With 2024 approaching, you might be considering what your next New Year’s resolution should be, and one potential area to focus on is your career.
Establishing goals is essential for success, but doing so may feel overwhelming initially. One way to make this feel more manageable is to remember the differences between a goal and an action plan. While a goal focuses on a desired outcome, an action plan is how you get there.
For example, if you’ve set the goal of being physically healthier in the new year, your action plan might be to exercise three times each week and eat healthier. If you miss a workout, it isn’t necessary to feel like you’ve failed your goal, since you can just resume your action plan.
Preparing for Goal-Setting
Before setting a goal—and determining the associated action plan—take some time to analyze your strengths and weaknesses and think about how those can be transformed into a goal.
You can do this with a SWOT analysis, which focuses on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- Strengths: What do you do well? What unique resources can you provide? What do others see as your strengths?
- Weaknesses: What could you improve? Where do you have fewer resources? What are others likely to see as your weaknesses?
- Opportunities: What opportunities are open? What are some trends you could take advantage of? How can you turn your strengths into opportunities?
- Threats: What threats are exposed due to your weaknesses? What obstacles appear on a regular basis?
How To Create a Goal
There are four elements that can help you create a tangible goal.
- Action: What action do you want to perform?
- What: What are you agreeing to do? What is your desired outcome for yourself, your team or others?
- Why: Why is it important to you? What does success look like?
- When: When is the due date? How will we know if we met the target or not?
Here are a few examples of these elements in action:
- Increase (action) consistency of charting (what), so any provider seeing my patients can provide the same quality of care (why) by the end of the first quarter (when).
- Develop (action) strong communication skills and relationships with the physicians and other providers at my practice (what), so we can better coordinate on patient care plans and improve patient outcomes over the next six months.
- Learn (action) the management and leadership skills necessary (what) to become a Director of Audiology (why) in the next five years (when).
Once you have your goal, the next step is putting together an action plan. This is where you decide how you want to accomplish the goal.
Here are some example action plans for the example goals:
- Increase consistency of charting, so any provider seeing my patients can provide the same quality of care by the end of the first quarter.
- Talk to my coworkers about how they chart to gather best practices.
- Dedicate time daily to entering chart notes.
- Develop strong communication skills and relationships with the physicians and other providers at my practice, so we can better coordinate on patient care plans and improve patient outcomes over the next six months.
- Network with the providers at my practice.
- Read three books on how to have difficult conversations and navigate disagreements.
- Learn the management and leadership skills necessary to become a Director of Audiology in the next five years.
- Take a leadership and/or management course.
- Read a book a month about leadership principles.
If you’re interested in learning more about goal setting, Fuel’s Professional Development team can help. Contact your regional manager or account manager to get started.