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Setting Goals for the New Year

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“Goal setting involves the development of an action plan designed to motivate and guide a person or group toward a goal. Goal setting can be guided by goal-setting criteria such as SMART criteria. Goal setting is a major component of personal-development and management literature.” – Google Search

sticky notes on board
Photo by Polina Zimmerman on

This is what Google comes up with when searching Setting Goals. Over the years, I’ve learned a few things when it comes to setting my goals for the upcoming year. I like to aim high and remind my team what I’ve accomplished along the way, other than my assigned duties. Why not? You’ve gone above and beyond for your leaders. It's also likely your goals have changed from the start of the year and most folks don't know even know 60% of all that you have accomplished.

A couple of things I like to do:

I’m not one for notebooks, as in, I don’t normally write things down. EXCEPT, my brag sheet. This is a running list of things I do, as asked, that are not part of my daily routine. I just started this a few year ago after attending a small gathering of likeminded EAs one Saturday during an all day power session. Since then, I keep one on my desk and write things down as I finish them or get asked to do them. This will help me set future goals as I know more about what might be expected of me in the coming year.

I will always include a professional development goal. No exceptions. First and foremost for me, is me. It doesn’t have to be anything grand. Sometimes it will be attending a conference. I like the Office Dynamics Conference in the fall. This professional development event will help me, which in turns helps my executives, co-workers, and peers. There are many things you can do for your professional development. Find what is going to help you achieve your path forward. For example, I’ve been certified under the World Class Assistant program with OD. I’ve taken the CAP and OAM exams. Do your own research and find out what you would like to learn and add that to your goal.

The SMART technique is a great way for you to align with the company’s mission statement and vision as well as your executive’s goals. I like to know what the plan is for the upcoming year and thoroughly understand my executives' goals. This way, I can use my goals to help everyone reach their goals and, therefore, move the company forward. 

Finally, I like to ask each executive for something. Especially when starting with a new company, there is always something extra that you could take off of your executive's plate. I like these because they help me grow as a person. I always learn something new along the way and I feel included more in my executive's day-to-day. This extra something could be a small one time task or it could be a big project that they would like you to start and run with. Once, I was asked to take on updating the organizations intranet. I knew nothing about that but I was able to learn from a great  teacher and now I know how to do it (mostly, this was 5+ years ago).

Setting goals for the year is a clean slate for you. This is your blank canvas to create a masterpiece, YOURSELF. If you would some ideas from other other Executive Assistants or Administrative Assistants like yourself, here is a post on Cabinet summarizing their 2019 goals. Have a wonderful Holiday and Happy New Year!

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