What is Your Top Professional Goal?
Throughout your lifetime, you're often asked about goals – both personal and professional. Whether lofty or quite realistic, we're asked where we would like to be in five years, in ten, and so on. Then it's up to us to put smaller steps into place in order to reach said goals. When working on those ladder steps, it can be easy to fixate on a single finish line – the very one you're breaking down, step-by-step, in order to achieve. The same can't always be said for outside goals. With such a laser focus on something specific, we can overlook everything else. Sometimes, that includes additional accomplishments, before they even reach the planning stages.
Without someone to do the asking, over time we might forget to list our goals. Which is why it's high time we take a minute to decide what we really want. Without planning try to get there or ways to make it happen – that step comes later. For now, simply determine what you want to achieve.
What's your top goal? As in, the highest point of professional achievement you wish to achieve? It doesn't matter if it's lofty, in fact, the loftier, the better. What's the one thing you've always wanted throughout your career, but were too afraid to admit? Or were sure that it could never come true, and therefore wouldn't list it as an "actual" goal?
It's time to throw those fears out the window and list that goal. For real this go-round. Maybe you have dreams of becoming CEO for your company, or want to open 10 franchise locations in 10 years, wish to publish a book on your success, or are looking to start an employee training program that receives national recognition. The possibilities are endless.
Because admitting a goal is the very first step in achieving it, take a few minutes to decide what you want to achieve. Even if you are the only person you actually tell. Then bask in the daydream that is your dream career, and allow yourself to picture that reality – the reality where you've achieved your absolute dream position. Are you there? How great is it? And how amazing does it feel to have made this huge achievement? Are you thoroughly impressed with yourself?
Great, now it's time to move forward. Not necessarily by making a plan, like before with five or ten year plans. But by reaching toward higher and bigger things. The more professional accomplishments you're able to rack up, the wider the skillset, and therefore, the more accomplished you will become.
Reach out to others in your field. See who earned your dream goal before you, and look at how they were able to achieve it. Did they read certain books? Perform various tasks? Apply themselves in a way that others weren't able to do? Find out what they did, and consider replicating it for yourself. But don't stop there; their tasks should only be a starting place from which you can jumpstart. That way you can be even more well-rounded and more qualified for such high goals.
Then, if you ever start to lose focus, just take yourself back to the daydream where you've already earned your top goal, and remember how great that honor feels, even hypothetically.
Finally, take each effort with a grain of salt. Goals are achievable, that's why we make them. Awards exist and someone is earning them every day, so why not you? But it's also good to brace yourself for a possibility where the top dream doesn't come true. Will it be heartbreaking? Perhaps a little. But you will have also set yourself up for incredible career growth, and focus that others are rarely able to achieve within an industry. Who knows, you might even lean toward outside goals instead, ones you hadn't even thought of at the time.
Either way, reaching for the top is the best way to get there – even if it's not in the format you originally had in mind. Set your professional goals steadily in place, and work to expand your reality in all areas of the workforce.