Are You On Track to Achieve Your Career Goals?

By Michelle Chung and Nancy Donahue, Partners

Do you feel that your career is stuck in a rut? Perhaps you get up each day and work hard, but feel you are running on a treadmill rather than making great strides? Why is this so? Maybe it’s time to consider a new approach to jumpstart your career.

Humans are naturally goal driven. From the time we are born, we have goals. Have you ever thought about how babies learn how to talk and how to walk. When they fall down, they don’t think, “Gosh, what if I never walk?” They get right back up and keep going after this all-important goal. So, we start out with big dreams, but somewhere along the way we forget the importance of staying focused on our goals. Life can get so busy and we have so many things going on that we forget our most important priorities. The good news is that there is an easy way to break through all the clutter – so that we can be in touch with and achieve what we most want.

Take Ownership of your Success
How do we stay on track to our career goals? One successful technique incorporates the act of writing as a tool to help us maintain focus and accelerate reaching our goals.
In a study by Dr. Gail Matthews of the Dominican University of California, 267 participants from a variety of industries and backgrounds were recruited for a four-week research project. The participants were randomized into one of five groups. Group one thought about goals they wanted to reach and achieved 43% of them. Participants in the other groups were asked to write down their goals and achieved 64% of those goals, or 34% more than those who just thought about their goals.1 Certainly the data supports the benefits of writing down our goals to enhance success. Do you have written goals that you focus on daily? How much more empowered and successful could you be if you did?

Additionally, the group that wrote their goals as well as actions and progress created the highest level of achievement, reaching 76% of their stated goals.1
Once you have formulated your goals and written them down, each day spend a minute or two reflecting and noting any small progress you made and then commit to just one best next step you can take that day in order to build and maintain momentum and move in the direction of your goal. Rather than getting overwhelmed by the thought of developing an entire plan before you begin, just commit to and take one step. After you take that step, note it and celebrate it. When you encounter inevitable setbacks or challenges along the way, consider what you learned and celebrate that as progress and keep going. Then identify the most important next step. Imagine how easy it would be to do one small thing toward your goal each day and, if you did so, how much momentum and progress you would achieve in a short period of time.

Give this simple technique a try for the next 30 days and you will discover how much goal progress you can make in a month.

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1Matthews, G. (2007): Study Backs up Strategies for Achieving Goals.

Author's Bio: 

Michelle Chung and Nancy Donahue are managing partners at mPWR10 Partners, a Philadelphia-area company dedicated to assisting corporations that want to enhance their employees' resilience, personal effectiveness and goal attainment. The women discovered a shared passion for helping people grow and thrive professionally and personally while working at GlaxoSmithKline. With extensive experience in sales, marketing, leadership, and new product planning, Chung and Donahue developed a keen awareness and understanding of motivational tools and the key factors in helping achieve their goals. Based on their shared vision, the women founded mPWR10 and were inspired to research, develop and field-test the On Track with mPWR10 personal effectiveness and goal acceleration program.