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Are You Working with Purpose? Make a Goal to Get There

Many of us could go through our work routine in our sleep—but should we? Familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt, sometimes it breeds complacency, which is more pernicious. The best way to restore focus is to take an inventory and set goals. Here are three ways to move forward with purpose:

  1. Understand the big picture. You cannot take steps to achieve what you want until you first know what that is. What do you want to look back on at your retirement party? What are the traits you want to guide your work? What are the specific things you want to achieve and areas in which you want to grow? Spend some time taking stock. Write down specifics and keep them in a safe place. Return to the list annually or quarterly to revisit and revise.

  2. Chart the next steps. Once you have a trajectory, break it down into stages and steps. If you want to rbe president of a university in 20 years, what experience do you need to gain? What networks do you need to expand? Who can teach you the things you need to learn? How does what you are doing now support your goals for the future?

  3. Anchor your daily practices. Everyday life is often where the relationship between our aspirations and actions get severed. Understand how your daily practices are the grounds-crew tilling the soil for your flourishing future. Analyze your daily habits and see if you can implement changes to help you work more efficiently, such as keeping emailing to specific blocks of time, keeping incessant interruptions at bay and allow you focused time to accomplish tasks. Ensure that there is time allotted in your daily and weekly schedules to support the goals you are working toward. And most of all, be sure to know how important a work/life balance is to your being successful at both.

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