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How to stay focused all year long to achieve your goals

Written on May 2, 2024

By Jessica Salerno-Shumaker, OSCPA senior content manager  

Professionals need to prioritize their goals throughout the year, not just the last six weeks before their annual review.  

“Everything is so fast paced that you can easily forget about goals,” said Rita Keller of Keller Advisors, LLC.  

While setting goals at the beginning of the year can make it seem like anything is possible, Keller suggested focusing on “smart goals” that make sense for the individual and the business. Avoid the temptation to create too many goals that will be distracting or aren’t realistic with your workload or expectations.   

Managers are also a critical part of the goal-setting process. Keller said managers must make a concentrated effort to keep staff aware of and in tune with their goals throughout the year. Fire drills and emergencies will come up weekly, and if goals aren’t top of mind, then they can easily be pushed to the back burner.  

“Consider doing monthly check-ins on goal progress,” Keller said. “Talk with your people and ask them about their goals.”  

It’s important for leadership at the organization to support managers so those managers can support their people, Keller said. While everyone is busy with deadlines and project work, there must be time for employees and their supervisors to connect.  

“Managers should always consider how they can be a better supervisor, coach and mentor,” she said. “Managers have to help their people reach their potential.”  

And just because a team might be hybrid or remote isn’t an excuse to slack on goal progress, Keller said. Consider posting goals where you will see them regularly, so even if you aren’t in an office to discuss them in person, they aren’t forgotten.  

Don’t be afraid to adjust your goals, especially if they no longer make sense or something has shifted in the business. It’s better to have open conversations with your managers about changing course rather than sticking to a goal that doesn’t serve the professional or business any longer.  

“Stay focused and keep goals at the forefront. Write them on your calendar,” Keller said. “And talk about your goals as often as you can.” 

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