How To Write An Awesome Career Goals List

I like to write lists. A lot of them. Lists of places I want to go, a list of concerts I want to see, a goals list I want to accomplish. I’m awful at organizing them and often find myself with multiple versions of each lists lying around at different computers or desks I’m at.

This year, I decided to take my annual bucket/goal/to-do list and go the extra mile. Forget writing a document on Pages, that I discover/remember part-way through the year. Forget the lack of reminders that my previous system overlooked.

So, I decided to build it on Trello — an awesome, visually-appealing, and super-intuitive (and free) project management tool.

What I love most about it, is the ability to show where you are in goals. I’m a visual person, so seeing that I’ve been to 7/15 concerts I set for this year, is something I feel some satisfaction in seeing when I’m reviewing. What’s even cooler, is the different stages you can move your goals from, so you can see which phase the goal is in, whether it’s been started, or if you’ve completed it.

Furthermore, if you’re the accountability type, you can share access with a friend/partner and allow them to check-in, send you reminders about certain goals you’re overlooking, and so on. Pretty neat, huh?!

Making It Work For Your Career

Depending on the way you structure your goals list, it could involve a specific section for your career – one that you update, revise, and add-to each your. Or it could involve an entirely separate list solely for your career goals.

Regardless of which route you take, I find that separating your career goals sections helps you with planning. For example, here are the sections I have for mine. It’s simple but effective.

  • Accomplishments (promotion, succeeding in a project, hitting a sales target, etc.);
  • Education/Professional Development (receiving an industry designation, taking a new workshop, expanding your skillset); and
  • Misc (anything and everything that doesn’t fit in the above categories).

 

When Should I Make And Review My Goals List?

There’s no set time or frequency that you should prescribe to for making and reviewing your goals list. I find that around New Years is a great time for me to review and add in all the new goals I want to pursue. But I generally check my list either every few months or when I have accomplished a step towards a goal or a complete goal, and I want to update and review.

Why Should I Start A Goals List?

From my perspective, there are two really great reasons for starting a goals list.

  1. It gives you an avenue to think about where you want to be a few years down the line and what you want to achieve. Instead of having all these thoughts disjointed around your brain.
  2. It gives you a nice metric for evaluation. When you look back on the last few years, you can quantify your accomplishments, the goals you’ve completed and even see the changes in what your priorities have gone from.

In summary, there are definitely worse things you can do with your time than consolidating all the things you’re seeking to accomplish, to build your career and improve your life. What is likely a 30-minute investment, yearly, could yield a tremendous amount in terms of reminding you of goals you’d forgotten, keeping you on track with prioritizing all that you want to accomplish, and a means for holding yourself accountable in your pursuit of these goals.