Unfortunately, most New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by Valentine’s Day. Just as distressing, most 2011 work goals are safely filed away in a desk drawer by the same time. That’s a shame considering all of the work that went into creating them just a couple of months ago. Take a minute today to review those goals you set for yourself. Are you still on track—or have the day-to-day issues we each face pulled you in a dozen different directions already?
All good performance starts with clear goals. Here are three questions to make sure you are heading in the right direction:
- Are your goals aligned with departmental and organizational objectives? Your organization has probably finalized its 2011 strategic planning. Take a moment to make sure that your individual goals are in alignment with the organization. You don’t want to be working tangentially or at cross purposes.
- Are you trying to do too much? 7 or 10 goals are too many for any person to truly focus on. Instead, choose the 3 to 5 goals that will have the most impact. That should be a lot clearer now with seven weeks of the new year under your belt.
- Are you getting feedback on how you’re doing? By now, you and your manager should have had at least one conversation on how you are progressing toward your goals. If not, schedule a one-on-one to discuss. Feedback is a critical component of good performance.
In most organizations, goals are set at the beginning of the year, filed away, and not seen again until it’s time for performance review. The result is poorly aligned work and unpleasant surprises at the end of the year. Don’t let that happen to you. Revisit your goals often, talk to your immediate manager about them on a regular basis, and adjust them as necessary to meet the changing needs of the organization.