Setting Goals: Millennial Edition

Written by Ali Seca on October 11, 2016

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In recent years, the millennial generation has gained a bad rap for being ‘unproductive’, ‘lazy’, and ‘tech-obsessed’. In spite of studies having proved that millennials work just as hard, if not harder than older generations, it seems impossible to be able to shake the reputation of the ‘entitled young’n’.

For a millennial in the workforce and in society in general, this means we have to put in twice the effort to establish our goals and be taken seriously. In a society where “do-it-all” is the motto – our motivation and persistence have to be unwavering because even a small slip up can be reason enough to be labelled as unambitious.  Today, we’re talking about setting solid professional and personal goals to keep you at the top of your game no matter what.

Combine professional goals with personal goals

Find a way to intertwine your professional goals with personal ones. The two go hand in hand perfectly, and having an overlap between the two provides the opportunity to be that much more motivated throughout the week. For example, if a personal goal of yours is to start travelling more, this means you would have to buckle down and put in more hours or focus harder at work in order to get in line for a bonus or pay raise.

Track, track, track

A goal is just a wish without a plan. Setting goals also means creating deadlines and tracking progress to ensure that you are on the right path. Tracking your progress allows you to see what you’re doing right and what you need to change. Don’t let lack of progress discourage you. This just means that you have to refocus and find a better way to achieve the goals you’ve set. Consider lowering the bar, or lengthening the timeline you’ve set for yourself.

Celebrate your achievements

Treat yourself. Whether it’s your first time getting published, or you’re working on a big project with your supervisor, take the time to appreciate and acknowledge your own efforts. Whether it’s over a glass of bubbly, a spa day, or a fancy dinner out with friends – celebrate every achievement.

Use visual aids

Use visual reminders to keep from becoming passive about your goals. Little things like changing your phone’s screensaver, or adding motivational quotes to your house and workspace, and setting timely reminders can go a long way in keeping you on track.

Differentiate between short and long term goals

This is an important one. Short term goals are easier to set and great to fuel quick spurts of motivation, whereas long goals can sometimes feel like they’re taking forever to become realities. Who knows where you’ll be in five years? For this reason, it’s important to set monthly, annual, and even five and seven year goals and make them all complementary to one another. If you hope to be editor-in-chief in five years, make sure you’re turning in a substantial amount of top-notch work per week or month, and that you’re coordinating on as many projects as you can every six months. Set, track, achieve, repeat.

Talk about your goals

Talk about your goals with your friends, family, significant other, and even your boss. Be candid but professional and use performance reviews as times when you can let your boss know that you are serious about your work and would like to grow from within the organization. Additionally, talking to your friends about your goals and achievements is a great way of visualizing and reinforcing the importance of your plans. Plus, your friends and family are sure to provide constructive feedback that will help you along the way.

Be flexible

Just as you change and grow over time, so will your goals. Remember to revaluate your objectives from time to time to make sure you’re still working towards something you are passionate about. The last thing you’d want is to be neck-deep in a job or university program and realize you hate it. The new year, before the end of summer, and around salary review are good times to do this.

Consider these questions from The WorkHer to get the ball rolling on how to set some solid goals:

  • Where are you now?
  • What were your biggest achievements/highlights of the past year?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • How can you improve on those weaknesses?
  • Where do you want to be in one year’s time?
  • Where does your boss/manager/supervisor think you could be in the next year?

Leave us a comment and let us know how you build and stick to your goals!

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