professional goals

New year, new you: how to achieve professional goals in 2019

New Year’s celebrations have well and truly finished and some of you may have already drafted resolutions to keep your personal and professional goals on track for the year ahead. The start of a new year presents no better time than to evaluate your career, so ask yourself: what do you want? 

Where do you want to be by the end of 2019? What would be your ideal job? Even if you’re dead-set in love with your current position, what skills or qualities do you want to develop? Whatever your goals are, you can get there if you start identifying them. 

Kyle Rutten is the National Training Manager of Suntory Coffee Australia.

“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” It’s a simple statement used in financial planning and stress management, but I believe it holds merit when it comes to goal setting. So let’s look at how to tackle an elephant together. 

Step one: Create a big goal, one that’s exciting and will help drive you forward throughout the year. This is the “elephant”. But remember, everyone’s elephants will be different sizes. I’d recommend putting down a thing or things that will have an impact on your own life but also that of your team, company, or group that you work in. This will improve the chances of those around you supporting it. Don’t make your “elephant” too big. The grander the goal, the more likely it is you’ll find an excuse why it can’t or won’t be done.

Examples could be: get a promotion in your company, compete in a specific competition and place in the top three, or maybe just win the whole thing. Grow your individual sales or your team’s results by 25 per cent, or something as simple as finally being able to smash out that five-leaf rosetta latte art, or to decrease the amount of waste your café produces.

Step two: You need to put down some clear steps or actions to achieve your goal – that’s the bite sized pieces. You might to do this by spending more time with the people you can learn from and grow with, or by taking a particular course or reading a specific book.

When I was younger I read Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins, and there was one line I will never forget. “If you want to get better at something, spend time with somebody who is the best at it.” This caused me to find people who were great at latte art, such as Matt Lakajev and Jibbi Little, and people who were great at extraction and calibration, such as Trevor Hotten. 

Step three: Prioritise your “bite-size-pieced goals” into daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. If we use the five-leaf rosetta example, then a daily goal could be to practice at least 10 minutes every morning. Weekly could be watching videos of other latte artists doing that pour, sending videos, and getting feedback from a friend who you know can do it well. Then monthly could be locking in three hours of training with an expert friend to help you work on pouring that pattern. 

Step four: It’s also important to be clear on things that you shouldn’t do or should do less in order to achieve your goals. For example, spend less time on emails each day, be more specific, block out a certain time in the day to do emails, and hold yourself accountable to sticking to that. Why not try responding to emails between 10:30am to 11am then again at 3:30 to 4pm instead of letting them distract you throughout the day? Devote the remaining time to your work and the extra time you’ve gained towards your goal.

Helpful tips: 

  • Accountability. Find someone to regularly ask you how you are tracking towards your goal. This could be a manager or boss, a friend or a partner. 
  • Reevaluate. Set a time to look at your plan and goal progression. Quarterly might be a good time to check up on yourself and the steps you’ve taken towards achieving your target. Like any good pilot who maps out their flight path, there may be adjustments made a long the way. This is OK. In fact, you may find you achieve your goal sooner than you thought. 
  • Record. Keep a journal, record, photos, or diary. Part of achieving anything is enjoying and remembering the journey. 

I trust that if you are reading this that you have some level of desire to make a change or improvement this year. At the end of the day, it’s you who is responsible for what you will or won’t achieve, which will only be determined by your work ethic and passion. Hard work beats talent every time. Be intentional, be focused, and be honest in your approach. That way, no matter what obstacles may stand in your way, you will end the year closer, if not having achieved what you set out to do. Good luck. 

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