Success Plan Step 4: Setting milestone goals

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In the March article in this series, we talked about obstacles that can surface as you work toward creating your Success Plan. Certainly, the current COVID-19 crisis can seem like an obstacle and a big distraction. But I invite you to use this time as an opportunity to focus on creating your Plan. Make it a distraction from all the worries and upheaval you may be experiencing!

Step 1: Your 10-Year Goals

In setting goals for your Success Plan, we start at the end and work our way back to the beginning. So we set our 10-year goals first. Get started by thinking through where you aspire to be 10 years from today. I refer to this as your 10-year aspirations. Keep working at this until you have a clear picture, or vision, of where you are and what you are doing in 10 years. Take as much time as you need. Have fun with it!

Next, create goals to help achieve your 10-year aspirations. Write them in present tense, as though you have already achieved them. This will help you visualize them with more clarity and confidence. You should create five to seven goals to help you achieve this segment of your Success Plan. As you write each goal, be sure to visualize how it will look and feel to achieve it.

Step 2: Your 5-Year Goals

Now let’s back up five years and create what it looks like to be halfway to that place. This process is a lot easier because you already know where you’re heading with your career. Also, it makes the 10-year goals even more manageable because these goals support getting you halfway through your Success Plan. You’re not starting from scratch!

Take some time to identify four to six goals you will need to achieve at the 5-year mark in order to be halfway to fulfilling your Success Plan. Once again, write them in present tense, as though you have already achieved them. I hope you are finding that setting goals is becoming easier and your future vision is getting clearer as you work through this process.

Step 3: Your 3-Year Goals

At this point, you are almost finished creating your Success Plan goals! Setting your 3-year goals will probably be easy since you now know where you want to be 10 years from today, and what you need to accomplish in 5 years in order to position yourself for success.

OK, you know what to do next—create three to five goals to achieve within the next three years. Think of them as mile-markers you’ll reach as you’re heading to the halfway point to your 10-year goals. These are probably much less intimidating goals and should feel very achievable. As you know, they should be written in present tense, as though you have already achieved them.

It’s important to create goals that address where you will be in three years, as well as how you are positioning yourself to reach your 5-year goals. Everything should be focused on learning and connecting to set yourself up for success.

Next month, we will get started on the next phase of your Success Plan—your professional marketing plan. Here’s to your success, always!

Janice Lamy is a marketing professional with more than thirty years of experience leading marketing programs and mentoring young professionals. She is keenly interested in positively impacting a generation of women by providing career success guidance. Learn more about the Success Plan Program or reach out directly with your comments or questions via email. 

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