wrong way to go about life. No one can do everything alone, and sometimes you need that helping hand. This all ties back to finding where your weaknesses are and tracking. Once you understand where you are weak, you can also understand where to ask for help. For example, I know very little about tracing and building the development process in software. This was something I desperately needed to grasp for a project I was working on. So, I decided to reach out to a colleague to help me with this part of the plan. She was able to explain everything to me and then agreed to check over my work to ensure there were no missteps. Always remember you can phone a friend.

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Ask for Help
For years I believed that asking for help is a sign of weakness. I never wanted assistance with anything. I felt like I should be able to do everything all by myself. I know now this is the wrong way to go about life. No one can do everything alone, and sometimes you need that helping hand. This all ties back to finding where your weaknesses are and tracking. Once you understand where you are weak, you can also understand where to ask for help. For example, I know very little about tracing and building the development process in software. This was something I desperately needed to grasp for a project I was working on. So, I decided to reach out to a colleague to help me with this part of the plan. She was able to explain everything to me and then agreed to check over my work to ensure there were no missteps. Always remember you can phone a friend.

You Don't Win Em' All
One thing I learned last year about being a goal getter is that you don't win 'em all. Even the best-laid plans can go awry. First I had to learn to cut myself some slack. I tried, and trying is half the battle! Now, sit down and figure out why you didn't achieve your goal. Was it because you set something too far reaching? Did something else in your life crop up that prevented you from this? Or maybe that goal just wasn't what you wanted out of life any longer. Reflection is an integral part of achieving your goals. At least you can say you tried. Not sure if the goal is right for you or something you want long term? I have a litmus test I employ in these situations. I ask myself: if I didn't do this, would I look back in 10 years and think about how I wish I had done something, or would I move on with my life and forget about it. This is my litmus test, you can't win everything, but at least you can try.

After putting my plan in action, I found this year's round of reviews were much smoother. I felt more confident and could bring real examples to the table of things I accomplished that year and to highlight where I needed extra support. Although I put this mostly into action for work-related goals, I have also begun to track personal goals such as fitness, healthy eating and other things I would like to cross off that bucket list.

Now go out and be a goal getter, you will thank yourself for it in the long run.

Photo’s By:
Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash
Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash
Photo by Matt Ragland on Unsplash

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