November is Career Development Month which is a great time to evaluate your goals, progress and areas for improvement. The following is a personal development plan that you can use to help establish personal and career related goals:

What is my goal? Why do I want to do it?

Identify small, specific goals that you would like to work on with a big picture goal in mind. A big picture goal might include getting a promotion at work which is a great goal to work towards; however it will be helpful to break that goal down into smaller more specific goals which will help you reach the big picture goal. A great tool for setting goals is the SMART method which helps identify specific, measureable, attainable, realistic and timely goals. Some examples of specific goals may include improving time management skills, communication skills, managing stress at work or increasing knowledge about a certain topic. Identify your reasons for wanting to achieve the goal, the more reasons you have the more driven you will be to achieve it.

When will I achieve it?

Set schedules and timelines to help you stay on track with your goals. Set a timeline to meet short term goals as well as long term goals. You can also use a calendar or chart to help keep track. You can schedule time weekly to work on your goals while also setting milestones in between short term goals if you notice that you may be getting off track.

How will I do it exactly?

Identify the means and approach to achieve your goals. Do you need books, courses, trainings, mentors, coaches, etc.? Also identify what resources you have available to you. Do you have access to a bookstore or online course? Does your employer offer opportunity for trainings? Do you know someone who may have experience in what you are looking to achieve?

What are my strengths? What are my areas for improvement?

In this area, you can identify focus areas on where to improve. A good approach would be to seek feedback from others. Find someone who is objective and knows you well enough. Select focus areas and rank them by priority in order to focus more on areas that have an immediate impact and are vital to achieving your goals.

What will count as success?

What does success look like to you? Tracking progress is important to continue to meet your goals as well as holding yourself accountable for progress as well as possible barriers that may be getting in the way.

What do I need to remember?

Continue to evaluate your desire and motivation towards your goals. Don’t forget to reward yourself to help reinforce the positive actions you’ve taken so you can continue doing it. Continue to develop systems and habits that make is easier to accomplish your goals. You can do it!

Available resources at Capital EAP:

If you are looking for further assistance is setting and achieving your goals, you can call Capital EAP at 518-465-3813 to schedule an appointment with our Life Coach, Patricia Spataro, LMHC, CEAP.

By: Melissa Major, MHC-LP