How To Align Personal And Professional Goals
This is a big topic that I’ve been thinking about a lot over the past 6 months: How to align personal and professional goals. Throughout my 20s, I’ve had the luxury of focusing solely on my career development, leading to me setting up my business (a marketing agency) in March 2021. As I come up to the 2nd anniversary of going all in in the business, life looks a bit different with a baby on the way later in 2023. Goal setting has without a doubt been key to helping me navigate my personal and professional goals.
Work out what you want to achieve in the next 3-5 years
The best place to start when it comes to balancing personal and professional goals is to understand what your goals really are. Lots of people think they know what they want to achieve but in reality, they haven’t actually sat down and taken the time to articulate them. Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years? Think about this both personally and professionally. If you want, you can also break this down into further buckets like family, friends, finances, health and career. This year I started by outlining my personal goals and then I worked out how my work can support this, which I then turned into professional goals.
Create a vision board
Visualisation is really powerful for helping your goals become reality. I do a vision board once a year to check in with my goals and make sure I can picture myself in that space. I like to use pictures as well as words on my vision board but you can also choose to do one or the other. The important thing about your vision board is that it’s somewhere you’re going to see it regularly. I save mine on my desktop so I see it multiple times per day. Some of my goals include attending a fitness class in person once a week and doing my morning routine every weekday when I’m working.
Find out more about How To Create A Routine Working From Home.
Understand your priorities
The reality is that life is going to try and get in the way of your goals. So it’s important that you’re clear with yourself about what your biggest priorities are. You may have some goals that aren’t going to be realistic to achieve right now, so it might be worth deprioritising these until you’ve achieved some of your other, more attainable goals first. And don’t be afraid to reprioritise when necessary; if your circumstances change then it makes sense that you’ll also shift your priorities.
Set realistic goals for the next 12 months
I’m so guilty of setting unrealistic goals for myself in certain areas. For me, I’m always a bit too ambitious when it comes to personal finance goals. Maybe for you, you’re over-ambitious when it comes to fitness goals or social commitments. Or maybe you actually are super realistic! The point is that it’s often better to set a smaller, achievable goal so you get the satisfaction of achieving it. Rather than setting an overly ambitious goal that you aren’t going to achieve and will leave you disappointed in yourself (not what we’re aiming for with goal setting!).
If you have longer-term aspirations for the next 3, 5, 10 years, it’s really helpful to identify your end goal and then break this down into smaller 12 month goals. You can also go one step further and break each 12 month goal into 90 day blocks to make it all seem much more manageable.
Embrace the seasons
With all this in mind, I want to end this post with a reminder to embrace the seasons of life that we all go through! Sometimes it seems like things are a bit harder and both your personal and professional goals might be harder to accomplish. But the one constant in life is change, so it’s also OK to step back from your goals when you need to and relieve the pressure to constantly achieve. Sometimes getting dressed and getting through the day is an achievement in itself and needs to be celebrated.
When you go through a goal setting exercise like this, it’s important to consider your personal and professional goals alongside each other. Our lives today are now more blended than they ever have been before, with many people working from home, running their own businesses and raising families. Once you outline your vision and identify your priorities, your goals will become much clearer.